This book is dedicated to Patsy, my beautiful wife of thirty-four years, who assists with everything from Beta reading to censor duties. She enables me to write, golf, and enjoy my life with her and our mob of Shih Tzu’s.
Thanks to Cliff at Mustang Publishing LLC, my editor for improving my work and correcting any ammunition and weapon oops. Thanks to Wes, David, and Mitchell who are Beta readers for my novels. They gave many suggestions that helped improve my novel.
Thanks again to the state of Oregon for being such an excellent setting for this story. I thoroughly enjoyed my research trip to Oregon to visit Bandon, Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass, and all of the bergs and land between them. That area is the setting for this story and several of my other novels.
This is a post apocalyptic survival story about Joe Harp who is just an ordinary man. He was an overweight mechanic living in Tennessee who didn’t care about politics or what happened outside of the USA. He had never been in the military and had never been a prepper or doomsday nut. He knew how to camp, hunt and fish but not much else. He had recently lost his finance and best friend. His Grandmother, who he was devoted to, had also recently died. Just when his world had fallen apart, it really falls apart. TEOTWAWKI hits the fan. Now he has to scramble to survive in the Oregon woods after China and North Korea conduct a two-pronged financial and then an EMP attack on the USA.
An Apocalypse is coming to a neighborhood near you. The only questions are — When will it happen, and what will be the cause of devastation catastrophic enough to cause an Apocalypse? Most people don’t have military training, and are not Preppers; so what is the likely scenario they will face? Joe has to face these same challenges. The answers are:
1. Food shortages — Stores will be empty in three days. They won’t be restocked, and farmers will be fighting for their lives as starving hordes from the cities descend upon them.
2. Water shortages — There will be water, but it will need to be purified. Your faucet will go dry the few days.
3. Power shortages — The grid will be down if it’s a nuclear EMP attack or CME event (huge solar flare). If the grid is not destroyed, most workers will still go home to protect their families.
4. Medicine — Factories will shut down, and none will be produced. Many people will die during the first 90 days.
5. Law Enforcement — Most police will go home to protect their families. Criminals will not be kept in check. Crime will soar.
6. Transportation — An EMP attack or CME could fry all electronics, and your car has computers. You will be walking. Trucks won’t move goods to the stores from the numerous warehouses.
So, my last question to you is — Will you be like Joe and fight to become the American Survivor or will you crawl into a hole and die? Your choice. I will fight like Joe does.
The end of the world started a month before the actual events that caused the apocalypse. The events that led up to the apocalypse appeared the same as a thousand other events that occur daily. A cyber-attack, China threatening Taiwan, Rocket Man threatening to nuke the USA and you know the rest of the large list. The point is that most average citizens were fatigued by the constant barrage of doomsday news and didn’t key on the actual events that were the warning signs to prepare for doomsday.
February 21, 2038, was the day that Joe found out his best friend for life had been seeing his fiancée, Gwen, and the bad news was Joe couldn’t thank the unlucky bastard. Later that week his beloved Grandma died, and the world ended, as he knew it. His Grandma dying was a tragedy but turned out to be a bit of good news for Joe. The world ending as he knew it was a bad thing for Joe and much worse for most of the rest of the world. Joe was just an auto mechanic and regular guy without any military training. He had never been a prepper type. He was an unlikely candidate to survive the apocalypse, but here I am telling you about his adventures many years later.
Now back to the girlfriend and best friend. (I’ll get to Grandma in good time.) Not only were the two caught with their pants down, but they were also the two unluckiest lovebirds in the world. Both were buck naked in the back of Joe’s Explorer in a thunderstorm, with the back seat folded down doing what lovers do in the back seat of a car. The storm raged as the two made love passionately without regard to the storm or anything else. Unfortunately, a huge tree toppled over, crushed the SUV, and pinned their naked bodies together in death a week before Gwen and Joe’s wedding.
The State Police ran the plate, found Joe’s name, and went to see his next of kin. They went to his mom’s home to break the bad news to her and his dad about Joe’s death. Thank God, Joe was sitting there when she was told he was dead, or the poor women would have suffered a stroke. The rest of that part of the story went downhill quickly as the Trooper took Joe to the scene of the disaster to ID the victims. The roof was crushed down so only Darren’s head, and shoulder could be seen until the rescue crew used the Jaws of Life to extract both bodies.
It took Joe a minute for the light to switch on in his head, but Joe began thanking God that his best friend had stolen her away from him. Then he kicked his dead friend’s body for sneaking behind his back when he would have gladly given Gwen to him. Joe had been tired of her bossy, manipulative ways for some time before the accident. She expected Joe to jump when she snapped her fingers. He didn’t miss her at all but was sorry they died even though he couldn’t help but laugh.
Joe Harp was 30 years old, five feet ten inches tall, and 220 pounds when his world went to crap. He had blue eyes and brown hair. He was a good-looking man although a bit overweight from too much junk food, beer, and pizzas. Joe didn’t care about politics and was a very nice guy who would help anyone in need. He hated college but his girlfriend pushed him to go, and he was a lackluster student. He cracked jokes and loved to pull pranks on his fellow workers. He always had a smile on his face before the apocalypse.
Joe wasn’t into watching sports on TV and was never personally involved in sports after he graduated from high school. He lived alone in an apartment in Smyrna, Tennessee close to the golf course. He spent his free time camping, fishing, hunting, and playing golf. He didn’t think golf was a sport since he was able to ride in a cart and drink beer with his buddies. He was free except when his longtime girlfriend, Gwen, didn’t have plans for him to jump through some new hoop for her snotty friends. She was trying to add culture to Joe’s life without much success. Joe did pretty much whatever she said just to keep her happy. A common phrase heard from Joe was, “Yes dear,” to avoid an argument.
They had been together since they were juniors in school and Gwen was the ambitious one of the two. She attended Middle Tennessee State University and earned her Master’s degree in Computer Science from Vanderbilt. She had a high paying job at a bank in downtown Nashville and wanted Joe to move there when they were married. She never paid attention to his protests and knew he’d do whatever she asked. She had changed over the years while Joe remained the same good old boy from Tennessee that loved fixing cars. She had recently become ashamed of what she considered his lowly mechanic’s job.
Gwen wanted a large wedding even though her parents were from a modest background and had to take out a second mortgage on their home. Gwen had been so wrapped up in her own success and ambition she didn’t notice that he had left Joe behind her. One day she told Joe what changes he had to make in his life and was shocked when he sat her down and said no to every one of her demands. Joe’s “Yes, dear,” days were over.
Gwen realized the wedding was a mistake over wine with Joe’s best friend the night of the storm. He worked in the same building where Gwen worked, and they soon became very close. They shared many of the same beliefs and ambitions. They kept their secret from Joe until the tree fell and crushed their world.
Joe took a couple of days off from the Ford Dealership, where he worked as the lead mechanic, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He stayed home grieving the loss of his best friend and thanking God, he hadn’t married Gwen. He tried to act as if he was grieving for Gwen but figured she was already bossing everyone around up there and possibly down there.
Joe was one of the good guys and always helped his friends and even strangers. His dark brown hair was in contrast to his blue eyes and fair skinned complexion. His face turned red too quickly to suit him, and he always had a smile on his face. He was overweight, and Gwen often got after him about overeating junk food and pizza along with his favorite beer. Joe had laughed it off and told her to find a skinny guy because he loved his pizza and beer. After seeing Darren and her in the wreck, he felt she must have taken his advice. Darren was six feet tall and weighed 175 pounds ...