Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Part 4

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 9

As they are known to do, the days passed. My mom took it upon herself to be the dinosaur handler. She has no time for human-based shenanigans, but when it comes to animals, even formerly extinct one, she has more love and patience than any would-be saint in history. My dad spent whatever days weren’t filled with rain fishing. (with mixed results) Kayla and Sarah were absorbed mostly with the process of gestating human lives. Tyrone, Jack, Charlie, and I figured we would try to improve our fortifications. After about 2 hours of digging, both Tyrone and I decided that a trench wouldn’t be all the useful after all. A fence, on the other hand, would come in quite handy. The only problem with this idea was that in order for the fence to be its best fencie self, and by that, I mean most protective in mean of defense, it would have to cover both the cabin, as well as the barn.

The barn was just how you are picturing it in your head, save for one minor detail. It was pink. From what I could tell it didn’t start its life looking like it was designed by some hipster, teeny-bopper, redneck amalgamation. It was painted red, but the paint used was not the traditional red barn paint that could keep its tint come hell, highwater, or chicken revolt. This paint simply dulled over time, and eventually looked pink, much to my amusement. More to the point, however, is the fact that it was set off to the side of the cabin about 50 yards. That, combined with its monstrous dimensions, meant we would need a sizable fence to enclose it and the cabin. On the bright side, we did not lack for supplies. As anyone from that part of the country will attest, there is a reason they call it the north woods.

So, we got to work. We took turns falling, and then, what Jack tells me is called, debranching them. I was a little skeptical, but hey, what the hell did I know. He and Tyrone are the ones who worked in the Christmas tree business. (True Story) We didn’t completely debranch the trees. Tyrone came up with the idea that if we fest some branches sticking out it would both help them interlock more keeping increasing the sturdiness… sturdiocity… structural integrity (nailed it), and look more menacing. I agreed, though if we were being attack by mindless husks formerly known as human, I thought the menacing effect would be for our benefit more than the husks. We cut down enough trees to give a one log high perimeter around the fenced in areas, and dug 4-foot-deep holes both sides of the, soon to be, fence every 10 feet into which we would insert the tallest and strongest logs to act as support posts. We got the perimeter 3 layers high, when Charlie pointed something out to us.

“You do realize that there is no door, right?”

The Kronin brothers never to be seen to have missed something, if they could at all help it, all stopped, looked at each other, and not seeing any other viable course of action said in unison, “SHIT!” After some shame-faced debate we decided to simply cut a 4-foot section out, and work up a solution to the closing issue later.

Three week, 1 foot of elevation, and several thousand cuss words later Dad came back from a particularly fruitful day of fishing, and cheerfully said, “You think it might go a little faster if you have the monstrous beasts over in the barn helping?” Make that several thousand and 1 cuss words. The moral of the story is that with our dino friends’ assistance we finished that God-forsaken fence in another month. Just in time to beat the first snowfall, In mid-October. That’s when the rest of the country packs it in for winter right? Either way, on that day after placing the last log I took a moment to appreciate what we had accomplished. Roughly 150 yards long and 10 feet high that wall was, to that point in my life, the most impressive thing I had ever made, even if we still hadn’t figured out how we were going to close the door.

Now to address a few things that you, my lovely reader, might be seeking clarification on.

  1. Couldn’t you have just said, “We built a wall. It took us about a month and a half.”

Answer: Yes, but we worked our asses off building the damn thing. The least you could do is take 5 minutes to read about it!

  1. Not to call you out or anything, but I don’t recall you mentioning pooping once in that span.

Answer: That’s correct. I was told by my mother that any future readers might not want to hear about my, as she put it, ‘butt stuff.’ (I find it both adorable and unbelievably hilarious that she said that with a straight face) Since you bring it up, however, I pooped exactly 96 times in the above-mentioned time frame.

  1. How do you expect dinosaurs to survive in the most brutally frigid conditions the continental United States has to offer?

Answer: We took all the drums of diesel (with additives designed to keep it from gelling in extreme conditions) out of the barn, and thoroughly insulated the already heated barn. Also, according to Jack there was something done in the genetic sequencing to make them more resilient than their progenitors.

  1. Why didn’t you talk about what the others were doing this time? When my sister Lisa was pregnant she was sure as hell capable of doing more than just gestating.

Answer: Do you still not understand what it means to have something written in the first person? All you will hear about is from my perspective. If I don’t know about it, neither do you. I spent a month and a half building a huge freaking wall. Once I was done for the day, I washed in the lake, ate some food, and passed the hell out. Then I woke up the next day and repeated. I didn’t have the energy to hear about all the in-depth details about how everyone else spent their day, just so I could relay it to you. Also no one cares about Lisa. I hope her baby was born with a tail!

  1. That’s so not cool man. Lisa’s baby was born with a tail. It really freaked her out. Also, how did your dad make out with all the fishing?

Answer: Tell Lisa to settle the hell down. All babies have tails at some point in the gestation period, and they are easily and safely removable. Also, as far as I know, he did ok. We had fish a couple time a week. Allie just loved the leavings by the way.

  1. I know that now, but at the time it was pretty concerning.

Answer: That wasn’t even a question, and this story is not about you, so I am moving on.

Chapter 10

Once winter hit things slowed down somewhat. Jack ran those of us that were interested though some basic weapons training. Tyrone enjoyed the grenades, but in the end decided that he would rather stick with the shotgun. That has always been his weapon of choice. Thankfully, we were able to load it with something a bit more potent than bird shot, which against a raging horde of zombies would induce little more than a, “Hey! Ow! That really hurt.” Charlie ended up being astonishingly good with the set of 9mm pistols she picked out at the sporting goods store we got most of our munitions from. To clarify, I do not mean that it was astonishing to see how good she was, for a girl, I mean she did some things with those pistols that the writer of “Wanted” starring Angelina Jolie would have been very pleased with. Not that she curved bullets or anything, this isn’t science fiction after all... but I swear at 30 yards she unloaded both her pistols, one in each hand, and it looked like the target had been hit once by a slightly oversized round. I just about pooped my pants when I saw it happen. Jack was pretty well already proficient with whatever he picked up. My folks and Sarah all refrained from training. As my mom put it, “If Sarah and I are in a situation where we need guns, we’re already screwed.” My dad said something about having been shooting guns since before we were semen. When we asked Kayla if she would like to practice, she simply said, “I don’t much care for guns.”

I have an opposing viewpoint to my soft-spoken petite sister-in-law on this point. I love guns! I don’t so much like hunting, but I love target shooting. As is usually the case with things one loves enough to do often, I ended up being pretty good at it. I don’t want to say I’m the Katniss Everdeen of rifles, but I totally am. The Barret was a bit of a different animal though. The first time I shot it, I didn’t have the stock totally pulled tight to my shoulder. A week later, after my dislocated shoulder, and pride had healed somewhat I tried again. After a couple days of practice, it was like it was created with me in mind. So as not to go into a level of detail that would have you asking if there was such a thing as a riflesexual in the spectrum of human sexuality, I will simply say this. If I could see it, I could hit it.

Jack had some special H&K something or other. He never let me use it, so I am not at all familiar with it. He was so dead set against me using it, in fact, during one blustery shooting session I picked it up. I just wanted to give it a once over, but Jack was having none of it. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “You’re going to want to put that down.”

“Oh, calm down there Quigley Down under. I just want to check out your little lady here.”

“No… seriously… put it down, or I will cut.”

That may sound super ominous, but Jack and Tyrone threaten to disembowel me or otherwise make my insides appear somehow on my outsides. That being the case, I completely ignored the threat. Now that I know a little more about Marines and their weapons, I can see that my decision was a bit unwise. You guessed it! The bastard cut me. It was just a little slice along my inner thigh, but his point was made. I quickly and abruptly dropped the shit out of that gun. As it turned out the violent, and slightly bloody joke was on him. I heard Kayla quietly, but intensely scolding him. I am of the opinion that there is nothing in the world more terrifying than being scolded by a tiny quiet woman.

Almost losing my penis aside, that time at the cabin before everything went to shit was a surprisingly awesome time. Then, of course… Everything went to shit.

Submitted: April 30, 2017

© Copyright 2022 Wally Birch. All rights reserved.

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