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It’d been 3 weeks since the power went out. Aunt Maggie ran out of bullets the second week. We thought we was being attacked by the villagers coming up into the mountains looking for food and supplies. We heard strange noises in the forest around the house and she charged out there and shot up the woods shouting her head off. Any one out there would have run for the valley if they heard her banshee screams, and saved us some bullets. But no one was there, save for a group of quail. She shot up a bunch of trees and killed a quail. Not even good eating. She blew it to pieces with the buckshot. Goodness me, she is so excitable. Uncle Max took the gun away and threatened to shoot her for running out of bullets. Maybe it was a good thing she used them all up. I don’t know. Was a bizarre day.

Every day since the power went out has been bizarre. Yeah, we are coping, but every day brings strange things to our mountain home. The first week, we were so busy taking stock of the stores and the inventory of supplies and figure out how to get the power back. We made many trips to town to ask around, but no one even knew where the power went out at. No one in the village had power, and anyone driving to the big city came back saying there was no power there and people didn’t know anything. We stopped going to the village when the gas tank got to a quarter tank. We couldn’t refill as the gas pumps ran on electricity, so that was miserable and strange.

Radios with batteries kept reporting something about a big blow out in the state capital or maybe beyond, something about a nuclear plant, so many people guessing at what was going on, getting more and more outrageous with their guesses, and we still didn’t know for sure. Honestly, people tend to just make things up when they don’t have the facts. By week two, I swear people were trying to out do others tall tales about what really happened. About then, we ran out of batteries, along with those bullets, so it didn’t matter any old how. Uncle Max had a shit fit and stormed out of the house kicking the dogs out of the way. So we don’t know much that don’t come by word of mouth through the neighbors who pass through every few days with checking on each other. It is amazing how fast word travels when you don’t have a working phone. The mountain gossip machine didn’t need electricity! Who cares about why we don’t have power. We now know things about our neighbors we wish we didn’t know. We gets our entertainment where and when we can. Woweeee.

We still have food as we’ve been careful, but all the fresh food ran in about a week and a half. We’re on dry food, saving the chicken, ducks, and cattle for the really bad times. Don’t know when that time will come, but mother is keeping an eye on things.

Cousin Phil started a fuss over the toilet paper and refused to use the newspaper, but he got over it. Well, he didn’t have much of a choice.

Alex, my brother, is the one struggling the most. He really loves being with people and he misses hanging out at the bar down in the village. It is making him crazy not having access to his beer and buds. He’s taken to roaming the woods around us, which is good as he takes out the dog and the two prowl around acting like a defense guard, and we feel safer. He wishes there were bullets, but he still carries his 15 knives around his belt and on his leg holsters.

My father stays out in the barn save for dinner and sleeping, though I think he would sleep in the barn with the animals if mother would let him. She stays in the kitchen the whole time, baking, roasting, cooking, and keeping an eye on the perishables and supplies, passing them out with tight lips and fists.

Me, I’m just hanging out in the corner of the living room, reading books, studying, and trying to stay active in my noggin, keeping the noodle active. It’s easier than trying to get the family to fiddle with my wheelchair outside. The motorized one’s batter stopped about day five and now I’m in the old fashioned one that I had when I was small, so it’s a little tight, but I’m fitting better now that we are stretching the food out to last longer. Moving me around is hard on the dirt and gravel outside. Alex is near useless and bitches the whole time, and my father just grunts and groans, so I just hide in the corner with my books and no one pays me any attention. It’s safer that way.