Linwood Lake is pretty awesome. I remember taking day trips up here with mom and pop ages ago. Everything seemed so vast back then. Course everything is when you’re a child. Lemme tell you this.. it’s even more so expansive now. Hiking through Superior National Forest is no joke, especially when you’re ill equipped to do so. Girl and I managed to scavenge a few things on our way out of Two Harbors. Nothing really remarkable but some necessities nonetheless. She’s been a real trooper. Ideally I’d love to get her to just stay off her feet for a few days but ya know, based on the circumstances that’s kinda difficult to do.
We actually did come across some good Samaritans on our trek north. Somewhere along Highway 44 we were spotted by a three Humvee convoy of soldiers. I thought we were toast when they shined the spotlight on us but remarkably enough they didn’t fire on sight. The commander.. or Sargent or whatever his rank may be, called down to us and demanded that we identify ourselves. I was choked with fear so I awkwardly yelped out “please don’t shoot”. I suppose that was enough confirmation for them to allow us to approach. I must say there were some tense moments at first. When they saw me with Girl clinging to my back they were more than a bit suspicious. The fact that she had a leg wound as well compounded the matter. They quickly tore her away from me and restrained her. I couldn’t dare resisting too much or risk becoming highway pizza but quickly tried to explain that she hadn’t been bitten and it was a gunshot wound only. He was skeptical but reasonable. He called his medic over to have a look at her. She was terrified but put up a good front. Once again I was feeling pretty useless. With a pair of M4s still trained in on us I watched helplessly as the medic undressed her wound and examined.
I guess they’ve dealt with quite a few bite incidents because he quickly ruled it out and immediately started giving the injury the professional attention it needed. I breathed a sigh of relief once Duke motioned to the other grunts to form a perimeter and watch out for deadheads. I dunno why I called him Duke right now. He never did introduce himself but he reminded me so much of Duke from the GI Joe cartoon I couldn’t help but relate it to him. Anyway, he did say he was from the Marine Safety Office in Duluth and that the city was officially sacked. He and his squad were on the way up to Thunder Bay to link up with some Canadian forces they’d been communicating with for the past few days. Apparently this is a worldwide event after all so everyone is kinda scrambling at this point.
Duke offered us a seat in one of their trucks, but when I looked back at Girl I could see she wanted no part of this. Probably all the hardware that was freaking her out. Or maybe it was that she knew no good would come of it. I kinda had that feeling bubble up in my stomach when he made the offer so perhaps we’re on the same page about this. After a long pregnant pause I sheepishly turned him down. He didn’t seem put off by my response surprisingly but looked genuinely concerned. He asked if I had any protection and I humbly showed him my wonderfully hand-crafted table leg with a chain wrapped and nailed to the top and my utterly useless 3 bullet pistol. He took a look at the dried up gore and remnants of hair on the club and cracked the faintest of smiles.
“Well you look like you’re doing just fine with that one”
He took the pistol from me. Like a pro he pulled the slide back and popped out the chambered round. He then ejected the clip and checked it out. He looked down the barrel briefly and shrugged as if he approved of something. We walked over to the rear storage compartment of the lead vehicle. I waited as he fiddled around with all kinds of supplies inside. A few moments later he hands me a rather heavy camouflage rucksack along with my pistol.
“This is a MOLLE. It should have enough to keep you going for another couple days at least. I threw in a couple extra clips for you as well. Keep it clean and you should be able to use it indefinitely. Just don’t go dropping it all over the place.”
I had no clue what the fuck a MOLLE (pronounced Molly) was but I wasn’t going to turn down the gift. I quickly strapped it to my back and made my way back to the middle vehicle. The medic was just about done patching her up again. He commended me for keeping the wound clean and gave me what looked a diabetic’s pouch with some syringes and a couple vials within it.
Antibiotics. Just in case.
As quickly as they descended upon us, they were packed up and gone in an instant. We stood there and watched as the red lights got smaller and smaller. Finally they were gone and we were surrounded by the ambiguous sounds of the night once again. It wasn’t until daybreak that I was able to fully appreciate what those soldiers gave us. After surviving for what… 3weeks now with little more than the shirt on my back, we now had supplies. Real supplies. Rope, compass, MREs, hydration packs… it was like a survivalist’s stocking stuffer. And bullets. Thank God. I’d been holding on to those last three bullets for the unfortunate even that things got truly dire.
One for them.
One for her.
One for me.
Hopefully it won’t have to come to that now. At least I can take some shots now. Not like that’d be my first choice. Avoid or bash. That seems to be the most discreet way about going about anything right now. Guns are far too noisy and attract too much attention. I think that’s possibly why Girl didn’t want to go with them. They’re probably heading to a bad ending… which is a shame.
Good luck, Joes.
There’s noticeably less zombies out here. Heck I think we came across maybe 2 since we’ve been in here and that was closer to the city. They seem to go where the “food” is and apparently whatever food was in here is long gone or exhausted. Which puzzles me. There are lots of animals in here. Shit I’ve been dreading encountering a black bear or a pack of wolves but there are other forms of wildlife thriving in this forest but they don’t seem interested. Only living humans. What the hell is it? It can’t be the warm blood or flesh otherwise anything living would suffice. It has to be something!
Oh well… Lord knows I got plenty of time to ponder.
So here we sit, on the deck of a small red cottage overlooking the lake as if nothing was going on out there in the world. The air is fresh and clean here. The breeze coming off the water is chilly, so much so that I’m gonna have to put a jacket on. Maybe we should just stay here? Doesn’t seem like a bad idea considering… but alas… we’ll run out of supplies sooner or later once again and that’ll force us back into the urban areas. I’d love to say we can live off the land but I’m about as skilled at hunting and fishing as I am with car repair. I’m just painfully inept in that department.
Oh well. We’ll see what happens. I’m in no rush and Girl seems to be somewhat comfortable so I guess I’ll just play it by ear.
Stay strong and be safe people.