Furd and Letitia picked their way carefully back to their compound. They had to watch where they stepped because they had planted some landlines from the Army-Navy store on the path towards the house. Some of these were active and some were probably dead, because they were left over from the War in Vietnam. Ford was deemed mentally unstable back then, so even though he really wanted to go over there and kick some commie ass, he was denied admittance.into every branch of the military, even the Coast Guard.

Still he claimed that he had been a Green Beret and had seen some serious action in the Nam. He told many tales about his heroism, laying on the details about his illegal violence towards the enemy, and about his subsequent work with Blackwater, where he was known as a bad-ass. According to Furd, Blackwater had wanted to airlift him to South America so he could train insurgents to overthrow the corrupt governments down there. Ford claimed that Blackwater changed their plans because he was such a loose cannon that they worried about what he might do down there. In fact, he had spent the time when he was claiming to have been in the military washing dishes in a diner in New Jersey.

Nevertheless, Furd plastered his car with bumper stickers about being a Vietnam Vet, and he tried to find a baseball cap with a Vietnam decal on it, but his head was too big. Instead, he put a Vietnam bumper sticker on a bushel basket, and would put the basket over his hair when he patrolled the perimeter of his property.

Furd and Letitia had been stock-piling essentials for the upcoming collapse of civilization and they took turns patrolling their compound 24/7. They had a cache of weapons, some of which they could shoot, and boxes and boxes of ammo. They had a storage building full of bottles of water, dried beans, grains, rice and canned chili. They had purchased an ice cream maker, but weren’t sure where they would plug it in or where they’d get cream. All they knew was that it was essential to stockpile everything because after the collapse, they couldn’t just run down to Bi-Lo to stock up. Even their car wouldn’t work because there would be no more gas, so if they needed to get to Bi-Lo, they would actually have to run, and neither of them was in shape for that long and steep a trip. They found themselves out of breath just walking between their house and Salty’s, and they knew they would have to work out more before the collapse. They had purchased a Jane Fonda exercise tape, but seeing Jane would make Furd angry, remembering her traitorous activity during the war, and he would turn off the tv. Letitia had ordered a Zumba tape off Amazon, but it hadn’t arrived yet.

For a while they had kept chickens, and had boiled the eggs and buried them in the yard, but something came in the night and dragged the chickens away. They had looked high and low, and had even peered through Salty’s windows to see if he had taken the chickens prisoner in his house. Only a few white feathers remained. Ford decided that they probably had enough eggs in the yard to hold them for a while, though.

All that activity had worn Furd out and had caused Letitia to go off on a talking jag where she free-associated: Salty; pepper;Mexican Food; acid reflux; antacids; anti-war activities: Jane Fonda…and made Furd so angry that he ran ahead and locked her out of the house. They had taken great care to install a great many locks on the house, so Letitia knew she was locked out. She decide to wander back to Salty’s house and ask for a cup of tea. He was so kind to her, and seemed so interested in everything she had to say. She really liked Salty. And he was single. cammo