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After the End

Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:50 am

Chapter 36


Terry finished his rather medieval question and answer session with the young man and after making certain the prisoner was securely detained, he went to the house to fill everyone in.

“If all of you could gather round,” Terry began, “It would save me the trouble of retelling this a dozen times.”

After everyone was settled, Terry began to brief them. “First of all, the final say in this belongs to the lot of you, I am just an interested party. While I have an allegiance to you people first, I feel at this point I should yield to your decisions. This young man took no part in the firing on us, he was here at the insistence of his wife. He and she were married three weeks ago in a ceremony performed by her Father. The young man was guilty of an indiscretion and the family felt they should be married. Once he realized what the plan was here, he flatly told them that he would not be a party to the killing. I believe everything he said, I have interrogated people before and this lad was absolutely too scared to tell a lie. His plan was to try and get his girlfriend after the fight and to get as far away from the crazy family as possible.”

“What was the family's plan,”asked John, “where they just going to run us off and take over all we have worked so hard on?”

“John, the plan was to make sure there were no survivors. You were all to be killed and buried on your own property, then they could live here in peace without worrying if you would return. There is absolutely no reason for any of you to feel guilty about what has happened here today, It was kill or be killed.”

“Then I guess our next step is to decide what we need to do with the man in the barn,” said Frank.

“Hardly a man,” said Terry, He is only seventeen. Still wet behind the ears.”

“Can we just send him on his way,” asked Janet, “It seems a shame to kill somebody that was being forced to do what he did?”

“Dad, you and Terry, come with me, I want to talk to this fellow,” said Frank, rising from the table.

“Son,” Frank began, “It seems you have made some bad decisions in your short life. I am loathe to just kill you, but I don't know if I could sleep at night knowing that your family tried to kill my family. The fact that your wife was killed by us, would be reason enough for you to kill us in our sleep. If we just turn you loose, there is nothing to prevent you from getting more of the family and attacking us again, if we keep you here, the urge to kill us all will always be with you. You have put me in a tough position young man, I need to think on this a bit.”

Back in the house, Frank asked Terry, “What is your read on this, Terry, can we trust him or should we put him down.”

Once again, it is your decision,” said Terry, “but since you asked, if it were me, I would fix him a bed in the barn, and lock him in at night and I would watch him like a hawk, but the fact is, you need more people here and by you saving his life, you may have made a loyal friend.”

“I agree,” said John, “let's extend him an offer and let him know in no uncertain terms, that any untoward behavior, will result in his swift demise.”

Back in the house, the All American canner was back up to pressure with a fresh load of quart jars of tomatoes. An old Presto canner that belonged to June, was pressed into service as well. The quart jars were filled with partially cooked red beans and put under pressure to finish cooking, that way, there would be no soaking overnight later, they could just open the jar and heat them.

“This fall, when they get a deer, I will show you how to can meat,” said June. “It is real easy and the meat is pre cooked in the jar. Perfect for stews and soups.”

The three men walked into the barn and Frank cut the rope binding the young man to the chair. He tried to rise, but fainted dead away, certain that his time had come.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:54 am

Chapter 37


“Son, you don't know how lucky you are,” explained Terry to the teen as he was coming around. This family has decided to spare your life, and maybe even more importantly, they are going to make you an offer that I think you should consider very strongly, before you decide.”

“We are willing to let you join us on a conditional basis,” said Frank, “First of all, I want you to know that if any harm comes to my family or friends at your hands, you will not only be killed, you will beg to be killed before I am through with you. You will not be allowed to have a weapon until we all decide you can be trusted. You will work for what you get. We all work in the garden and there is firewood to be prepared for Winter. One infraction, just one, no matter how minor and your sorry ass will be out of here before you know it.”

“If you even think about rounding up more people and coming back to attack us, you will find that we are better prepared than you could imagine. I will personally put a bullet in you,” added John.

“Patty is off limits until and unless she decides otherwise. She has been through far too much to have to put up with any crap from you,” said Janet.

The young man looked at the angry eyes staring back at him and said, “first of all, there is no more family, they brought everyone that had survived with them. I have no friends, My entire hometown was washed away in Florida. I guess I was lucky, in a way, that I was with this bunch. Mr. Frank, I wouldn't know how to use a weapon, I guess I am what you folks would call a hippie or a slacker, I have never hunted and I have never even held a gun. If you people are willing to take a chance on me, I give you my word that I will work as hard as I can to help out. You will have to teach me, but I will learn.”

“For the time being, we will fix you a room in the machine shed, it's nicer than it sounds. Come on and let's get you cleaned up and fed,” said Frank.

After Tom, the young man, had removed the source of the foul smell and changed into clean clothes, he joined the family at the table for dinner. As soon as he had seated himself, he reached for the bowl of mashed potatoes, only to be rapped across the knuckles by Janet. “Tom, we say grace, before we eat, you will do well to remember that.”

Frank said grace and asked for guidance on how to deal with Tom. Tom respectfully looked at Janet and getting a nod of OK, he gingerly reached again for the mashed potatoes. Soon his plate was filled with fried chicken, green beans, corn bread and even more potatoes. He looked at the plate like a prisoner looking at his last meal. He knew his shrunken stomach would never hold what was on his plate, but by God, he was going to try.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:28 am

Chapter 38


Tom could hardly hold his eyes open after the meal he managed to finish and Frank suggested they go to the machine shed and get him settled.

“Tom'” said Frank, “this may seem harsh, but, we are going to lock you in here for the night. We will likely be back to let you out before you wake up. There is an alarm system on the shed and there are cameras. Until we know you are trustworthy, this will be your new normal.”

“I understand, Mr. Frank”, said Tom, “I know it doesn't mean anything to you now, but you will see that you can trust me. I am not sure why, but I just don't have it in me to be mean.”

“These are different times, Tom”, said Frank, “I suggest you look deep into yourself and come up with a way to at least fight back when needed. We depend on everyone here to help with the chores and there is no more important chore than security. Get some sleep, boy, your training as a farm hand will begin early in the morning.”

Back in the house, John and Patty had been busy with the ill gotten loot. There were three stacks of gold coins and three stacks of Silver.

“Nearest we can figure, there are 1150 ounces of Gold in each pile and 1550 ounces of silver. We haven't counted the junk silver coins yet, but I think an equal amount at face value for everyone should be fair”, said Patty.

“The precious stones will have to be appraised by someone that knows more about them than me,” said John.

“I grew up in Africa,” said Terry, “Most of the diamonds probably came from there to begin with. If you guys are willing to take my word, I will be glad to give you an idea what the diamonds are worth.”

“I would suggest taking all the rings and necklaces and melt them, that will make them easier to store and divide if Patty wants to go that way,” said Janet.

“I suggest we all get to bed, tomorrow is going to be a busy day and we have a new hand to try and teach,” said Frank, “I don't want you to be too obvious, but we need to keep a sharp eye on Tom for a while to make certain he will work out here. If anyone notices anything untoward, tell me or Dad or Terry immediately. Let's try to nip any problems in the bud.”

Frank and his Dad secured all the loot back in the basement safe and everyone hit the bed, except Terry. Terry took the first watch and he would wake Frank at two in the morning.

Except for a few stray dogs Terry had a peaceful watch, he passed the machine shed and all he heard was snoring. At about quarter of two, he went into the house and started a fresh pot of coffee for Frank.

“Frank,” said Terry, gently rapping on the door, “It's time mate. Coffee is in the kitchen, I'll see you when I get up.”

“Unnnhhhh,” said Frank, crawling out of the comfortable bed.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:07 am

Chapter 39



Frank filled his insulated coffee mug and grabbing his chest rig, he slung his rifle and headed out the door to begin his watch. Like Terry, he made his first stop the machine shed. He noticed a light on so he knocked lightly on the door.

“Come in,” came Tom's voice through the door.

“I thought that since you were up, you might want to join me on patrol,” said Frank.

“Sure, let me get my boots on and I will be right with you,” said Tom.

Frank noticed that Tom had taken the time to clean up the shed and had arranged his things in a neat and orderly fashion on an unused shelf. “You know, this is only temporary,” said Frank.

“I know,” Tom replied, “but I got to thinking about what you said, you know, about this being a new normal and how the world would never be the same. I kind of figured, if everything was arranged so I knew exactly where it was, I would be able to get dressed in the dark and not tip anyone off as to where I was.”

“Good thinking, Tom,” said Frank, impressed that Tom was taking some of what he said to heart, “Do you drink coffee?”

“Yes, sir,” I don't drink alcohol though, I promised my Mother I wouldn't, and I have kept my promise. My Mother died when I was sixteen, but I will always honor her by keeping my promise,” said Tom with an unmistakable sadness in his voice.

The two men went back to the house and finding a travel mug for Tom, Frank poured him a cup of coffee. “Cream or sugar,” asked Frank?

“Black is fine,” Tom replied, “I would rather not get in the habit of drinking it with something that may not be available in the future.”

Frank picked up a rifle and handed it to Tom, after making sure it was unloaded. His plan was to make himself a target and see if the young man would try to shoot him in the back.

“Mr. Frank, I wouldn't be comfortable carrying a gun,” said Tom, “I have no idea how to use it.”

“There really isn't much to it, said Frank. You just line up the sights and squeeze the trigger.” This one is loaded and ready to go. You just slide this switch to the fire position and look down the barrel at the sights. When they are both on the target, squeeze the trigger.”

Tom held the rifle up to his shoulder and found the sights, he looked through the peephole on the rear sight and located the post of the front sight. “Seems easy enough,” he said.

“You will do fine,” said Frank, “remember, do not point it at anything or anyone that you do not want to kill or destroy. A bullet does not have a recall button.”

The two men left the house and began walking the property, Frank noticed a movement and saw a pack of dogs. They were all sizes and breeds and Frank could only surmise they were abandoned pets. He would have to make a decision soon on what to do with them. Frank was a dog lover, but they could ill afford to have their livestock killed or take a chance on one of them being attacked.

“Wait right here for a second,” said Frank.

It was time to put his plan into action. He walked out about thirty feet in from of Tom and kept his back to him. He fiddled with the wire on the fence and waited a full two minutes before he looked back at Tom. Tom was facing the other direction looking intently into the dark.

“What are you looking at, Tom,” asked Frank?

“I thought I was covering your back, with both of us facing the same direction, something could have attacked us from behind,” explained Tom, “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, you did exactly right,” said Frank, “thanks for thinking of that, I should have.”
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:37 am

Chapter 40


The two men continued to walk the property until the sun poked above he horizon. Frank told Tom, “Let's see if they have gotten breakfast started.”

“Does everyone always get up this early,” asked Tom?

“This is a working farm, now,” said Frank, “We get up early and try to get most of the outside work done before the heat gets too bad. Then we will find something to do inside until it cools enough to finish the outside chores.”

“It sure seems like a lot of work,” said Tom.

“It is,” said Frank, “ but I have developed this trouble some habit of eating every day and I would like to continue. The stores are empty, the government isn't coming, and we either work, steal, or go hungry, and I detest a thief.”

“Mr. Frank, I will never steal from anyone, I know I was wrong to join up with that crazy family, but I was left little choice,” Frank explained, “It was join them or get killed. I knew I would try to get away from them as soon as it was safe, but I did feel a responsibility to my wife.”

“I know Tom,” Frank agreed, “but sometime you just have to take a stand. What if they had insisted you fire on an innocent person or they would fire on you?”

“I don't know, Mr. Frank, I was hoping and praying it would never to come to that.”

Inside the house the air was filled with the amazing smell of bacon frying. Tom's mouth started watering at the sight of the biscuits and sausage, bowls full of scrambled eggs, grits and bacon. It was all he could do to tear himself away long enough to wash up for breakfast.

Terry and Frank exchanged inlet on the night's activities and decided they would try and trap the dogs and move them to another area. John was quick to disagree.

“If those dogs are pets and they are from around here, they will just come back. They need to be dealt with in a more permanent fashion,” John offered.

“Let's talk about it after we eat, shall we,” said Janet. “Tom come take a seat and help yourself, we have a busy day planned for you.”

Tom didn't need to be asked twice, he loaded his plate, much as he had the night before, and began to empty it.

“Tom, there is plenty, I promise we won't let you go hungry. Slow down and enjoy your food,” suggested June.

After breakfast, Patty took Tom to the garden and handing him a hoe, she showed him the difference between a weed and the plants they were weeding. It took him a minute or two to get the hang of pulling the weds with the hoe, but soon enough he was keeping up with Patty.

“This is too hard,” said Tom, “I think I can handle this.”

“Tell me again in a couple of hours how easy it is,” said Patty with a giggle.

The giggle was like music to Tom. He had not noticed how pretty Patty was until this very minute. He was smitten.

Although it seemed if it would never come, it was time for lunch. He and Patty put their hoes up and walked back to the house. June and Janet had prepared a fresh green salad and some roast beef sandwiches for lunch. Tom took his plate and a quart of iced tea and went to sit on the porch to eat and reflect on the new direction his life was heading.

“A month ago I was carefree, then almost overnight I was a married man. That wasn't too bad, but I wasn't ready to be married. I guess the old saying, “don't do the crime, if you can't do the time”, is true. Then I was forced to try and kill a family of the nicest people I have ever met, and now it looks like I am going to be a farmer. I think this is going to be a change for the better. These are good people and they trust me. I am not going to let them down. And that Patty, WOW.”
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:09 pm

Chapter 41


Tom's reflections were interrupted by Frank's voice telling him it was time to hit the green houses. Tom suddenly realized how tired he was from the morning as his back was slow to straighten.

“Do you have anything I can put over my blisters,” asked Tom? “I don't want them to get infected.”

Patty walked over at looked at his hands, shaking her head slowly, she said, “I feel like this is my fault. I should have gotten him a pair of gloves before we started this morning.”

“No harm done,” said Janet, “Tom, why don't you go ahead and go to the greenhouse, but just observe and try to learn all you can about how our system works.”

“Yes Ma'am,” Tom replied, anxious to spend the afternoon in the company of Patty.

“Patty, I will need you to help me here in the house this afternoon, we need to put all the jars away and straighten up the storage,” said Janet.

“Come on, Tom,” said June, “I will show you we start plants and care for them.”

To say Tom was disappointed was an understatement, but he was determined to do as well as he could and to learn all he needed to know. He was going to fit in if it killed him. For the first time in his life, Tom knew he was with good people.

“Terry,” said Frank, “What do you think of teaching Tom some basic rifle skills as well as a little hand to hand combat training. We may need every available person at some point?”

“Are you sure you want to teach him about firearms,” Terry replied? “It may come back to bite you in the bottom.”

“I have thought about that and I set up a little test for him the other night, but he passed with flying colors. I think he can be trusted, maybe not to carry everyday, but I think he will help defend us.” said Frank.

“Go and get him out of the greenhouse before Mother talks his ear off. I am sure getting his butt kicked by you would be a relief by now,” Frank laughed.

“Tom”, Frank's voice boomed through the greenhouse.

Tom nearly fainted, sure that Terry was coming to kill him. His first thought was to run out the back door, but he realized it was hopeless.

“Here, Sir” said Tom's wavering voice, “I am back here.”

“Come on, boy, I haven't got all day,” Terry said.

Tom was certain he was a dead man but found it in himself to stand tall and accept his fate like a man. He marched up to Terry and looking the big man in the eye, he said, “Come on then, let's get it over with.”

“Get what over with,” asked Terry?

“You are here to kill me aren't you,” asked Tom?

“No, lad,” Terry replied, “I am here to give you a little rifle training, and if there is time this afternoon, a little hand to hand combat training. Why in the name of all things holy would I be killing you?”

The relief was apparent on Tom's face as he answered Terry, “I thought maybe you folks decided I wasn't worth trying to save and I know you just can't let me go.”

“Whether you stay or go isn't my call,” said Terry, “I am just an invited guest, not a family member. Now let's go out back and get you started on the rifle.”

While Tom was not a natural, he started his lessons with no pre conceived ideas about shooting and he no bad habits to correct as he had never shot a fire arm before. He listened intently and after an hour or so, Terry praised his efforts and told him he would make a fine rifleman someday. Tom reached out to shake Terry's offered hand and no sooner made contact than he found himself on the ground looking up. Terry explained that the move was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and his training had just begun. Terry was a patient instructor and Tom was pretty good at getting off the ground so the lessons were going well when all of a sudden Terry said in a gruff voice, “That's enough.”

“Did I do something wrong,” asked Tom.

“No lad, it's supper time.” Terry laughed.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:15 am

Chapter 42


Tom was proving to be an apt pupil, both with Terry and with Patty in the garden. His hands were beginning to show the callouses that would soon be a permanent fixture. He was quick to pick up new things and rarely made the same mistake twice. His skill with the rifle, and to a lesser degree with a pistol, was admirable. One day as Terry was busy throwing Tom to the ground with a perfect hip toss, Frank approached the two and asked if he could have a minute alone with Tom.

“What's up, Boss,” asked Terry with a smile?

“Tom, could you come up to the house with me for a minute, we need to talk to you as a family and everyone is waiting,” said Frank.

“Sure, Mr. Frank,” said Tom, “Can I have a minute to wash up, I imagine I smell pretty bad.”

“This won't take but a few minutes, I would really like to get this out of the way,” Frank answered.

When they got to the house, the entire family was waiting on the back porch. Tom was certain they were going to ask him to leave and he steeled himself for the inevitable.”

“Tom,” Janet began, “We have discussed this at length and we are unanimous in our decision. We would like for you to stay and become a full member of our group. You have shown yourself to be hard working, and we think you are trustworthy. Starting tonight, you and Terry will be bunking together in Terry's quarters. If that is not acceptable, we will work something out. If you want to stay and be a member of this group, all you have to do is say so.”

“Yes, of course,” Said Tom jubilantly, “I promise all of you I will not let you down. I will work as hard as I can and I will give my own life to protect the people here.”

“Well, let's hope it don't come to that,” said John.

“Here, put this own and keep it handy at all times,” said Frank, tossing Tom a 1911 .45 pistol and a holster and belt. Get with Terry and tell him to assign you a rifle and check out some ammo.”

“Thanks, everybody,” Tom began, but was cut short by Frank.

“Aren't you supposed to be training right now.” asked Frank?

“Yes sir, Yes sir I am.” replied Tom.

“Patty,” said Janet, “You keep that boys mind on gardening for a spell, he is quite taken with you and I am afraid if you give him an opening, he will forget all about farming. I am not saying forever, but let's get to know him real well. He is coming off of a bad deal and a rebound romance is not the best.”

Patty blushed and then said, “Yes, Ms. Janet. I suspect you right.”

That night Tom was hell bent to walk guard duty by himself, so Terry got him outfitted with a chest rig and a good light and told him to take the first watch. He was to wake Terry at two am and Terry would take the rest of the night.

This isn't so bad, thought Tom, the hardest part will be staying awake. Not an hour after he started his watch, he thought he heard whispering coming from behind the barn. As stealthily as he could, Tom eased closer to the barn and heard the unmistakably sound of two voices communicating in the dark.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:38 am

Chapter 43


Tom nervously clicked the mic button twice on the handie talkie, hoping Terry would hear the squelch break. He then began to close the distance between him and the voices. Tom switched on the night vision rifle scope and in the direction of the sounds. He was startled to find two teenaged chicken thieves. One of the figures was holding the bag while another was trying in vain to catch a chicken.

“That will be enough of that,” said Tom with as much authority in his voice as he could muster, “Put the bag down and your hands up.”

“What are you going to do if we don't,” came a decidedly feminine voice, “shoot us?”
“I really don't want to, but I will if I have too. Now, both of you turn around and place your hands on the barn and lean into them,” said Tom. “Terry, I need you behind the barn, now,” said Tom into the microphone.”

“I am on the way, lad,” came the reply.

Terry started around the barn from the opposite side and in a moment, he had the two would be chicken thieves sandwiched between himself and Tom.

“Y’all aren't going to do anything to us,” said the male of the two, “You might as well let us go and forget this ever happened. You can't shoot someone for trying to steal chickens.”

“Oh son, if that were true, you wouldn't have any worries, but you were stealing a pet chicken, you were stealing livestock, and for that, you can be shot,” said Terry.

By this time, Frank had gotten his clothes on and approached the scene. “Hey, I know you kids,” he proclaimed, “You live just down the street. Why don't we just go and talk to your parents about this.”

The young girl began to sob uncontrollably, “Now look what you've done,” said her brother. “We haven't heard form our parents since the wave hit. They were taking as second honeymoon on Key West when the wave came and we were told that no one survived.”

“What have y’all been eating, who has been taking care of you two,” asked Frank?

“Mom and Dad, left us a good supply of food, they were only supposed to be gone for three days,” said the boy, “I am fourteen and my sister is thirteen, so they thought we would be OK. We ran out of food a few days ago and started checking the empty houses, most of them had already been ransacked. We thought that since you had so many chickens, you wouldn't miss one,” said the boy.

“And after you got hungry again, we wouldn't miss another would we,” asked Frank? “Let's go up to the house and get you two something to eat, and then we will sort this out. Tom you did a good job, now get back on patrol and Terry will relieve you at 0200.”

Frank radioed the house and told Janet the story and she got up and started making sandwiches for the two chicken thieves. The young couple hung their heads in shame at both being caught and knowing they were wrong. Janet didn't say anything but, you kids can eat all you want, there is plenty more. Then tuning to Frank, she said, “Where are they going to sleep?”

Frank was incredulous, “What do you mean,” he asked his wife?

“Just what I said,” said Janet, “Frank, these are kids, they are neighbors of our, we know their family, we can't just turn them out. What if our kids were in this situation?”

“We would have never left our kids alone,” said Frank.

“But their parents did, and we are not going to put them out. End of discussion,” said Janet.




Bright and Early the next morning, John said he had an idea. While the two newcomers were eating breakfast, like it was the last thing they would ever eat, John called Frank out to the porch and said, “the answer is a couple of mobile homes.”

“Where will we put them,” asked Frank, “every spot that isn't growing something is already covered with a building.”

“Let's go talk to the bank,” said John, “The property next to you has been vacant for a couple of years now surely it has either been foreclosed on, or the owners are dead. If the bank is as greedy as most banks are, they will want to sell quickly and hopefully cheaply. It will give us a chance to get rid of some of the paper money. Then we get a couple of mobile homes and set them up. One for Terry, Tom and the new kid, and one for Patty and the new girl. It will give everyone more privacy and the new property will let us almost double our farming.”
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:53 am

Chapter 44


The town was nearly deserted when Fran and John arrived at the bank. Some of the store fronts were boarded up and some had for sale for rent signs on the door. They walked into the bank and asked the banker what had happened.

“Well, most of the retail stores have gone out of business, because there is no way to restock. The trucks stopped coming in right after the wave hit the East coast. The truck stop shut down after they sold all their fuel and couldn't get restocked. No is buying anything because no has anything to sell. The town is effectively dead,” the banker explained.

“You're still here,” said John, “It must not be completely dead.”

“We are closing at the end of the week,” said the banker, “The home office is going to send us all home. I have worked at this bank since I was twenty years old. It is a shame to see the town's only bank close.”

“What will people do for banking,” asked John? “People still need banking service.”

“Frank, I have know you and your family a long time. Take some friendly advice son. If you have any money here take it and bury it in your yard. It will be a lot safer and at least you will have access to it. I am not supposed to say anything, but I consider you and your family to be friends. The government is gong to pick up all the FRNs and replace them with a new currency. This will happen on the first of the month, so if you are holding any of the old currency, it will be useless after the first. They are going to replace it with the new money at a rate of ten cents on the dollar. They are also going to restructure the wage and price laws,” explained the banker.

“I have some FRNs I need to spend,” said Frank, “Are there any foreclosed properties adjoining mine or close to mine that I can buy from the bank,” asked Frank?

“Frank, the property East of you belongs to the bank, and there is a lot of land behind yours for sale. The lot East of you is a foreclosed property and I can sell it to you, but the property behind you belongs to the U.S. Government. They are selling it in one thousand acre parcels. As you know, it is heavily wooded.

“What is the asking price on the house and lot next to mine,” asked Frank.

“The property is 10 acres with a house and barn and there was an outstanding balance of forty five thousand when we took possession,” said the banker.

“I will offer thirty thousand cash, if we can close the deal today,” offered Frank. “Who do I see about the federal property behind me?”

“I can have the papers ready to sign this afternoon, if you are serious and I guess any licensed realtor could sell the government property. What did you do, win the lottery,” asked the banker?

“My wife got an inheritance,” said Frank, stretching the truth a little, “We were hoping to be able to buy some land and with the prices being depressed like they are, we though it best to strike while the iron was hot. Get the paper work ready and we will be back in after lunch to settle everything.”

John and Frank walked to the real estate office down the street and noticed that the town's only machine shop was for sale. John walked inside and began talking to the owner who was packing the office paperwork up.

“Bob,” John called out, “I can't believe you are closing. What are the folks around here going to do for machine work?”

“They can do without for all I care,” Bob exclaimed, “I have worked on things for just about everybody in this town and now that money gets tight, they want it for free or they put me at the bottom of the list on the bills they are paying. I haven't had a paying customer in four weeks and the ones that owe me for previous work avoid me like I had the plague or something. I'm done.”

“How much you reckon you need for everything,” asked John.

“The building is rented,” said Bob, “there is about one hundred fifty thousand dollars worth of machinery here. If I could get half that I would be a happy man. You would have to negotiate your own rental terms for the building of course.”

“Bob, you have been a good friend and have helped me out of a jam or two, If I could pay you in gold coins, what would it take,” asked John.

“Ten percent under spot, since I wouldn't be reporting the sale and I wouldn't be paying any taxes on the income.”

“Done,” said Frank. “I will be by tomorrow with a trailer and your gold.”

The two men shook hands and John hurried to the real estate office to catch up with Frank.

“But please explain to me why you cannot accept cash money for the property,” came Frank's raised voice from behind the door.

“I am not sure,” said the Realtor, but the government land office said I am not to accept any cash offers.”

John pulled a ten dollar bill from his pocket and showed the Realtor where it said the note was legal tender and could be used for all debts, public and private.

“Come on, Frank, There is still a lawyer in this town and I smell a lawsuit,” said John, heading for the door.

“Wait a minute,” said the Realtor, seeing the big commission gong out the door. “I will take your cash, but I want my commission to be paid separate from the land. I am not sure what the government is up to, but this is the first time they have done this. I will send the US currency to them and keep my commission to myself.”

“I'll make you a deal,” said Frank, “I will pay your commission to you in silver at today's spot price, if you will cut the price of the land to the absolute minimum the government will let you sell it for.”

“But if the price goes down, so does my commission,” whined the Realtor.

“Take it or leave it,” said Frank.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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Re: After the End

Postby fastback65 » Fri Aug 29, 2014 4:31 am

Chapter 45


Frank couldn't help but feel like a land baron, as he and his Dad headed back home. He now owned the property next door to him, which solved the housing crisis, and he also owned one thousand acres that backed up to his property.

“Don't you feel a little guilty about sticking those folks with that worthless paper money,” asked John?

“Dad, the only people that got stuck, were the bank and the government. It was their practices that made the money worthless anyway. The local people, Ralph at the bank, and Cindy at the realtor's office came out good. Cindy was paid in silver and Ralph wouldn't have gotten a commission anyway,” said Frank. “I just wish there was a way we could spend all of it this week.”

“Let's go over to the house you just bought and see what it needs. Maybe we can spend some more, at the very least we are going to need fencing. Might be a good time to buy some heavy equipment, if we can find some for sale,” said John.

“Let's buy all the fertilizer, feed, and seed while we can. If you can think of anything else we can use, let's get it.” said Frank.

“It's a shame all the stores have shut down or we could lay in some groceries. I think all the LTS food distributors have shut down and there is nothing local,” said John.

They rolled up to the gate and Frank activated the gate opener and let them in the yard. Frank went into the house to tell Janet about the activities and told them they needed to think of a way to spend as much of the paper money as they could before the weekend.

“I can't think of anything we need,” said Janet, “and if I could, I don't know where we would buy it. Every single place I shop is either closed or the shelves are bare.”

“Call the propane company and see if there is anyway we can top off all the tanks. I think most are full, but we may be able to add a little. Dad and I are going over to the house next door and I will check the tank there. While you have them on the phone, ask about getting a larger tank and having it filled. Something in the one thousand gallon range or larger,” Frank suggested.

Terry, John and Frank, along with Patty, went over to examine the house and property next door. They were pleasantly surprised to find the house in pretty good order. There was a musty smell as the house had been closed up for a while, so Patty started opening windows. It was a good sized house with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, a large kitchen with separate dining room and a walk in pantry. There was an attached two car garage with a large storage room and laundry room.

“Patty, do you think that you and the two new comers, James and Sara, could stay here without adult supervision,” asked Frank?

“I think we could do that, but what would be even better, is if Terry and Tom, could stay here as well. It would be very easy to convert the garage into a room for the two of them,” said Patty.

“You don't think Tom would be a problem here with you,” Frank questioned?

“It will only be a problem if I let it become a problem,” said Patty, “and I don't aim to let that happen.”

“We will get them over here and see what they think,” said John, “but I will tell you, I have seen Terry, sleep standing up. He doesn't much care where he sleeps.”

“Hey guys,” said Patty, “Check this out. This house has a basement, and it looks huge.”

John turned on his flashlight and started down the stairs to the dark basement. When he reached the bottom, he realized there was much more than first met the eye.
"Never, under any circumstances, ever become a refuge... Die if you must, but die on your home turf with your face to the wind, not in some stinking hellhole 2,000 kilometers away, among people you neither know nor care about." - Ragnar Benson
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