Spectre Island- Time Is Running Out!, page 1
Alabama , USA
© 2019 by Ron Foster
All rights reserved.
Sea Eagle Inflatable Boats
Panther Martin Fishing Lures
Jackson Lake Island
Magic Bait Catfish Bait
Fish Bites Yeh Mon! Catfish Bait
Daiwa Fishing Rods And Reels
Relion Lithium Batteries
Fitec EZ Throw Cast Nets.
Of Old Rams And Rogues
Talking To The Mayor
Meanwhile Back On Spectre Island
Giving And Getting
Zack’s Watered-Down Ways
Today was the day of the first official annual “Prepper Fiction Authors Meet And Greet” and darned if rain wasn’t forecast. The attendees and guests were all optimistic but many still had their reservations about how this camping trip was going to end up turning out. This was not a group of experienced hardcore outdoorsmen and women for the most part, no for the most part they were more middle-aged or older and most hadn’t spent a night in the woods roughing it for many years. However, they were all happy and ready for spending a few days sharing a camp fire with like-minded people and cooking out some. Little did they know they would be stuck with each other for good or bad, better or worse for many months to come.
The meet started out just fine with people anxiously awaiting the arrival of internet friends traveling from far and wide. For the most part, these were people who had never before met face to face. But instead had talked or interacted with each other in social media regularly and had formed their own inner expectations and personal character profiles for these cyber friends that might or might not be accurate. They didn’t take very long to find out some of their assumptions were totally wrong or the person was not wholly who they had expected in reality.
At first it was all hands-on deck with everyone trying to help each other put up tents or pitch in unloading firewood and setting up camp, but things change when you get a large group of people spending long periods of time in close proximity with others that are basically strangers to one another. The underlying tensions starting over often-times petty misunderstanding of men and women not being the big heroes we somehow imagined them to be in our minds seemed to have dampened some relations that were once so great. It would take many weeks to find that these people that somehow aggravated us now, ended up being truly as great as people once thought they were.
Surviving anything does that to people, whether it’s just getting through a weekend camping trip and luckily having a quasi-friend to help you get through it, or the silly mind games of figuring out who would truly be there to save your butt in an emergency regardless of circumstances or personal feelings towards you all mattered.
Everyone’s patience, tenacity and mettle would soon be out to the test eventually in the coming days and weeks to come in ways that they couldn’t even begin to imagine now. Soon community group think would be looked to as an alternative and replace personal individual survival decisions as the norm instead of the exception.
Zack was one of the apocalyptic authors attending the three-day event and he was very influential in helping to coordinate it. He and Ezra sat by themselves on a concrete picnic table studying everyone and listening to their life’s history. They studied how the mostly strangers attending were working or not working together all the while happily discussing quietly between themselves what they thought of the odds of various members of this shindig were actually capable of doing to survive a real shit hit the fan situation (SHTF) should one arise.
Some of the attendees appeared to be just armchair survivalists looking forward to actually trying out some of their new camping gear for the first time, while many of the others were just camp followers that liked to read and socialize with apocalyptic and preparedness minded people.
It was a mixed lot, many people did indeed have various levels or degrees of survival skills that they could rely upon. Many of them had diligently studied and learned in the survivalist internet forums over the years, while others of the more zombie reading game playing genre made it difficult to really tell what kinds of reality they could actually deal with when push truly came to shove.
This kind of laid-back campground tent pitching for a few days and nights in the outdoors was old hat to Zack and Ezra and they got themselves a kick out of observing other less experienced campers’ expectations and tribulations doing what came natural to them.
Brent wandered over to see what it was the two old men were chuckling about and to have fun adding his two cents to the conversation. The three of them had volunteered to come up a day early and help set up camp and get firewood delivered etc.
“Did you see that wild persimmon tree on the way driving in here? It was up on that little hill rise just off the road before the causeway? A lot of the folks coming to this event come from up north and they have never tasted one of those kind of fruits before.” Zack said with a wry smile.
“They won’t be in season yet anytime soon. I sure do like eating them though when they are.” Brent said regarding Ezra who looked like he was about to bust grinning.
“You wouldn’t!” Brent objected flashing his own mischievous smile.
“We might consider it! We were just sitting here discussing who might be a likely candidate or target to maybe talk into eating a green one!” Ezra said with an old country boy giggle.
Now what them two old codgers had in mind was one of the meanest backwoods jokes ever played in this neck of the woods. This is a quite unkind joke thing they had in mind! It was something that parents sometimes do to their kids or unsuspecting Yankees visiting the south when introducing them to the woods or upon occasions when country folks bring along some of their unsuspecting city friends to the woods. Now this stunt is usually always just done all in fun and luckily no one ever gets anything hurt but their feelings from it, but it is kind of cruel to the person it happens to and it’s also a pretty good laugh for the pranksters who instigate it.
Persimmons are a wild edible fruit that grow in the woods. When they are ripe, they are as tasty and good as candy and are sugary and sweet delicious! You can eat them ripe just fine right off the tree, make some jelly with them, bake them in a pie, add to pudding, etc.
Not when they’re green (unripe) though: Oh, hell no, you don’t want to try that! When you bite into a green persimmon it is sour as sour ever gets! Your lips will pucker up and go dry like someone just put a bale of cotton in your mouth. The discomfort doesn’t just end there even if you spit it out quick which you will. Try to imagine your dentist dumped an entire shot glass of Novocain into your mouth. You can’t feel anything. You can’t even talk, spit, and it seems to go on and last 99 forever’s.
To make matters worse, you will have people Kool aid man grinning and gleefully laughing at you when your lips are all puckered up like a monkey and you can’t feel anything at all in your mouth. Quite frankly you can’t protest all that much at anyone for a while about the mean trick that just got played on you either. Don’t even try it! They will just laugh at you even more and harder as you attempt to wrap a thick swollen tongue around the cuss words you want to say!
Zack advised Brent that he was surprised as hell that the scientists at the Food an
“Ah come on man now you behave, you’re supposed to be just sitting there kicking back and being nice! You know how mean that joke is! Don’t forget that it was you yourself that personally invited a lot of these folks to come down here for the weekend or to just to visit for the day and hang out!” Brent objected.
“We ain’t really going to do it, we were just halfway considering it in case a certain know it all person don’t quit trying to blame me for the various groups lack of organization and put an end to all their fussing. I told folks before they come here, they were full grown adults, handle their own problems and arrange their own schedules.” Zack said grousing about something or another he had got involved in or had a disagreement about earlier today.
“Damn! Now I understand what my mom said about you two old goobers last time you were up to no good. I think it was something like “Once a man, twice a child.” She always has a saying or two when referring to some of your antics!” Brent declared saying in effect some people revert to childlike behavior when they get old.
“Hey come to think of it Zack, I bet if she hadn’t told me already about them dangerously funny green fruity things growing up that you two would have got me with one of those lip puckers’ a long time ago.’ Brent said getting in on the fun and avoiding the possible revenge for scolding Zack fun.
“Nah that person would probably get themselves a lawyer and try to go to court and sue you! I don’t think some of them have a sense of humor or a funny bone in their whole body. I meant to ask you, are you cooking shrimp and sausage Jambalaya for the group this time around Zack?” Ezra asked knowing it was one of Zacks trademark cast iron Dutch oven cooking campfire treats that he was known to occasionally provide to his vamp out friends.
“Nah, I thought about it, but then decided it was too much trouble and I ain’t scheduling nothing this camping trip. I am just going to kick back. Hey, I did hit up a sponsor for some MRE apple turnovers they can have for breakfast if they don’t get stingy with sharing their morning coffee with me. You know I actually saw a collection jar next to a pot at one of the other camps like they do in some offices to throw change into this morning!” Zack replied.
“Now that just ain’t right! No sir that is just not neighborly or campfire comradery friendly at all! You point that particular camp out to me Zack so I can try to avoid going around it. I sure hope they don’t think about coming down here when your free pouring whiskey drinks for the late-night campfire crew or I am liable to say something not to pleasant to them. Normally amongst the campers its share and share alike around here with work and goods and we all try to get by with a little help from our friends.” Ezra stated.
“Well I never heard of no one ever say anything about liking Northern hospitality, just southern, I guess they think different about such things.” the same as they do kids around here commonly saying Yes sir, no sir, or Mister and Mamn around their elders. We ain’t known for being stingy with our stuff, folks share what they got pretty much down here.” Brent remarked.
“Hell, they ain’t raining on my parade, I am still having lots of fun!” Zack said with a smile.
“Me too! You mind if I take one of your kayaks out for a paddle?” Brent asked.
“Go ahead, take my dingy out with the electric trolling motor if you would rather use it. Or for that matter Cheryl said I could lend her inflatable out if it was a really careful about only choosing a trust worthy person like you that wanted to borrow it.” Zack said knowing the appreciation Brent had for that wonderful boat.
Ordinarily he would have offered to lend him a electric trolling motor and battery to put on the inflatable but his extra motor battery was serving on the prize dingy so folks could demo and enjoy it before the raffle.
“What other kind of mischief making can we get up to today Zack?” Ezra asked seemingly content just to sit on the concrete picnic table under the awning next to the campfire and shoot the breeze about life and the outdoors.
“Damned if I know! I am too tired to think about it. I have been chasing around this island it seems helping folks or Ann has all day long. Never seen such needy folk or things needing doing.” Zack said looking around for his soulmate who was most likely probably still doing something or another for someone around here somewhere. Her good nature and momma instincts take over and she goes to great lengths to see that other people are having fun and comfortable. But the thing is I object to is she wears herself out physically doing it and then we fuss because I tells her she shouldn’t do so much and just sit down and take it easy.” Zack said.
“I bet I must have seen Ann walk to her van a hundred times today to get something for someone just because they forgot to bring it or she thought that they might need to borrow or have a this or that! “Ezra said.
“Yea she is sure a treasure but them folks need to let up on their constant demands for her time and energy and give her a little rest and respite from the camp goings on. However, still and all as you know, you got to keep in mind that she wouldn’t have it any other way and don’t get in trouble trying to slow her down! She just loves helping folks simple as that. Now me, I ain’t so merciful or so patient with people all the time if I think they can do something all by themselves.” Zack said.
“You have definitely got yourself a gem of a lady there Zack. I sure do hope you don’t mind me borrowing her once in a while like I seem to be always doing lately to help me out with something.” Ezra began before Zack cut him off.
“Nah man don’t worry yourself none now about that! Like I said she is just playing the good hostess with you because she likes you and helping others is her gig. I just hate that I got to remind her not to be waiting on them hand and foot like she does though. If I don’t fuss a little, she is worn out time we go to bed or gets up dragging and tired in the morning. Working like that hard and that long isn’t good for anyone whether you like doing it or not.” Zack said
“Hey Parker what’s up buddy?”” Zack said seeing a friend who had flew in and come to visit all the way from the northwest part of the country. “That young man had a lot of walking around and woods sense” Zack had been noted to say respecting that the man had come with nothing more than carryon luggage and had out camped the majority of folks in attendance so far.
“Nothing much, I was going to try my luck fishing and get into those boxes of commercial processed fish bait from Magic Bait and Fish Bites Yeh Mon! you brought for everybody to use. That is a whole lot of serious bait to fish for a lunker river catfish with.” Parker said.
“Check this out, I got you a rod and reel all rigged up. Now you won’t find a finer fishing reel than this one to use Catching your first giant catfish. It’s a Daiwa BG 5000 model, that is my very best recommendation for a sport fishing saltwater reel or fresh water big catfish. I got one a bit smaller in a 4500 model and lighter line if you would rather use it but both reels are powerful and are as smooth as silk to wind. Try the action out.” Zack said handing him the combo.
“That’s nice, smooth as glass.” Parker remarked admirably.
“Now I don’t know how it is that you want to rig up but I got three fishing rods here already rigged and tied up. You can use whatever style you want or get in that tackle box and rig up your own if you would rather.” Zack said before showing him the different configurations and explaining to him the various rigs he had on hand to try.
“Now you got your basic no frills bottom rig that is nothing m
Then you got a Carolina rig that basically does the same thing but instead of split shot you use a swivel and some beads sometimes to a flat no flip sinker.
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