MoboReader> Horror > After Grace

   Chapter 23 Exodus Two

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 11288

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:23


My eyes slowly adjusted to the cool teal glow above me. I was in a blue tent, lying on a thin rubber mattress on the ground. As I gently faded back into the world, I remembered what had happened.

I turned on my side and put two fingers in my throat, trying to vomit the blood I had drank in the ceremony but nothing came up. My whole body tensed as I gagged and the burning sting in my stomach pulled at my severed nerves of the gash. Before the car crash, I had felt completely numb, as if my soul was already leaving my body. Now, as I rolled on my back, shaking from the pain, I realized I was alive. I couldn't help but cry.

White light bled into the cold tent. "Shh, " a man's voice soothed, he put both arms around me, I continued to cry, thinking of the brutality of my fight with gunner, of the way I'd held his face to the fire. I wiped the tears from my eyes. Once my vision settled, I could see his face, it was Wilson. He had a few fresh cuts and bruises across the bridge of his nose and below his eyes but mostly he looked the same as when I had been in his care. "How do you feel?" he asked.

"Like I'm dreaming. Didn't we do this already?" I asked. He laughed.

"You ain't kidding."

"Is Annie okay?"

"She's healing. Fractured a few ribs in the carsh but she'll be okay with some rest, " he said. He held something back as he spoke.

"What is it?" I asked.

"She's... she's quieter than before, " he said. His words almost made me weep all over again. I lifted my shirt to check the wound but it hurt to move. I brushed my fingers over the wound, relieved to feel new stitches. I slowly realized I was wearing a hoodie I had never see before, the word Harvard was written in tall white letters across the chest. "What..."

"It was my daughter's, she was just your size, " he smiled. I knew better than to ask.

"Yeah, its comfortable. Thanks."

"She was so certain she was gettin' in, she bought the shirt the day she applied."

"Did she get in?"

"Of course! She was there when it started. Forgot to pack the sweatshirt believe it or not. She'd always forget the most obvious thing. I'm happy to put it to some good use. You feel rested?"

"How long have I been out?"

"Couple days."

"Days?" I asked, somewhat shocked. "I can't believe it, you saved my life again."

"We just gave you the antibiotics, it was the boy who stitched you. Damn fine job he did too. You'd be dead by the time we caught up to you if he hadn't been there."

"Where is he?" I asked.

"Well that's the good news, or bad, depending on your perspective."

"What?"

"He's out gathering flowers for Annie. Did it yesterday too. It makes her smile. For a little while."

"He likes her."

"Like I said, good news or bad, depending on who you ask."

"It's good, " I said, almost smiling. "Wait, flowers? It can't be spring yet?"

"Not quite. Helleboros orientalis, that's what he's picking. Lenten Rose. They'll bloom in the snow even, beautiful flowers. But spring is just around the corner, which we should be grateful for, though you wouldn't know it by today's weather."

"We have to move, she'll be looking for the boy."

"Annie filled me in on everything. We're pretty far from where you crashed. And we found a kind of side road that led us here, it would be very hard for anyone to stumble upon us. Annie told me about Vicki taking off,

avis stormed out and ran into an RV by the road. A woman with a small boy in her arms ran after him. "Get everyone ready to move out, " Wilson told Ron and the others. They nodded and marched to the cars on the road.

"He's just worried about his family, " Wilson said. "His wife, Elizabeth, she's becoming more and more secluded. I've barely seen her in days. Their son Jonah hasn't said a word in months."

"What happened to them?"

"They had a daughter, she was a teenager, wanted to fight." Wilson told me as we walked farther down the field.

"I wish I had something better to tell them but, joining another group and fighting back is the only option we have left. I wish we could just stay here, or find that lake again and stay on the shore. But they are coming. And not just for Marcus."

"I know, " he said. "I'm sorry it didn't work out for you-- about warning your camp. I'm sorry you couldn't save them."

"It's not over yet, " I said.

"That's true, " he agreed.

"There's someone who means a lot to me back there. I should have forgiven him, it was selfish not to."

"Sounds like he made a mistake, and so did you. Try not to dwell, you'll see him again, when you do, don't hesitate to make things right, " he smiled and started walking back to the road. "I'm glad you're sticking around this time. Maybe you'll start to feel at home with us soon."

"I've been trying to feel at home my whole life. I'm starting to realize that's never going to happen."

He looked at the road as the people began breaking down their tents and packing the cars with supplies. "Maybe the reason you don't feel at home in the middle of the convoy is because you're supposed to be at the head of it."

"You love convoys, " I said.

"I do love myself a good convoy, " he smiled. "I'm serious though, " he said and put a hand on my shoulder.

He walked on, I stayed back when I saw two women helping Annie from her tent. They held her up, one on either side. Annie walked slow, wincing with every step. Wilson waved me over to his car. I walked to him, still keeping my eyes on her. As the women were about to load Annie inside, she saw me. We held each other's gaze for a few moments, then, she got into her car, and I got into mine.

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