Defence improvements grind to a wintry halt

Baron Cissbury here. We’ve had three really bitterly cold nights back-to-back this week, and the watery rose-edged sun does nothing to thaw the ground during the day. Daybreak unveils thick haw-frost, where the moisture freezes in the air then clings to the landscape, looking for all the world like blue snow. but even as I type, one or two thick snowflakes are tracing a lazy path earthward, but the dark yellow underbelly to the ominous black clouds suggest we may be in for a dump of snow tonight.
As you’d perhaps expect, we feel like we’re well prepared up here on Cissbury Ring – the kids have been told they’re not to be sat in the schoolhouse (although there’s a fireplace in both rooms), so they’re ferrying soaked and thawed moss to those new houses where the insulation isn’t quite up to scratch. These recently-built structures are where also you’ll find the adults installing stoves and simple chimney systems, and raising sleeping areas above floor level.
I’ve been smoking and curing around a third of the meat brought into camp since late summer in preparation for this winter, so we have plenty of protein – although there are nearly one-hundred-and-fifty survivors up here now. Even if the stocks get low, the deer and boar are if anything getting closer to camp as they sense the impending cold, and we have plenty of fruit and vegetables sacked-up or preserved – mulled cider with a smoked venison and juniper sausage do wonders for anyone’s morale!
As for the undead the cold does seem to slow them, but our own experiments have shown that after complete deep-freeze, the cadavers reanimate once thawed with relatively little loss of muscle structure. The biggest danger – for us as much as any other group of survivors – is that these freezing conditions encourage short-cuts to be made, whereupon the threat of infection will come not from a ragged ditch-bound stinker but your freshly infected wife, next-door-neighbour or fellow huntsman.
This isn’t the first winter we’ve had since the zombies came, and if I have anything to do with it, it won’t be the last.

About N.J. Hallard

N.J. Hallard was born in England in 1975. He lives with his wife and child on the West Sussex coast. He enjoys cooking and telling tall tales.
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