Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)

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9780142181287: Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)

Book 2 of The Survivalist Series

No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared?

In A. American’s first novel, Going Home, readers were introduced to Morgan Carter, the resourceful, tough-as-nails survivalist who embarks on a treacherous 250-mile journey across Florida following the collapse of the nation’s power grid. Now reunited with his loving wife and daughters in this follow-up to Going Home, Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come. Though for years Morgan has been diligently preparing for emergency situations, many of his neighbors are completely unready for life in this strange new world—and they’re starting to get restless.

With the help of his closest companions, Morgan fights to keeps his home secure—only to discover shocking information about the state of the nation in the process.

Fans of James Wesley Rawles, William R. Forstchen's One Second After, and The End by G. Michael Hopf will revel in A. American's apocalyptic tale.

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About the Author:

A. American has been involved in prepping and survival communities since the early 1990s. An avid outdoorsman, he has a spent considerable time learning edible and medicinal plants and their uses as well as primitive survival skills. He currently resides in Florida with his wife of more than twenty years and his three daughters. He is the author of Going HomeSurviving HomeEscaping HomeForsaking Home, and Resurrecting Home. angeryamerican.net

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

When it all went wrong, I was two hundred miles from home. I traveled a lot for my job, and I always had my get-home bag in my car. It wasn’t that I expected things to fall apart, by nature I’m an optimist. But it always seemed to be the worst kind of irresponsibility to not be prepared. And it was that Boy Scout philosophy that saved my life.

The car quit, my phone was dead, and pretty soon I knew it wasn’t just me. Everyone on the road was stuck and looking for a way home. I had known for a long time that if things ever went to shit, the average person was screwed: no power, no water, no food, no way to communicate with the government that was supposed to be running the show. And I knew that in that situation, my fellow citizens would quickly become the biggest danger. What wouldn’t you do if you couldn’t feed your family?

But what I wasn’t prepared for was how quickly things would get bad. And in the weeks it took me to hoof it home, things got very bad indeed. The average person without food or water or hope would rob you for a meal. The average person in the same situation, but with kids to feed, might kill you.

I had thought about it a lot before the event, and I had tried to prepare. I didn’t worry too much about my wife and three girls. My house was off the grid; we had food stored, solar power, and an independent water system. More important, I had good friends and neighbors. I knew people like my buddy Danny would look out for Mel and the girls. All I had to do was get home to them and everything would be fine. That’s what I thought, at least.

Getting there wasn’t easy. I got real lucky: I hooked up with Thad and Jess, and we looked out for each other. When I got shot, they saved my life and we were luckier still: we met Linus Mitchell—Sarge—a retired soldier, and some of his army buddies. They got me back on my feet and made it possible for Jess, Thad and I to make it home to our families.

Coming home was the single best moment of my life. Things in my neighborhood were under control, and despite that the world had gone to hell, for a little while, it seemed like it was all going to be okay. We had a cookout the night I came home, and it wasn’t very different from other gatherings like that we had had a hundred times before: family, friends and hope.

I know myself pretty well, and sometimes I can be kind of harsh about how people are adjusting to the world we live in now. It’s a new world with new rules, and everybody has to make do for themselves. You have to make sure your family gets fed and make sure they’re safe. There are too many people waiting for Uncle Sugar to fix things, people who thought at the beginning that if they just waited, things would go back to normal. But if I’m honest, the first night I got home, I wasn’t too different. I thought the hard part was behind me, and I had no idea how bad things were going to get. I figured if I took care of my own, the rest would sort itself out. But I was wrong.



Chapter 1

We went to bed early after the cookout. It was nice to sleep in my own bed with my wife beside me. Ashley— mostly we called her Little Bit—wanted to sleep with us and really put up a fight, but we wanted some time to ourselves; it had been a while since we’d been together, and we were going to make up for it. Afterward, Mel was asleep and I was lying there, staring at the ceiling. In the past I would have gotten up and gone online, but those days were over. No more Internet, no more laptop, no more of a lot of things. I got up and walked out to the living room and sat down in my chair. The room was dark and silent. There was no AC running, no fan, no nothing.

Light washed over the window, and I heard an ATV heading toward the roadblock. I stood and looked out the front window as it passed by, and then the darkness and the silence returned. I sat down again in my leather chair, but soon I was up again and returned to my bed, and Mel.

Morning came and I was up before the sun. Mel was still asleep, as were the girls. I put on a pot of water to boil. I stood there for a moment taking the scene in, looking around at the kitchen, the fluorescent light glowing against the ceiling, and looking forward to coffee. The three-burner Butterfly kerosene stove is a truly wonderful piece of equipment to have. Once the burner is lit and the catalytic converter heats up, it produces no smoke and can be used indoors.

While the water was heating, I went out to the shop to look at the food stores. I was surprised at what I saw. Mel said she hadn’t been very careful in the beginning, but that she had soon changed her ways and had started to conserve. It looked like the kids had put a real dent in the canned fruit. The soups and stews were hit rather hard, but there was still a lot there, and if we were careful, we could stretch it out for some time. It felt good standing there in front on those shelves, knowing it wasn’t all a waste of time and money.

I grabbed a can of SPAM and headed back inside. The water was boiling and I added it to the press. I let the coffee brew for a minute, set a skillet on the burner and poured myself a cup with sugar and some powdered creamer. While the skillet heated, I added a little olive oil and sliced the SPAM. From the fridge I grabbed a few eggs and set them aside while the meat in the pan heated.

Mel came into the kitchen and said, “I smell coffee and SPAM.”

“Morning, Sunshine,” I said.

She went to the cabinet and returned with a cup and poured it full of coffee. She doctored her cup while I was fl ipping the SPAM.

“When do the girls usually get up?” I asked as I took the meat from the pan and cracked an egg into it.

“They usually sleep late, no school and all. They couldn’t be happier,” she said, taking a sip from the cup.

“Well, can’t blame ’em. I would if I could,” I said.

We sat down at the table in the kitchen and ate breakfast together. The sun was starting to come up and looked like it would be a nice day. After another cup of coffee, I got up and headed for the bedroom.

“Really? After last night I can’t believe you have the energy,” she said with a smirk on her face.

I paused at the door, “I have more energy than you can imagine.” I put on my Carhartt pants and my Ariat boots, something other than those damn Bellevilles I had walked two hundred miles home in. I pulled my tac vest on and draped the sling of my assault rifle over my shoulders.

Mel looked up from the cup in her hands. “Where are you going?”

“I’m going to walk up to the end of the road and talk to Danny. I just want to see how things are around here.”

After strapping on the XD I headed for the door and walked down the drive toward the gate in the early dawn. The dogs, Meathead and Little Girl, came running up and jumping all over me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep them in the yard, so I just let them follow me. We went out onto the road and turned toward the roadblock. It wasn’t long before the dogs went nuts, barking and raising hell. I looked back and saw what they were barking at.

Coming down the road on her bike, like she usually did in the mornings, was Pat. “Shit,” I said as I turned around and kept on toward the roadblock. I could hear her bike closing on me, and it wasn’t long before she came alongside.

“Hi, Morgan, I heard you were back,” she said with a forced smile.

“Yeah, finally.”

“How was it? Was it hard?” she asked.

I looked over at her. “More than you can imagine.”

“I bet. We haven’t been anywhere since all this happened.

Neither of our cars work, so we haven’t gone out,” Pat said as she pedaled her bike.

We were almost to the roadblock. I just wanted her to go the hell away. “How’s your family? Are your girls getting enough to eat?” she asked.

I saw what she was after. Pat was always a busybody, and now she was snooping around to figure out who had food. I just looked over at her and smiled. We reached the roadblock and I waved at Danny, who was walking toward me. He gave me a wave back and we shook hands.

“Hey, man,” Danny said.

Pat rolled off to the side of the road and pretended to fiddle with the chain on her bike, just close enough to get an earful.

Reggie was at the roadblock with Danny this morning. He looked over and gave me a nod, and Pat waved at him too. He waved back without a smile. Our little neighborhood had two basic groups. There was Pat and her group, mostly old biddies and the ones where the woman of the house pretty much ran things, plus a few others that had that holier-than-thou attitude. The second was the rest of us, the ones who minded their own business but were always ready to lend a hand.

“Nah, haven’t seen a soul, just like most days,” Reggie said.

“Yeah, early on there were several people heading for the forest. Loaded with packs, some old trucks, some bikes and carts and shit. Then it pretty much dried up, not too many people anymore,” Danny said.

“Then why keep this up?” I asked.

“Because there are still some shifty-ass folks that come through here, plus some other shit,” Reggie said.

“Like what?”

Danny and Reggie shared a glance, then Danny spoke. “There have been a few girls come up missing. They disappear from their homes or when out walking around. No one knows what’s happening to them, they just disappear.”

I looked down. I had forgotten about the bodies—I mean, it was in my head, I just hadn’t said anything about it. What with coming home and seeing everyone and the cookout we had the night before, it had slipped my mind.

“I was going to talk to you about it. I just didn’t want to last night with the girls there. The last thing in the world I can imagine is one of them disappearing,” Danny said.

“It’s not that. I mean, it is definitely that, but on my way back, not far from here, I found the bodies of three women. One of them looked familiar, but I couldn’t place the face, or what was left of it.” I looked up at Danny and Reggie.

“Where?” Reggie asked, an edge to his voice.

“Sorry, Reggie. Morg, Reggie’s niece has been missing for about a week. She lived over in Altoona near the Kangaroo store, and just disappeared,” Danny said.

“Reggie, man, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I found them out at Baptist Lake. Two of them had been there awhile. There wasn’t much left, and it was hard to tell whether they were male or female,” I said.

Reggie looked me in the eye. “You stay here with Danny. I’m going to get Rick and Mark and some ATVs. Then we’re going to go look for her.”

“Bring someone back to man the barricade, I’m going too. Morg can ride with me,” Danny said.

Reggie nodded at Danny then looked back to me. “What color was the hair, Morgan?”

I looked at Danny and he looked back with no expression. “Blonde, long, past the shoulders,” I said.

Reggie’s jaw tightened and he nodded his head. He went over and climbed on his ATV and took off like his ass was on fire. Pat managed to “fix” her bike a moment after and headed down the road as fast as her pudgy legs would carry her. Danny looked over at me. I shrugged my shoulders. “I didn’t know,” I said.

“I know, but this has had people scared. The thought that with everything else that is going on, some sick fuck is going around snatching girls has really had an effect,” Danny said.

I leaned over the barricade and Danny came up beside me and rested his elbows on it. We just stood there as the sun climbed higher. He asked about my trip home and I gave him some of the details. I told him about Sarge and the guys, about Thad and Jess and what we had gone through. I told him the story of our ambush in detail, all that I remembered, anyway. I told him about Sarge’s place and my trip through the forest. He laughed when I told him about the hippies.

“Man, I wish we were on the Run today, just paddling down without a care in the world,” he said, staring off across the road.

“Me too, man, me too,” I replied.

It wasn’t too long before we heard the ATVs coming up the road. We both looked back and saw two four-wheelers and one Kawasaki Mule coming down the road. Mark was in the Mule. He and Rick, another guy from the neighborhood, had their uniforms on, Mark’s sheriff’s star clearly visible even at this distance. Behind them, her legs pumping up and down, was Pat. The guys came up and stopped. Reggie asked me to tell Mark and Rick what I had told him. As I relayed the story, Pat rolled up. I stopped talking as everyone turned to look at her.

Breathlessly she climbed off her bike and put the kickstand down. Mark had his son Jeremy in the Mule with him, and Lance was on the back of Rick’s ATV. Jeremy and Lance would man the barricade while we were gone. Pat looked at Jeremy and told him to watch her bike while she was gone. We all looked around at one another, wondering where she was going. Without saying a word to anyone, Pat walked over and climbed into the Mule. Mark looked over at her and said, “What are you doing, Pat?”

“I’m going with you. This is serious, and we need to fi nd out what’s going on,” she said as pulled on a pair of knit gloves.

“You’re right, it is, but you aren’t going anywhere. Now please get out of there,” Mark said.

“I most certainly will not. I have as much right here as any of you do,” she said.

“I am still a deputy sheriff, and this is police business. I asked you once to leave. Now I’m telling you,” Mark said.

Pat shot him a look, then one to me and Danny. “If those two are going, I can. They aren’t deputies.”

Rick looked over to Danny and me and said, “You two want to be deputies?”

We looked at one another and shrugged. “Sure.”

“You’re deputized,” Rick said.

“You’re not the sheriff. You can’t deputize anyone,” she fi red back.

“Pat, I’ve been nice,” Mark said as he and Rick moved toward her.

Sensing what was coming, Pat leaned forward and wrapped her arms around the roll bar of the Mule. Rick and Mark pried her arms off as graciously as they could. Pat was screaming like she was being eaten by a gator.

“Stop the damn screeching, Pat! You’re being fucking ridiculous,” Mark said.

They finally got her out of the Mule and walked her over to her bike, and Rick handcuffed her right hand to the handlebar.

“What are you doing?” Pat yelled.

Rick walked over and handed a cuff key to Lance. “When we’re gone, take ’em off her. Take it off the bike first, then her wrist. I want those back.” Lance nodded and pocketed the key. Pat shot him a look.

With Pat finally out of the way, Mark looked at all of us and asked, “You guys ready?”

Everyone nodded and moved toward their machines. I was headed toward Danny’s Polaris when Mark called out to me, “Ride with me, Morgan, I don’t know where we’re going.”

Mark pulled a bag from the bed of the Mule and handed everyone a radio. There were also three body bags lying there. “Where did you get these?” I asked him.

“The sheriff’s office had some stuff that still worked.” After he handed them out, we did a quick radio check. I climbed into the Mule and we pulled though the barricade.

I said, “Head up toward the Pittman Center and take that trail just past it, to the l...

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Book 2 of The Survivalist Series No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared? In A. American s first novel, Going Home, readers were introduced to Morgan Carter, the resourceful, tough-as-nails survivalist who embarks on a treacherous 250-mile journey across Florida following the collapse of the nation s power grid. Now reunited with his loving wife and daughters in this follow-up to Going Home, Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come. Though for years Morgan has been diligently preparing for emergency situations, many of his neighbors are completely unready for life in this strange new world and they re starting to get restless. With the help of his closest companions, Morgan fights to keeps his home secure only to discover shocking information about the state of the nation in the process. Fans of James Wesley Rawles, William R. Forstchen s One Second After, and The End by G. Michael Hopf will revel in A. American s apocalyptic tale. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142181287

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Book Description Penguin Putnam Inc, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Book 2 of The Survivalist Series No electricity. No running water. No food. No end in sight. If life as you knew it changed in an instant, would you be prepared? In A. American s first novel, Going Home, readers were introduced to Morgan Carter, the resourceful, tough-as-nails survivalist who embarks on a treacherous 250-mile journey across Florida following the collapse of the nation s power grid. Now reunited with his loving wife and daughters in this follow-up to Going Home, Morgan knows that their happiness is fleeting, as the worst is yet to come. Though for years Morgan has been diligently preparing for emergency situations, many of his neighbors are completely unready for life in this strange new world and they re starting to get restless. With the help of his closest companions, Morgan fights to keeps his home secure only to discover shocking information about the state of the nation in the process. Fans of James Wesley Rawles, William R. Forstchen s One Second After, and The End by G. Michael Hopf will revel in A. American s apocalyptic tale. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780142181287

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