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For seven years, my uncle has been training me to survive.  Our house on the edge of town was designed to be riot proof with concrete walls, no first story windows, a hidden basement, and an escape tunnel from there.  It seems to me to be a little overkill, but in this world overkill is never a bad thing.  We hardly ever get attacked on a large scale though. The rabids do give us plenty of constant shooting practice, but we've never had anything like the first night.  My training hasn't been all target practice and homemade explosives however.  The real focus in my training has been hand to hand combat and wilderness survival.  I've had to use plenty of those skills on our raids.

Our town is only three blocks wide with a series of fences that make a diamond shape around the outside.  Being so small, it is inevitable to run out of resources.  Without the means to provide for ourselves, the town's people devised a lottery system for determining who has to go out and raid for supplies.  My uncle has volunteered every time, and I've been joining him for the last 5 years.  He says that this will help to "prepare" me.  He doesn't tell me for what, but he does say that rabids are the least of the world's problems.

Last week's raid went smoothly.  We almost made it look too easy.  We took a five man team by bicycle down to the edge of the city, and we broke into a Wal-Mart.  Bike's don't make a lot of noise, and besides.... the gasoline dried up  in the first year.  We barely met any resistance.  There were only eleven rabids, but they did have plenty of hiding places.  We formed a phalanx and forced them to come to us.  As they ran in our direction in small groups, it was fairly easy to put a round through their brains.  I killed four of them myself.  There's something satisfying about dropping a rabid, a feeling close to that of winning, of knowing that you are ensuring your own survival.

 After we put them down, making sure to put a knife through each of the rabid's skulls, we got to work on fortifying the building.  We plan on making this a new go to spot for raiding.  We took everything useful that we could carry by bike and backpack.  Guns, ammo, medicines, canned foods, water, basically anything we wanted... who was going to stop us?  I even grabbed a whole case of wine.

+ + +


"Have I got something for you Mugs..." I said to the bartender.  

Yes, our village has a bartender, but he's more like a mayor.  I get the feeling that Mugs was some sort of crime boss before the outbreak.  He's got the skills to organize people and the clout to get things done.  We don't call him Mugs because he runs the bar; his last name is Mugliano.  My uncle says that everyone calls him Mugs because of his face, on account of all the prison tattoos.

"Whatduhya got there pal?" he asked me excitedly while giving me his usual screwfaced expression.

"Last week, during the raid, I grabbed this."  Unzipping my backpack and pulling out the case of wine, I slid it across the bar to him.  As I did, I noticed a man sitting at the end of the bar I had never seen before.  Not a very uncommon experience seeing as I rarely come into the bar, and that strangers do make their way to the town every so often.

"Wow!  Shiraz.  Good find my friend.  What do you want for it?  You can't have my Judge... but I'll tell you what.  I'll give you permission to marry my daughter.  How about that?" he said with a lighthearted tone.

His daughter, Amanda, was an extremely attractive girl.... if you like the whole, so intimidating that it's a turn on, look.  5'8, blonde hair, green eyes, 120 pounds, but she inherited her father's intense gaze.  She also has a huge crush on me and everyone knows it.  It doesn't really help that there aren't any other people our age in the whole town.  We fuck around with each other, I mean, we might as well have some fun seeing as we could die any given moment.  The only problem is that she's bat shit crazy.  I'm not really afraid of her, but at the same time I know that she goes from super nice and innocent to homicidal killer in a split second.  My uncle says that she's bipolar...  whatever that means.

"Get serious old man.  If I wanted to marry Amanda I would have done it already, but I'm not a big fan of being murdered in my sleep.",  I said, staring him down.

He just stared back at me for a second, giving me an even more intense face than he usually wears.

"Hahahaha!  You'd still last longer married to her than anyone else haha!", we both started laughing.  "So what do you want for the case?"


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