Thanks in part to the large pyres we're constantly feeding with zombie remains, we've still yet to see a "living" zombie since the North Jackson soldiers saved our asses.
That's where the good news ends.
We've run out of food. Not totally, since we still have vegetables and fruits growing all over the compound, but our stores are now completely used up. We're doing alright with hunting, but that's a relative statement not to be taken as a positive. Our hunters bring in as many kills as they can every day, and we have a LOT of people out there doing it almost to the exclusion of all else, but we're still running a deficit.
I am happy to report, however, that all children in the compound are getting full rations. Actually, most of them are getting extra to make up for the starvation they put themselves through. I haven't heard of even one adult complaining about that, which is a sign of sanity if nothing else is.
It's harder and harder for our hunting parties to find game. We've got a lot of people out there, and they've been killing all they can for a long time now, not just in the last few days. There's talk of sending some people out to search for food in places we haven't been since The Fall came, but that's pretty risky. Starvation is worse, though, so we'll see what we can do.
Even as we shed pounds and grow a fraction weaker every day, the compound as a community gets stronger. The ravages of the zombie invasion are slowly being healed as my brother takes volunteers to help him repair the walls and raze most of the houses in the annex. He's not making anyone in his usual construction crew work given the current situation, but that hasn't stopped most of them from offering. Many others have joined in as well, and what they lack in carpentry knowhow they make up for with enthusiasm and willingness to learn.
Dave has decided that he will be build several large communal houses in the annex, all of them to butt up against the main compound's wall. Each will be built very sturdily and with their own defenses. They'll be able to house a lot of people, if not with much privacy. Not that most people get any privacy as it is.
It's a lot of effort, obviously. It seems a little silly on the surface to tear down homes just to build new ones, but Dave argues that custom-built living quarters will hold a lot more people and be zombie-proof from the start. Plus they'll have access to the main portion of the compound through doors cut into the wall. A big part of this decision is due to our need to maximize agricultural space inside the annex, which is going to be almost all farmland.
Which reminds me: I have to head out to the farms with a few of our more experienced farmers to see what we can salvage from there. I'm hoping some of the equipment will still be usable, and with luck we might find a few of our animals alive. That'd be a nice surprise.