Tom Locke: Surviving Today V

Posted: September 18, 2014 in Tom Locke
Tags: ,

Every Thursday here at stay tuned for another exciting chapter in Tom Locke’s story. Its not dystopian but, have mercy, its one man’s survival


  • The face of faith and terror


In the dank cabin that housed at least one other prisoner Tom Locke was chained to a ring in the ground. Captive. He had never walked these dark alleys of his mind. Never so close to surrender. Though he had his share of hardships Death’s scythe had never swung so close to his swollen vitals.

In adolescence when the wind shakes your home or a thump resounds from the depths of your house there is always that familiar fear. As the handle on the door turned before them something much deeper than fear began to course through his body. Panic and absolute terror along with the realization that these could in fact be his last moments. Adrenaline shocked his system to the point it was almost painful. Though he knew no amount of energy he could muster was going to break the chain that binded him to the floor.

The door opened slowly and a man stepped in with coverings on his face. Behind him the silhouette of two more men were sitting outside in the daylight.

“What the hell is going on here!?”

Tom screamed out before he realized what he was saying.

The man who opened the door walked with heavy boot steps right at Tom. His heart was thudding hard all the way up to his throat. If ever there were a loud mouth in which you thought to make an example of he just became that mouth.

“You want to know what the hell is going here?”

The man’s voice was muffled by the cloth covering his face but clearly Middle Eastern.

“The end. The end of the West and its oppression to Allah’s people and world.”

He bent down to Toms level.

“YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!” He screamed and spat fury into Tom’s face and then laughed a bit with broken blood vessels in his eyes.

“Hell, Yankee, hell is exactly what’s going on. The story that you’ve seen play out oceans and seas away for all these years is here. Well the players have always been here I guess what I should say is the curtain is about to be raised. Yes. It will be raised and thanks to the lack of favor shown to you by Allah you are going to play a large part on opening night.”

Again surprising himself Tom reach up and grabbed a handful of the man’s mask.

“You’re cavemen! Scared little cavemen that won’t…..” He was cut off quickly as the man flipped Tom on his stomach and pulled his right arm around his back. He felt a heavy knee leaning against his spine.”

The sound of the two men piling into the room behind him caused his survival instinct to kick in and he wriggled under the weight. It wasn’t until he felt the cold blade against his neck that he began to again cooperate.

“Listen closely. I will tell you how it’s all going to begin.”

Every Thursday here at stay tuned for another exciting chapter in Tom Locke’s story. Its not dystopian but, have mercy, its one man’s survival


His was a mind of mud, thick, like sludge sloshing back and forth in his brain. Before he opened his eyes his own body began to speak to him. Pain cried out from his leg. His lips were dry and cracked, dehydration. His neck was tight and sore as though it had been cricked in one position for a month. Most of all though his brain was lost. It was like a car traveling some dangerous cliff side road in a stifling fog. He wasn’t sure if perhaps he had been drugged or if the concussions and the blow from his captures hadn’t permanently knocked something loose.

As fuzzy as his mind so was his vision. He gathered himself slowly and sat up against the sturdiest thing in his vicinity. The world spun wildly. Almost simultaneously he felt the burning lump over his right eye and reached up to touch it. The weight and rattling of his chain startled him. His chain. One manacle tight around his right hand on a short, thick chain that was drilled into the wooden floor beneath him.

Tom Locke was now a prisoner. Before today he was a father, a business owner, a son and much more. Today had been very unfamiliar to him. He was a victim, a survivor, a prisoner. More than anything Tom had never spent more of his life in such imminent danger. A cadaver, that was the one thing he would not become.

He was also not alone. As he probed the dark room his eyes were drawn to the stray light of early morning coming through two windows that on either side of the structure. It was made of wood. This was some cabin in the woods. The hills of West Virginia home to a prison for scarf headed militants that were either posing as Jihadists, Islamists or ISIS henchmen. The only other explanation was that this was a group of wannabes trying to walk a similar path for Allah.


The figures around him were in the shadows. Shackled like them and he heard their rattling as they moaned a bit at his expression.

“Where are we? What is this?”

A voice came from the corner of the room. It was tired but audible.

“Keep your voice down. They will torture us if we are too loud. We are here for their pleasure whether that means using the women or beating and cutting the men. So please just keep it down. Our silence is the only peace we get.”

That familiar sensation of adrenaline pumped through his body again this time it was followed not by fear but by anger.

Tom spoke in a whisper, “Who are they?”

The worn voice from the darkness responded, “They are everything….everything we were warned about.”

At the far end of this old cabin in the West Virginian hills sat a door. The door. The pathway to their only vestige of freedom. At this point, however, that handle began to rattle and the beast on the other side was about to rear its ugly head.

This world has nothing to offer a human soul
Reach up for the sky

So Father of light
Keep my human spirit alive



What is our “brand” synonymous with? I mean if we had an emblem it would be a gas mask. How many of you have a damned gas mask? How many of the brilliant podcasters, article writers, business owners and other incredible folks in this community have a gas mask? If you do is it the focal point of what you do on a daily basis? Does it sit in the middle of your dining room table? So why have we allowed the media to hijack our brand like a bunch of ISIS pukes and turn all our hard work into a laughing stock?h Worse yet we have been leveled with domestic terrorists.

The truth behind the matter is that regardless of the PREPPER name our community is providing knowledge, skills, products and entertainment that the general public is hungry for. They are simply too afraid to be associated with our brand to delve into it. People are beginning to understand the threats in our world, our food system, and the frailties of our infrastructure. It is up to us to figure out how to welcome them into our community and make them feel right at home.

There are too many great resources attributed with the name to even consider changing it. Prepper Broadcasting is a 24/7 broadcaster of great hosts and information about self reliance, news, preparedness and even music, Prepper Website is the pen ultimate site for sheer knowledge on any the topics associated with prepping or homesteading or even great prepper fiction! ( American Preppers Network is the hub for much of the nations communication on the matter as well as great articles and some really fun webinars Than there is another great resource for the written and the spoken work of preppers along with breaking news and even a store full of great products.

So do we ask that these leaders in the preparedness game change the names of their successful websites to garner more attention from those hungry for what they offer? Hell no! Its time to rebrand the prepper name. Its time to take the control back from the media on who and what we are and what we stand for because I think there has been a serious revolution since Y2K and people need to know about it. They need to know we aren’t to be lumped in with the doomsday preppers of Nat Geo or whichever terrible shock value show is on at 8pm EST.

I copied these some questions from Rising Above the Noise. If you have made it this far in the article than I am sure this means something to you. I have made a few bold that I think are most important to our needs.


19 Questions That Every Rebrand Needs to Ask


Why are we doing a rebrand?


What problem are we attempting to solve?


Has there been a change in the competitive landscape that is impacting our growth potential?


Has our customer profile changed?


Are we pigeonholed as something that we (and our customers) have outgrown?


Does our brand tell the wrong (or outdated) story?


What do we want to convey? To whom?


Why should anyone care about our brand?


Have we isolated exactly who should care about our brand?


Have their needs, or the way they define them, changed?


Are we asking our customer to care more about our brand — and what it means — than we do?


Is our brand associated with something that is no longer meaningful?


Is our brand out of step with the current needs and desires of our customers?


Are we leading with our brand direction? Are we following with our brand direction?


Is the goal of this rebrand a stepping stone (evolutionary) or a milestone (revolutionary) ?


Will this solution work in 5, 10 and 15 years from now based on what we can anticipate?


Have we assigned some committee to manage the project versus someone (or at most, two people) who is/are focused, inspired and can lead?


If we were starting our business today, would this be the brand solution we would come up with?


Surely there are some out there who have no problem with what the PREPPER Moniker. I personally think that we are a community that is so full of knowledge that we are doing an injustice to the public by not finding ways to get that knowledge into their minds. Unfortunately the media has turned the PREPPER name into a runaway freight train…a burning runaway freight train. I propose that we move to change that.

We have some of the most brilliant minds doing business and spitting knowledge in the prepper community. We are more than able to change the premature label created by the media. If you feel like this is something you would like to pursue please feel free to contact me at I have some great connections in this community and believe that as a group we can change the perception of the PREPPER name, engage more people and get more of them prepared. Maybe we could even reap some benefits from this work we do as well?



Tom Locke: Surviving Today III

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Tom Locke

Every Thursday here at stay tuned for another exciting chapter in Tom Locke’s story. Its not dystopian but, have mercy, its one man’s survival

  • a forested run for life and limb


The pain in his leg faded quickly, his heart began to pummel the inside of his chest and as his pupils began to grow Tom Locke realized he was up on his feet and running. He did his best to keep the wreckage between the AK wielding killers and himself. Still, about 10 strides in he could hear bullets pinging off the shredded hull of the plane.  It made no sense. What in Gods name were these beasts from ISIS doing on American soil? Tom heard rumors about the border crossings and the operations in Juarez. Hell he just read a story in the daily about some terror flag flying on a house in New Jersey. It was talk or words. It was shock value to sell advertising. In America we are so blind about reality until its wielding an automatic weapon and raining 7.62 ammo down on our day.

There was no doubt that these three men had not happened upon him the plane wreckage by chance. There was something going on in these woods.

As the trees raced by his head Tom wondered how long he could keep the pace up. He was obviously suffering from a concussion and he didn’t even want to think about his ankle because right now it wasn’t hindering him. Though he knew a time would come when his body would filter out the adrenaline and the pain and the headache would come roaring back. Then he would be at their mercy.

This sprint was his best foot forward. He would tire from here on. There was only one option and that was to find the quickest place to lay low and pray it would cover him till night or whenever these carnivores would give up their chase.

A large rock slide about 20 yards away had a crevice just wide enough to fit one scared, injured American. Tom gunned it. He pushed and dug deep for every ounce of speed his body would allow. It wasn’t much but it coasted him in to position and he slid just under the rock. Dry leaves and dirt coated his face as his breath and spit burst out of his mouth with each choking breath.

The exhaustion hit him hard and it took a moment for him to realize the cracks of gunfire were still in the distance. Had they even raced after him? Or was Tom’s desperate race for his life simply a live action target range for the three head wrapped Jihadists. Was he merely a toy for them? He was too tired to be angry. Though, this tactic would be right in their wheel house. Decapitations, rape, the occasional head on a pike it was their trademark brand of fear.

Where America went wrong was in not believing these acts were driven by a religion or the interpretation of one. Tom saw churches in this country defaced and the spray painted Quran verses on the walls. He spoke to moderate Muslims who told him it would be a disgrace to Allah had they renounced the jihad.  How could America survive this? If they were hiking the Appalachians in full g than this country was horse off than he expected.

The gunfire had ceased altogether now.

What Tom thought was an expanding population of radical Muslims could look more like a full-scale infiltration.

Something snapped just outside the crevice. Sounded like wood underfoot. He reached for his mace quickly but before he could position himself a rifle but was striking into the crevice. It hit him once in the just under his right eye and before he could register that pain it struck him again. This time the lights went out…..



Posted: September 2, 2014 in poetry
Tags: , , ,

Technology is not the enemy

I believe it is instead the test

To leverage its capabilities before it lulls us to sleep

Its infancy is all we know, a waking giant

Our minds cry out for balance

We are creatures of the dirt not the diode

Those elements that sustain us

within the palm of a fiber optic hand

opportunity awaits

Look too deep and you could be snared by copper digits

with charged lithium nails

Grab ahold of the rocks and weeds

Even the stinging nettle will be a welcome sensation

Anything to tear you away from the monochromatic screen

Find your balance in the creeks and the streams

and those elements that sustain us


Every Thursday here at stay tuned for another exciting chapter in Tom Locke’s story. Its not dystopian but, have mercy, its one man’s survival

  • a darkening forest of  hallow and headscarves

Item #2 was a small zip drive

This contained various types of information about Tom Locke. It contained copies of all the most important documents, passport, id’s, birth certificates, contacts and of course health and allergy information for which he had only one entry and that was bee stings.

Item #3 was a pair of ……

“HELLO!! DO YOU NEED HELP.” Tom screamed out into the falling sun. Something reverberated in his head and sounded like a cry for help. Some cruel joke to be the sole survivor of a plane crash, he thought to himself.

Item #3 was a pair of standard issued handcuff keys….pretty much goes without saying.

Item #4 was a long thin flint that hung from a small stainless steel top that held a smaller key ring. The fire was currently burning on a set of empty chairs and some piles of luggage beneath. Tom hoped the pile was only of luggage. Unfortunately this fire would not burn all night. Right now, though, his body was going through something profound, concussed, a bit of shock. Tom was in now shape to go hunting for firewood.

A heavy crack in the distant woods reminded him that he was not alone. There were big mean bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions all in the nooks and crannies of these West Virginian mountains.

Item #5 A mini mace. Tiny and unsubstantial to a bear. In fact Tom nearly laughed out loud thinking about it as more of a seasoning for his carcass under a bears crunching jaws than an actual deterrent. The smaller predators might run from it, if he was lucky. Fact was, it was his only option right now. Once he got back to being himself he could fashion some type of spear out of plane wreckage and a nice stick. Help was on the way though, right?

Item #6 a small …….

Something was slowly approaching him. Stalking almost. Though it was probably little more than a racoon Tom was wary. Going back to the key ring.

Item #6 and the last item. It was a small canister hardly wide enough to fit the diameter of a nickel. Inside were 3 water purifying tablets. He always talked them up to be medication for some illness or another when asked about them. America was so medicated that it really didnt matter. Depression, suppression, oppression, repression to those who asked it was medication and the ailment was not even a requisite.

The evening drew in around him as the moon swelled on the horizon. He could sleep? Though he wondered if he would ever wake up. He didnt know how bad the concussion was and his ankle was throbbing now also. There was not much else he could do at the time without the motivation of propeller blades and rescue lights to get him up.

He thought about the peanut bag and how that could have been his last meal. The night was coming quick and in the dark valleys he could hear it talking already.

The rustle was closer now and at the forest line around the planes path of destruction he saw movement. Two men, Three. Not the shape or even the fact that their were men here so fast that surprised him. It was the red checkered and flat black head scarves they wore. One in red checks and the other in flat black. A forty-five in reds hands and AK’s in the hands of the other two. He couldn’t hear their brogue over the fire and the winds of the mountain top.

Their weapons were up and ready to be fired. They were not here to rescue Tom. His heart began to race. Could this be real? He thought. Was this a forest in Iraq for gods sake. This was about as rural America as it gets. He expected loggers, mountain men, maybe even some Deliverance. The man in red wore a shirt depicting the ISIS flag as clear as day. The Islamic State. The head cutting, executioners of Syria and Iraq somehow wandered out of the woods of West Virginia? Could the day get any worse for old Tom Locke?

At once he realized he hadn’t taken a breath since they appeared and he gasped into the night. A night that just moments ago was to loud to make out what these men were saying suddenly got as silent as a night on the desert floor. His gasp seemed to bounce from mountain top to mountain top and down to the small towns below. When he peered up at the three men again he found them staring back at him…..