Day 51 – Thursday

Boy did I screw-up! I should have killed Ray when I had a chance. I always told my wife, never talk, just shoot them in the face. I was referring to a situation with a bad guy. Think about it…all the movies where you see the good guy, or woman, start talking to the bad guy. While that is happening the bad guy gets the drop on the good guy and it goes badly for the good guy. So I told her…no talk, just shoot. I should have just shot Ray when I had the chance.

Earlier today, after the meeting about leaving for Arizona, a couple of gang bangers came into the neighborhood to collect the tax. Normally they just head to a family or two and take a bunch of stuff while terrorizing the family. They never do any real damage unless there is resistance. It is easier to get stuff from people if you aren’t too brutal with everyone I am guessing.

But, Ray meets them as they come into the neighborhood. Jared alerted me to the meeting and then faded away. I got my full kit on…I could see it coming. The bangers headed for our house after talking to Ray. I wasn’t going to let them come inside, too dangerous, too close of quarters, I was going to meet them outside in the open. I’m an idiot.

They separated a little bit like a lame “V” on me, should have done an “L” but they probably weren’t that well trained…or didn’t think I would be a real threat. So I walked out and met them in my front yard. They laughed at me and called me a GI Joe in Spanish. They didn’t know I spoke a little Spanish. Then they told me to put my weapons down and they might spare my family long enough for me to see them rape my wife. He was laughing. I shot the first one three times in the chest while he was still laughing. He was dead long before his knees buckled.

Weird thing was both men were on the ground and both were dead at the same time. The other guy had no face other than bloody raw meat. I didn’t think I had shot both of them, I am not that quick or that good.

Then I see Jared step out from around the corner of the house. He had shot the other guy as fast as I shot the first guy. He walked up beside me, “You’re not bad for an old bald guy. Maybe I was wrong about you.” He was already walking away and said to me, “You better go kill Ray.”

I didn’t notice at the time that I hadn’t heard Jared’s shots. It didn’t register with me that he has this 4″ or 5” suppressor on his AR. I didn’t even know it at the time it wasn’t even an AR, it was a full-blown custom M4. Yeah, a military-grade full auto capable carbine. Then I found it that it wasn’t jusy military-grade…it was his actual weapon from the Army…it was an actual military weapon. Jared is proving to be an interesting kid. But, back to what happened next…

I walked over to Ray’s house, he was sitting in his garage next to his non-functional Corvette. He saw it was me and he turned white as a ghost. Evidently he thought that the shooting was the little gang-bangers killing me. He told me to perform a sex act on myself. I shot him twice in the chest and once in his face. He tumbled over backwards in his lawn chair. There was blood all over his shiny Corvette. I hit his Corvette twice with bird cage of my AR. I like the dents and scratches it left.

I was standing there looking at Ray who was bleeding all over his perfectly clean painted checkerboard garage floor when the door to the house opened. I was raising my muzzle when I saw it was his wife and she had no weapon. She came out of the house with her teenage daughter right behind her.

“We’re going with you.”


“We’re going with you. You just killed my husband, we have no one to take care of us. You and your family can’t stay here any longer or they will come and kill of you. You have to leave. We are going with you.”

She just turned around and walked back inside leaving her daughter standing there in the garage. She looked from him to me, “Thank you. I’m going to get ready. We won’t be long,” and she disappears into the house.
We are all living in the Twilight Zone.

Ken was armed and watching the front of the house, his boys were armed and watching the back of the house. Jim met me part way back to the house, Matt was armed and watching Jim’s house for him along with Jim’s boy.
“Tom, we leave tonight right after dark.”

“Copy” was all I could say to Jim. I wasn’t really sure what all that meant. I was a little dazed…OK, a lot dazed and my ears were ringing.

People had gathered at our house by early afternoon. Almost everyone looked like ragtag refugees. I made the decision at that point to break open the goodie boxes. First came the weapons. I had a couple of the guys follow me to the gun safe. We pulled out six tricked out AR’s, and then four nice shot guns (one Mossberg 500, two Benelli’s, and a Siaga 12). Then came three Sig 226’s, two Sig 229’s and three Sig 220’s. And my pride and joy…a POF P308. We set those down in the middle of the garage floor. We headed to the heavy-duty metal locker in my shop.

Out came eight plastic boxes of Magpul Pmags for AR’s, one box of Pmags for the P308, and two boxes for the Siaga mags. Back to the shop we headed.

From behind the hidden panel behind the power tools came box after box of ammo. Those all went on the garage floor as well.

Wide-eyed Matt asked, “Anything else you would like to share?”

“Actually, yes. Remember I talked about opening a military surplus survivalist store when I retired? Looks as if I am retired so let’s break out some of my inventory.”

I told them to get the red handled boxes from the bottom two shelves in the garage. Those twelve boxes were also placed on the floor with eyes rolling as to what might be in them.

Two hours later all of the adults and teenagers, except one, where dressed in A-TACS pants, multicam shirts, sand colored t-shirts, and tactical vests. Some chose the multi-cam 5.11 tactical shirts because they were cooler…in more ways than one. Each had a small backpack, all flat-earth brown, with plenty of MOLLE on them. Each shooter had a side arm, and had received an essentials pack in a Ziplock bag.

Another two hours and people were ready to go. Food had been distributed, water bladders and bottles filled, first aid kits (IFAKs) and blow out kits (BOKs) passed out and hooked to vests. Each person carried a BOK along with their IFAK. Each of our more advanced trained medics had a full medic kit on them. Their newly appointed assistants had a smaller multi-casualty trauma kit on their backs. Even the younger kids had backpacks with food in them. Of course it was the Mountain House food packs that were freeze dried and super light weight. But, at least they were carrying something.

I will explain later about the golf bag cart and the game cart later.

The biggest surprise came from the Smiths. Since they weren’t going with us I had told them earlier that once we had left they were welcome to do anything they wished with whatever was left. And I am telling you…there was a lot that would be left behind. There was probably well over three year’s supply of food storage for a family of five we would be leaving. Some odds and ends of guns. A lot of ammo, some magazines that we couldn’t take, batteries, and an assortment of medical gear and supplies, as well as 5 boxes of #10 cans full of antibiotics, various OTC medicines, sundries, and such.

They passed out a small nylon pouch to each adult. In each pouch was a one-ounce gold coin and five one-ounce silver coins. They told us they had talked to the local Mormon Bishop and the Bishop had sent back the coins in trade for the supplies. The supplies were really needed and he felt the precious metals would serve us far better than it would them. I wasn’t so sure but was not going to turn it down. I did a quick tally in my head, we had a small fortune in gold and silver with us. And that is in pre-collapse dollars. Its worth now might be zero…or priceless. But then again, you can’t eat precious metals. Those Mormons got a good deal too.

We were all ready by sunset. At dark there were 23 of us headed north towards Interstate 25. The Smiths were staying, they said at their age they knew there was no way they could make it for 325 miles. They would stay behind and make it look as if the houses were still occupied and we were still here. They assured us that no one was going to kill a couple in their 70’s. I was sure they would be dead in 72-hours, probably less. The Smiths are good people.

Twenty one of us along with Maria (Ray’s widow) and their 17-year old daughter Amy were headed to my cousin’s place twelve miles outside of town. He has 16 acres, a small cabin, a stash of food and water. It was a place we could hold up for a day or two until we get all out plans finalized. I hope they will want to with us. Actually, I will just be grateful if they are there.

Twenty-three people running from gangs and violence, headed into the unknown…325 miles of unknown to get to an unknown. Life sure has changed. But, first we had to get to cousin Bill’s place. Oh boy…


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