Totem, Part II

The first days of martial law were difficult. He had spent much of the time prior to the great lock down preparing for that specific eventuality.

Not only did he locate a hiding spot in the hills above and west of their home, he inlaid it with canned foods and bottled water. Elsewhere, he dug a deep hole and using a large plastic construction bucket with a lid, his his families important papers, a few pictures and a number of books, including the family bible.

He had been forced to escape early when soldiers arrived in the neighborhood and began rounding people up. He engaged with them, having fired a couple of shots at them from his rifle, as they loaded his wife and son onto a transport vehicle.

He never saw then after that and he ended up hiding for several days in the small coyote den he’d found earlier. He lived off the canned food and water he had with him as he waited for the soldiers, who had searched three weeks for him, left the area.

Eventually, and in great sadness he started over the hill to the far valley and across the grassy plain of Hungry Valley towards northern California. He intended to pass through Susanville, skirt Redding and make his way to the North Coast, where he had family and friends.

His plan fell through on the sixth day, as he was arrested by a posse and turned over to officials who transported him in shackles to one of their many regional encampments. It would be five-years, give or take a few days, before he would feel the hint of freedom – and by that time, the world had become a very different place.

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