Campfire Tales – Bunker Babies

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+++Now Playing: “goodbye doyle” 01:13:007-01:19:843


“All right, now you young’uns can either settle down or settle in the septic for the evening. Good? Good.

“Big night tonight – we all know Doyle’s leaving us tomorrow, and I can see that some of us’re right tore up about it. And who wouldn’t be? Doyle’s a good kid. Bright. Helpful. But he’s not one of you kids no more, or else he wouldn’t be leaving us, see? He’s had his 18 years. Learned all we’ve got to teach him, and now he’s got to teach hisself. He’s gonna get out in the sunlight. Learn to cut trees and paths, meet folks and foes. We’ve done our right best to prepare him for it, and I think it’ll suit him fine. It ain’t a pretty life up there, but it’s an adventure, sure ‘nuff. And who don’t want that even a little?

“No, Lewis, put yer hand down. You ain’t gotta answer that.

“Now sure, when you’re not the one going up, it stings a mite. You just gotta remember that it ain’t about you. It’s about your family. All of us. The whole Evadaughter clan. Heck, my sweetheart won the lottery years an’ years ago, and I was bitter about it for a good long while, but bitter’s no way to live a life. So you do what you need make yer peace. Talk to who ya gotta. Mamas, grandpapas – heck, I’d be happy to set with anyone wants to jaw. Find the joy in it, keep on movin’. Days of Release ain’t gonna stop anytime soon, ‘specially not on your account. We’ve only got so many beds, anyways. Ain’t gonna be room for everyone to keep growing forever. Curse of the safe life – can’t keep everyone here, but we can’t afford to let all the able youths out at once, now can we? So that lottery got started way back ago, long before I was a sprout. If’n you qualify, you can put yer name in too, once you’ve got enough years. If that’s something what interests you, anyhow.

“What do you mean, where do they go? They go anywhere they like, anywhere they can survive and find a place to thrive. We had a kid a few years back, used to come by every so often after his Release and leave us trophies and trinkets from his travels. Sweet kid. Never stayed once he’d left, though – the world up there changes you. You start to get itchy feet down here, he said. He said a lot like that, all about the open road and living with yourself, for yourself. Smart one, that kid. Oliver, his name was. Haven’t seen him in a spell. Last I heard he was headed North, whistlin’ the whole way.

“Yes, I know how the Jackson bunker does things, but that ain’t our way – and who’s been lettin’ you down those tunnels, Carroll? Scared of the world up there, they are. Scared makes a lot of folks mean. Sending their own out as punishment strikes me as right cruel – not cause the world out there’s cruel, though it does get that way sometime – but what kind of attitude is that for a bright young lad setting out on his own, making a name for hisself? Lackin’ space or no, that’s no way to run a community, if you ask me.

“But that’s none of my business, though. Ain’t our place to go tromping down the tunnels to tell them how to live their lives, just like they don’t come telling us to set all y’all scamps loose for the Jackalopes if you forget to wash behind yer ears. We’ve got ways that suit us just fine and I suppose their ways suit them well enough. So let’s go on ahead and finish out Doyle’s last night our way. Who wants to tell a story about him first?”

+++What a sad story

+++Or maybe it is happy