The sun was starting to set and the air became cooler as Nick continued pushing himself forward step by step. He lost track of the days, but he knew that it had been more than he wanted to count since the grid went down and he was left stranded at the airport 670 miles from home.
He recalled how he was standing at the United Airlines ticket counter to check-in when the lights went out. Emergency lights kicked on, but the light from the big windows helped tremendously. At first, the terminal personnel kept people calm, brought out snacks and blankets and assured everyone that the electricity would come back on in the terminal and their flights would resume.
Half-way through the next day, Nick observed the airline and terminal workers talking really fast and acting suspiciously. Nick walked over to an older terminal employee and asked what was going on. The employee was staring off into space and Nick had to ask him twice. “Hey, buddy. Are you OK?” he asked.
Without looking at him, the employee said, “It’s the apocalypse. The lights are off everywhere.”
“What do you mean everywhere,” Nick said.
“All over the US,” the employee replied.
“What? How? Is it coming back on?” Nick was starting to get a little frazzled.
The employee finally turned to him, “I don’t know much. One of the guys in the tower has a HAM radio. He tied it into one of the antennas and is getting reports from all over. It started on the West Coast and cascaded towards the East really quickly. Government channels are asking HAM operators to tell people to stay calm,” he said.
“That means that it is bad,” Nick whispered to himself. “Yeah, real bad,” the employee responded in a similar whisper.
As Nick tried to take in this new information, he noticed that the airline employees started to thin out. Where once there were many employees trying to meet the needs of passengers, now there were only a few handfuls. “They know the lights aren’t coming back on and they are leaving to go home,” he thought to himself. “I need to get home too! I don’t even know how far away from home I am or in which direction I really need to travel.”
He opened up his backpack, removed some business files and grabbed some snacks and water bottles that were still left over from the snacks provided by the terminal. He turned to the older employee that had provided the information before and asked if he was going to leave the terminal. “I’m waiting for my grandson to pick me up, if he ever comes,” he said.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed one of the United Airlines ticket counter employees emerge from the backroom with her purse. He rushed over to her and asked her if she was leaving. She tried to avoid him, but he was persistent.
“Look, I need to get home to my kids,” she said. “I understand me too. Can I get a ride with you as far as you’re going? I don’t even know where I am,” he said. “I don’t think so,” the woman responded with a lowered voice. “Look, I just need a lift as far as you are going. I won’t be any trouble. But if you don’t let me go, I’ll make a big scene here,” he replied. “Fine, come on. But you better not give me any trouble. I have mace,” she said.
Jennifer didn’t say much in the car. She looked very worried.
Nick noticed that although the lights were out, people were still driving their vehicles. “I guess people will drive to they run out of gas,” he thought to himself.
Jennifer exited the freeway and stopped at a convenience store. “Look, I held up my end of the bargain, now please get out without giving me any trouble,” she asked. Nick grabbed his backpack, looked her in the eye and said, “thank you.” Jennifer looked back sheepishly and responded, “good luck getting back home.”
From where he stood, Nick could see a truck stop on the other side of the freeway. He walked over there and noticed a big rig that was idling with the driver deep in thought as he studied a map.
Nick jumped up on the rig and asked the driver where he was going and if he could get a lift. He didn’t mean to, but when he did that, he scared the driver and made him throw the map in the air. “I apologize for startling you,” Nick said. “I’m just trying to get home to my family.”
The driver seemed to look him over for a few moments and reasoned that he wasn’t a threat. He then said, “Go ahead and get in. It will be safer with two of us traveling. I’m trying to get home to my family too. My name is Ed. What is your name,” he asked. “My name is Nick,” he responded.
Nick listened as Ed recounted what he knew from truck drivers sharing information over the CB radio. Many drivers were abandoning their routes and heading back home. Not knowing if diesel would be available, they didn’t want to be left stranded somewhere.
Ed decided to take some back roads as a shortcut. After taking a curve in the road, he was forced to come to an immediate stop as a trailer was blocking the whole road. “What the heck is this,” Ed asked out loud. Just then, four individuals came out from the surrounding trees. Two had military looking rifles and two held up pistols.
One of the men with a pistol jumped up on the driver’s side and pointed the pistol at Ed’s head. He said through the window, “We don’t want to hurt you. We just need your diesel. We’re trying to get home to our families.”
“We are trying to get to our families too,” Ed responded. “Why don’t you guys jump in and we can help each other out.”
The man with the pistol became agitated, “I don’t think so. Get out now or I’ll start shooting.”
Ed looked at Nick. “I guess we don’t have a choice. Those rifles will go right through this cab,” he said.
Ed opened the door and started getting out. Nick grabbed his backpack and the map that was on the dashboard while the other man with the pistol opened his door for him.
One man with a pistol held them on the side of the road while the others moved the trailer. They then got in the truck and started down the road.
“I’m sorry about your truck Ed,” said Nick. “If people are that desperate now, society has the potential for really going downhill fast,” Ed replied.
They started walking.
The next day, Ed complained about not feeling well. They stopped under the shade of a tree to rest. Nick gave him a drink from a water bottle that he had in his backpack. But Ed just threw it up. A few minutes later he complained about a pain in his left arm. He started grabbing his chest. He started breathing heavy. He reached out for Nick’s hand and then collapsed.
“Ed! Ed!,” Nick yelled. Ed was unresponsive. In fact, it looked like he wasn’t breathing. Nick took his pulse. There wasn’t a heartbeat. Nick laid Ed down flat and started CPR. He continued for what seemed to be an eternity, with no response from Ed’s body. Nick was fatigued. Very fatigued.
Nick looked around. What was he going to do with Ed’s body? He was out in the middle of nowhere. He hadn’t seen anyone on this back road in a day and he had nothing to dig with. There weren’t even any rocks that he could pile over his body.
Nick was tired, frustrated, sad and at his wits end. He wanted to close his eyes and wake up from the nightmare. He decided to close his eyes for a few minutes. He woke up hours later. Coming out of his deep sleep, he jumped when he saw Ed’s body laying next to him. In the heat, the body was already showing signs of decomposition.
Nick got up quickly and started walking again.
That was all days ago.
Now, he was really tired. His feet ached. He was thirsty and the hunger pains in his stomach were something he had never experienced.
He was about to stop and rest when the smell of something wonderful reached his nostrils. “What is that smell,” he thought to himself. “It smells like a BBQ!” His eyes widened as he started to look around to see if he could pinpoint where the smell was coming from.
Tired, desperate and hungry, Nick was going to eat no matter what or who stood in his way!
Is It Just Fiction?
Forgive me. I don’t want to be a fear monger. But I do want to try and portray the human condition when men become desperate and hungry.
One facet of surviving the SHTF is keeping a low profile and maintaining OPSEC, including cooking. But it’s hard to cook and not give off the aroma of what you’re cooking.
One way around this is to use a solar oven.
There are so many advantages to a solar oven. Did you know you can’t burn food? Did you know that you could cook almost anything in a solar oven? Did you know that you could set the solar oven to cook and then leave it, accomplishing other chores and jobs around your home?
And the only disadvantage of the solar oven is that you need the sun!
The solar oven will even work in Winter…as long as you have the sun!
But a solar oven can do so much more!
The good news is that there is some really good education on what solar ovens can do.
I’m proud to partner with Sun Oven to bring an educational class to you free of charge. In this class you will learn:
- 13 ways the sun can be used year around to give you the peace of mind of knowing you are better prepared for an emergency.
- The fundamentals of how to reap the maximum benefit of this amazing free resource.
- How to use the sun to hard boil freshly laid eggs and make them easy to peel.
- Why food cooked with the sun does not burn or dry out.
- Ways to dry herbs that increase the nutrients without breaking down the essential oils and vitamins.
- Ways to use a SUN OVEN that go way beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.
Date: Tuesday, July 18th
Time: 7:00 p.m. Central Daylight Time, (8 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. MDT / 5 p.m. PDT
Duration: 60 minutes plus live Q&A
Cost: There is no cost for the class but advance registration is required.
To register for the class – CLICK HERE.
I’ll be in the class too! I look forward to seeing you there!
If you enjoyed the article, please vote for the site at Top Prepper Websites.
Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.