Annie and the End of the World Part 9
Annie and Arthur stood outside of the door to the cabin arguing. Annie was not feeling it. Who knew how long it would take to disarm all the booby traps. Arthur had other ideas about the place. According to him it was perfect. There were deer and rabbit in the meadow and he had seen signs of turkey. There were plenty of downed trees for firewood and the cabin itself had a good supply of split wood resting against the shed. Annie, however, just didn’t like the place. She wanted to be higher up in the mountains. So far her experiences with people left her wanting to avoid them at all costs. The higher the better as less people would be willing to come so high.
“Higher? Do you know how high we are? We have been walking up ever since we left that town in the flat land. We get much higher we will need oxygen bottles. Annie we need to stay here. It is soon going to be winter and we need to take some time to gather supplies to get us through it. We need to stay.”
Annie crossed her arms and looked up at Arthur. “I don’t care. We can live in a cave. I promise a soon as I can’t breathe good, we will stop. Heck, winter is coming? Seriously we haven’t even had fall yet. It hasn’t even rained.”
Annie held her hands out as if to reiterate the fact there was no rain. She stood there glowering at her companion. Didn’t he know? No risk no reward? She was sure they could move up higher. He wanted to play it safe, but he didn’t understand how long it would take to clear this cabin. It could be a day or it could be weeks. Annie just had a feeling that staying here would be trouble. Winter. Ah! Got to have fall first. She was about to speak again when she felt a drop of water on her hands. Then another and another. She looked up. Rain was seeping through the tree branches, dashing to the ground, each drop sending puffs of dry dirt in to the air like little tiny bombs. Arthur raised an eyebrow at her.
“And it’s raining. Shit. Ok you win, we stay, but we have to clear this cabin first.” Annie threw up her hands and walked towards the cabin.
She threw open the door and then just stood there on the threshold. Annie was taking inventory and just looking. She was not trained in this. She had no idea where to start or actually what to do. She remembered something about how to detect, but not how to disarm. She looked around for her stick she had early. Spotting the stick, she grabbed it. She closed her eyes and taking a deep breath, she stepped into the cabin. Nothing happened. She opened her eyes and there was Arthur next to her.
“Why you close your eyes?”
“Well if I am going to die I don’t want to witness it. Maybe you should wait here. ”
Arthur into the room and went to the book case. He pulled a book from the shelf, turning his head as he did. The rest of the books exploded sending shards of paper everywhere.
“Nice” Annie said. “Well let’s hope this guy wasn’t into all explosions, there would be nothing left of this cabin.”
It took the pair the rest of the day to clear the cabin enough that Annie felt comfortable walking around. Along with the booby traps Annie was finding a lot of mouse traps everywhere. She wondered if the guy every heard of a cat. Or a ratting dog. Come to think of it, Annie hadn’t seen too many cats or dogs since everyone died. She wondered if they had gotten sick too or if everyone had eaten them. She hoped not, the thought of eating Rover or Tinkerbell was a bit disgusting to her, but then again, people were eating people. As the shadows got longer, Arthur started a fire in the newly cleaned fireplace while Annie took stock of the food in the kitchen area. At first she thought the scrapping noise she heard was from Arthur, setting the logs in the fireplace. Then she thought it was really mice and the guy did have a huge problem. When she had first looked into the window of this cabin it did look as if animals had wintered here. She heard the noise again. Annie decided to investigate.
She walked over to the corner of the cabin where she thought she heard the slight scratching noise. It had stopped so Annie waited, willing herself to be still. There it was. It was over by the cabinets. She walked slowly there. Again it stopped. Arthur came up to Annie, who put a finger to her lips. There it was again, that slight scratching. Both Annie and Arthur walked over to the cabinets. Annie grabbed the stick she had earlier and positioned herself in front of the cabinet. Arthur stood to the side. He reached over and slowly, silently unlatched the cabinet. With one motion he yanked open the cabinet door and Annie swooped in with the stick ready to annihilate anything that came out of the cabinet. There was a whimper from inside and Annie froze. Inside of the cabinet was the skinniest dog she had ever seen. She looked at Arthur who looked at the dog in surprise.
They gently pulled the dog from the cabinet. Its skin was stretched tight over its ribs and pelvis. Annie was horrified. Who would put a dog in a cabinet and leave it there. She was muttering under her breath as she boiled some jerky in a pan of water. Arthur mentioned its owner could have gotten the sickness. Annie had to concede that point. When the jerky broth was cooled she sat bay the dog which had been put by the fire on a bed of blankets they had found. She spoon fed the poor thing, which, as weak and pathetic as it was, wagged its tail. The animal only ate a few tablespoons before falling asleep.
“I hope it makes the night” Annie sighed.
If it does tomorrow I will go hunting for some meat. We can make a soup for it with chunks of actual meat. I saw a garden by the shed as well when I was getting firewood there might be some volunteers growing there. “
The dog did make it the night with Annie’s care. She had sat up all night with it and spoon fed it bits of Jerky and broth. It could raise its head better in the morning and Arthur, as promised, left to go hunting. By the afternoon, with Arthur still not back and the dog sleeping again by the fire, Annie decided to take herself a bath. She still wasn’t comfortable getting naked around Arthur and she had been scrubbing the cabin clean. She felt dirty. She had found an old tin washtub outside, had cleaned it up and it was now full of steamy hot water. Annie found if she pulled her knees up a little she could sit comfortably, well almost comfortably in the tub. Annie closed her eyes and would have gone to sleep if she hadn’t heard the dog whimper. She looked over at the dog, who was shaking looking at the cabin door. Annie stood up and grabbed the towel she had placed next to the tub. She wrapped herself and grabbed the machete that was under the towel. Keeping lower than the windows, Annie scurried over to the dog that was still whimpering and shaking. She sat next to it and put a hand on its head. The poor thing was obviously frightened.
“Shhh. Its ok” she whispered to the dog. “It’s ok.”
Suddenly the door burst open. Standing in the doorway was a huge man. He was dressed in hunters camouflaged pants with a green plaid shirt which struggled to stay buttoned over his stomach. He had several rifles slung over his should and handguns strapped to his side.
“Hi honey! I’m home!” he said with a grin.
Chapter 3: https://theblogofteresa.com/annie3/
Chapter 4: https://theblogofteresa.com/annie4/
Chapter 5: https://theblogofteresa.com/annie5/
Chapter 6: http//theblogofteresa.com /annie6/
Chapter 7: http//theblogofteresa.com/annie7/
Chapter 8: https://theblogofteresa.com/annie8/
Chapter 10: https://theblogofteresa.com/annie10/