Tagged: travel

In the Beginning

Dear Planet Earth,

The horror and confusion from that first day seems like a lifetime ago. It’s only been a week, but I still feel like an old man remembering the days we searched throughout the city for our presumably kidnapped comrades, defiantly holding on to hope and a “leave no man behind” mentality.

“Rachel!”

We shouted their names from a Jeep we stole. We used to use the word “stole” back then.

“Randall!”

Malls, gas stations, restaurants. We raided any place we thought had the slightest chance of having our friends; all the while, foraging, storing for the upcoming fruitless manhunt we all knew (but never admitted) was coming.

“Margaret!”

Apparently, Mrs. Bing’s first name was Margaret. It echoed along the empty streets of Los Angeles as the uncaring sun baked us from above.

“Mr. Ozawa!”

Finally, a clue. A tire track from our transport truck — fresh and southbound, if Lieutenant Halston’s tracking skills could be believed. And back in the beginning, we were willing to believe anything that could bury away an ugly truth.

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New Real America

Dear Planet Earth,

Two cars, six rest stops, and nineteen stale cinnamon rolls later, we’ve made it Los Angeles. I’m charging up my electronics in the least disgusting Starbucks on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — it’s hard to tell if the mole men made this place such a rotting hellscape or if this is what LA always looked like.

I’ve only been to California twice for vacation, and even then my mom made sure to keep us only around the San Diego area. Still, there’s a charm to this place, a feeling in the air that we’re experiencing the real heart of America’s past, present, and future. It’s the same feeling I’d get sometimes walking the Strip back in Vegas.

This soulless neon cesspit, I’d think to myself in a drunken stupor. This is life.

But that was all a different life — in a different world. Homework, money, sexual frustration. My problems today involve constipation and an elderly woman going through a complete mental breakdown.

Mrs. Bing started wailing uncontrollably somewhere past Barstow. She begged us to stop driving, to let her go and meet back up with her daughter. So, we’ve stopped. We’ll try to find some other survivors, stock up on supplies, and hope to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that Mrs. Bing gets her shit together before we’re ambushed yet again.

Maria later whispered to me that her daughter was one of the many we lost at Apple Valley.

Fear and Loathing in Los Angeles

Dear Planet Earth,

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when I had the unshakable feeling that our troubles with mole people had just begun.

Ha. I’ve been dying to use that line ever since I knew we’d be driving past infamous Barstow. You have to keep it light around here sometimes.

Anyways, we snuck out of the mall late last night (assuming that the mole men keep their guard down at night). Maria, Rachel, the soldiers, and I had been suggesting for awhile that we stay on the move in the general direction of Fort Kross. The old people were intent on continuing our Cinnabon camp out for as long as we could. It all came down to an anticlimactic vote that only left Randall grumbling. I don’t think Mr. Ozawa speaks English.

There’s been no sign of mole people or huge bats yet, but we’re not looking forward to whatever’s going to greet us in LA. It’s become apparent that they began the invasion by taking out all of our major cities first. I thought the west coast was relatively untouched by everything — last week changed all that.

You Have Died of Dysentery

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s been a crazy few days. We crossed over into California, chased by mole men for two days before they seemed to give up and turned around. They were using some kind of weird vehicle we hadn’t seen before, something Fred Flintstone might use if he was into steampunk.

One of the trucks broke down on Friday, so we had to fit all those people and equipment in the other ones. A tiny old woman sat on my lap for an entire day, and I tried my best not to learn anything about her in order to keep the awkwardness to a minimal level.

We didn’t see any other groups or signs of humans besides the countless abandoned cars littering the roads. No one could give me a convincing answer as to why we couldn’t just take some of those cars and find another place for Grandma’s bony butt.

We lost two oxen and I was sick with typhoid. That was a joke, by the way. An Oregon Trail joke.

We just set up camp here at a used car lot, which is about half as fun as it sounds. We’re going to try to sleep in the lobby, but it’s probably just as spacious back on the trucks.

I haven’t seen Talpa around, so I’m not sure what our next moves are. It’s good to stretch the legs out — or just leg — and I was able to juice up my computer pretty quickly. When we’re back on the road, I’m going to see if the troops will let me use those power generators, which I didn’t see them use at all before.

On the Road Again, Again

Dear Planet Earth,

It’s really hit the fan now. We escaped the small army of homeless mercenaries, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

I crashed a TV over one of their heads as he came in to deliver our breakfast. He might have died. I don’t know. I’m beyond the point of caring. Diana took out the guy behind him with a lamp. The stench of blood and piss immediately flooded our nostrils. We grabbed a set of keys off my guy and made a beeline for the Hummer in the parking lot.

“Oh, hell no!” a deep, groggy voice said behind us.

Just as we made it to the doors, Guy #2’s back up and shooting at us. I heard Diana scream, but I was too busy fumbling with the keys and trying to remember the two lessons of driver’s ed I took before I decided I could learn more from Grand Theft Auto IV. The windshield started to sprout spider webs from Guy #2’s AK-47 as I threw us in reverse at 80 miles an hour. It’s all a blur of bullets and screaming after that.

I somehow made it back on the highway. As my adrenaline levels returned to their average levels, I was able to see that Diana was indeed in the car with me.

Relief turned to guilt and fear. She was shot, twice in the shoulder. She was bleeding like crazy, gushing so much over her body that I thought she must have been hit somewhere else, too.

“Stop!” I could hear the lethal pangs in her voice. “Pull over.”

I pulled over and she guided me through how to dig out the bullets and make her a tourniquet. She screamed and sobbed and said “thank you.” She said she needed to rest. She’s been asleep for two hours now.

I don’t know what to do.