The sounds of Bud and Natalie, in the kitchen, wakened Christopher. He rolled over to see the alarm clock glaring 0730 hours. He got up, dressed, then headed to the kitchen to find Natalie and Bud at the table eating their breakfast and talking.
“Good morning, sleepyhead.”, Bud said.
“Good morning, Bud, who took a nap yesterday. Why can’t you take a nap when you are with me.?”, Christopher asked.
“Natalie tells better stories. Yours are scary sometimes.”
Natalie stood up from the table, “My turn to make breakfast. Your usual?”
Christopher nodded, “But coffee first, please.”
After a few minutes Natalie brought Christopher a cup and a pot of coffee.
As he was drinking his coffee, “I ran into Bryan with a Y last night. Do you know him, his sister and aunt?”
“Wow. He is here? I knew he had a sister. She’s a few years older than Bud. He talked about an aunt, but I never met her.”, Natalie said.
“Can you find you way to his house?”
“By mobile it is not far. I drove to his house while I was learning to drive. We can take my father’s mobile.”
“After breakfast and we clean up, we need to see if we have anyone playing hide and seek. If we are clear, we can drive. How long would it take to walk?”
“His house is over five miles by road.”
“Let’s hope no one is playing this morning.”
After breakfast, with teeth brushed, Natalie and Bud took their positions. Christopher went to the roof’s peak. After an hour of scanning the town and roads leading into it. It was time to leave for Bryan’s house.
They loaded into the mobile in the garage. Natalie drove. At 1000 hours, they pulled into the driveway. Bryan met them at the front door.
“Natalie.”, Bryan said.
Natalie ran to him and gave him a hug, “Good to see you Bryan. I thought I was the only one left in town.”
Christopher glad to see Natalie was the right Natalie, “We need to get inside.”
Introductions were made. Claudia, Bryan’s nine-year-old sister, went to Bud, “You are a cute little boy.”
Bud visibly upset. Christopher warned, “Claudia, he is touchy about his age. You don’t want a fight on your hands.”
“Let’s just say he’ll be seven in six months.”, Natalie said.
They all were seated at the kitchen table with coffee, milk and cookies. Sylvia, Bryan’s aunt, told Christopher their story of the war and how scared everyone was. Tharon, Bryan’s mother kept begging her to come live with them since her husband Mark was killed a month ago in the war. She lived in the city and didn’t own a mobile. Bryan and Claudia drove to the city to bring her to town. When they saw the large aircraft, they hid under the canopy of a refueling point. They spent the night and the next few days. When they saw no aircraft, they quickly drove to the house. Arriving at the house three days ago.
Christopher listening to Sylvia’s account of their trip, “You said you lived in the city. What did you do there?”
“I was a nurse for one of the largest hospitals in the city. I worked in the trauma center.” Sylvia said.
Christopher looked at Natalie and Bryan. “You two get on the roof. Bud, give Bryan your binoculars. Each of you are to scan 180 degrees. If you see anyone, let us know.”
Natalie grabbed Bryan and headed to the roof, “Come on Bryan. I’ll show you how we find people playing hide and seek. “
Bud scowled at Christopher, “I can’t win the game if I’m down here.”
“I declare you the winner for today. You can have all the candy you can carry tonight.”
Bud hearing Christopher’s decree went back to playing with Claudia.
Sylvia put her hand on Christopher’s arm, “What is all the alarm about?”
Christopher looked at Sylvia with a stern face, “When supplies run out in the city and nearby towns, people are going to turn into scavengers. When scavengers can’t find what they need, they will take it by force. We only have a week, maybe two, before they come. We need to take what we can and move to higher ground. There we can protect ourselves.”
“Where do we go?”
“Bud and I have a place in the mountains. It provides everything we need. We start tonight gathering what we need. I need you to make a list of medical supplies. Do you drive?”
“Yes, I can. I haven’t driven in five years.”
“Bud, tell Bryan I need to talk to him.”
Bud grabbed Claudia’s hand and went upstairs to get Bryan.
When Bryan came into the kitchen, Christopher asked, “Have you spotted anyone on the road or lurking between houses?”
Bryan catching his breath, “No one. The town is deserted.”
“Do you know the location of a hospital and mobile dealership with medium trucks?”
“If we see nothing before nightfall, I need you to drive your Aunt Sylvia and Claudia to the hospital for supplies. Natalie, Bud, and I will go to the mobile dealership and get four trucks. Tell Natalie she is to take a lunch Break at 1130 hours. She’ll relieve you at 1200 hours. Then you can have lunch. When it’s dark, you’ll make the hospital run. Questions?”
“No, sir. Loud and clear.”
Sylvia, when you make out your medical list, get Bud a translator. I have been taping one to his ear the past week. Don’t ask me where I got it.