Saturday, June 17, 2017

A preface for a new age

If my last post was too vague, forgive me. In some ways writing here again felt completely natural, as if I'd never left. In others it was strange. Not unlike picking up a guitar after years of disuse and finding the chords for a song you aren't sure how to play. The last post was something of a hello, a wave to those of you who've been here before. Today, indulge me one more time before I start on the story proper. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about it and feeling a need to muster up the courage to finally tell it.

And so today I will set the stage and satisfy some of your curiosity by telling you the general state of my life as it is now. How I got here is pretty much the point of the overall story I'll begin telling in my next post, so we'll leave that element alone for now.

In short, I'm living in a large, fortified cabin on the edge of a small lake. I can't tell you where it is for a few reasons. The first is that I'm not entirely sure. I know how to get here from several directions--I should, since I'm the one who found it in the first place--but I never used a map or paid attention to road signs or borders. Those kinds of considerations are minimal at best when zombies have destroyed civilization itself. It's enough to know it's west of Kentucky by a fair margin, temperate in climate, and far from any community of survivors I'm aware of.

The cabin was intended to be our fail safe. Jess and I found it years ago on one trip or another. Just the two of us, I remember that much, though we might have been on a short scouting trip inside of a larger group mission. My memory isn't clear on the particulars. Funny, since this place is so important to me now. You'd think the specifics would stand out sharply.

At any rate, the lake provides all the water I'll ever need. Jess and I made a few discreet trips out here over the course of a few years to stock it as best we could. Even after we left Haven, we occasionally came here to make sure it was untouched and to add to the supplies. We found an intact distribution center for a big box store and spent three solid days bringing boxes of canned food, rice, everything you can imagine. Which is good since I can't hunt for myself. My warden, as I think of him, won't let me out to do it.

The cabin itself is rarely bothered by zombies. We're far away from any main roads or population centers. There's just not enough human scent here to attract them. Once in a while a straggler or two, even a small swarm, will wander through. I might not be allowed out to hunt, but Adam has no problem letting me pick off random zombies with my bow. Best not to get rusty, after all.

Adam is also part of the story. It's easy for me to sit here and call him my jailer, but the truth is that I'd be dead a dozen times over without him. Our relationship is complicated.

So I sit here in a lovely cabin built by people who clearly had some expectation that things would go wrong in the world, warmed at night by a huge wood burning stove and cooled in the day by dips in the lake. I spend some of my time preserving meat and other food Adam brings home, or filtering lake water, or working on some project or another to make life here that much more comfortable. I remember an early post back when The Fall was new where I wrote about how surprised I was that boredom could ever be a problem at the end of the world. Here I sit today, a little befuddled at the idea that I would be able to once again take up my favorite pastime--swimming.

A lot of you would call this life an idyllic one, and I don't want to sound ungrateful. I can recognize my fortune in being safe and having provisions, in living in a zombie-proof home.

Which brings us to why these circumstances are faint concerns for me. It all ties in with how I got here, and what happened in the time between. I'm sorry you'll have to wait a few days for the story to begin, but it's unavoidable. Our portable cellular transmitter has batteries, but they're recharged by solar panels and it takes time to build up enough to send a signal, however brief.

So from here on out, no more foreplay. No more dancing around it. I will intersperse pieces of the story with life here with Adam, but I promise you the next thing you hear from me will be the beginning of the tale.

God help me. I know telling it will be therapeutic, but that doesn't mean the pain of doing so is any less scary. Still, it needs to be told.

And so I will. Consider this post and the last its preface, the necessary mixing of facts and circumstances needed to prepare you--and if I'm being honest, me--for taking the leap.

The bottom is a long way down.

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