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   Chapter 37 Barren

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 7255

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:30


They went through every drawer, every cabinet, every room. The knives hanging on the wall were thrown into sacks, the needle and thread atop the bureau taken and locked in a first aid kit. What was a home only one day before, now had been stripped so bare one could hardly call it anything more than wood and glass.

Gallons of rainwater were taken out by a line of people that ran from the house to the road. Canned food, firewood, weapons-- everything the sisters owned now belonged to us.

"Let's go, we gotta hustle!" Ron yelled as he came out of the house carrying a bucket in each hand. "This house is a real treasure, " he told me as he passed.

"We're going back, " I said.

"Back where?"

"To the northern group."

"I told you, they wouldn't let us in, no one but Seth was allowed past that gate, not even the children. What are you gonna do that's so different?" he asked.

"We'll tear their walls down if we have to."

"Then they'd be no good to us anyway."

"We're going back."

"Grace, " he said, putting the buckets down, "we're running on fumes. The highway's clogged with cars up ahead, our only shot is to double back and find another route. If we go up there and we can't go into their compound, we'll be dead in the water. Those cannibals are coming up behind us--"

"There's nowhere else to go, " I said. "Doubling back only gets us closer to 'em."

"Excuse me?" a voice called behind me. I thought it was a little boy, but when I saw him I realized he was only about a year younger than me. "What do we do about the... the..." he pointed up to the second floor window, a halo of bullet holes peppered the wall around it.

"Lily, " I told him

"Yeah, what do we do about Lily?" he asked. Annie was helping the line pass buckets of water and bags of food by the door. She pretended not to hear us.

"Bury her."

"Do we have time?" the young man said. I turned to Ron.

"We have a lookout half a mile out don't we?" I asked.

"Peter. He's got his motorcycle, he'll tell us if anyone's coming, he can see a good ways down the road, " Ron said. I looked back to the young man in front of me.

"Wrap her in a sheet, bring h

woods, " I told him.

"Take it, " he said. I did.

"Thank you, " I said, turning to the forest again.

"No one's expecting you to save us Grace, " he sighed. I stopped. "We know we have no chance, " he told me. I turned back to him.

"We do have a chance, " I said. "No one's dying out here."

"You can't save us all. You should have stayed in that house. Kept that food and water for yourself and Annie. These people, " he began, looking back to the men, women, and children on the road. "They're not your responsibility. You don't even know them."

"You're right... I could have stayed in that house with Annie. Hidden, safe. I had that choice--"

"Why didn't you take it?"

"Because I don't want the world to end, what do you think will happen to the human race if we all just bury our head in the sand and--"

"Bullshit, " he interrupted. "I know that's what you believed, I remember you saying something similar on that lake, before we went south, when your own camp was in danger. But that's not why you're doing it now."

"No?"

"No one fights this hard for strangers. I know why you're helping us. But you've done enough. Let yourself off the hook."

I dropped my gaze to the ground. A drop of Travis' blood stained the foxing of my shoe. "It doesn't matter why I'm doing it, " I told him. "Only that it gets done." I turned back, clicking on the flashlight he had given me and crossing into the dark forest ahead.

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