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Is anyone still alive out there?

From the sound of things on the radio, it wouldn't surprise me if no one were.

I woke up to it this morning. The sound of squealing tires (not so unusual, apparently - JP tells me that the intersection by the house is a little dangerous and there are always accidents happening there) and crashing metal woke me. I was kind of disoriented for a minute before I remembered I was at Kat's and I'd fallen asleep on the couch the night before. I sat up, not really remembering what woke me, but knowing it was bad and then I heard the second crash. And then another sound.

You live in downtown Hampton for any amount of time you learn to recognize two sounds: car accidents and gunshots. This was both.

So I'm not fucking stupid, and I got away from the window. The phone was outside Kat's room and it was still kind of dark - not long past dawn and the curtains are all drawn - so I tripped around a bit getting to it. She was awake by that point, kind of blinking at me from the doorway, but whoever it was out there started shooting again and she was already grabbing her shoes by the time I got the phone in my hand.

911 was busy, which didn't surprise me as much as it should have.

The whole house was awake by that point, between me and Kat banging around and all the craziness going on outside. And I finally slammed the phone down, pissed off and kind of freaked out, and that's when I realized that beneath all the other, louder sounds, I had totally missed all the screaming.

Outside was just fucking insane. There were people running down Rivera, but not a lot. A couple of them had blood on them and I was thinking of gunshot wounds, but no one was standing still long enough for us to help them. It wasn't till we got out on the porch and looked down that road toward 19th street that we saw all the craziness. Cars were crashed into one another, even more were abandoned in the middle of the street. More people were driving through the obstructions at crazy speeds and even as we watched someone rammed a Prius into an abandoned station wagon. There were more people running, dozens of them, some screaming at the top of their lungs, and one middle-aged guy with a handgun was shooting at people. Two guys with bloody shirts took him down in a flying tackle and for a second I almost thought "oh, okay, that's it then."

But people were still running and screaming everywhere - up on 18th, too and they were running both ways - like whatever they were getting away from was coming from both directions at once. All this took about five seconds, you have to realize. It was all just complete pandemonium.

Then one of the running people tackled another one and bit her throat out right in front of us.

There were ten feet away, tops, at the bottom of the stairs leading into the house and we could see anything. JP's mom screamed and he pushed her back into the house, and Kat and I grabbed Melissa and we all got back inside. Kat turned the deadbolt and we all stood there for a second, JP's mom shaking like a leaf while it all sank in.

I turned on the television and that's when we realized it was happening all over the city and - apparently - everywhere else.

It sounds... really bad. We're not in a terrible position here. We have enough food to last even five people for a couple of weeks if we're smart, and the downstairs windows are all barred. But we still spent most of the morning tearing up every bookshelf in the house so we could board over the doors and windows. But we are in the middle of a huge city and I can't help but think that if the news reports are true, that if whatever these things are is contagious... how many millions of them will there be in San Francisco before this is over? How are rescue crews going to get in? How the hell are we going to get out?

Kat wants to head for the water - she knows of a place with no people but shelter. A wildlife preserve of some kind. She's worried about her sister and brother.

My sister and parents are probably all right. There's less than a thousand people in Greenville, and my parents' house is easily fortified - all they need to do is demolish the back porch and nothing can get to them. The house is on top of a crawl space, four feet off the ground to the bottom of the doors. They have a well and a pantry - they should be okay for a while. Bob's in DC, though and the news is saying all the cities are chaos.

The last look I got out the front window before we covered it was of smoke in the distance. A lot of it.

We can't stay here forever. There's not enough food and sooner or later the wind is going to bring the fire straight to us. We don't know where we'd go though.

I don't know what the rest of the world looks like right now, but I hope you're all there. I hope you're all safe.

Lights are flickering. We just lost the news.

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April 2015

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