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Unread 28th of May, 2010, 15:28
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One Year Later...

Originally Posted by Poul Washburn's Diary. January 1st, the First year after Zombification The remnants of the United States Government broadcast across all AM and FM stations today, wishing all citizens of their great nation a Happy New Year, and announced news - This will not be the year 2010 Anno Domine, but will be known as the First Year After Zombification.

We hardly celebrated Christmas. I read a Mass, and spoke the Homily, but Ammunition and Lean Cuisines hardly count as presents. There are so few of us left, and the remainder found little enough reason to celebrate.

If only the cold gave us a respite from the Flood. Even now, a keen ear can pick up their moans interspersed with the howling of the winter Wisconsin wind. They are terrible, Famine, War, Pestilence, and Death all in one. It is enough to believe the Holy Father's claim that the Rapture is upon us, were it not for faith in a Kind Christ and his Covenant with his Father on behalf of our souls.

Yet our fortress holds. Between them, Jake Doers and Jonathan Adler have constructed what so far has proven to be a nigh-impregnable fortress for humanity here atop Granddad's Bluff. This was once a park, but now it is a castle in truth - two stories of formidable concrete and bulletproof glass on top of hundreds of feet of rock.

So many of our few survivors are an enigma, but none more so than the young Mr. Doers. He is clearly intelligent, behind his gruff exterior and imposing criminal background, but seems to avoid appearing so.

On the other hand, Jonathan is perhaps too intelligent for his own good. He suffers from many psychoses, not all of which are as useful as his need for order and cleanliness. I constantly worry that one night we'll all awake to the accidental destruction of our home only to pass on ourselves in the resulting explosion.

Then there is Detective Jack Frost, who at first glance would seem much more at home in the company of the remnants of the City government in what was once downtown. After a while, however, it is clear why he has not joined them, as the young man is convince he is the Almighty's gift to us all, but especially to Law Enforcement. A less patient man than I might have flung him from the Western observation deck months ago, but he clearly is capable. And a good man to have beside you, when the Flood comes.

I worry about the last male in our company, for he seems to delight in the war against the Flood more than is healthy. We all defend ourselves as necessary, but Jeff Ritten seems to have taken his hatred of the Undead menace to cruel levels. I wonder if he won't break if, one day, he accidentally kills one of the living during one of his many 'Hunting' expeditions.

It is the women of our group, however, who have proven the most invaluable to our survival. I remember the day Ayaka pounded on our door, frantically looking for someone to take her in and protect her after being turned away by Downtown. The Greenhouse which has become her obsession has provided us with many necessary vitamins and minerals as our supply of dietary supplements dwindles. We risk bulletproof glass over stone on the eastern half of our second story solely to give her greenhouse the best opportunity possible.

The last member of our merry band is Dr. Monica Lawrence, whom has saved most of our lives more times than I could ever remember. Yet even she is so often squirreled away in her lab, harrying after a cure for what we once named The Cure. The threat of constant death hangs over us, but with Monica protecting our bodies, and Christ our souls, we fear no Evil.

We are more a family now, I think, than most of us ever had before the first Cured person died so horribly. The majority of what I lovingly refer to as my Parish refers to me as Padre, though I must admit that the young Mr. Ritten, who resists so strongly the Grace of Christ's Love, refers to me simply as Old Man, though I am barely a decade older than he.

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti,

Poul "Padre" Washburn. Survivor.

It is early on the first day of the new year when the smell of cooking from downstairs and the clanging of pans awakens each of you. Even those of you who were once late sleepers have passed on from such foolishness long ago, for the Walking Dead never sleep.

The Cooking is, itself, a special treat, and clearly someone has dipped into the remaining frozen stores of bacon, if your noses are not deceiving you. As you shamble downstairs eerily similarly to the same monsters who have destroyed your homes and lives, you are greeted by the familiar face of Father Poul Washburn, who greets each of you with a smile. He is tall, but not uncomfortably so, and his face seems made for smiling. Were he anything other than a priest, he likely would be a ladykiller, for he has been blessed with more than his fair share of good looks.

A year of survival and hard living has left him lean, but he is still immaculate in his grooming, and the collar which defines his profession is impressively starched.

"It is New Year's Day, my sheep. And holidays deserve Bacon. Another night survived, without so much as a triggered alarm on one of Mr. Frost's cameras or motion sensors even more so. And so, civilization is not entirely broken down - the lights remain on, our refrigerator is still cold, and the Greenhouse is warm despite the weather."

"Please, eat, eat. The day promises..." Padre's voice trails off. "The day promises us nothing, friends. But at least we have bacon."
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