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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chapter 33


A fore group of Revenuers hadn’t been able to resist temptation and had attacked the enclave proper.  I gotta say, them guards that let them get passed them had as much if not more to fear from Saul than they had of the Revenuers.  I saw him grab one man by the throat and lift him so that his feet couldn’t touch the ground.  The guy was so scared that he messed himself.  I hadn’t ever met anyone that strong and scary since Brian; not even Emerald’s enforcers had been that tough.  He was scary and I was glad.  Glad, not because of why but because I now knew Saul was a man that would do what it took … because he had skin in the game too.  The Revenuers had taken Missy … and their daughter. 

I looked around at the mess the Revenuers made.  I’m still not sure if I was really remembering or if my brain was already turning by then but part of me thinks that I was really remembering.  I saw bodies laid out on the ground in the snow under a big oak tree and over the top of that picture I saw bodies piled like cordwood under another oak tree.  I saw blood on the snow yet I also saw blood on grass.  I saw Mrs. Beauchamp, seeming a lot smaller than she normally did tending to the wounded and I saw Patty crying over something blanket covered separate from all the others.  I also saw faceless ghosts, some crying, some hugging each other in silent shock, a few injured being tended.  Everywhere I looked it was like seeing two pictures that were the same yet different. 

“Where ‘r the kids?” 

I hadn’t realized I asked the question until Andrew draped something over my shoulders and said, “They’ve been taken.” 

He was the only one – him and Saul – that didn’t step away from me as a growl came from my throat.  When I walked away no one stopped me. They were too busy trying to pull themselves together.  Saul was shouting orders and later I found out he’d made the mistake in thinking that I would go over with the other women and do what was generally expected of women to do.  Afterwards when he tried to start in on me I basically told him to shut up and that’s what him and the others got for assuming.  He didn’t appreciate it too much when I said it, and still don’t, but I don’t care.  Assuming things will get you killed faster than anything I’ve ever seen. 

Ever since the time I got so scared to wake up and find him gone Roman had been teaching me the different trails.  I didn’t walk them but he taught me on maps so that I’d know what he was talking about when he mentioned them.  He also plotted me landmarks.  I’d grown up with Tim doing the same thing so it was easier to learn than learning from a book.  And my memory is good too, it’s one of the few tools no one has ever been able to take from me and has been one of them double edged swords you read about in fancy books.   

Those maps are one of the few things I took with me when I had decided to go look for Roman.  Those maps and one of the big butcher knives from the kitchen.  I almost decided to take Roman’s spare rifle but decided against it because one, I’d never shot a rifle, and two trying to carry it and walk through the snow would have been a losing proposition for me.  The thing was nearly as long as I was tall, or so it felt. 

I suppose I could have snagged a gun in all the confusion but I didn’t do it then either.  What I planned needed quiet and although I’d heard Brian and Mother Mary speak about homemade silencers there wasn’t time to make one even if I could have.   

The man I’d tortured had said that he’d heard the Revenuers were going to camp at this particular location not too far from a creek.  When I’d described it to Saul he knew the exact location and named it Mercer’s Boulder.  I knew where that was, at least on the map in my head, and knew it had been named after a man that had gotten drunk and fallen and crushed his skull against it in the early days of the enclave as people were still figuring out whether they could tolerate the type of living they planned on doing. 

I set off for Mercer’s Boulder and no one stopped me.  Saul says that people told him they didn’t see me go but that’s a flat out lie.  Several of them looked my way and then looked away shame faced.  Found out later that my story had been spreading in bits and pieces but I didn’t know that then and I’m not sure I would have cared if I had.  I know Patty saw me because she looked at me and said, “This is your fault, you did this to him.  Look at how low you’ve brought a good man.  And now you’re doing the same to Roman.  You’re poison and so is that demon spawn inside you.” 

She would likely have kept on running her mouth if Roman’s sister Vicki hadn’t come up and said, “Patricia!  Shut up and stop making things worse.  Alex got himself killed after doing everything he could to kill the rest of us.  If my children are hurt …” 

They started bickering and I walked away but I realized it wasn’t just Saul that had skin in the game.  I’d never had nothing to do with the kids of the enclave, not even accidentally.  I had been surprised one time when Roman let slip there was about twenty kids under ten in the enclave because I’d never seen any.  When he got red I realized it was because I’d been kept away from them or them from me, either way it was the same.  It didn’t bother me, I wouldn’t have known what to say to any of them anyway.  I was the last really young girl that Mother Mary had bought but there were others that came in near my age but none of them were like me; they’d all joined the stable willingly to get off the street and for some reason none of us could ever get along very well.  I had to teach them that I wasn’t someone they wanted to pick on no matter how I looked.  Then Alex bought me and that was the last of that. 

All of that – ghostly pictures and ugly memories – kept trying to find space in my head and it wasn’t until I got away from the enclave that I could tell ‘em all to just shut up, that I had work to do.  Some people try and make out like I was in some kind of shock, that it has to be the only explanation for what I did.  But that’s just not true.  Bean, I knew exactly what I was doing.  I knew exactly what I meant to do.  I can’t lie, not to you, not here in this book where I’m trying to make sure you understand why I am like I am.  Not in this book where I need you to understand even if it makes me uncomfortable to admit some things.   

See, I took the path willingly and I meant to kill me some Revenuers.  I’ve never been stupid enough to think that I can kill all of them even if they all deserve it.  Revenuers and dust bunnies … doesn’t matter how many you clean out, more just show up whether you want them to or not.  All you can do is keep cleaning them out.  I meant to find Roman and along the way I was going to make someone pay, as many someones as I could.   

It isn’t that I wasn’t thinking of you Bean.  I was.  But without Roman I knew we’d both be sunk.  I also knew that he would have come after me if someone had taken us.  I knew that.  I’m not sure what convinced me to believe in him like that but something has, maybe it is just Roman being Roman that convinced me.  I just knew deep down inside he wouldn’t just look the other way and walk away and since we were partners I wasn’t just going to walk away either.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you Kathy for the new chapter. I like this story a lot :)

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  2. I have been waiting so long to read this!!! Thank you

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  3. Thank you Kathy I sure hope to see more of this story soon.
    Wayne

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