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Friday, September 12, 2014

Chapter 32

I haven’t felt much like writing Bean.  I was so angry all the time.  The only time I wasn’t was when I was asleep and for a while there I was afraid of sleeping.  Afraid I would wake up and Roman wouldn’t be there.  I was fine so long as I could hear him breathing or see him but when I couldn’t I would get upset.  I knew it was stupid to get upset Bean and I tried to hide it but it was still there.  Even if no one else could see it I knew.  I felt weak, like I wasn’t fit to be Roman’s partner, only his bed buddy and a pretty useless one at that. 

It has gotten better.  As soon as Roman started getting better so did I.  Now I don’t need to see him to know that he is around.  I don’t need to hear him to know that he is ok.  And if he needs to go do something I know he will come back.  It scared me that I felt like that but I couldn't help it and for a while I didn't want to help it.  It just kinda was and I wanted to kill anyone that tried to tell me otherwise.  I knew ... or part of me knew ... that I didn't have any business feeling like that and I still know that I don't have any business feeling like that.  But Roman and I are partners.  We shook on it.  You don't make the kind of deal we have with just anyone Bean.  It was only as Roman got better that I was able to stop worrying that I was gonna be alone and out in the cold only to say it like that ... it isn't quite the truth.  I worried that I would be alone and out in the cold without Roman.  There.  I said it. 

I won't say it to anyone else.  They think I've latched onto Roman for stupid little kid reasons ... like I'm afraid of the dark and he is my wubby or something like that.  But I haven't been afraid of the dark for a long, long time.  The dark is nothing to be afraid of.   Dark isn't nothing but a color.  It's what is in the dark that will get you. 

I knew how I was acting was building something in the dark that would eventually get me and maybe you too ... and maybe eventually Roman.  I knew I needed to stop building the monsters because there are enough real life monsters in the world.  I know I can be one of those monsters in the dark but that's between me and you when you are old enough to understand though I sorta kinda hope you never have to understand about that part of it.  But I promised you I'd be honest and that's just the way it is.  So I decided.  For your sake and Roman's I needed to pull my big girl panties on and do something besides shake and shiver just because it was dark, to stop worrying about things I couldn't change, and to get strong in case the other monsters tried to win again.

In fact today I told Roman that he should go.  He wasn’t sure he should but I told him that I didn’t own him and didn’t want him to feel like he had to be on a leash.  I told him that he was very good at what he did and that the enclave needed him and that I knew he’d come back when he was finished.  I don’t worry about him working with the animals, animals can’t carry Typhoid.  I just worry about stupid people not using good sense so I packed his food and his water myself being extra careful.  I can do that sitting down.  But I’m back in bed now.  I promised. 

From what I hear they use good sense.  Mrs. Beauchamp will skin them like those others skinned Roman if they don’t.  Sometimes scary is a good thing, my kinda scary and Mrs. Beauchamp's kind too.  And Saul believes me now.  He hasn’t said anything.  I don’t know if he will, but I can see it when our eyes meet.  Roman wasn’t the only one that I saved.  Missy was there too.  So was their little girl.  I hadn’t known they had a little girl but they do.  I hadn’t known how long him and Missy had been together.  Ten years.  From before the trouble all started.  I never would have guessed.  Tina is the only one they’ll ever have.  Something went wrong and Missy can’t make babies now.  And Tina is eight.  Just like I was the year the UN building was blown up. 

Roman went but I’m pretty sure that he didn’t think I was strong enough.  I could tell he was worried.  I was worried at first too.  But he needed to go.  We both needed for him to be able to go.  I need to stop being so … whatever the name for this that I am and he needs to know that he can do what he needs to do too. 

Four weeks.  It’s been four weeks.  I’m not so crazy angry now but if I think about it too much it starts boiling to the surface.  I’ve been able to hide it from everyone.  They all think I’m crazy enough as it is.  Let them.  I don’t care.  So long as they know how far I’ll go for Roman, how far I’ll drag anyone that hurts him even if it means having to drag them straight to hell.  I’m not a nice person and for now I’m ok with that. 


I was pretty sure that I could remember the way to the enclave but it was so cold.  I had taken a pair of Roman’s pants and tied them up with “suspenders.”  I used the poncho made out of Roman’s old blanket for a coat but it was still cold.   

I didn’t have to go all the way.  Saul and some other men met me on the trail. 

“Did Roman make it home?” 

“Would I be slogging through this snow if he had?” I asked him, angry that he’d missed the obvious.  “But I know where the scumbags have him and I know the revenuers are sending some city folks after the enclave.” 


I explained how I knew.  Of course they didn’t believe me at first.  By the time they’d seen what I had done to find out a couple of them had puked. 

Saul is made of stronger stuff and didn’t even belch.  He asked, “Did he give a timeline?” 

“Soon is all he knew and I believe him.  The idiot couldn’t even lie to save himself by that point.  It wasn’t his group that’s gonna go after the enclave.  They’re more like harriers to soften areas up.” 

“Good name for them.  We got a lot of people so upset they aren’t listening.” 

I snorted in anger and derision.  “They thought they were safe, that they were hidden enough, far enough away from the cities.  They got complacent.  Same way other stables would get before they’d be gobbled up by someone bigger and stronger.  Well they better get over that kind of weakness fast or all your kids are going to wind up like me and that’s if they’re lucky.  Before I left Mother Mary’s I heard that the re-education centers and work farms were filling up and the government was getting tired of trying to feed all the kids in them.  There’s foreigners being allowed to ‘visit’ those places and pick and choose kids and take ‘em off.  They call it a different kind of education program but not a kid that has ever been taken away has been seen again.  A lot of them are being sent overseas.  The pimps and madams were getting bent out of shape over it because they were supposed to get first pick.” 

I heard one of the men curse and another almost whimper.  A third sputtered, “That’s just an urban legend.” 

I snapped at him, “Well I’m living and breathing proof some urban legends are true or aren’t you one of the ones at the church meeting talking about how wrong it was for a dirty slut to sit in the pews regardless of how I’d come to be that way.” 

Saul barked, “Enough.  Roberds take Thorn up with you.  We need to get back.” 

We road into chaos.


  1. Great story Kathy thanks for the time and for sharing your gift with us.

  2. This one made me cry for the first 17 chapters or so. I adore this story. Can't wait for more. Thank you Kathy. Thank you for writing for us.

  3. Just found this story and like all of your stories it is great. Hope things at home have found a timing that leaves you time to stay healthy and still care for your extended family's needs.

    I'll be looking for moar :) soon.

  4. Oh please when you have time work on this story. It has a completely different feel to it and well.... just write more please.