I woke to shocking and disheartening news: a group of thirty people, most of them the folks from the valley we brought up from Tennessee, have decided to leave. They're planning on being gone by Monday, and there doesn't seem to be a lot we can do to convince them to stay.
I can't blame them, not really. Since they've been here they've seen the worst happen more than once, and they've been treated badly by many people in the compound. If they want to go, no one is going to try to stop them, but with the reappearance of at least some zombies outside the wall, it will be a more dangerous venture than it would have a week ago.
We've lost more than half the compound as livable area, so the loss in numbers isn't a terrible thing from that viewpoint. We're struggling to feed people and going hungrier than any of us is comfortable with, so it's not the end of the world from that vantage either. Hell, I could sit here all day and point out the many ways that losing more people will be beneficial to the group overall. I could do that, but I won't.
I refuse because I'm sick and fucking tired of it. I'm done with being the pragmatist who has to look at people as numbers for the greater good.
Look at the compound. Look at my home, and see how far it has fallen. Less than a year ago we were a thriving community of people who cared deeply for one another. We fought, bled, and died for a common purpose. We were building things and moving forward. We were a small town unto ourselves, policing our own when needed and taking pains to make sure that every single one of us was fairly treated. There were entire weeks of time where it was almost possible to forget The Fall had happened, so comfortable and safe was our home.
I take small credit for that. I managed to see it coming, though at the time even I thought I was being stupid and acting crazy. Lucky for me, other people joined in the madness because without them the compound never would have been the haven it became.
Now look at us. We used to take such pride that we as a people had avoided the worst the zombies could do to us--death. Not so long ago we were damned happy to put in a long day on the wall with the knowledge that our foresight and hard work had prevented us from falling into the desperate situations so many other survivors have faced. We weren't starving waifs huddling in darkened houses. We weren't suffering. We were strong.
Even a few weeks ago things were still relatively intact. Sure, there were tensions and trouble, but we were still a viable community that believed in itself.
And now, doubt chips away at the compound. First small flakes of the mortar that holds us together, and now larger chunks are falling. We have fallen into desperately chaotic struggle to survive that we've avoided for so long. I find myself getting angry when I realize the small bowl of stew I've finished will be my only food for twelve hours.
I look around me and see so many thin faces, so many haunted looks, and I realize that The Fall has happened to us all over again. I used to wonder what drove men and women to become marauders, and I had a hard time seeing the cause from my comfortable perch in front of my computer, safe behind my principles and sedated by a full belly.
Now, I understand. What fools we've been.
The cracks are getting deeper.