May 15th Cont'd
My hands were shaking terribly. I shot at it, but missed. The sound had no affect on it. It bounded toward us. Tom took a shot and hit it in the side. The beast didn't slow down at all. My fingers almost seized up as I pulled back the bolt handle. The ground beneath us shook. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. It was only 20 ft. away. I lifted my rifle. The beast dove at us. I pulled the trigger. It landed on me. I thought I was dead. But the beast didn't move. And I still breathed. I soon knew why. Its blood was all over me. It wasn't until Tom and I rolled the thing off me did we see that I hit it in the head. We stared at that thing for what seemed like forever. Thus must be what Shirley Sackwell was describing. But where did these things come from? How many more of them are there? Is this what the army went off to fight? There are so many questions with NO answers. Well, we dragged the body back to the neighborhood. They had to know what they were up against.
The world I knew is gone. I don't even recognize it anymore. It's as if I've stepped out of a movie. All the things Shirley Sackwell has said are true. I saw those things with my own eyes. Tom and I were hunting in the woods behind my house. Since all the meat in the grocery stores are gone, and we have run out of meat, we thought we'd find some deer for the neighborhood. That is when we saw them. At first, we though they were a family of bears. They were next to the river, drinking. But when it stood up, I knew it was an animal I've ever seen before. I almost wet myself right there. The creature stood over seven feet tall. Maybe closer to eight. The hair was matted, dark, and I could smell it from where I stood. It stunk of must and earth. Tom and I were frozen. It took all I had to move my thumb to take off the safety on my gun. That did it. It heard my movement. It turned toward us and roared. I never felt fear like that...
We had a funeral for Miss Ellen today. We had no body, so we buried the only thing we found of hers: a piece of her ripped shirt. We buried it next to her dog. I think she would've liked that. It's been quiet here lately. The base is now empty. I've never seen the government move so quickly. They didn't even bother closing the gates behind them on the way out. Tom and I decided to take a walk through Black Rover. Many of the houses are empty, abandoned. We don't know where everyone's been going. We just know they're gone. We did run into a woman whose car had broken down. She was heading to Canada. She wouldn't tell us her name. It doesn't sound like she's doing okay. She told us some strange tales. Not sure if it's shock or something else. We were able to convince her to see Ruth, a retired nurse. She was able to find out her name. Apparently, it is Shirley Sackwell. According to Shirley, her husband died a couple of weeks ago. He supposedly was killed by what she described as "beasts." She said they were everywhere and that's why she was heading to Canada. Like I said, they were strange tales.
Yesterday, I woke up before dawn and searched for Miss Ellen. The whole street was out. We searched the forest for hours for any sign of her. The only thing we found were tattered rags covered in blood. Ruth believes they belonged to Miss Ellen. I do believe she is gone. It has definitely shook the whole street. People are scared. Ruth is packing some stuff and now staying with Tom and his family. Real, palpable fear has taken hold of our neighborhood. A couple of families packed up and left this morning. To be honest, I don't blame them. I would've done the same thing if I had a family. I'm not sure if it was the whole Miss Ellen situation alone or if it was that combined with the strange howls we heard for the first time last night. I had never heard such a cry. It was enough to set the hairs on your neck on end. They were close too. Real close. Not sure if it might be a different breed of wolf, but I always believed there were no wolves around here. Either way, I think I'll stay up tonight. I don't know if I feel safe sleeping in the dark anymore.
Miss Ellen is missing. I went to her house this morning and knocked. No one answered. I knew I should've done it a few days ago when I heard her dog outside my garage. I can't help but think it's somewhat my fault. When she didn't answer, I went around back and that's when I saw it. Her back door was busted in. The house was a disaster. Things were strewn everywhere. That wasn't the worst of it either. Her dog was dead on her bedroom floor. I don't know who or what killed it, but it broke my heart. And there was no sign of poor Miss Ellen. Where she went or who took her is anyone's guess. I got Tom, my other neighbor, and we buried her dog in the backyard, and then the rest of the neighborhood went search for Miss Ellen in the woods behind our house. We searched until nightfall. Not a sign. Ruth, the lady across the street, drove to the sheriff's office. It was empty. And with the phones not working, we can't call anyone. I guess we'll search again tomorrow. I can't help but think that if we do find Miss Ellen, we won't find all of her.
The last few days I've been so exhausted I haven't felt like journaling. But it's too important not to. The generations that follow need to know what happened here. They need to know how it all changed. For the past 3 days, military vehicles have been leaving the base constantly. A steady stream of them have been pouring out of the gates. No one felt right about it. Then today, I finally found Brian and was able to speak to him. He said the Department of Defense had let all contractors and civilians go. Just like that. The base fell into total lockdown. Until a few days ago. It seems the DOD is closing the base permanently. Word of that spread like fire. No one knows if Congress or the President are in control or not. We have lost power for nearly two weeks. All television stations are off the air. We've received no word about anything. It makes us wonder if we are on our own. But against what no one can answer.
Some good news today. I found a generator and was able to have some real lights on for a change. There's nothing like a lightbulb. I didn't keep it on for long, just enough to warm up the house and water a bit. There are reports that the cities are breaking down. At least that is what some of the soldiers at the gate said. Brian was not working, by the way. The military replaced the contracted guards with soldiers. They were no older than twenty. Nice boys, but didn't know a whole lot about what's happening, other than the military was going to the city to help there. Whatever that means. It's weird. Even the animals can sense something is going on. I was in the garage working on the generator when I heard the neighbor's dog outside the window. I'm assuming it was. I didn't actually see it. I just heard it sniffing for food. That reminds me. I better check on Miss Ellen and make sure she's doing okay.
Today was a long day. I tried going into work, but for the first time no one was there, not even Bill. The place was cleaned out. Empty. Not sure if Bill did it or if looters did. Still not sure what is happening, but apparently it's happening everywhere. I was able to find some food at the convenient store. The window was broken so I walked in. I still feel guilty about it, but sure if this is a permanent thing or not. Tom came over and said he saw a convoy of military vehicles leaving the base. Guards are now posted all along the fence. It's a complete lockdown. People keep saying an EMP must've gone off. I'm not so sure. I don't know why. I just feel something different is going on. I think tomorrow I may take my bike again and see what's happening on base. Hopefully, Brian is working. Maybe he knows something of substance. Already, there are silly rumors going around.
Something has happened! I'm sure of it now. I was watching the NY Mets play when suddenly the power went out. Not just on my street either. The whole neighborhood went out. There were no street lights, signal lights; even the lights on the military base went out. I went to my neighbors, but the didn't know what happened either. We tried the radio, but all we got was static. It just seems like in a blink of an eye, the whole world went dark. Not sure what to do anymore. It's been like this for 8 days now. That's why I've decided to keep this journal. At least until we can figure out what is happening. Some people are driving around trying to find news. NOT ME! I want to conserve my fuel. I may need it. I have a feeling our world has changed forever.