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The Mountain House Part 2

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Laura and I had left that day, packing everything into my Jeep and her Corolla and had taken off to home. It took longer than the usual five hours due to the abundance of traffic on the roads. My dad’s house wasn’t huge, but it was a good size for just one man. He had two spare bedrooms, mine and a guest room, for when his parents came to visit. The basement was filled with all of his survival gear. He had spare blankets, flashlights, backpacks, MRE’s, firearms and more. I loved this house. It’s where I had grown up, my entire life was in this house.
Laura and I pulled up into the driveway and hopped out of our vehicles. We walked up the front path, side by side like sisters and as I reached to unlock the door my dad opened it and pulled me into a bear hug. I hugged him back tightly, and smiling.
“Hey Kiddo,” He released me, and turned to Laura.
I smiled broadly, “Hey Dad. You remember Laura right?
“Hey there, Laura” He nodded at her, then turned back to me “’Course I do. She makes great pumpkin pie.” He chortled a little.
“Thanks Mr. Raine” she replied as we walked into the house.
My dad was always very easy going when he was in a good mood, and seeing as he was finally able to see me again it wasn’t a surprise that he was happy right then. He led us in and helped us bring in our bags. I didn’t let him unpack though. I wasn’t going to unpack just to pack up again and leave. I had an idea, and I could only hope that it would work.
“Dad, I don’t think we should stay here. It’s going to get crazy.” I sat down at the kitchen table and rested my head on my hands. “The riots are getting out of control and two houses have been burned down by protesters. The government has no way of controlling the population and soon they’re going to have to move to martial law.”
My dad put down a glass of water in front of both Laura and me and got out a pack of Triscuit crackers and soft cheese. “Yeah, it is getting pretty bad. Guess my idea of moving out to Idaho isn’t as crazy as you thought, huh?” he laughed but it didn’t touch his eyes.
“Why Idaho?” Laura glanced up, her hands around the water glass.
“Because it’s one of the least populated states in the country. You can live off the land and people can’t get to you. You can hunt the animals and plant your own crops. It’s perfect survivor territory.” He took his seat and passed out plates. Cheese and crackers were the staples of my dad’s life.
“Right… but I had another idea of where we could go. Maybe not you, if you don’t want to, you could go look after Grandma and Grumpa, but Laura and I, and maybe a few friends from school, could head up to the mountain house. It’s got plenty of land, there’s already some crops, like the berries and apples and peaches, and it’s out of the way with a town close by. It’d be perfect for a stow away.” I pulled out a few Triscuits and cut off some of the cheese.
“You mean your grandparent’s mountain house, right?” Laura asked, taking a few crackers onto her plate. “We went there last Fourth of July, right? It was really pretty. I liked the fence, and how there were a lot of trees. It reminds me of the farm, a little. Very relaxing.” She had grown up on a farm and always was relating things to it. I can’t blame her; it’s what she knows.
I nodded and glanced to my dad. “The fence would help even more. It’s getting there that would be hard. I can only fit so much into the jeep, and Laura’s Corolla isn’t the best traveling car when you want to carry things.”
My dad looked up from his food and his hazel green eyes pierced mine. “Are you sure? There’s a lot to worry about out there. Bears, rattlesnakes, dogs. And that fence is aluminum, it won’t hold for very long; it’s just meant as a deterrent. It’s not like there’s razor wire along the top. It’d be easy to climb over.”
“The fence will be easy enough to help defend us. It’s hard to climb over a fence when getting shot at. And yes, I’m sure,” I let my eyes meet his and hold his stare, confidently. “You could come with us, or you could go with Grandma and Grandpa. They’re right outside of Atlanta. The riots and protesters will probably hit their house by tomorrow or the next day. We need to get out of here now, and they can’t make the journey to the mountain house anymore. The place is probably run over with weeds. But we can handle all that.”
Laura stayed quiet while we started to discuss logistics. We finally settled it. Laura and I would talk to a few of our friends and see who wanted to come with us, and then we would pack up the cars and take as much as we could to the mountain house. We were going to need a lot of the basics. Food, blankets, clothes, weaponry, and many other things. Our clothes were already packed. Anything that fit was what we wore at college, and that was already packed into our bags. I only had some old clothing left at the house, and Laura wouldn’t be able to get her clothes from her house. Food was easy enough. Canned food would be the easiest to transport, along with buckets or packages of dried foods and such. Pastas, rice, and beans were easy enough to seal up into buckets and carry. Meats would be the difficult part, so we didn’t worry about that. Maybe if we came across that bear we’d have bear burgers one night.
The weapons were going to be the difficult part. Laura and I knew how to shoot, of course, but ammo and guns weighed a lot. She and I sorted through all of the guns my father had, taking our favorites, usually the smallest, for ourselves. We took three .22 caliber rifles, two of which belonged to Laura and me, from rifle club, a 9mm Glock pistol, an old .22 caliber Smith and Weston pistol, an M-9 Berretta, and a shotgun with a belt of shells, and all the ammunition we could carry with it. Luckily, the .22 caliber rifles and pistol used the same ammunition, and it was fairly small, so we didn’t have too much of a variety in ammo. We split the guns between our cars, me taking the Glock, and she taking the Berretta. My dad would take the rest over to his parents’ house, where they would probably be needed.
The day we were getting ready to leave, my dad and I were standing in the kitchen. I felt like crying, but I didn’t know why. I felt the same way the day I left for college. A twisted knot in my gut, almost like it wanted to tear into me. It hurt, but not enough to cry. A dull, knowing pain. I looked up at my dad, resting against the counter, my arms crossed over my chest.
“Grandpa keeps a healthy stock of ammo and guns in the safe in his office. The code is in his vitamin cabinet, somewhere. Shouldn’t be too hard to find. But I want you to take this too.” He pulled something out of his pocket, and handed it to me. It was his pocketknife. The blade was razor sharp and black, with both a smooth blade and a serrated edge near the metal handle, which was scored in crisscrossing patterns. “I want you to have this. It comes in handy sometimes.” He grinned as I took it.
I opened the knife and ran my thumb over the blade. “Thank you.” I closed the knife, attaching it to my jean pockets, and hugged him.
Laura came in from the hallway as we broke apart. “Nick and Anna are here. They only took one car though.” She rolled her eyes. Out of the ten friends that we had called, Nick and Anna were the only ones to respond. I had called my friend Bethany, but she didn’t want to come live with us in the mountains. She was certain the government would fix everything. My other friend, Clark, wouldn’t come either. His parents were hiding out in their apartment in New York, hoping for the best. There’s no way that was going to end well. Big cities were the worst for crime to begin with, and it was only getting worse.
“Okay, coming.” I walked out with her to find Nick and Anna getting out of their dark blue Pathfinder. Anna looked smaller than usual, and there were dark circles under her eyes. Nick’s eyes had lost their usual playfulness. He slipped an arm around Anna as they came up the steps.
“Hey Faith.” He nodded at me, then at Laura. “Hey Laura.” Nick was never one for many words.
“Hey. Come on, there’s still a lot to do. We’ve got to pack.” I smiled at Anna. She didn’t smile back.




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