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   Chapter 46 Alone

After Grace By MatheusHMacedo Characters: 6666

Updated: 2018-01-05 17:35


Joseph's blood slithered down my cheeks, collecting in droplets at the edge of my lips. The smell of gunpowder filled my nostrils. Joseph's body lay at my feet and all I could do was tremble.

"We could have been family, " Mother said, her handgun sticking out, weaving subtle in her hand. Muffled shots beat outside as the fighting continued.

"Why did you kill him?" I asked, my voice small and defeated.

"He's one of yours. He's the enemy, " she said.

"...It doesn't have to be like this."

"Yes it does."

"Why?"

"I lied to you..." she said. "I told you it was just me and my parents that day I got caught, when I was a little girl. I wanted you to think I was strong. That I did it all myself. But I had a sister. She was older. She told the men she wouldn't fight if they left me alone and took her instead-- that worked. Until it didn't. I told her we could fight back, we could run. But she said no, she said we had to wait until it was the right time and just slip away. They slit her throat the next day. When she was gone, I did things my way and I got out. I got free."

"You think she was weak because she didn't want to fight? She sacrificed everything for you, " I said.

"And what did she get for it?"

"She saved you, that's what she got."

"I accepted you!" she screamed. "Your whole life, I was the only one who accepted you the way you were and you betrayed me!"

"You accepted me the way you wanted me to be, " I told her. She rushed forward, pushing the gun to my head. Though it didn't burn, I could still feel the heat from the bullet that killed Joseph.

"This isn't what I wanted, " she said. I swiped my hand toward the gun but she blocked my arm and knocked the handle against the side of my forehead.

I stumbled back, shooting pain stinging my head and leg until I couldn't stand on it anymore. I fell against the wall. Blood ran from the cut above my brow, warming the side of my face. I looked up, expecting to see the gun aiming down bu

his head. I looked back to Mother, her eyes fearful and waiting. I took her hand in mine.

"I'm here sister, " I said. She closed her eyes, tears running down both sides of her face. She took a shallow breath in and never let it out.

#

Annie wrapped her thin fingers around my own and squeezed as we watched the others lower Vickie's body. Ron put a blanket under her as she was brought to the ground. He lifted her in his arms. She looked so small and fragile. Not like the woman I knew.

He walked past us, moving into one of the empty bunks where we had begun to place our dead. Annie went in after him. "Are you coming?" she asked. I saw Seth walking alone, disappearing between a row of small wooden bunks.

"In a minute, " I told her.

I followed Seth's footsteps until I found him standing over his little sister's body. She now lay under an inch of snow. He bent down and put his arms beneath her, as he began to lift, his legs gave way and he fell back down with her in his arms. I ran to him. I held him as he cried.

#

Once all of our dead had been laid in the same bunk, Ron lit a match. We watched the fire burn as the storm continued to hammer down around us. The black night lost its power to the fire which seemed to rage against the darkness, silently scratching at the sky, furious and wild.

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