In another chapter of my life, I began writing a quasi-post societal collapse kind of story on a separate blog. I’ve since taken that blog out of published mode and I’m sifting through the rubble, dusting off some of the material and trying to see if it can be rebooted, or maybe just share a few pieces that I thought were worth it. The format and storyline followed journal entries of the protagonist as well as third-person fiction, usually flashbacks.
I hope you enjoy this little piece of Fiction.
I don’t know exactly how to start this.
I only know that I want to give you an account of what has happened and what is happening. Maybe it will just be for my own purposes, I had hoped one day to be a writer and maybe this will help me process things that have happened. Maybe it will be useful to my children or the generations after. Maybe, one day, it will be used to help put the pieces of the puzzle together regarding what happened to us all. I wonder if the United States will ever recover from this. I have hope that we will. Hopefully we will carry on, endure, and learn from our mistakes.
If someone happens to find this and they aren’t family, my name is Keenan Smithwick, at the time of this writing I’m 47, it’s early Fall and hopefully this journal is found on my small plot of land just outside New Meadows, Idaho.
So, with that out of the way… where should I begin? Maybe telling the tale as I know it, how I got to where we are?
I could go as far back as ’93 with my father taking me camping and teaching me field-craft; survival skills. He’d take me to the range and he and his friends would show me how to operate different types of firearms: revolvers and semi-automatic handguns, shotguns, bolt-action, lever-action and semi-automatic rifles; even muzzleloaders. It was an exciting time for me at barely fourteen years old. Little did I know that those in my father’s circle were a part of what (in popular culture) would become known as “Preppers”. A primarily conservative minded group of individuals – not necessarily organized as one body – who believed it prudent to prepare (food, shelter, protection, etc.) in case of “something bad” happening.
Fill in the blank. Solar Flare, Government Oppression, Lizard People taking over.
There used to be a reality show or two about people “like” us… but that was made for TV and more caricature than reality.
Occasionally you’d see someone who was actually more down to earth, just preparing for a disruption in the supply chains or another Great Depression. Those were more close to reality than anything, and didn’t get the best reviews, so it was always about some yay-hoo out in the boonies making his kids eat squirrel and teaching them bullshit martial arts.
I could move forward in time to the Y2K scare. Though it became a laughable event, I remember being concerned as a young man about this coming to pass. Among many of the good-natured preppers I’d come to know, my father had been diligently making preparations – just in case. I remember struggling to understand why, even if things wouldn’t go south, why people would refuse to have some level of disaster or emergency preparedness in case they had to fend for themselves. Time and again my father would quote the book of Proverbs, chapter 22, verse 3: “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
For awhile, right before all the crap we are in now began to bubble up to the surface in our country, I felt like I had denied the Faith for a while, too. To a degree, I understood the “other”, the ones who never prepared for anything. When the “end” is always near, and never happens, you tend to just let go. I let skills that I had learned long ago slip, I had grown complacent with being prepared for something that wasn’t happening. I had also grown cynical from listening to and observing blow-hard, arm-chair quarterbacks have pissing contests on who would “show up” when “the day” arrived and how their superior weapon and only that was going to save the day. Completely hardware minded individuals, making their tool into a magical talisman that would save the day. My eye’s couldn’t roll back in my head far enough.
But, I’d hear the words of my father occasionally ring in my ears: Be the Prudent man…
Yeah, Dad, I was late to the game… I suffered along the way because of it, but we’ve made it, so far. I hope you have.
You know what’s funny about this whole thing? Nobody predicted how it all actually went down. It wasn’t sudden. It wasn’t some weird government regime. It wasn’t a left-wing or right-wing revolution or coup…
Things just slowly began to fade…
Until we ended up where we are now.
Well… I’ve got to get back to the chores and I’m rambling. I’m hoping to put aside time to gather my thoughts regularly. We’ll see.
Until next time.K.S.