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   Chapter 38 Almost Eden

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 7966

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:31


Raindrops, long and sharp fell like needles on the barrel of the sniper rifle which pointed down to me from the watchtower atop the gates. A black and gray beard curled down toward the man's chest covering most of his face-- the long-range scope in front of his eye obscured the rest. Others watched from atop the hand-built wall which stood fifty feet tall, wrapping around the entire compound for miles in either direction. From here, I could tell it had been painstakingly constructed out of every piece of material they could find.

"Go on, " the sniper ordered. Rain beat into my open palms which were now turned up toward the sky. "We already told your friends, we can't let you in."

"Who's in charge?" I asked.

"I'm on the gate, so, I guess that'd be me."

"The cannibals are coming, " I said.

"I know."

"What? How?"

"Don't matter how."

"You're right, it doesn't. What matters is that you're going to need help to fight them off."

He went quiet for a few seconds; I could almost see the wheels spinning in his head. "We got it covered, " he said.

"You don't. You don't know how many there are. You're gonna need all the bodies you can get."

"We can handle ourselves. Go on."

"I'm not leaving, " I said. The hollow end of his rifle flared red-- the bullet hissed past my ear.

"That was a warning. You don't get another, " he said. My feet burned to run.

"We can help each other, " I said, hoping he wouldn't cut me down mid sentence. "People use up resources, but we can also make them. Please, everyone we have can contribute. If we're not helping each other, what's the point of staying alive?"

He lifted his eyes from the scope and looked at me, then turned to the man beside him. The man shook his head. The sniper put his eyes to the scope again. "I'm counting down from ten, next one's going in your head. Ten, nine..."

"What do you have?" I asked, "farmers? soldiers? Laborers?"

"Eight, seven..."

"What about teachers? Mechanics? Engineers? Who's gonna care for you when you're too old and weak to hold a gun?" He continued to count, speaking over me. I looked to the other faces on the wall, they all held sad smiles, as if they agreed with what I was saying, which was why it was such a shame I was about to die.

"Three, two..."

"Please!"

"One, " he said, quieting down to perfect his aim.

"Wait!" a voice calle

not what I said... but it's true. Maybe I can persuade the others to let the girl in with you."

"No. It's everyone or no one."

"We can train people to be doctors and nurses, if Vicki chooses to leave that's too bad but we'll survive."

As I struggled to think of a counter point he opened the door to leave. "Wait, " I said, he stopped, clearly annoyed. "How do you think I found you?"

"Seth confessed. He told us he drew you a map."

"We were already on our way here when we ran into him, " I said. Emmer came back into the room and closed the door. He crossed his arms, waiting for an explanation. "I was taken by the cannibals. Held prisoner. There were others, from other groups. From your group."

"How many?"

"Two or three, I'm not sure, " I told him. He looked down, thinking.

"That's not enough. We have more than twenty missing. Scouts, hunters, all manner of people go out those gates and never come back-"

"So I'll say there were twenty. I'll tell your people I saw them all. If they let us in, we can fight the them together, we can win, and maybe some of their loved ones will be here when the smoke clears."

"You want to lie to the mothers and daughters in there? The children who're waiting for their parents? What happens when they see that their people aren't coming back?"

"They'll learn to deal with it, like I have."

"And why would I do that to them?"

"Because even your walls can't keep these people out. They will come in here and they'll kill every last one of you. You need us. We need each other. Together we can kill them all."

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