Sharecropper Life – Part 1

Posted: April 5, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
Tags: , , , , ,

“You won’t believe all the stuff in the shed.” Zack and Della rushed into the cabin each carrying a five-gallon can.

Zack announced. “It looks like the guy was stocking up.  Maybe he was some kind of prepper or something.”

Della added. “There’s sealed metal cans filled with beans, rice, shortening, flour, sugar and staples.”

Zack continued. “There was a sun hydrator and a smoker. It looks like they stocked up for an extended stay when they came up here. Maybe even planned to spend time living up.”

Steve called out from the front porch where he sat with the rifle across the arm rests of the wheelchair. “Bring the supplies inside, let Millie and Charlene help plan meals around what you find.”

“Do you think the owner will be mad if we use their stuff?” Zack asked. “They stocked up and all.”

“No. I think they’re dead or forced into a FEMA camp.” Steve answered as he tried to find a more comfortable position on the chair. “I found a couple receipts from stores in Houston when I was looking in the drawers. If they were going to come here, they would have made it by now.” He rolled the chair into the room. “My guess is they were evacuated and once in a camp, well. Refugee camps will limit people coming and going to reduce chance of exposure to the virus.”

“That would suck to know you have this waiting and not being able to get to it.” Zack gave a quick shrug.

The three women unpacked the metal cans excited to see so much food available. When they were done, all the items were arranged on the table. Millie sorted the spoils into piles. She checked the cabinets then walked back to the stash, made a face then scrawled lists on a scrap of brown paper bag with a stump of a pencil.

“Well, that extends our stay a bit.” Steve ran the back of his arm across his forehead.  “Can I get another glass of water? It’s sure warm out here.” He called out from the open front door.

Della glanced at Steve sitting outside the door, surprised at his request.  She crossed the worn wood floor and pressed the back of her hand against his forehead. “You’re running a fever. You need to rest for a while. We got this. Darlene and I can keep watch.”

“Hey man, Millie said she’d teach me to trap if we can find supplies to make traps.” Zack answered. “We’ll be eating high on the hog.”

“That would improve our situation even more.” Steve rolled through the door and to the bunk where he shifted himself into the bed. “That is, if you catch anything.” He forced a chuckle.  “You don’t look much like Daniel Boone to me.”

Millie directed the supplies to be sorted.  She had Della put a few of the bottles and cans in the cabinets while the rest in plastic bags were returned to storage cans then arranged the cans against the wall near the makeshift kitchen. She instructed Darlene concerning the mid-day meal then led Zack out the back door.

With Zack in tow, Millie hobbled past the shed to the volunteer garden beyond. The scattering of plants left after the mild winter appeared to be volunteer growth. Someone had thrown fresh vegetable scraps into a compost pile where they had germinated and grown. Among the remnants of vegetation were tomato plants, yellow summer squash and zucchini vines with fruit hanging along the remnant of fencing. In a corner of the fallow garden were cucumbers plants and smattering of trailing foliage from sweet potatoes.

Millie followed the fencing to the back of the shed then pointed to several plants a short distance from the garden.

“Boy, you pick these plantago. You pick the tender young leaves then we cook ‘em and have greens. There’s plenty so fill this bowl.” She pointed to a second plant. “That second pan, fill with those leaves and blossoms. I’ll pick some cherry tomato and pull some onions and we’ll have a salad of sorts.”

Zack glanced down at the plants. “Yes mam.” He began laying the lighter green leaves in the pan.

Millie chuckled. “This afternoon, we gonna make you into a trapper. Before then though, we have to find some supplies.” She shuffled off to the compost pile to pick tomatoes.

After lunch, Millie again led Zack from the cabin. This time they made their way to the shed with a flashlight in hand. Millie stood at the opened door for a few minutes then made her way to the work table at one side of the ram-shackled structure.

There they found a thin tightly-wound steel cable wound in a circle several times. She scratched around on a work bench and found tools and a handful of other supplies she added to a box. When Millie was satisfied she had what she wanted, she led Zack back to the cabin and settled on the shaded back porch at a picnic table.

Della walked out of the cabin. “Steve’s sleeping, but it looks like his legs are infected. He needs antibiotics.”

“One thing at a time, girlie.” Millie answered. “We make snares then I’ll be seeing to the man’s need.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s