I'm writing here now, because it is the thing that I do. It has been since I could hold a crayon in my fat fist, and find that lines and circles could evoke from others, smiles and laughter and more.
It's hard to imagine that you will smile or laugh if you take the time or the effort to absorb the story that lays buried within: and so it goes.
I'll not bore you with the initial catastrophes. Unless you've been on Mars for the last five years, you've been an unfortunate witness to the mayhem that's ensued. With the planet in it's death throes, humankind has succumbed to the need for violence in an effort to find food and drinkable water, and I've seen things of which I'd not believe others capable. I am forgetting that others are me, I've done things, as I'm imagining you have in these desperate times, that I'll not put to paper; this pencil's lead is choice commodity in these forests that sprout no Staples stores, but to relive my maliciousness in my dreams is more than enough of the blood and gore that deserves no space in this journal.
Ted and the girls were first to go. Ted, in a noble effort of fatherly love and protection, called out the demons that maimed and killed with no regard for life or limb. His girls were in jeopardy and he could not sit quietly by and witness the desecration of what he considered holy. They turned on him in the way pack animals would take their prey, and like that, he was destined to be but a memory, an inscription of lead on this paper headstone. I find it too painful to justify the untimely deaths of the girls with anything more than the true statement that they are not here now, gone to better places.
That left Teddy, my 25 year old autistic son, and me, his gutless, grieving mother, who hasn't the strength to lift my head from my hands, or my heart from the hell where it has come to live.
We had continued to travel until we arrived here three days ago. This abandoned bath house serves well enough for shelter right now, but when the weather turns, I'm not so sure. If you haven't found it yet there is a canoe hidden down by the lake that might save you travelling time.
I am writing this now because this is what I do. It is what I have always done, long before the world went crazy. The lead in this pencil brought me gold in days when gold made a difference to my life. Now gold makes no difference, we can't eat or drink it, and it has no trading value, so I leave it in the hope that you'll find it useful.
I'll leave you with one last bit of our history. Although Teddy has celebrated 25 birthdays, he is less than `5 years old mentally. He has been traumatized beyond repair, and should I become disabled or unable to care for him, or even comfort him, he will be no more than a man-child who sits and rocks and waits to starve. Here is where lead becomes more valuable than gold ever was. The lead in this pencil leaves the reason for all that has brought us here. For the sake of all that I hold holy, you must believe that these last minutes were the longest, most difficult I have ever known, and also the reason why lead has become invaluable. I have only 2 bullets, and I will use them both.