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The Fall

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The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:13 am

The small white church sat upon the hilltop, its single black shingled steeple reaching into the blue sky, towering over everything nearby. Scattered puffy white clouds, moving before a mild breeze, slowly rolled into different shapes.
The Church's gravel parking lot was packed with neatly arranged rows of folding tables, booths, pop-ups canopies and a few simple set ups of pieces of lumber on a stack of cinder blocks. Numerous people milled through the maze of merchants and their offerings. Despite the mostly sunny day, it was a cool spring day, many were still wearing jackets or heavy sweaters, hats and gloves. Nearly everyone wore some type of winter boots.
Jack stood in front of his small folding table with 4 cartons of a dozen eggs each. He sipped hot tea in his well worn insulated travel mug. His long dark hair made him look like the lead of a early 90s Grunge band, but he limited his face to only two or three days growth, some thing of a rarity these days as most men had beards of varying degrees in length. Jack just could not stand more than a few days, the whiskers itched too much for his liking. He wore a old OD Korean War surplus jacket, blue jeans, a black knit cap and wool glomitts, the mitt Velcroed in the back position exposing his fingers.
Despite the drone of people talking, walking about, he enjoyed the morning. As people passed by he smiled, or nodded to a familiar face and nearly every face was a friendly familiar face.
Except one.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jack saw the unfamiliar man who already walked past his table twice, approach Jack. It was hard not to notice the man as he stuck out clearly in the crowd. The man wore combat boots, khaki tactical pants with bulges in the cargo pockets, a black jacket with many pockets, and a M4 carbine rifle slung over his back. The rifle was nothing really unusual, as there were a several people with similar rifles in the market at any given time, along with another dozen or so various hunting rifles, shotguns and likely as many hand guns seen or unseen. But the clothing was unusual. It all looked new.
But Jack was not looking at the clothing now as the man approach. Jack was looking at the man's face and eyes. Jack kept smiling.
“Good morning, sir, can I help you,” Jack offered.
The man did not wear a hat, his hair was short, but uneven, shorter in some places and longer in others. He had a beard just as uneven. The face under the beard was thin, nearly gaunt. The eyes guarded even nervous. Jack kept his hands in plain sight, and kept smiling.
The man leaned in, kept his voice low, “I have something to trade for your eggs. Meet me a mile down the East road in twenty minutes. Come alone.”
Jack leaned into the man, keeping his voice low too, “What do you have to trade?”
“I am not telling you here,” the man snapped, glancing around. “Do you know what OPSEC is?”
Jack pretended to glance around like the man did, but did only to throw a look at Walt, Jack's neighbor and merchant in the pop-up canopy across from Jack. Walt was watching the exchange intently.
“Yes. I know what Operational Security is. I was in the Marines, in Afghanistan.”
“Then you should know better then to ask shouldn't you?”
Jack ignored the comment, “If our positions were switched, would you meet me, a mile down the road, by yourself, twenty minutes from now, to trade your eggs for something I wont tell you what it is? Would you do it, hhuummm?” Jack arched one eyebrow and waited for the logic of what the man was suggesting to sink in.
The man leaned back as he mulled over what Jack said. It took a moment. A long moment. Jack kept his face neutral but inwardly he was cringing. But the understanding of what the man was asking of Jack finally came around.
“Ok,” the man started, he lean in again. Jack did the same.
“I have .22LR ammo,” he said.
“You have .22LR ammo?”
“Yes. I will give you ten rounds for two dozen eggs.”
“Ten rounds of .22LR for two dozen eggs,” Jack leaned back, nodding as if he was contemplating the offer.
Just then a young girl bounced up to the table, completely oblivious to what was going on.
“Excuse me a second,” Jack said, without waiting for a response Jack turned his attention to the girl and smiled. “Good morning Pam! How are you doing today?”
“I am good Jack,” Pam beamed. Pam always beamed. Pam always bounced everywhere she went. Pam was a beaming, bouncing ball of energy despite everything that happened in the past year.
The man was bristling at the intrusion, but Jack ignored him.
“How is your dad?”
“Oh, he is better now, be on his feet today or tomorrow.”
“Good. Tell him I asked about him. What can I do for you today?”
“I will. Can I get a dozen eggs?” Pam pulled out a small box out of her pocket and held it out to Jack. Jack immediately recognized the box, took it and put it on the table next to him. He opened a box of eggs checking them over to make sure none were broke, closed the lid and handed it over to Pam.
“Thanks Jack! See you next week!”
“You're welcome!” Jack smiled as she waved and bounced away into the crowd. He found himself wondering why she always said 'See you next week' when likely he would see her the next day or two.
Jack returned his attention to the man, and held up the box for the man to see. It was a yellow and black box of .22LR, 50 cartridges count.
“The going rate for a dozen eggs is 50 rounds of .22LR.”
The man's eyes bulged, “I am not giving you 50 rounds of .22LR for a dozen eggs.”
“Ok,” Jack said flatly.
“.22LR ammo is worth more than that,” the man insisted.
“Not really.”
“What?”
“Think about it,” Jack continued. “During all those gun grabber scares, you bought up as much .22LR ammo as you find. Two, or three or even more 500 round bricks if the store limit allowed. Every time a gun shop, sporting good store, or Wal-Mart had it in stock you bought up as much as you could. You did it. Your shooting buddies did it. Your neighbors did it. Hell, even I did it. You have what, probably dozen or more bricks, unopened, of .22LR sitting around your house? Most anyone who shot .22LR on a regular basis, already had a few thousand rounds just because. It is all over the place. And no one was shooting till the supply returned. Until then everyone kept buying, kept stockpiling. Now, people use it to trade for other things.”
Jack held up the box, “See this? I traded this box away last year after everything went bat poo poo crazy. This,” Jack shook the box, the rounds making the familiar sound as they rattled against the cardboard, “Is the fourth time this particular box of ammo has come back to me through trade.”
A middle aged woman walked up, pausing to make sure she was not interrupting something. This time Jack did not even excuse himself, putting the box down on the table.
“Good morning, Kathy. How are you today?”
“I am good Jack. You?”
“Cannot complain. What do you have there?”
Kathy opened a well used plastic bag to show Jack what she had to trade.
“It is cinnamon raisin bread, just made this morning . . . for a dozen eggs,” she asked hopefully. The bread was a beautiful looking loaf, worthy of the front cover of the holiday issue of any number foodie magazines had they still existed. And it was half the size of a regular loaf of bread.
“Sure.” Jack checked the eggs and gave them to Kathy.
“Thank you Jack.”
As Kathy walked away, the smell of fresh baked bread wafted into the air. The mans stomach growled audibly. He stared at the bag.
“Let me guess, you have been holed up somewhere several miles from here. Never left the house. Eating canned goods, freeze dried camping food or MREs. And even after rationing, your supply is running out, right?”
The man's eyes flared, guarded again.
“Never mind. I know, OPSEC,” Jack held up a hand dismissing any response.
“Hey Jack!” A short man, in a black leather motorcycle jacket, tore jeans, orange blaze winter hat, rushed up to Jack's table, he slid a small plastic tub full of a white substance across to Jack. “You going to be at the meeting tomorrow?”
“Sure will Tony,” Jack took another carton of eggs, checked them, and handed them over to Tony.
“Great! See you then!” Tony rushed off.
The man stared questioningly at the tub.
Jack opened the plastic tub and showed the man the contents, “Butter.” He closed the container with a snap of the lid.
“So, you want to trade for some eggs or not?”
The hunger on the mans face was obvious to anyone walking by.
“25 rounds,” the man offered, his voice small.
Jack sighed, and began packing up everything.
“What are you doing,” the man asked, a hint of desperation.
“Going home. I am done for today.”
“What about the last carton of eggs?”
“I will take them home. I traded for a box of 50 .22LR, a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and about two sticks of butter. The wife and I will have quiche, and buttered cinnamon raisin toast for breakfast for the next two days.” Jack shrugged, “It was a good day today.”
“What about me?”
“I dont know. There are others around here willing to trade . . . if you are willing to trade.”
“Ok, ok, I will trade you the ammo for the eggs!” The man was nearly shaking now.
Jack stared at him for a moment, and sighed again. He opened the plastic bag and took out the last carton of eggs.
“Here. Take them. No trade, no charge. You look like you could do with a meal other than a MRE. But a word of advice; don't stay holed up in your bunker. Get out and talk with some people. You will be better off for it. Believe me.”
Jack handed him the carton of eggs, and smiled. Over the man's shoulder, Jack gave Walt a nod and a smile that everything was fine, picked up the folded table and his small back pack and headed for home.
Walt gently dropped the hammer on the 30-30 rifle and went back to business.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby sageprice » Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:37 am

Good stuff
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:11 pm

sageprice wrote:Good stuff


Thank you kind sir.

If you have any constructive input, it would be not only welcomed but appreciated.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:05 pm

The sun blazed down on Jack as he swung the pick ax into the heavy, wet soil. Despite being spring, he was sweating freely, not that it mattered, as the water from the drainage ditch splashed him with water and mud. Every year the drainage ditches needed cleaned out, and every fifth year he would hire a excavation company to come in and re dig the ditches. Of course this year was the year to hire a excavation company and everything went wonky the year before.
What a year it had been.
Jack had not heard from his family. They were likely gone and he knew it. For retirees in their late 60s they were in very good shape, only on a cholesterol medication the both of them.
But living in a retirement community in Florida . . . he stopped himself from thinking about it and swung the pick ax again, a little harder.
His sister and brother in law lived in a nicer neighborhood, but not far from downtown Akron, Ohio. After watching the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his sister woke up to the fact the world was not necessarily a nice place when the power is out and 911 no longer works. Shockingly she came for a visit and asked Jack to teach her how to shoot. Not just a .22 rifle, but everything Jack had: handguns, shotguns, rifles, the works. When she went back home to Akron, she bought a handgun and shotgun and got her CCW.
Jack was floored.
Even with her new interesting in firearms, Jack did not think they could hold out for long in the city. Even in a nicer part of the town.
Jack was on day three and just over half way done with the drainage ditch when a rough voice said from behind him,
“Dont move!”
Jack stopped and looked over his shoulder to find a short man aiming a AR15 at him.
Breathing heavy from the exertion, Jack paused and said, “What?”
“I said dont move!” the man demanded.
“Ok.”
They stared at each other, Jack not moving as his breathing slowed back to normal, the other man still aiming the AR15 at Jack. The man wore a camo ball cap, coyote tan tee-shirt, a similar colored backpack, camo pants and tan boots.
“Um, now what?” Jack asked after several more moments past.
“Huh?”
“You mind if I put this pick ax down? I have been digging for the past three hours and I would like to put this down.”
“Oh,” the man looked at the pick ax, and the ditch, “Yeah, sure. Just throw it over there,” he gestured with the barrel to the opposite side of the ditch.
Tossing the ax aside, Jack raised his arms, hands open, and slowly sat back on the edge of the ditch and said, “Thank you.”
“You're welcome,” the man replied. He looked unsure of himself, not sure what to do next.
“So,” Jack said in a conversational tone, “What brings you by?”
“I, um, you have any water?”
Jack slowly looked down. Water in the ditch was over his ankles. He looked back up,
“Yes, I have water. Do you have a filter?”
“Yes. I do.”
They stared at each other for another few moments.
“Ok,” Jack started, “I am going to take a wild (Censored word. I'm a potty mouth) guess here and say you are new to this?”
“Uh, yeah.”
“Ok. I am here in this ditch, you have the gun, you have the high ground, I am not going anywhere. You want water, I am standing in water. You give me your water can, or bladder or whatever, I fill it, give it back to you, you go on your way, and I get back to digging this ditch, ok?”
“Ok. Dont try anything.”
Jack just stared at him.
“Ok,” the man said again, slipping his pack off carefully, trying to keep the AR15 aimed at Jack.
“Take your time, no rush. I am not going anywhere,” Jack lowered his hands and folded them across his chest and waited.
Finally the man got a empty water bladder out of the pack.
“Toss it here,” Jack said making ready to catch.
He took the bladder, and began to fill it from the clean water part of the ditch, taking his time,
The man kept the rifle trained on Jack.
Once mostly full, Jack resealed the bladder and stood back up.
“I am going to toss it back to you. Do you mind not pointing that at me when I do. Dont want a accident happening now do we?”
“Sure.”
Jack tossed the bladder back up to the man, it landed at his feet.
“Sorry,” Jack shrugged.
“Thats ok.” The man bent over to pick it up, when from behind the man Jess commanded,
“Do not move!”
The man froze half way bent over, the rifle pointed away from Jack.
Jess moved up to close the remaining distance between her and the man. She had spent the past few minutes moving slowly, sneaking up on the man from behind with a 12 gauge shotgun.
“You tricked me!”
“And you are an (Censored word. I'm a potty mouth) with a gun on me,” Jack replied as he scrambled out of the ditch, and took the rifle from the man.
“Start walking,” Jack moved behind the man, next to his wife and motioned him up the road toward the house. Jacked noted the man was limping.
They guided the man to the picnic table in the front yard. Before the man sat down, Jack took the mans backpack, and patted the man down, removing all the contents of his pockets and putting them on the table. A knife, three extra magazines, and a pack of gum.
Jack slung the rifle over his shoulder, took the shotgun from his wife and whispered something into her ear. She nodded and left to go into the house.
“Have a seat,” Jack nodded to the picnic table.
“What are you going to do?” the man asked, fear in his eyes.
“We are going to wait for my wife to come back. Take off your boots and socks.”
The man looked at him questioningly but did as he was told.
“Put your feet across and prop them up on the other seat. Feel better?”
“Yeah.”
Jack glanced at his feet.
A few moments later, Jess came out with a pitcher and three glasses.
She poured a glass and put it in front of the man.
“Here, keep this on him,” Jack gave her the shotgun. He poured himself a glass of tea from the pitcher and took a drink. He gestured with his glass, “Please, have some.”
The man looked shocked. He slowly reached for the glass and took a sip.
“Oh, that is good!”
“Tea sweetened with honey and a few crushed wild blueberries,” Jess smiled over the shotgun.
“Thank you,” he said to Jess but was wary of the shotgun still aimed at him.
“Ok, lets see what we have here,” Jack sat down at the picnic table but out of reach of the man. Jack opened the top pocket of the pack, taking out the items,
“A bic lighter, chapstick, bug juice, a container of what looks like cotton balls, and a blast match, these are nice.” Jack put all the items back. He opened a side pouch, “A GPS? And it works!” They waited as the GPS started up, the screen displaying a red dot on a map.
“Get a signal?” Jess asked.
“No, no surprise there.”
Jack pressed the Zoom Out key four times and waited for the screen to update.
“Is this where you are from, or where you think you are?”
“Where I am,” the man replied, interested now.
“Afraid not. You are way off. Not surprising since people took down most the road signs.” Jack pressed the Zoom in button four times, powered down the GPS and put it back in the side pocket. The other side pocket had several first aid supplies in heavy duty zip lock bag.
The main compartment of the backpack, had a rain tarp, 550 cord, a light jacket, extra socks, the water bladder, a Kindel, a small solar recharging panel, and two MREs.
Jack put all the stuff back and set the pack aside. Next he picked up the AR15, removed the magazine, and pulled the bolt to the rear, the live round fell onto the table, and let the bolt return. He turned two levers and the short range scope came off. Jack rotated the windage and elevation knobs back and forth a few times quickly, then rotated them all the way in one direction till they stopped. He handed the scope to the man. The man's face fell.
“Know what is great about the AR15? One knuckle is all it takes.” Jack held up his curled index finger of his left hand, with the one knuckle pointing up. He tapped the rear take down pin with a sharp jab of his knuckle, forcing the pin out on the opposite side. Jack slid the pin free and the rifle open like break open shot gun. Jack slowly pulled the charging handle to the rear, and removed the bolt carrier group. He pulled a small cotter pin out and placed it on the table, inverted the bolt carrier group and gave it a few shakes till the firing pin fell out into Jack's hand. He put the firing pin next to the cotter pin. He then removed the cam pin and made a show of dropping it into the lower receiver trigger group. Finally he removed the bolt from the carrier and put it next to the firing pin and cotter pin. He put the cotter pin back in the carrier and reassembled the rifle minus the firing pin and bolt. He inserted the magazine into the rifle and set the rifle next to him.
“And with that, the mighty rifle is now a mighty club! With just one knuckle!”
Jack smiled and picked up his glass of tea, “So, you are quite aways from home. Been humping for what? Three or four days based off the condition of the blisters on your feet.” Jack took a drink of his tea. “So what is your story?”
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby bacpacker1513 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:37 pm

Really nice tart to the story. Keep it coming when you have time.
Greater Love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.
John 15:13
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Re: The Fall

Postby DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:58 pm

VERY good CI....Nice read...flows, character description excellent...The description between words is there too...only 2 short encounters and I'm getting a sense of what to expect from Jack like good writing does just to have you fooled if the author chooses to mix it up or keep the flow throughout the book. Principle of story and character/world development is great so far and coming along well....

I don't mean to pick it apart like this but I read A LOT for a working class mutt(lol)...2-3 books a month.

I could easily have just said "Great story" but thought it deserved more on what I personally like about it.

Well done. Excellent start or excerpts.... You've got the makings of a Kindle hit here.(kindle unlimited member myself)

good luck and if you care to share more, please do when you can...If you launch on the Kindle make sure to send me the link for free download if launching on kindle Unlimited for a review from me....reviews in the first few days catapult you into the top listings if done right.(all this you might already know but I've studied the Amazon resale model extensively if you don't...new here so if you're already published please que me in so I can download your books)

again, great work. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbsup:

***EDIT.....Oh boy...I just saw the entire prepper fiction area...lol...I got some catching up to do. ;)
In honor of RebNavy...RIP buddy. You made me smile. :)

Postby rebnavy1862 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:00 pm
Driven, are you sure you are from Kalifornia? You make a lot of sense.
Reb"Then call us Rebels if you will, we glory in the name, for bending under unjust laws and swearing faith to an unjust cause, we count as greater shame". Richmond Daily Dispatch May 12 1862
Semper Fi, Sic Semper Tyrannis, Remember The Alamo, and Aide'toi et Dieu T'aidera!
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:29 am

bacpacker1513 wrote:Really nice tart to the story. Keep it coming when you have time.


Thank you.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:35 am

DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE wrote:VERY good CI....Nice read...flows, character description excellent...The description between words is there too...only 2 short encounters and I'm getting a sense of what to expect from Jack like good writing does just to have you fooled if the author chooses to mix it up or keep the flow throughout the book. Principle of story and character/world development is great so far and coming along well....

I don't mean to pick it apart like this but I read A LOT for a working class mutt(lol)...2-3 books a month.

I could easily have just said "Great story" but thought it deserved more on what I personally like about it.

Well done. Excellent start or excerpts.... You've got the makings of a Kindle hit here.(kindle unlimited member myself)

good luck and if you care to share more, please do when you can...If you launch on the Kindle make sure to send me the link for free download if launching on kindle Unlimited for a review from me....reviews in the first few days catapult you into the top listings if done right.(all this you might already know but I've studied the Amazon resale model extensively if you don't...new here so if you're already published please que me in so I can download your books)

again, great work. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbsup:

***EDIT.....Oh boy...I just saw the entire prepper fiction area...lol...I got some catching up to do. ;)


Thank you Driven.

Until you mentioned it, it has never occurred to me to do a Kindle version.

Something I will have to consider.

I am glad you like what you have read so far. I try to keep it interesting, use conversations to set the scene, and keep it realistic.
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:50 pm

“So what is your story,” the man asked Dan.

Dan sat at the picnic table, his feet propped up, a glass of tea in front of him, and a woman with a shot gun aimed in his general direction.
“Well,” Dan took another sip of tea and told his story.

At the first break in the weather, Dan decided to head out. He was not really attached to his house, bought it more for convenience commuting to work than the nearly hour drive it was from his parents home.
Besides, after the firewood ran out, he burned every piece of furniture tying to stay warm over the winter. The only place he could actually sit was on the toilet, but that was only if he brought in snow melt to flush. Made for a very cold toilet. He had a co-worker who ran a hot water line to his toilet so his wife would have a warm seat in the winter. As stupid as it sounded, Dan relished the idea. But he also just wanted to be warm again. The house never got above fifty degrees since the first snow fell. The old fire place was not very efficient, even with the modifications he made.
He stopped in at his one remaining neighbors to let them know he was leaving. He might come back if things return to normal. It was a big IF, and they all knew it. They thanked him, as if it was not for Dan's hunting skills none of them would of made it through the winter. As much as Dan hated parting with it, he gave them the .22LR rifle and ammunition he had for it. He could not carry it and the AR15 too. It would only weigh him down. They wished him luck and he was on his way.
The roads were clear for the most part. A few cars here and there, pulled over to the side of the road. All of them empty, including their gas tanks. As he walked, the quite was strange to him, only a few birds and the sound of the wind.
Dan passed houses along the road. A few had smoke coming out of their chimneys. He even saw movement in a few. But no one came out.
He had been walking most of the day, and decided to set up camp while he still had a few hours of light, night still coming early this time of year. Dan made camp off the road, back into a grove of trees next to a field. He light a fire using his blast match, made himself some hot coffee from the packet in his MRE and ate as he watched the fire. He covered himself in a tarp and slept a dreamless sleep.
Dan awoke as the sun broke the horizon, feeling better than he had in months. He did not know if it was the walking, or sleeping outside, but he considered himself lucky. As he pulled his boots on, he noted hot spots on the back of his heels and one on his big toe. He grimaced as he laced up his boots.
Camp broken, Dan set out, tossing a hand full of GORP into his mouth. What he would do for a Egg McMuffin, and a cup of real coffee right about now. He found a small, shallow pool of water to refill his bladder and filter the water.
He checked his GPS for the time. It was just after noon, when he came up to the bridge. It was fortified on both ends with elevated positions. The bridge itself someone had placed large vehicles forming a chute at a ninety degree angle, making any transit by car slow going. Two emplacements over looked the chute.
Dan walked up and stopped at the base of one emplacement. Someone came out to meet him. The man had a AR15 held at the ready.
“What do you have to pay for passage?”
“What?”
“What do you have to pay for using the bridge? No payment, no passage! Food! Fuel! Ammo! What do you have?” Dan could see several weapons pointed at him from the emplacements.
“Ok! I have some ammo. How much to cross?”
The man seemed to settle down some, “Ten rounds will do. We don't gouge anyone.”
Dan nodded as if he understood, removed his magazine, slid out ten rounds and gave it to the man. The man nodded, turned and raised a hand to the others and shouted, “All clear!” He turned back to Dan and said, “You may go. And good luck to you.” He offered his hand.
Dan nodded taking his hand, replying, “Good luck to you too.”
With the bridge behind him, Dan pressed on to his parents house, down the road.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby handyman777 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:02 am

Keep go'in C.I. its a good read...
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:19 pm

handyman777 wrote:Keep go'in C.I. its a good read...

Thank you HandyMan.

Unfortunately I may have painted myself into a corner.

I never developed the character Dan. And now Jack asks what his story is, and I suddenly had to come up with one.
Still working on it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:04 am

The blisters had gotten worse as the terrain changed from mostly flat, to rolling hills and now a more steady up hill climb as he was approaching the highlands. Dan had a small first aid kit, but knew only time would toughen his feet. He did worry about infection. He was debating taking a break to check his feet when he heard a shout from a ranch style home, set aways back from the road to his left. A man was shouldering a rifle and took a shot at Dan.
Dan played basketball in high school and pick up games in college. Since graduation fifteen years ago, getting a regular job in information technology, if Dan ran more than two hundred yards he would be surprised. As the first round cut through the air above Dan's head, he turned and broke into a full out sprint, he body was reminding him how long it had been since he did any serious running. Through the fear, as more bullets whizzed by, he mentally noted a slight pain as the skin around his blisters ripped. He would really feel it much later when he was out of range and could calm down again. If he could get out of range first.
Initially Dan thought the man was just trying to scare Dan off, and it was working quite well. But after a few hundred yards Dan ran, more bullets continued to fly over his head, the sound of the bullet cutting the air and the report from the rifle interval increased. Dan concluded the man was actually that bad a shot. He was perfectly fine with the idea.
Despite the initial fear and flight response, Dan had to slow his sprint down to a jog. The man stopped firing, but Dan kept up the jog not willing to risk it.
After what seemed like an hour, tired, Dan walked off the road into deep woods. He staggered, nearly tripping more than a few times. Once satisfied he was far enough from the road, he sat down in a heap against a tree, still panting heavily. He took a long drag from his water bladder, and let the exhaustion crash over him like a wave. Now he felt the effects of the surprise sprint on his feet. The pain throbbed from not only his heels, but in a few new spots. He dropped his rifle next to him, leaned forward to wiggle his pack off. He took out the first aid kit.
Pulling the boots off was nearly as painful as the blisters themselves. He grimaced through the pain, noting his socks had small blood spots on them. Getting the socks off would be just as painful. Barefooted, Dan propped his feet up on his pack to keep them from getting dirty. He washed the broken skin with some water, dried them with a four by four gauze pad, applied a anti-biotic gel with pain relief. It did not seem to help the dull throbbing pain in the slightest.
From the kit, he popped three Advil into his mouth and took another long drag from his water bladder.
He stopped drinking, thinking he heard a voice, someone yelling, coming from the direction of the road. It was faint, as Dan had pushed back into the woods further than he realized. He picked up his rifle, knowing how futile it was with him, no boots, no socks on, bare feet up on his pack if someone came into view right now. The panic that began to rise, he forced down, and controlled his breathing.
And he waited.
And he eventually fell asleep.

Dan's freezing feet is what woke him. He sat up with a start, bringing the rifle up, but there was nothing he could see to aim at. He did not know what time it was but he had the impression more than a few hours had passed. It was hard to tell in the deep woods, everything was darker, and he could not see the stars easily.
He paused for another minute, listening. Hearing nothing alarming, he felt around for his headlamp in his pack. He made sure he slid the red light filter over the LED before slipping it over his head and turning it on.
He waited.
No bullets torn into him, no shouting.
Dan took out three, four by four gauze pads, used his folder knife to cut them in half. He folded them over, and taped them over the blisters. It was a little thick, but he did not care, and then added more tape to keep the gauze secure. He slipped his last pair of clean wool socks on, and then pulled the tarp out and wrapped himself into a tight cocoon.
Sleep eventually came.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby LetsPrep11 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:51 pm

Wow, Cast Iron can really tell a story. The writing is excellent and you should offer it as an e-book on both Amazon and Barnes & noble! I love the characters, flow, and story line. Kinda feel guilty reading it for free! :D Congratulations!
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Re: The Fall

Postby Cast Iron » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:58 pm

LetsPrep11 wrote:Wow, Cast Iron can really tell a story. The writing is excellent and you should offer it as an e-book on both Amazon and Barnes & noble! I love the characters, flow, and story line. Kinda feel guilty reading it for free! :D Congratulations!


Thank you for the kind words LetsPrep.

Nah, rather write it for your enjoyment then profit from it.

If I decided to get serious and make a go at it, I would use another story line I have developed and use that.

The last two installments felt a little disjointed, as I did not have Dan developed at all, prior to the post.

Will have to bring it back around.

I like to use situations, conversations to point out different aspects of prepping i.e. physical fitness, the need to have not only a good set of boots but have used them hiking prior to when you need too. I am sure parts of the story others may disagree with, but they are free to write their own.

I try to stay away from too much of the hyper-Rambo tacti-cool stuff. There is a flash back sequence that kinda points that out.

I do have to be careful. I had a story once that really took off and left me behind.
Beware of the guy with only one Cast Iron pan . . . he likely knows how to use it.
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Re: The Fall

Postby bacpacker1513 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 7:45 pm

Ci, I would never guessed that Dan was just a recent addition. That segment flowed well. I look forward to further bits of work. you have the makings of a good tale.
Greater Love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.
John 15:13
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