posted on May, 7 2010 @ 04:17 PM
When I first heard of the highway bums, I was living with my parents in a small town in western Pennsylvania. Nobody really took the news too
seriously at first – I mean, who would consider a roaming pack of feral transients as a legitimate concern? It sounded like an elaborate prank,
especially using the headline “Highway Bums: Rabid Hobos Ravage Travelers Seeking Change.” I quickly put it out of my mind until a few years
later, when I left for college.
I caught a chance broadcast at a friends house, and to my surprise, the “problem” had apparently spread. The graphic on the screen read “Highway
Bums: When Will the Government Act In Our Defense?” Listening further, incredulously, it seemed that the already fragile economy of a few of the
Midwestern states was on the verge of collapse – with travelers being accosted, and the local populace reduced to below poverty levels, the pack of
transients became a horde. Anyone they left alive was so destitute from the gang-rape of their change jars and wallets that they were left with little
choice to join the beasts. Large swathes of the interstate system were deemed unfit for travel by anyone armed with fewer than 3 tanks and an infantry
unit. Apparently the government had been too slow to pick up on the problem, as the homeless, in an ironic twist, were now armed. Several units of
infantry had been dispatched and lost, only about 25% surviving the onslaught of the bums, and those joining the collective of the unwashed. It was
estimated that thousands had died – some of the larger cities had as yet not been invaded, but it seemed inevitable.
I was shocked, but was still unable to take the report seriously from the dorm room in Boston. Over the coming months, however, I would here more and
more about displaced families, missing persons, and foreign bank accounts. People had begun to stop carrying cash. It had become apparent that this
wasn’t a phenomena that was going away any time soon.
By the time I had finished my degree, the problem had both intensified and spread. Several states had gone completely off the radar. The entire
Midwest had been evacuated, and the military had been called in force to stop the spread of “Spangies”, something we were being told had started
the entire ordeal. Apparently there was a bizarre mutation in the rabies virus that lead to the behavior typified by the homeless, but with a touch of
insanity and barbarism. Those affected frequently became cannibals, spurning the use of language except for that colloquial one word question:
“Chaaaannnngeee???” Presumably, the disease led to a desire for small pieces of metal for the infected to collect, and they yet retained enough of
themselves to realize the easiest way to collect such things was something many of them had shunned for years. No longer caring for niceties or human
contact, only for coinage, they had ravaged entire populations in search of food and money. They apparently banded together in yet another throwback
to their previous knowledge, knowing that safety came in numbers.
Years have passed since I first heard about the highway bums. Almost two decades now. Planes stopped leaving shortly before my family was swallowed
by the advancing horde. I have remained in Boston, well past the occupation of the city by these mindless automatons. The military never seemed to
have a chance, and the government refused to use nuclear weapons when a cure might yet be found. As it stands, most of Canada is gone, and the
unemployed horde has advanced as far south as Guatemala, with no slowing down. At least, that was the last bit of news I’ve been able to gather. I
have been confined to this dead city without human contact (well, that didn’t ask me for change and promptly get a mouth full of buckshot) for
months. It appears the disease isn’t fatal, as its more well known and less…apocalyptic cousin. It does, however, seem to require human flesh for
some reason, which means that with a lack of healthy people to eat, they have begun to eat themselves. Assuming I live long enough, I will have to
find a way to contact what remains of our government and let them know that it is safe to return. If not, and someone finds this, please – spread
the word. The next time someone asks you for change, shoot them in the god damned face. The horrors the highway bums have left in their wake can not