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The Mountain House Part 1

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The Mountain House
It was just a year ago that everything started to go downhill. The economy was quickly deteriorating and the government was starting to fall apart. I was in college at the time, a rifle club girl, and living the life. I was about to graduate and d*** was I having fun. I loved my friends, and I loved being single. I didn’t party often, but it was fun to go out with my girls. My roommate, Laura Welch, was my best friend. She was on the rifle team with me, and she was a really good shot too; she almost always shot dead center in a perfect cluster. She was a senior, like me, and was hoping to go into medicine. She knew all of the bone names and how to slice and dice someone, and volunteered with the local rescue squad. She knew basic medicine better than I ever could. Sprains, fractures, cuts and gashes, and anything related to that she had down in a minute. She knew what she was doing, and could think on her feet. It was the total opposite of how I knew anatomy. She learned in a class, but for me, if I could hit it and hurt you, I knew about it.
Laura’s other best friend, Anna Rolland, was one that we liked chill out with. She wasn’t much of a party girl, but she was great if you wanted to grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. She was a very meek girl, about 20 years old, a sophomore, and a little extra weight on her, but she was still really cute. I didn’t have anything against her, but she seemed too sweet and innocent. She was dating Nick Woods, a junior on the lacrosse team. He was a sweetie but completely stupid. He was great at lacrosse, and loved to work out, sure, but he wouldn’t know math, English, or medicine if it slapped him across the face. Still, he was good for Anna, and he helped her get out more.
Then it all went to h*** in that pretty little hand basket the government had. Inflation went through the roof. I had a secretary job at the main office on campus that paid about ten bucks an hour. In a week that ten bucks went from worth of 10 bucks to 5 dollars. The next week it was like getting paid 2 dollars. They even raised the prices in the vending machines. $5 for a bag of chips, and $10 for a soda. I was getting worried, really worried. Kids were starting to steal from each other in the dorms. Someone swiped my purse when we were out at a party, and it only had 3 bucks in it. It wasn’t good. Fights were starting to break out not just on campus, but all over the country, and people were violently protesting. There was a gathering in town squares every day and kids went off every weekend to big protests in DC. People across the nation were commanding that the government fix it, give them food, and help them pay their bills.
As if! The government was the one who got us in this mess. They borrowed so much money and couldn’t pay it back. Well who would have guessed that consumeristic economies can’t hold? I couldn’t understand why thousands of students were expecting the idiots who ran us into the ground to save us. Laura agreed with me, as I knew she would. We both agreed that the government couldn’t fix anything until they admitted that their deficit spending caused the problem.
We had sat at Starbucks, drinking espressos that cost us 30 bucks, and relaxing one day after classes. I loved the way this Starbucks smelled, like chocolate and coffee. It made it easy for me to think, cleared my head.
“This is getting bad. I don’t think we’ll be able to stay here for much longer. They’re going to have to evacuate the school with all the riots.” I took a sip from my coffee, and glanced at two guys fighting in front of the bookstore, and a girl standing out of the way, a shocked expression on her face.
Laura sighed, and pulled out her laptop “They already have. You missed it. It’s on the school site. All students have to leave by the end of the month. Classes will continue online but all dorms and houses will be closed and no trace of students will remain.” She pulled up Firefox and went to the school’s main page, and turned her computer to face me, showing me the dean’s write up.
“Well I’m going home then. I haven’t seen my dad in forever, and I’m sure he’s already in full survival mode.” I grinned and took the last sip of my espresso. “What about you?”
“I don’t know. I might go home, but my parents are sort of…” she paused, looking down. I understood immediately. She hated talking about this. Her parents weren’t the richest in the world, being smalltime farmers. Her going to this college was dragging them into debt over their heads. They were taking care of her sister, who was only 14, and another mouth to feed would just be too much.
“Want to come with me? It’d be just my dad and me, so yeah, you could tag along.” My dad had always been a loner. Raised me himself, just the two of us, and my grandparents. My family was tiny, Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt, and Uncle plus Dad. My mom had died when I was young, about 3. I remember her vaguely, but my dad always told me I look exactly like her. Our dark hair, our bright green eyes, and our perfect skin. I apparently had her hips too, all the curves in all the right places. But I looked like him too. His nose, his big feet, and his inert strength. And his personality, definitely his personality. Everyone knew that we were related, it wasn’t that hard to guess.
Laura blushed and nodded. “Yeah… but I don’t want to be a burden. You’re dad’s so nice! I wouldn’t want to impose on you guys,” and she closed her laptop.
“Not a problem. You’ve come for Thanksgiving, you’ve come for Spring break, you come for life now. Nothing new.” I grinned as we stood up.
She hugged me quickly, but tightly. “Thanks Faith… it means a lot to me”




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