The Union Creek Journal

A Chronicle of Survival

Day 1, 0414 Hours: Madness

They say you can survive three days without water. Whoever “they” are … they probably never tried. I’m on day number two without water. My tongue is swollen. It feels like I have a dry sponge in my mouth. My head is pounding like the bass drum in a marching band. Every muscle in my body threatens to betray me with each passing step. I can barely stand. My forward progress, with the weight of my pack and weapons, could be measured in inches. Yet, I have miles to go.

I don’t dare think of the total number. It’s too large. Instead, I must focus on each step. “Just one more; just one more,” I keep repeating to myself.

Surely, if someone observed me over the last twenty hours or so, they would think I was crazy.

There are plenty of those these days – crazy people, I mean. No shortage whatsoever. Millions have been driven to madness. Millions more have died in the last few months – died of starvation; died of exposure; died of dehydration, as I may shortly; died … of madness. A fog has settled over our country and driven the population to the brink … the brink of insanity, the brink of extinction.

I’m close myself – close to madness. That’s why I’m writing this. I’m hoping that writing down my thoughts will keep me sane. I knew someone, what seems like a long time ago, who did the same thing. He kept a journal of his thoughts and actions. He tried to fight the insanity that reached out for each of us. Some, it beckoned with a siren’s song. Some, it grasped with dirty-nailed fingers and hands covered in blood, dirt and grease. Others, the madness led like a pied piper over a cliff into a sea of irrational thoughts and actions.

I need to get moving again. My body and my brain have locked arms in protest. They’re singing kumbaya and refusing to get up. Where are the stinking riot police when you need them? I need some jack-booted thugs with water canons and batons to break up the protest and get my lazy mind and body moving again.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Put down the pencil and pick up the pack. Do it, you weakling. Move!


If you liked this excerpt from the sequel to The Union Creek Journal, and you haven’t read The Journal yet, you can purchase it for your Kindle reader or in PDF format.




Single Post Navigation

27 thoughts on “Day 1, 0414 Hours: Madness

Comment navigation

  1. OregonRose on said:

    Can hardly wait for the rest. Loved this teaser entry. Makes you think was the writer thinking of a first hand experience regarding the water canon or just a long ago memory from the evening news?

  2. Idahobob on said:

    Good beginning (teaser)!

    Can’t wait for MOAR!


  3. smoker1 on said:

    I appreciate the story, makes a person think. Keep up the good work, thanks, smoker1

  4. HELL I am just happy as hell to see this starting up! I actually prefer the journal style myself. Okay then on with the show!

  5. Here we go!!!!!!! BTW, I made a promise to myself to wait for each weeks entries, not because I’m not willing to purchase the entire book itself (which I will), but there was something special in the process of the first journal. Waiting for the next entry, I think made the process unique. Instant gratification THE NEW NORMAL. Welcome back Mud, BTW, my inner prepper has grown since I first started reading your journal, and for that I thank you.

  6. Charles on said:

    In the words of Oliver Twist “Please Sir can I have some More?”

  7. Just a clarification for those of you tuning in today … this entry is a “sample”. The Journal’s sequel is not quite finished. The daily entries won’t begin until the sequel is finished. However, I may drop another sample or two over the coming weeks as I wrap up the sequel.

    Stay tuned!

  8. UCJ forged and lovingly tempered prose. Latest entry -weakly sintered cxxp.

    • Because a big piece of this “experiment” is to improve my writing, I’d like to know more about what you believe is “weakly sintered cxxp”. How can you tell from a few sentences? What, specifically, is weakly sintered?

      I appreciate the compliment on the UCJ, by the way.


      • this chapter is perceived by me – that you are in a hurry to get through with this chapter.
        3minutes-air, 3days-water, 3weeks-food, “i knew someone a long time ago who kept a journal” close to madness, pied piper madness.
        cliche- sea of madness, jack-booted, brink of extinction and sanity.

        i really enjoy the chapters in UCJ, the chapter ending at the edge of a cliff.
        like a 50’s saturday morning movie theatre sequal; clyde beatty, lash laRue,

      • sintered is melded by heat alone, forged is hammered(pondered)pounded + heat.

    • Thanks for responding.

      Keep in mind that I am not the “author” of the journal entries, so to speak. The entries are being written by a character. The character might be in a hurry. The character might use cliches. The character might be intelligent … or they might not. They might be in their right mind … or they might not.

    • Yup, I followed your metallurgic analogy.

  9. Bobby W Strickland on said:

    Great start! After two days without water I think a water cannon would be a welcome sight.Glad to be back in the fray of the apocalypse! Thanks Mud

  10. Old Hillbilly on said:

    I thought the next installments of “The Journal” were going to be posted here as they were completed just like before. Are you saying that the only way we can see them now is to purchase them to read on Kindle?

    • Yes, the new entries will be posted here. The original UCJ is still available here, as well as for Kindle and in PDF format. The new book will also be available, in its entirety, for Kindle and in PDF format if you don’t want to wait for the daily entries.

      • Ah, Toby, “instant” gratification or the daily installment routine? Decisions, decisions!

        I think I will go with the installments to start. Whether I can make it through the first weekend or two waiting for Monday will be a test of how engaging Toby is with this continuing storyline.

        Welcome back.


    • Tom, I had so many readers ask for “instant gratification” when I was writing The Journal that I’ve decided to release the sequel with the option to read daily for free or purchase the whole thing at once.

      Hopefully, the bulk of my readers will find The Journal’s sequel just as engaging as the original and not “weakly sintered cxxp”.


Comment navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: