Carnival Prepper

Want me to write a book? You get to pick it! I’ll be posting snippets from the dozen or so I have been working on, and you’ll pick which one I finish! More details will be on the way in the coming weeks.


This post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real people or events would be just plain weird.

They took my friggin Glenlivet.

So I guess before I explain that I should start at the beginning. I’m a writer… at least, I’m a writer in my own mind. I think I’m a writer. I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’m writing right now in this simple black college composition notebook… so that makes me a writer, right? I’m either that, or I’m a nutcase. It’s these kinds of notebooks that the nutbag dude from that movie “Seven” wrote in–about twenty of them–in little bitty neat handwriting–before he went on a crazy (and, well, ingenious) killing spree.

I’m not that dude.

Wow, I’ve got to get my noggin straight. I’m not a murderer or anything stupid like that. I want to be a writer, so I’m going to write. I bought this notebook because I was going on a cruise. Well, actually, since we are now onboard, I guess I AM on a cruise. I’m sitting at a table up on one of the top decks, in the open air, with my notebook and retractable pencil and backpack.

My wife has wandered off somewhere. I don’t mind. I need some time to think. I’m sure she believes I am a nutbag. Well… at least I’m not a murderer. Not yet! Heh.

She’s the one who wanted to go on this cruise. That’s fine. It’s our twentieth anniversary. I want her to be happy. I love my wife. We can afford it.

It’s just that… she doesn’t understand me. She doesn’t think the things I do are smart. She tells me I’m missing out on life. She doesn’t understand how important it is to be prepared for anything and everything.

One day… I swear… one day she will thank me for all the things I have done for her–most of which she doesn’t even know about. I don’t believe in zombies; that’s stupid talk. I do believe, though, that this world is on the brink of crashing to its knees. It won’t be fictional zombies; it will be real diseased humans that deteriorate from health into a horrible, feverish, starving hungry bloody mess, crashing and bleeding out everywhere, infecting everything they touch.

No one in our neighborhood back home seems to see it coming as clearly as I do either. When that day of reckoning does come–that horrible, loud, painful, sad day–I will be ready. Mable and I will be ready. The neighbors will come begging me, and I will just shoot them all. It will be every man for himself, and I’ll be protecting my wife.

Well, maybe that’s a little bit of overkill. I probably won’t shoot them all.

The first thing we did onboard was grab a quick bite to eat in the buffet. I squirreled away a couple cookies into the ziploc bag in my pocket. (You can never start saving too early.) I made sure Mable didn’t see me do that; no reason for her to roll her eyes at me this early in the vacation.

After our little lunch we went down two flights of stairs to find our stateroom. Our bags were there on the floor to the left of the stateroom door. I swiped my room key and held open the door as Mable rolled in the bags. I had insisted that we have a balcony room, even though it was quite a bit more money. It’s important to not only have daylight, but also to have a place you can be outside and away from everyone else.

I shut the stateroom door tight behind me and then tugged on it to be sure it was locked. Mable was collapsing the handles down into the tops of our two suitcases. I bent over and picked up her deep purple hard-sided suitcase and then swung it over and plopped it on the bed. She looked at me with her little curled-up smile to say thank you, and then she unzipped her suitcase slowly, in her ginger way, her cute little dainty way. She hung up her plastic-bagged dresses and put her unspeakable in a little drawer under the television set.

I hefted up my bag, which is a forest green more duffel-bag-looking-bag (but with wheels). Over on the small squared-off (and uncomfortable) couch I tore into it like a lion tearing into a gazelle… or something. I was honestly a little surprised at first; alll of my tools were there… adjustable wrench, hammer, rope, screws, all of it.

They took my friggin Glenlivet, though. My more-than-hundred-dollar bottle of Glenlivet 18 Scotch–gone. Those TSA thieves. They must have heard it in the bag sloshing or something. I shouldn’t have drank that top two inches of it the night before in the hotel.

But they had left all of these tools. Somehow that didn’t seem right. Aren’t they supposed to take away weapon-like things from bags? I had taken a huge gamble, and it paid off in some serious spades.

Well… when it comes to survival, I can live without the Glenlivet… I suppose. It just won’t be as pleasant.

So I like to write. I already said that. This is my vacation. I could have brought a laptop; but if the ship loses power I wouldn’t be able to keep writing. You might think that won’t happen; but I’ve got a television. I’ve got the Internet at home. I’ve seen the horrible atrocities that happen on cruise ships; and there’s nothing wrong with being prepared.

I type a lot faster than I write. Out here though, disconnected from land, where who knows what could happen, I have to use the old reliable blue lines.

Also, this way, if something bad DOES happen, I will be able to document. I will be able to record.

I guess I should mention the camera too. I have a nice little Lumina camera and three fully charged batteries. I would have gotten more than three, but they were fifty bucks a pop. Three batteries… cost almost as much as the camera. It takes 1080p video, which I guess is top of the line, so that should be good to sell to CNN… or whoever the highest bidder is… if it comes down to that.

If it does, come down to that I mean, I will be ready.

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About Susan Pitman

Susan is an artist who grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Texas. She writes songs, short stories, and books. You can follow @susanpitman143 on Twitter.

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