AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 79

“What do you mean you haven’t seen anyone in a week?” Trey questioned.

The crowd was quiet. The first speaker looked over his shoulder at them then looked back at us. “What we mean is that you are the first people we’ve seen pass through here in a week.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Is this some sort of camp ground?”

“No,” the first speaker said. “We’ve been stranded here more or less. So, you don’t know anything about my gas huh?”

I answered before Trey could. “No! We filled up last night before we got here.”

“So prove it, where’s the receipt?”

I looked at Trey. His jaw was set tight. “I ain’t got it. There was no one at the register in town so I left the money on the counter and bounced.”

The crowd stood in silence.

The first speaker raised his eyebrows. “If you say so. I don’t know how our stuff magically disappeared but if what you’re saying is true then we have nothing else to talk about.”

“We can go through their car-” suggested a voice within the crowd.

“Fuck you!” spat Trey. “Ain’t nobody touching our shit!”

“No, no” said the first speaker. “Let’s leave them alone.”

Trey and I stood there until the crowd dispersed back into their tents and vehicles.

“That was some bullshit,” Trey squeezed my hand before he let go and slammed the door shut.

“I know,” I rubbed his back.

Trey walked over to the trunk and sat down. As soon as he did the car took a deep dip and Trey rolled off the car.

“Trey!” I rushed to his side and knelt beside him. “Are you okay?”

“Other than my arm, I think I’m okay.”

As I rubbed his arm, I looked at the car and saw that the back tire was busted. “Look! The tire is busted.”

His head snapped over. “That’s impossible! I just got brand new tires not even two weeks ago.”

“We didn’t run over anything did we?”

“No. Man-”

“It’s okay, we’ll get through this. Is the spare in the trunk?”

“Yeah.”

I popped open the trunk. I saw the tire but none of the tools. “Where’s the jack and cross wrench?”

“Is it seriously not in there?”

“Yeah.”

Trey got up. He looked through the trunk and came up empty handed. I walked to the front of the car and speculated whether I should ask them for help or not. It might start another fight. My eye did catch the tip of a roof off into the far distance.

I beckoned Trey. “There’s a barn or something over there,” I pointed. “Do you think they might have tools?”

“I don’t see why not. I can go check it out.”

“No, I’ll go. You should rest up your arm and stay by the car. I’m not much of a threat.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Hurry back and make sure to call me if anything happens.”

I made sure to avoid the group as I left. I entered into the thicker part of the trees by our car. Eventually, the trees turned into tall grass and corn stalk as I pushed through. In a wide space I came across a wooden open shed that was as big as a barn. There was a big open space for an opening, the walls surrounding it didn’t touch the ground or the roof and from what I could see there were lots of tools and farming equipment. Looking around, I saw no house in any direction there was no one I could get permission from. I figured it would be alright if I borrowed some tools and brought it back later. I entered in. I was amazed by how clean and organized the place was and the wooden floor didn’t creak as I walked. There was, however, a particular stench that I attributed to the smell of the country. Still, it was strange. I spotted a jack in one of the middle open stalls on the far left side of the shed. I grabbed it and turned to look for a cross wrench.

As I took one step forward, I immediately jumped back as a brown matted head that was wet with dirt, twigs, grass, rocks and God only knows what else, popped out of one of the stalls on the far right of the shed. Taking shallow breaths in, as he slowly crept out, he shook them out. His head darted up searching for something above him, his was medium built body was tattered and bruised, I could clearly see the gashes and the purple and blue lumps on his skin through what was left of his white shirt. His blue jeans where more put together, only, his left pant leg was shredded in perfect strips down his leg so it fell open and swung around him as he wobbled. Dark blackish dried blood streaked his injured leg that gave away some as he continued on.

My natural inclination was to call out to him but before I could he dashed out of the back entrance. He didn’t get very far. I heard a thud as his body hit the ground. I could see him underneath the wall that was a foot off the ground. I left the jack and made my way to him. I was stopped in my place when my ears were stung with his blood curdling screech. Unnaturally, he got back on his feet in a flash, almost like he was pulled up by strings.

SHRWING!

His head only, frozen in a moment of terror, catapulted into the shed, spraying behind it a trail of fresh blood and pale bits of shredded flesh.

My body stiffened.

THUD!

A pair of heavy feet landed on the ground where his body laid lifeless. The heels where wide and elevated a few inches off the ground and the calloused claws pressed firmly into the ground gripping it. They disappeared in an instant. I took in short burst of air and slowly turned around. My heart went numb and my mind gave no directions. Instinct took over. I was sprinting, in the wrong direction, away from the camp. My legs jerked me every which a way until they focused on the billowing smoke. It was coming from an unknown source. People had to be there. They just had to be there. They really just had to be there. My life depended on them being there.

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