Waiting for dawn… it always takes the longest when you can’t seem to sleep soundly. Finally, I was able to hurry to the Junkyard in hopes of finding .. something to alleviate the horrid singed smell emanating from my body. After several hours of search, I found a cabinet in the shed there that held some “Shower in a Can” for fire emergencies at the Junkyard. Still feeling guilty about “stealing” stuff, I only took two. One for now, one for later emergencies.
By this time, my stomach was growling rather loudly, and it was actually cramping from hunger, so I hurried back home for my one daily bowl of soup… Chicken noodle.. cold.. again. Yum? .. no, not really.
Immediately after breakfast (lunch and dinner!), I hurried back to my workbench. After clearing away the dust and ashes from yesterday’s adventure, I was ready to .. well.. begin anew. This time I wasn’t just going to dabble around, I was actually going to attempt to build something. (I have to do something with all this free time I have, right? .. and maybe if I get good enough, I can find a way to learn about what happened or find out if I really am alone… maybe.)
So. Paving the road with my good intentions, I set to work. .. And worked. And worked…. and then.. AHHHHH
Hurriedly I grabbed the spare Shower in a can I had filched from the graveyard, and ….
Not to be deterred this time, I very determinedly went back to work inventing.. something.. anything. A piece here, a piece there, some careful blowtorch work, banging on it (and my thumb), tightening bolts and screws. It was starting to look like… a … Llama? .. Okay, we can work with that. Being hungry myself, I added him a nice bowl of .. something for a metal Llama to eat.. and wa-la. My first thing-a-ma-jiggy!!
Well… I think I’ll call him Norman. He can sit by my lonely dinner table and make it less… er.. lonely. I hope. Feeling rather sad, I went to the other end of my hut to take care of necessary business.. and wouldn’t you know it.. with the way my day is going — I broke the toilet. I sat down on my bed and cried for a while, but that seemed pointless, so then Norman and I had a conversation about where things stood in our little non-world. We didn’t exactly come to any conclusions, however, so I went back to the scene of my immediate problem.. the toilet monster.
I contemplated, I muttered to myself… I racked my brain.. and then, just because, I couldn’t help simply screaming at it. It made me feel better at least, although it didn’t appear to unclog the toilet. It held the unrelenting silence back a little bit, as well. During my rant.. I suddenly remembered the toilet plunger in my parent’s bathroom. Checking the light outside, I saw that I had JUST enough time to race over and get it. I didn’t think they’d mind, under the circumstances.
Trying to remember what dad had always done for this problem, I started “plunging away” … I made a big mess and seemed to take forever, but eventually, I got it fixed. My one GOOD accomplishment for the day. Yay! On that note, while I still had brain power, I decided to read a little of one of the handiness manuals in my book shelf — perhaps I would be better prepared next time. .. Maybe. I finished the afternoon off with a round of darts – at the dartboard, not my glorified pantry/refridgerator. I was so hungry.. but I wouldn’t let myself falter. I couldn’t eat until after midnight. I’d made a promise. One meal a day. Gooo darts! .. I think I actually even got a little bit better…. maybe.
Apparently all my good intentions aside, I didn’t stay up for my soup at midnight, I ended up curling up in bed (after pulling a few darts out of the covers) and falling into a fitful sleep. Shortly after dawn, my belly woke me up and I forced down more cold Chicken Noodle soup. There HAD to be something better out there! Feeling refreshed, I put on my very best and went to check out the old diner’s supplies. Maybe they had something useful.
Apparently, locked doors are not impressed by formal wear, and they had some sort of shielding on the windows, so I couldn’t break them. Sighing heavily, I decided to check the back shed door, and wandered through the mist around the boxcar to it.
Somehow, in their rush to go…. wherever they went, the diner employees hadn’t fully shut the door, so I went in and looked around. It took several trips since I had to keep running outside for air due to the rotten food fumes, but I at least explored as much as I could. Couldn’t find anything in the way of food, however, under one of the counters by the cooktop, I found an unopened four pack of showers-in-a-can. .. Someone obviously hadn’t been a very good cook here, and they’d been prepared.
Packing those up, I made a short detour by the junkyard for some more scraps and ideas for another invention. Ideas running around my head, I hurried home to try my hand at the inventor’s bench again. Things went considerably better today, and I didn’t have a single mishap while building what I’ll just call a “Claw Dipper”. I took it upstairs and attempted to use the lever action with the claw to help pull apart stubborn parts in the inoperable radio and phone. All to no avail, of course.
After a rather lengthy debate with myself, I decided studying some more handiness might help me out in the long run, and I finished reading the basic handiness book. Too hungry and tired to do much else other than think of midnight when I could once again eat my daily ration, I read one of the three paperback books I’d stolen from the school – “Where’s Bella?”. It seemed appropriate. Then, for lack of anything better to do, I took a nap until it was time to eat at midnight.
Started off the “day” at midnight with no sleep, but a VERY welcome bowl of .. yes.. again.. Chicken soup. Feeling quite refreshed, I set about for the day’s inventing – and managed to come up with a floor hygiene-ator.. or at least the plans for one. It certainly wasn’t going to work without electricity, though, so I sadly stored it away. Feeling maudlin now, and since the sun had finally come up, I headed out to do more scrounging.
Again, I lucked out with the back door of the Bistro. In haste to get away (I guess) they forgot to lock the door. Going through their stocks I found several packages of well-protected crackers, some tightly sealed and wrapped in plastic jars of jelly and peanut butter. Vaguely I remembered their new special had been some gourmet take on pancakes with PB and J. Weird, since these weren’t exactly brand name products… I grinned evilly, and packed up my goodies. On the way home, I stopped by my parent’s old house again – this time in search of a cookbook, and perhaps some information on food storage and safety after disasters. I had no idea whether the goods I’d gotten were even going to be edible – or how to put them together.
I did manage to find some information that looked promising on my new food stocks, and the cookbook I remember her using all the time, so I headed home. Being back in my little underground bunker made me realize how badly I was smelling, but since I knew my “shower” resources were more than likely finite, I tried to avoid using them. I tried desperately to concentrate on the cooking book, but couldn’t, tried taking a nap, and couldn’t even stay asleep. My hunger had become almost a living thing… eating me from the inside. But promises were promises, and to survive, I HAD to stick to my rationing plan. Finally I buried myself in another of the paperbacks I’d snitched, “The Adventures of Raymundo” – which kept me occupied long enough to get me truly tired..
and I finally fell asleep for a few hours.. and got some real sleep for the first time in days.