- Veronica’s story
Chapter One –Hit the road, Jack!
“Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!” Muttered Veronica under her breath, “I just knew I should have left sooner!” Anger flushed through her as a crash in her living room sounded through out the house. She knew it had to be the stained glass window she had finished and installed only one month before the fan got hit with the fecal matter. It was such a beautiful window too; sparkling in all that sunlight as the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean. She had been working on that window for almost a year!
She peeked around the corner of the hall wall into the living room; a grin crossed her face since the jerk that broke the window still couldn’t get in with all the metal work that she had done with the picture. Such a lovely picture, it was two angels one female and one male, holding three young girls in their arms; wings outstretched yet embracing at the same time. All the people had smiles on their faces.
Now Veronica decided she was good and angry! Usually of the most mildest of tempers, not much got under her skin; but the destruction of the one piece of Art she had made in her parent’s memories flipped on her anger button big time! Standing up she stomped over to the whip she kept on the stand by the front door and taking up the spare magazine for her gun that she had at her back, she shoved the clip into her back pocket and shook out the whip while ripping open the door. Yep, she was ticked off all right!
The jerk trying to smash in the window was unaware of Roni’s presence until the whip wrapped around his neck and jerked him off his feet. The crowbar that was in his hand went flying through the air and caused the other two punks with him to duck. The whip lashed out again and struck one of the punk’s hands causing him to drop the gun he had.
The three punks looked her way as Roni said “You just bought that window with your lives. By the way, the front door was unlocked.” then with the whip in her right hand and gun in her left, she fired three shots.
She didn’t really feel any regret over the killing of the punks, since she recognized them as the same three who had broke in and killed her one great friend, an older lady, Mrs. Tammy Beauford.
Things had been going fairly well here since the EMP went off, but when the gang came down from San Francisco just under two weeks ago and killed the sheriff and almost all the rest of the law enforcement here, crap had been being flung far and wide. Mrs. Beauford was a lovely older lady who never bothered anyone and was always happy to see Roni. She had bought a few of Roni’s Art pieces and when she commissioned her to make a bust of her dear husband about five years ago, they became fast friends.
Roni had been trying hard to make sure Mrs. Beauford was protected, especially since the gang had come, but Mrs. Beauford would not move from her home. She thought she was far enough from town to not be noticed. She was wrong and when Roni had not been there, the same three that she had just killed had found the house, broke in, terrorized then killed Mrs. Beauford. When Roni got there, the three were roaring down the road in an old truck that was filled with many of Mrs. Beaufords belongings. She would have gone after them right then but she thought that there might be a chance Mrs. Beauford was alive and needed medical help.
She threw up for a full fifteen minutes when she got there.
Now Mrs. Beauford rests in death in her back yard in her rose garden. A simple marker stands at the head of the grave. “Beloved wife and friend. Tammy Beauford”
Roni shakes her head and brings herself back into the present. After taking the weapons that were on the bodies, wrapping them up in one of the slimy jerk’s bandana, and letting the ‘coke’ she found blow away in the breeze coming off the ocean; Roni decided to leave the bodies there and to move up the day for leaving town to today.
Yes, it was time to go. She hadn’t been able to get any more messages to either of her sisters. Emma was in Colorado and Gracie was in Arkansas. She had been able to only get one message to each. Gracie’s friend Tucker had told her she may have to leave her beloved ocean and he also gave her some good ideas on how to get her motorcycle running and what to pack. His warning about sticking to back roads was clear in her mind, but she always took the back roads when she would go visit Emma. She liked the scenery and she had a couple friends along the route that she usually stayed with for a day or so, to break up the drive.
Turning around, with the three handguns, four knives and one pair of handcuffs tied up in the bandana, her gun back in the belt at her back, and her whip coiled up once again, Roni went back into her house, closed the door, locked it and walked straight through to her kitchen. The knives were pieces of junk so she broke the blades and tossed them in the trash. The guns weren’t much better, but she figured they may come in handy even if they only had the bullets that were in them. She hadn’t found any extra ammo on any of the bodies and she didn’t feel like looking for any vehicle that they had come in. She thoroughly washed her hands after pouring some water in a big bowl, using a lot of soap. Those creeps made her feel dirty. She then finished the last of the salad she had made from the veggies that Mrs. Beauford had had in her garden. She had only taken a couple of bites when the punks had tried to break in.
Roni didn’t have much in the way of material things. Her small house only had two bedrooms, kitchen with an eating area, one bath, a living room, and a very small garage attached on the side that held her motorcycle and not much else.
Until the “DAY”, she had spent most of her time at her gallery where she had a room that she worked in creating her Art. The gallery had been trashed the second day that the gang arrived in town and she hadn’t the heart to go back there since. When she saw the extent of the damage and that it looked like it was done simply for fun, she was very grateful that she had not been there when they broke in.
Roni rinsed out her bowl with some water. She walked through her house making sure that there was nothing left that she wanted to take and actually could take. Placing the full duffel bag and back pack inside the garage, Roni went back into the kitchen got all the non-perishable food and the two jugs of water and took them out to the garage also. She packed the food and water into the two panniers that she had on her bike, a small Dutch oven fit on top nicely. The duffel bag got strapped down on the rack that connected the panniers. The duffel bag now contained the guns and handcuffs she had so recently acquired.
Going back into the house, Roni went to the cupboard that was over the small washer and dryer that was in the corner of the kitchen, and grabbed her tightly bound sleeping bag that also had a tarp in it. She took that out and strapped it with the duffel bag. The last thing she strapped on was the extra gas can that was filled with gas. This had its own special rack over the back fender. With her over-sized regular tank and the extra gas, she could ride for just under 350 miles before she had to refill. Since she would be taking her usual route, she hoped that the places she normally would stop for gas would be there but she had a small hose with a bulb that she could use to siphon gas out of tanks of the vehicles she figured she would encounter on her way.
She was already wearing her most precious possession, her dad’s dog tags. Emma had gotten her dad’s wedding ring, Gracie got their mom’s and she got the dog tags. They meant the world to her and she never took them off. These three things were the only things that the girls had of their parents.
After making sure she had all she wanted, Roni clipped the whip on the belt at her waist, stuck her gun in the holster she put on, and before she stepped into the garage and almost closed the door behind her -probably for the last time ever; but she decided that she needed to get the rest of the anger over the window out of her system. So she proceeded back into her home and began to empty all the glass dishes out of her cupboards and break them. When they were all broken, she stepped over the shards and left her home no longer angry.
Just before Roni pulled onto Ocean Ave to head towards highway 1, she looked at her beloved ocean one more time and vowed to come back again one day.