Chapter 18: Resolutions

1/4

Multiple rows of paw prints, bigger than Dallas's. I hate dogs. Don't look at me like that. I think of you as a person.

Or wolves. God.

If I'm in "The Grey", I'm toast. I don't have any particular sets of skills.

At least in winter I can wear all kinds of cool post-apoc heavy coats and stuff. Wish everyone could see me.

1/5

Finally a sunny day. The Pacific Northwest yields me a break. Hope the road snow melts.

My biggest fear is that all this time with my mom made Sara not like me anymore. Wonder what she's been saying about me.

1/6

I could go for some Oregon trail mix.

1/7

65O
MPH

My biggest worry is that in all this time, I've somehow made the same joke twice.

Funny thing is, if I spot a bald eagle or some other endangered species, we'll be on even ground.

1/9

No radio messages yet. I am going off a cryptic note, though. Could be some delusional scribblings.

Keep feeling that somehow I could cross the next hill and find a hipster commune with local produce and flannel to spare. I wouldn't mind.

Just started singing the GI Joe theme song out of absolute nowhere.

1/11

Had a dream last night that Leia came back- limping on the same leg that I do. She asked which way to Vancouver. "I'm going that way" I said

"I meant Virginia" she said, and limped off. Dallas trotted after her, also limping. I wanted to shout at both of them to come back.

Then I came across the big plane from New York, knowing somehow something was inside. One rabid dog after another began pouring out.

I awoke to Dallas licking my face, calming me from what must've been a strong thrashing. We cried together.

Anyway, dreams are weird.

I hope she's happy. I really do this time. I hope she's found an actual man to take care of her.

1/12

Found a beautiful Episcopal church on main street of this little town. Say what you want, those guys know how to make a cool castle building

The inside is too nice to write on, too. I'm just leaving notes.

Me and God haven't been good for a long time, but I get a warm feeling being in here.

Sam from a year ago would destroy these windows. More growth.

I always hated small hick towns, and yeah, I kind of still do, but this place looks pretty damn cute with a little snow.

1/13

I usually swap sets of clothes in new places, but it's like this entire region isn't my style.

Isn't that a little picky? A post-first world problem? Look, if I meet some hot survivor I have one shot at a killer first impression.

I'm not gonna scare people off with civil war era overalls, or whatever.

1/20

Thought I heard a voice on the radio for a second. But then just static. And Dallas won't back me up.

Have to keep wading through deep snow to get new food from the store. My tracks are the one with the one leg leaving drag marks.

I rub down Dallas really well when we come in from the cold. Not that I can tell when she's cold.

If you could talk I'd be so much better off.

1/25

May just drink the winter away. If I die, I wouldn't even notice.

Sara's two years older now. More than capable without me, I'm sure.

1/26

This was already hell without the hangover.

I don't mean the classic film, either. I was up to zero Vegas hijinks last night.

I guess I could kill some time making my new year resolutions. I wasn't going to. I've never been a visualize your goals kind of person.

But maybe someone will stumble across these and be inspired to

What a joke. Anyone reading this will instantly know they have a better life.

This year I will:
Never drink again.
Start working out again.
Start a garden. I.e. less pretzels.

Learn more sword techniques. You never know.
Find an instrument and learn it.
Drink more.

Be a better dog owner.
Keep up with my journaling.
Learn some real navigation. Some moss and sunrise crap.

Never drink again.
Incorporate seasoning into my cooking.
Find my daughter.

Sketch more.
Make my third comic book. Wrap up that character's arc.
Read some educational stuff.

Survive.

1/28

I would waste a genie lamp on Halloween movies and hamburgers.

Wish my mom and the judge could see how self-reliant I've become. I make food out of almost nothing. I make shelters.

Dallas is even my ant farm to prove I'm ok to take care of a kid again.

2/2

I'll admit I'm in a slump. I used to find good real estate, keep it clean, exercise, learn new skills.

Maybe I've given up after all this time. What, were Sara and my mom just visiting a bomb shelter the day of the Flash? Taking a helicopter?

My stupid blind hope kept me going, but it just isn't possible anymore.

Maybe I'll find those guys on the radio in Vancouver. Maybe they're not real.

2/3

How effing cool am I, though? Cool clothes, a motorcycle and a samurai sword. You could put me in a cyberpunk movie TODAY.

Please. Just a little food and human company.

My mom is most likely dead and there's no one around and I still am in mortal fear of using swears or bad table manners.

You messed me up good, Karen.

2/9

WELCOME TO WASHINGTON thanks

So where's Vancouver? Anyone?

This is the state where cheerful animal guides point the way, right?

Keeping the radio on longer. Don't wanna lose battery, but there could be a signal.

2/13

Making some headway along 84. Snow and wreckage block me at every turn. Vancouver or frostbite.

Whoever those jackasses may be on the radio, they've remained silent.

I'm staking everything on a delusional post it.

I'm going to huddle inside and make good use of my time.

Going to write an essay about why I'm fit to have my daughter again.

I learned so much.

I keep a dog alive. I maintained a committed relationship until she started acting up. My steady graffiti proves my devotion to routine.

I can find nice houses and non perishable food. I'm good with a sword. And responsible.

Those are the bullet points. I'll write it tomorrow.

Today's daily waste of a genie wish would be Castlevania.

2/20

Welcome to Carson
Son of car

Maybe the hospital down the road will have vending machines.

Yes, then we'll find a vet or something. What do you want, drive through biscuits?

Welp. Radio finally died. Maybe there will be one at the hospital. Can't afford to miss the signal.

Wow so many people died here right when they thought they could get better.

So which of these doctors kept a top notch liquor closet?

Now where is a bed I could pass out on and not wake up paralyzed?

2/21

Oof.

One of these MDs needed AA. He had some of the best stuff.

Although a $300 hangover is the same.

My biggest fear is that somehow, after all this time, I've made the same joke twice.

I wanna go lie down and die.

2/23

Getting warmer. Spring is only a few weeks away. Or less. Or more! Flash problems.

Just need to make it through this winter and I think things will turn around.

2/24

Searched the whole hospital. No hot doctors. Anymore, at least.

I wonder what kind of drama happened here. Lots of running around and asking for scalpels and cc's.

There was probably a steaming love triangle in the OR when they suddenly dropped dead.

I wonder if my brother thought he was saving a life when it happened.

Anyway, let's raid the snacks.

Kind of creepy night. The wind is creeping in through spaces in the walls.

Sounds like dogs howling in the distance. Not good. I hate dogs.

Don't make that face. You're a person.

2/25

Heard a pan or something rattle down the hall. What's Dallas up to?

Oh there you are. Hm. Better go see.

Holy crap.

A pack of wolves got into the hospital. Must've left the back door open. Don't know if they've been tracking me or came here to eat.

I went in looking for a mouse or something and almost got my face bitten off. Slammed the door just in time.

It was like a horror movie, running the halls to get back to my stuff- my gun.

I haven't run from something like that since Planetown. I forgot what it's like.

Grabbed my gun but almost completely missed in my panic. Shot two down before the last one reached me. But I was out of bullets.

So I killed it WITH A SWORD. A mother effin' sword. I am a Sam-o-rai.

Dallas laughed back then at all the training I did, but look at me now.

Man, I'm shaking with adrenaline. I could fight anything right now.

I guess I let my guard down, but I haven't seen anything in like a year.

Do I need to clear these bodies? Will they attract more? Or is that sharks?

2/26

I need some wolf silhouette stickers for my bike.

And more ammo.

2/27

Bucket list. Write on the wall of every state.

Knocked off Florida, Virginia, and Georgia on a class trip as a kid.

I've always been doing this.

May as well just finish it off. We'll swing by Cal, pick up Sara, and keep going.

Contiguous US. Hawaii is not in the cards.

You and me, Dallas. The sisterhood of the traveling paints.

Then we can finally settle down. No more of this nomadic life. These guys in Vancouver if they exist. Sara. Anyone else that's an ok dude.

We can farm and raise animals. Maybe even figure out electricity all over again.

Maybe it's idealistic, but I'm a little hopeful again. Finally being this close to the west coast.

3/1

Can't catch a wink on these hospital beds.

3/2

The snow is melting!

Oh it's so warm. Today's gonna be a great day.

I'll just pack up some essentials today and hit the road first thing in the morning.

Goood day suuuunshine

Theoretically should stock up on some of these meds for the road, but I don't have the training to know which would kill me if mixed.

Also I'm sure they're expired.

Just gonna raid the gift shop and then I can relax for the night.

Ouch.

I forgot one of the wolves. It was in the gift shop.

It knocked me down and tore me up really bad.

My side and legs are bleeding pretty bad. I realize that I may sound sarcastic right now, but this really hurts.

I don't know why I never found more ammo. Or forgot my sword. Stupid.

If my leg wasn't bad I could've ran better. I just wasn't ready.

Dallas saved me. This stupid wolf was bigger, but she didn't care. She just wouldn't stop, even as she was getting bit.

She scared it off. I couldn't believe it. She's not looking so good now, though.

Why didn't I read more vet books! I should be able to fix this.

Good girl. Just relax. I love you so much.

Man I'm sure bleeding a lot. Really hurts. I better get up and get to some first aid.

Weak.

Passed out in the hall. Dallas licked me awake.

I wrapped myself up best I could, but I'm still soaked.

Sorry, don't want to get graphic for anyone that could be reading this. Don't want to ruin your perfect little day.

God, if I die in a fucking hospital.

Dallas is licking my wounds. What a moron. I'm not a dog.

It's ok, girl. We'll get through this. We've made it through worse. We'll be in sunny California in no time.

Mommy's got you.

Ow, fuck.

Getting dizzy.

This is stupid, since if you're reading this I'll probably be on the beach by now.

But if anything happened here, you know. Keep an eye out for my dog. She's better than most. Ideal even for cat people.

She can get scared by weather, but she's a trooper with everything else. Seems to enjoy Beatles music.

A given.

My ID has my blood type if you're good with that kind of thing. And my address, just for flavor, I guess.

Although I go by Sam.

Anyway, if you've been reading this whole time and finally decided to catch up, I'll be the one sunbathing in somewhere that starts with San

Take care of yourself.