Post-apocalyptic fiction by N.C. Reed.
Its Thanksgiving on the Sanders Farm.
Clayton Sanders and his collection of friends, family, and even a few strangers have managed to keep themselves moderately safe in a vicious new world, brought about by the most massive Coronal Mass Ejection ever seen or recorded. Anything electrical and not protected from the surge of power has been completely fried. Most cars won’t start, the electrical grid has crashed, people with pacemakers in their chests have dropped dead in their tracks, the list goes on and on of things and lives destroyed by an electrical storm that lasted only a few minutes but created a light show that lasted for days. Once the shock wore off, the violence began.
Calhoun County has seen rough times, in some ways much rougher than the other rural counties around them. The seat of the county government is a ghost town and the people who have survived three different waves of violence have moved on to what they hope will be greener pastures. Clay and his family have helped as many people as they can but have had to draw the line for now, as they struggle to ensure that their farm and ranch can produce enough food to help feed far more than themselves. Even with a good harvest, they face lean times before the next harvest can be brought in. Helping others has left them with shallow cupboards once more.
Still facing problems, the National Guard contingent is trying to restore order, and Greg Holloway has been appointed as the new Sheriff. He faces an uphill battle to reestablish not only law and order, but trust among the surviving citizens for their peace officers, the former officers not having done much to endear themselves to the public. But the Sanders clan and their extended family and friends are about to face a problem much larger than any criminals they’ve had to face. A killer is roaming the highways. A killer that cannot be seen and cannot be fought. Their only hope is to once again cut themselves off from the rest of the world and wait things out. If others will only allow them to.
It was the day before Thanksgiving and the weather had turned colder, with what appeared to be rain on the horizon. "Perfect pneumonia weather", the older folks called it. Greg had decided to make a long patrol on both Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving trying to cover as much of the county as possible before the holiday. Tuesday had gone by without a hitch and Wednesday was well on the way to doing the same.
“I’m not complaining about anything being boring,” Amanda said as the Hummer sped along, “but-,”
“Shut up!” Gordy, Greg and Shane all said at once, startling her.
“Sorry,” she shrank down a bit in the rear passenger side seat. “Just saying”.
“When you say it, it screws everything up,” Gordy said from behind the wheel. “It’s uncanny”.
“But still true,” Shane nodded.
“How you guys making it back there”? Greg smiled at the antics around him as he checked on the MRAP following them. Stacey Pryor, Tandi Maseo, Heath Kelly, Janessa Haynes and Devon Knowles were riding there, Janessa taking a turn behind the wheel.
“We’re chopping in tall cotton as my grandma used to say,” Stacey replied with a chuckle. “Had to bust up a card game earlier, though".
“I’d rather we play cards than have trouble,” Greg laughed. “At this rate, we may make it home in-,”
Whatever Greg hoped to make it home for would remain forever unsaid as the windshield of the Hummer stared in six different places within the space of two seconds as bullets impacted all over the vehicle.