Securing The Perimeter

So, you might be thinking, what goes into making a house safe. I’m guessing you’ve got some skills of your own by now, if you’re surviving, but you might also want to know our secrets.

Securing a house usually starts first thing in the morning. We moved all of our stuff over and got to work. The first thing, obviously, is picking a house that has the right kind of support. Brick. Arizona is known for its stick, styrofoam, and stucco construction, but those houses are immediately out of the question. You need something with the built in ramming resistance. Next up, you need metal bars. Zoic and I took apart a number of fences in our day. Then you bolt the fence pieces around all of the windows. It’s that kind of neighborhood. There are window bars in stores, but we haven’t really come across any yet. Bolting the bars on the windows is an all-day process. You have to secure every window, and some houses have really big ones. The walking dead don’t really grip things. That’s not true in all cases, but for the most part, you don’t have to worry about them pulling on your bolts. They just push on them. Once the bolting process is done, the first thought you have is, “well now that that’s done, I think we can consider ourselves safe enough for the night” and then you head to sleep. It doesn’t work though. There’s one more thing that is critically important. Cutting holes. No matter how cozy and warm, or completely exhausted you feel, you won’t let yourself fall asleep knowing that you might be eaten in the night.

You might be thinking to yourself, why would I cut a hole after I’ve just patched all of those up? They’re different holes. They go up and out of the house. The day the infected figure out how to climb on top of houses, we’ll be in trouble, but it hasn’t been a problem yet, and we usually cover them. So we find the most likely room for us to be cornered in and we saw a hole in the ceiling. It’s usually the middle of the night at this point. Having that hole cut, we place a ladder underneath that will remain there at all times. Ah, it is now time for bed. Having set our heads down for another minute, it becomes urgently important to cut another hole. Yes. What happens if the first hole is no good? What happens if instead of getting cornered there, that’s where they come from. What if we can’t get out. Now it’s important to cut another hole and set up another ladder. Now, every time I got to take a piss, I have to stand just to the left of the toilet, because there’s a giant ladder in the bathroom.

At this point, we’ve made the coffee and the commitment. The next step is hiding weapons everywhere that we might need them. This includes guns and blades and blunt objects and flammables, which are probably the most important.

Furniture goes up against the doors as full anxiety sets in.

Work lights go up on the roof in case we need to make a late night escape.

Maps are drawn.

Plans are made.

Food stockpiles are checked.

And then, it appears that there is nothing left to do, at least not in the dark. Blankets are laid in the center-most room of the house, and shifts are assigned until the final preparations can be made.

Then, we wake up in the early afternoon. The shifts didn’t work. The bolts held. The escape holes were unused. The weapons were exactly where we left them. Outside, in the bright afternoon sun, at most, one infected walks aimlessly through the neighborhood. He and his companions do not know where we are or what we are doing. Zoic shoots him in the head just to be safe, as we park cars in each direction down the street, and one in the alleyway. Traps are set in the yard. We’ve considered digging trenches, but it’s never made it that far.

The refrigerator is stocked with a month’s worth of food.

Then it finally starts to feel safe. Then the “I’m too cool to let the apocalypse bring me down” attitude comes back. Then we feast, and then we sleep for sixteen hours.

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