We all parked along the back of the island for privacy reasons, and if a biological agent was released, we didn’t want people to see our boats and know we were there.  We set camp back up and let the dogs go sniffing and playing with each other.  They swiftly head to their new friends coming over the hilltop from docking their boats.  As we were setting up our camp, we noticed everyone else unload their boats and put their things right in front of their boats.  There was a slight warm breeze. The air smelled sweet, and you could smell the fruit trees we helped plant a couple of years before.

When we got everything settled, we all introduced ourselves.  “Okay can I get everyone’s attention,” I said.  “I know we briefly introduced ourselves on Dave’s boat. Cheers Dave, the crowd raised their drink, but let’s go around again since it looks like we’ll be together for a few days.”  “I’ll start.” “My name is Doc, and this is my husband Red. I have 2 boys, and he has 1 boy and 2 girls.”  “We live in Witt, Arizona.  I am a blogger and marketing agent/writer.”  “Hi, my name is Red. I’m a mechanic.”  “Red is quiet until he gets to know people,” Doc Said.  “Hi, my name is Dave. I have a wife named Kris, and we have 7 kids.  “I’m a construction, Forman.” “Hi, my name is Jase. I’m also a construction Forman, I have a wife named Brandi, and we have 3 kids.”  “Hi, my name is Tom. I’m disabled, so I don’t work anymore. I do have a wife named Kim and two grown boys.”  Hi, my name is Jerry; I’m a professor at ASU. I come out here to fish. I’m going through a divorce or maybe widowed; that would be okay… Just kidding, but not really. He smiled, and I have a beautiful daughter that’s going to school to be an engineer.”  As the whole group laughs at his childlike mumbling.  “Hi, my name is Andy, and this is my husband, Matt. We don’t have any kids, but we would love to adopt one day. I’m a nurse, and Matt is an anesthesiologist; as Matt lifts his hand and waves, “Oh, pay no attention to him,” said Andy “he’s super shy.”  “Hi, my name is Kevin. I’m not married. I don’t believe in marriage, and I don’t have any kids. I’m a lawyer, and I work with the cannabis industry.” He said, monotoned as he plopped back down on the chair and scratching his head.   Hi, my name is John, I’m also not married, and I’m also a lawyer in the cannabis industry.”  “Hi, my name is Ben. I’m married, no kids. I’m a botanist in the cannabis industry as well.”  “Hi, my name is Justin, and Ben is my Uncle. I’m a student botanist and intern for my Uncle Ben during breaks”.  “ Hi, My name is Nathen. I’m a speed boat mechanic, I’ve been working on everyone else’s shit all summer, and this is the first chance this year I had my boat on the lake, and this shit happens,” he throws the rock he had in his hand and sits back down.  “Hi, my name is Tammy. I’m Nathen’s girlfriend, never mind him; he’s just cranky. I run the office where Nathen works, and we have no kids.”  “Hi, my name is Don, I’m a computer coder, and I build massive websites for fortune 500 companies, and we just wanted a quiet weekend away.”    “Hi, my name is Beth. I’m also a Techy, Don and I are business partners. We have no kids.”  “Hi, my name is Richard, and this is my wife, Mary. We own a pest control company, and we have 2 kids, a boy and a girl who is with their grandparents right now.”  Mary holding onto Richard, scared for their children, holding back tears.

“It is great to meet all of you,” said Doc.  “Since we are going to be here a few days, why don’t we bring all the ice chests out and combine resources? Any objections?”   The consensus was yes; as everyone pulled ice chests out, we started putting together all ice chests along a section in the middle behind the kitchen area for easier access.  The women started going through the ice chests putting all the soda together, beer together, veggies together, meat together, and dairy all in their own ice chests.   The men gathered wood for a fire, and the women stayed back to set out the chairs and make some lunch for everyone: final count 18 people, and 2 dogs Raffey the malamute and Tigger the mini Australian Shepherd.

Doc found a tablet and pen and started taking a count of the food to stretch 18 people for at least 3 days.  Steaks 5, hot dogs 72, hot dog buns 120 hot dog buns, Hamburgers 45, buns 56, 8 packages ham lunch meat, 8 packages turkey lunch meat, 3 packages chicken, 10 loaves of bread, 1 peanut butter 1 strawberry jelly 2 bags potatoes, 10 cases water, 1 cooler sprite, 2 coolers beer, 1 cooler Pepsi, 4 bags marshmallows, 4 boxes graham crackers, and 2 containers potato salad.

Beth walked up to Doc and started talking. “So hi Doc? Is that right?” asked Beth. “Ya,” replied Doc, looking at her as if she was showing signs of this contaminant and slowly backing away. “No, no, no,” Beth said. “I’m scared, and I’m freaking out, and I don’t know what to think. I’ve seen all those websites out there about World War 3, and I Kinda smelled something coming from the cabin of your boat, and well, um, I’m a legal cardholder in Arizona like it really matters now,” Beth said as she smirked.  Doc looked around and thought a minute and, with a slight shrug, turned to the boat and walked away without a sound.  Beth looked around dumbfounded, “Did I say something wrong Muttered Beth,” walking away in confusion.  Beth walked over to Tammy. “I think I offended Doc, I asked about the Marijuana, but she just walked away without a word,” just then, Doc emerges from the cabin of the boat with a white and black bag over her shoulder.  Beth, Tammy, Mary, and Andy watch as Doc stumbles off the boat’s bow with this white bag over her shoulder. Beth turns and looks at Tammy with confusion and anticipation. What’s was in the bag?  She doesn’t look offended?

As Doc quietly sat down, she opened the white bag, placed a colorful American flag over the table, and then pulled out 3 dab mats, 4, and 1 qt. Mason jars full of cannabis, 4 plastic medicine bottles with ground cannabis, a pink grinder with a diamond on top, two dab carbonators with dab ends, and 4 large silicone containers.  Red came up behind doc carrying 4 cases out of nowhere, put them down next to Doc, and went to get the small solar generator.  Doc opened one of the boxes, and inside was an e-nail that Doc set up. Red finished setting up the solar generator.  Red and Doc then carefully unloaded the 3 bongs and filled them with cold water.

Red sits down, and Doc says, “ok, as everyone starts to gather around, here we have Serious Happiness it’s an indica, it has an earthy taste with the high 20’s THC level, Here we have G.T. Haze it’s an Indica with a grassy earthy taste Low 30’s THC level, here we have Northern lights it has a sweet earthy taste again with a low 30’s THC, and this is Mau Wowie it has a tropical sweet earthy taste with a high 20’s THC level, load a bowl and go”.  Everyone looked around at each other a moment and smiled while watching a moment as Doc loaded the first bowl with Serious Happiness and handed it to Beth.  Beth picked up one of 20 lighters on the table and sat down in front of the purple dab matt.  Beth looks around, smiling like she just won the lottery, flicks the lighter, and inhales deeply.  She holds the smoke in for a second, coughing and hacking as she never had smoked Marijuana before.  “OMG,” said Beth taking in another deep drag off the bong.  “This is some dank shit, damn,” said Beth as she handed the bong to Tammy.  Red had the dab rig going by this time, and the guys were passing it around, and Red was passing out blunts.  Everyone was talking and smoking.  This was the first time on this little island for most of these people, so the history of our little island was the hot topic.  As we walked and showed off the island, we gave the rules to use this island.  The island is owned by the Native American Indian reservation when we first started using it. A couple of years ago, the native American Indian Patrol made it clear that we had to improve the island a little every year. There were no big wild parties and no vegetation removal, which was posted on the island.  We saw the Indian Patrol every time we were out there for a while. We rarely see them now, but I’m sure we will see them the next day if they are ok.

It was about 4:00 p.m. when we got back to the camp from showing everyone the island, and some of the guys started going through the boats. Red had remembered he had a couple of tents on the floor of the boat.  Red started pulling them out, and the guys went from boat to boat, pulling out what we could use to make and a tent or sleeping area for everyone.  Not everyone had planned on camping, so we were trying to figure out how and where everyone would sleep.  Most of the boats were empty, but we set up the 2 tents we found. They were both medium tents that could sleep 4, Dave and Jase found a tent and a couple of twin air beds, Andy and Matt had a canopy with a large square of carpet and a few big sleeping bags, Tom and Jerry had a sleeping bag and pillows in their boat, Nathen and Tammy had a massive tent with 3 airbeds, a bunch of sleeping bags and a few fold-up cots, Don and Beth had an easy up and a couple sleeping bags, Kevin and John only planned on being out for the day, but they had a pile of life jackets that they set up as a bed to sleep on, Ben and Justin had a small tent a couple of blankets they weren’t sure if they were going to stay on the lake or go home, Richard and Mary also had used life jackets as their beds and borrowed a sleeping bag.  Once the camp was ready, we had 4 tents with 3 canopies and an easy-up, all built around the kitchen in the middle and a campfire just off the west of the kitchen.  Ben and Justin and Richard, and Mary had BBQ grills that they set up between the kitchen and the campfire.  Doc and Red’s boat stayed near the campsite for sleeping and a lookout post.

As the sun was setting, the beautiful colors streaking across the sky Gold, Pink, Red, and a hint of purple Doc sat on the cool, moist sand watching as the waves hit the little island, and a feeling so overwhelming feeling, a responsibility to record this moment in time, to save this small piece of peace because we “don’t know what’s going to happen,” as Adam so eloquently said.  Doc grabbed her camera and pad and started taking pictures of the beautiful sunset, then of the dogs and all the people.  Doc set up the camera on a tripod and started filming the camp area, the water, sounds of nature, and the chattering of people talking and laughing.  In the distance, the sound of a motor was slowing down, and the chattering became an uneasy silence.  Who was it?  Were they coming here? Were they infected? Are they terrorists? Did they know we were here?  Everyone just stopped and looked around and all at once looked at Doc.  Doc looked at Red and said, “we need to get to the top of the hill and find out who it is.”  As Red went to pick up his flashlight, a few other guys followed Red to the top of the hill. As they approached the top of the hill, they ducked down by a pear tree and blackberry bushes, and they saw a boat approaching with what looked like 3 people on board.  The people were wearing plain clothes. The boat was headed straight for the island, but they couldn’t tell what kind of boat it was.  Red sent Matt back to the camp to let us know a boat approaching three plainclothes guys and get all the weed put away.  Doc was already working on that.

Red comes walking out from behind some trees with Adam, the lake patrol guy, and the other guys closely in tow.  Adam Say’s “ok can I have your attention,” he waited a minute and repeated it, “can I have your attention? This is what we know right now, They think there was a biological weapon released, and no one has taken credit for it as of yet, but it’s still early. Hospitals are overflowing already. The red cross set up emergency stations across the world.”  “No country was safe from this attack!”  Everyone stood there, quiet, befuddled, and scared.  Doc starts with, “no one has taken credit for it?”   “No,” replied Adam.  “Things are very shaky right now as North Korea is moving into position for war, England has threatened to start firing missiles at the middle east if they don’t get answers, and Russia is on the brink of killing us all if Putin dies because he was infected.”  “The media is reporting stay away from largely populated areas, for now, watch the water and food that we eat because they are unsure if it was contaminated.”  I found Adams’s last statement stayed with me and bugged me for a long time “The elite, the 1% have vanished, the government except for Trump and his family…gone, it looked like they left everything as is and up and left in the middle of the night…vanished. “  “Vanished?  How do they vanish in thin air?”    Adam shrugged.  Adam then says we are the only ones up this far, and he wanted to check our supplies, he would be back in the morning, and he could bring ice or whatnot back for us, providing they still have some.  As he looked around, he smiled and said, “you have a beautiful camp set up here. You should be safe here for a while” he turned and started back towards the hill.  “Ok, guys, stay safe tonight. I’ll be back in the morning. I will come by here first and work my way back to the dock, so try the radio. If you run into any trouble, we are hoping to have them back up and running tonight, we still don’t have cell service, but it’s better than nothing,” Adam said as he was walking away.  20 minutes later, we heard the lake patrol boat coming around the corner, Adam was driving, and another guy was sitting on the boat. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. I couldn’t tell if he had shoes on, but he did have a life jacket on.  I looked at Red and said, “I thought you said there were 3 people on the boat?”  “There was,” said Red as he looked over at Ben and Justin.

Red, Ben, Justin, Nathen, Dave, and Jase all gathered up by the boats. They were very intently talking, and you can always tell when Red is excited, nervous, or concerned his hand movements get bigger and bigger.  So as they were pulling two boats off the shore, Red is talking and pointing towards the hill.  Red saw two other people come to shore with Adam, and only one left with Adam. He was going to find out what was going on.

Tom is going to the right around the little island, and Jerry is driving to the left around the island. The sun was peeking out from behind the mountains, and the light to see by was quickly going down.   Tom and Jerry stayed out looking on the lake and at the island for any movement, while the rest of us slowly canvased the island looking for the third person on Adam’s boat.  We looked for an hour with the dogs tied up at camp. If someone they didn’t know came in, they would bark.  As we all started emerging from different sides of the island, we had nothing.  If someone stayed behind, they knew this island better than we did. That’s when we decided to sleep in shifts.  Doc, Matt, Tammy, Beth, and Mary walked over to the ice chests without saying a word and started pulling out hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. Beth opens the two grills and starts taking orders for hamburgers; medium, medium rare, and burnt were the options she gave as everyone placed their orders and laughed.  Doc handed Tammy some potatoes and a knife and asked her to cut them as Doc poured some infused bacon grease in the pan on the stove.  Matt pulled out the hot dogs and put them on the other grill, and started making a buffet table for the food to go on once it’s done.  Mary pulled out the potato salad, buns, condiments, paper plates, cutlery, and paper towels.  By the time dinner was ready, it was 7:30 pm; the temperature had dropped to ’70s, so we had a nice warm big campfire with all the chairs around it, the chatter and the smoke smell filled the air, we forgot for a moment that the world was in crisis.

Red had taken a little walk around the island with the dogs and came back 15 minutes later with Doc’s white and black bag and 4 hard cases.  He put them on the freshly cleaned table, and I got up and set up the smoke station. Doc set up the e-nail and took a large hit, then started loading bowls and filling bongs.  Red grabs the cones and starts making joints, laying them on the table when he was done.  Doc walks over to the campfire “the smoke table is set up if you would like to, enjoy.  The guys mostly smoked the joints, and the women preferred the bongs, “the bongs hit easier, and you don’t get weed in your mouth” said Beth as she giggled.  Ben whispers something in Justin’s ear, and he disappears to the boat. Justin reemerges with a small red cooler.  “Everyone, this is some edibles we made. They are strong; I call them amnesia brownies,” said Ben.  Most people shared an edible Ben, Justin, Doc, and Red all ate a whole one.  Until almost midnight, we sat around the campfire talking about conspiracy theories, terrorists, super viruses, religions, what would cause people to become ill in every major city worldwide, and movies.  The more they drank and talked, the crazier and funnier the conversation became.  Some people had to be immune, didn’t they?  Could we survive it? What would be left? What happens if no one takes credit and WW3 starts?   Just then, Raffey jumps up in front of Doc and starts growling, looking at the tree line. They stood there silent, looking at Raffey and back at the tree line.  “Raffey probably sees a bunny,” said Red. “Tigger is a better watchdog than Raffey, and he’s just sitting there” everyone laughed nervously, and Red said, “ok, let’s get some sleep. Who’s on watch tonight?”  We will said, Matt and Andy, Jerry also volunteered to stay up and keep watch.  Red and Doc packed up all the smoke equipment and headed to their boat while small groups were making their way to the tents.

Doc and Red cleaned up a little on the boat before heading into the cabin, putting away all the cannabis and bongs.  Doc and Red take their medications and get into bed with the occasional cannabis smell or giggle pouring from the cabin. A memory foam mattress was cut to fit the boat’s bow, with a beautiful Hawaiian bedding set that Doc cut and sewed to fit the mattress herself.  Doc Sets up the DVD player and the tv to play a movie and then got into bed.  Red looked at her “really,” said Red, “you know I can’t sleep without it, besides the noise will be nice’ said Doc as Red pulled her close to him and said, “I know just funning around.” “Love you” “Love you too,” they muttered as they drifted off to sleep.

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