Shadow in the Den
A prepper’s novel (part one- introduction)
(Part one-introduction) You've just experienced some of the most traumatic events in your lifetime. The nations government has just undergone a transformation which few could have foreseen even with the slipping and welching that has been happening for years previous against the liberties Americans knew for almost 250 years. In a sweep and a flash society in America has been irreversibly turned upside down. You and you alone are the only member of your family who's not fallen ill and deceased or been taken into custody or sold to a foreign government for slave labor. You've been hiding in a remote location dug in, surviving on stashed rashens of canned goods and MREs. Only occasionally do you hear from others who have managed to evade the insurgent forces to learn what's been going on in this land that once was the land of the free and the home of the brave. But that's before the brave were done in and the free taken away. It becomes clear as you read the pages of your Bible in the dim light of your underground bunker that the time of Jacob's Trouble has begun!
(Part two) You made many preparations for this day but like a thief in the night things have changed dramatically. Like the Berlin Wall being torn down or the attacks of 9-11, it all happened so fast it seemed surreal almost the way you always imagined an out-of-body experience might be. You shake your head powerfully to decide whether it's all just an amazingly realistic dream, but you don't wake up because you're not asleep. It's the reality you feared might come while you hoped it never would.
You take a moment to peek out from your den with the periscope you made disguised to look like a dead sapling. You can see smoke in the distance alluding to the fires that have ignited in the chaos of people trying to escape or resist.
The memories of injustices that have played out at the hands of corrupted leaders come to mind. You remember events like the Waco standoff and Ruby Ridge and Elion Gonzalez.
The sound of UN armored vehicles patrolling your neighborhood have become a common sound to you. Your only remaining friends have, like you, managed to stay hidden in places similar to your own hidden den and only rarely stealthily venture out to share news when there is something significant to say.
The desire and insistence for freedom has become a prison of its own kind for you and those like you.
(Part three) To busy your mind you regularly take inventory of the supplies you've stashed away in preceding months to determine how long they might last you. With the absence of your family members it may last you nearly a decade. You tried to prepare for about a two year period for your family in case of an extended disaster or, more likely, a situation like this. But not even those who are aware of the dangers ahead can always protect the ones they love from what may happen, especially when it happens so quickly. How did it catch you off guard? That question keeps replaying in your mind.
If only you could have been warned an hour earlier perhaps your family would all be with you, safe from illness, safe from imprisonment and slavery, safe from the brainwashing and "re-education" that must certainly be going on! If only.
You know that dwelling on what might have been is futile.
So much has happened in such a short time your head is still spinning and you feel so powerless hiding out that you know soon you must do something. If you can't help your own family surely there must be others who are hiding who, without help will starve or will have to give themselves up. Over the past week you've managed to contact some of the others in your area who have made similar preparations to your own. Some of them have lost family members in all the chaos and insurgency as well.
When you joined this group of "preppers" they knew if this day came knowing one another's real names would leave the group vulnerable to being sought out by outsiders or insurgents or corrupted leaders. Everyone adopted a code name, a handle to go by that had no connection with established addresses or other commonly held information or data banks.
The group's rules allowed for no one to make or hold s written record of anyone in the groups personal information. In fact even knowing the personal contact information was discouraged as it would create unnecessary vulnerabilities among the group.
Established by the group were four contact points, places to drop or pick up information in a time of crisis. You knew as the sun went down and the shadows became darkness you must try to find out something. The solitude of your den is too engulfing and you must learn if there is anything that might bring you more hope.
(Part four) After a meal of reconstituted beef stroganoff and freeze dried peas you peek outside through the periscope. Darkness is beginning to take over the sky. You don your black clothing in order to help obscure you in the darkness. Eight blocks away is the closest contact point. The darker it gets outside the more anxious you grow to know something, anything.
You begin to muse on how things got so upside down. What happened to so many that that they rolled over so easily? Why were the majority so easily misled, so easily turned? The more you consider the beginnings of it all the more you realize it wasn't one thing, it was many.
The family unit was undermined, splintered and divided. It didn't happen by accident either nor by some strange coincidence of events. It had to have been planned! What sinister forces contributed to it? Certainly the government acted as an enabler at the very least. Government programs like food stamps and public welfare made fathers, the typical bread winners and rock of the family unit, optional. Media and entertainment increasingly whittled away at the image of fathers being the leader and holder of wisdom in the family as portrayed in Father Knows Best to being the bumbling, disconnected fool such as Homer Simpson and Al Bundy. Other factors figured into this satanic conspiracy as well; too many to think it was merely coincidence.
Electronics, all of the devices that had become so important to us, the gadgets like GPS units that dulled our own navigational skills so much that at times they made us question whether we really knew where we were going when we'd been somewhere three or four times in the past. The laptops, notebooks and smart phones that we had adopted because of the great convenience they provided, while we ignored the fact that we were becoming so dependent on them. How many phone numbers of friends could we even remember anymore? These devices were supposed to be helpers but they became crutches for virtually all who embraced them. They replaced real interaction with virtual interaction. How many meals were shared around the table in the years and months before this societal ship hit the sand?
You pull on your black ski mask and gloves and venture toward the darkness.
(Part 5 coming soon!)