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SCENE FOUR of THE BREAKDOWN

Ginnylou and Timmy












Mark - Hold it! What the hell! There's somebody out on the road.


Walking down the road, coming from the south, was a woman, and a kid who looked to be about ten years old. The kid was a boy dressed in a tee shirt and overalls. The woman looked dirty, worn, and sloppy, and was dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans too big.


Mark - Where in the hell did you come from? Do you live in this house?


Woman - No.


Mark - Who are you, then?


Woman - I'm Ginnylou Hatfield from Kentucky, and this is my son Timmy.


Mark - Did you just walk up this road past that airport camp?


Ginnylou - Well we just walked up this road we're on and we came from down there. Yeah. We walked past a big camp down there, but we just kept going. We're headed north.


Mark - You're lucky nobody saw you and stopped you.


Ginnylou - I guess nobody cares to stop us. Why would they?


Mark - Good point. You say you're from Kentucky? How'd you get way up here?


Ginnylou - We got a ride in the back of a pig truck.


Timmy - It was cold in there, and there was a buncha big dead pigs skinned up, and hangin' on hooks.


Ginnylou - The driver said he was headed for Canada, and he'd give us a ride in the back. He was fixin' to sell the pigs for a lot of money up there.


Mark - So why'd you get off?


Ginnylou - Cuz he said he was gonna head west first, and then up to Canada. We're goin' straight north, no matter what.


Timmy - My pa said, go straight north.


Mark - Where's your "pa"?


Timmy - He's fight'n fools comin' onta our land. Said he'd see us up North.


Mark - You're welcome to come with us. We're a small group, headed for a safe place. Or, you can keep going north.


Ginnylou - We need a rest, so we'll come with ya, for now.


Timmy - Ma!


Ginnylou - Shut up Timmy.


Mark - Come on then. Cross over the road with us. We're headed for a safe place.


The group headed west through the weeds and brush, hoping to find a way to get back onto the paved road. On their left, they encountered a boggy wooded area. It was a low spot, with ankle-deep water and mud. They had to keep going forward, but had to angle to the right edge. until finally the ground dried up and they could turn toward the paved road far out of the sight of the airport. There was still some darkness left. But it wasn't going to be that easy. They found themselves in a muddy, damp bottom of a steep, brushy gully.


They could see a couple houses above them along the road.


Mark - I sure don't remember this being here. It's like we're in a hole. And that road is running uphill right over there. Look how thick this brush is.


Timmy - My pa calls it "nature's toilet paper". That big wide, soft stuff works best.


Jerry - Back in my day, city folks called that "roughing it".


Abby - Timmy. You've hurt your arm.


Timmy - Oh, I fell in the road back there and skinned my elbow. It'll be okay. I rubbed some dirt on it.


Abby - Oh I don't know about the dirt. But I do remember getting stung by a bee, and my grandpa put a dab of mud on it. I guess it dries and pulls some of the poison out.


Timmy - Spider bites too. My Pa says sometimes ya gotta make yer own mud with whatever ya got.


Ginnylou - Hush up Timmy.


Mark - We're going to have to get through this and then up that hill. A lot of these people are going to need help.


Timmy - My Pa said if ya think too much about what ya gotta do, it'll never git done.


Jim - I hope there's no poison ivy in there. And, it looks like the mud's ankle deep.


Timmy - When ya don't know if somethin's poison ivory, rub some on yer arm, and pritty soon ya'll find out.


Mark - Well it's too dark to tell. But I'm glad we have that full moon right now.


Carl - Hey! Here's drier ground. But there's brambles here.


Timmy - These brambles are a raspberry patch. Back in July ya coulda picked enough to make jam for a year.


Mark - Those things will tear us to shreds. I think we're going to have to tackle this marshy ground and go straight up this steep hill into that house's back yard.


Timmy - My Pa said if ya got a big job, ya gotta keep at it little by little, cuz ya might quit if ya think it's too big.


Dan - Let's get everyone across this marshy spot, and set in place at the bottom of the hillside. Then, we'll work'em up to the top. Take the people, and then come back for the gear.


Mark - We don't know what's going to go on with those houses up there. We'll have to cross their yards to get to the road.


Timmy - My Pa said to mind your own beeswax, and other folks oughta mind theirs.


Mark - Yeah. But they won't like us on their land.


Timmy - My Pa said if ya see folks too sprained up to git by: think to yerself - that could be me some day. Help'em if ya got it, but don't make 'em obliged to ya.


Ginnylou - Timmy, quit yer sermonizin' and git ta work haulin' that gear. It's gonna git light pritty soon, and we're in a hole here.


The work was hard, and gradual, but eventually everyone was up onto the pavement. Twilight was beginning. The full moon had nearly set. The group was ready to proceed.


Mark - I'm glad nobody from these houses bothered us. We're lucky those barking dogs were either penned up or inside.


Dan - Yeah. If anyone was home, they were too scared to stick their noses out.


Jerry - Nobody offered to help either. Couldn't they see we weren't raiders?


Emma - Let's just get going. We've got about a mile or so to go to get to Whig Highway. It's a gravel road, but they call it a highway.


Mark - I wish we had known this area better. We might have been able to save ourselves a lot of work.


Jerry - I wonder where the heck the Lenawee County Railroad goes? All I know is it runs west along M34 and then starts angling south from the stoplight, past our subdivision. I don't know where it goes, or stops.


Abby - It would have been easier travelling, I'll tell you that.


Carl - I've walked down that way before, but not very far. It looked like it kept on going a ways.


Mark - Well, we got this far. Let's keep walking. At least we've avoided attack so far. You and Jim and Manuel, go to the back of us and watch for headlights. It's still dark enough that they'll have lights on. If anyone comes, we'll have to get off the road, and deal with it somehow.


Emma - Not much of a strategy. I'm going to arrange for weapons to fire from both sides of the road, if any of us gives a thumbs-down signal.


Mark - Okay. I'll talk to whoever comes up.


Timmy - How come all these people want to fight ya?


Mark - We used to all get along. But things changed when bad men took over our government. Now everybody's fighting one another to get what they need to get by on. Some of them are even killing other people, whether they need to or not.


Timmy - My Pa stayed back to keep people off our land. There's not much there. But he said it's his and not theirs. I heard him say one time that every man's got a right to his own bizness. He oughta make his own moonshine without havin' to give his egg money to a revenuer.


Mark - That's okay in the backwoods. In the city, there's so many people that you have to make rules so they're not stepping on one another's feet. Without the rules, people are just bumping into one another.


Timmy - Pa said , "Many hands makes light work, til ya git so many they're just steppin' on one another's feet and don't know which way they're goin' ".


Mark - Sounds about right.


Timmy - My Pa said, "don't go actin' tough unless yer ready for a good hard whack upside the head. He whacked my butt, and said "next time, it'll be upside yer head".


Mark - Well, these guys never learned that.


Timmy - What happened to all the cops?


Mark - They quit getting paid. So they're out taking what they need. We don't have any rules now.


Timmy - What happened to all the lights?


Mark - There's no lights because there's no electricity.


Timmy - Our light was from our fireplace.


Mark - That was in the backwoods. We don't have any backwoods here anymore.


Emma - Here's Whig Highway. Head north. Up here on the left a little ways, at the top of the hill, is Uncle Al's place. I'm falling back to watch our rear.


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