Archive for the ‘30 Truth or Lies – Part 1’ Category

Paula and Margo parked the vehicles near the camp. Both women ignored the gathering of men and their clean up activities to walk up to the two women huddled together near the car where they had been chained.

“Hi. I’m Paula. This is Margo.” Paula stepped closer with bottles of water in hand.

The woman looked up and stared without speaking. Paula gave each of them a bottle while Margo handed them a plastic store bag with beef jerky, fruit cups and a handful of candy bars.

“I’m sorry. We didn’t find much in the truck stop.” Margo whispered.

“This is fine.” The woman whispered. She nodded to her daughter to eat, but she just stared straight ahead.

“I’m sorry about your family.” Paula sat down next to the woman.

Margo followed suit. “Steve and the guys came as soon as they saw the gunfire. I’m sorry we were too late.”

“So am I.” The woman whispered. “My name is Elaine, Elaine Ward. This is my daughter, Sandy.”

The woman pushed greasy hair from her face while she studied the bag on the ground. She looked up then silently opened the bottle of water. She took a drink then passed it to her daughter. Sandy finished the bottle of water and Elaine opened the second. They both drank without speaking for a couple minutes then peeked into the bag. Elaine opened a package of jerked meat and passed a piece to Sandy then pulled one out for herself while Margo and Paula waited quietly.

“We haven’t eaten in a couple days.” Still chewing, Elaine opened a fruit cup and passed it to her daughter.

Sandy tipped up the cup and spilled the sweet syrup and fruit into her mouth. She licked at the dribbled of syrup with a hint of a smile on her lips. When she realized what she was doing, she started crying. “They’re dead.” She looked at the food horrified. “How can I eat when Daddy and Danny are dead?”

Elaine put her arm around her daughter. “It’s alright. You have to eat. Your body is hungry. Your dad and Danny would want you to eat,” Elaine tore off another piece of jerky and put it in her mouth in a show of support for her words.

Brian approached the women. “Ladies? Is there anything I can do over here?”

Elaine looked up and studied Brian for a moment. “You’re military?”

“Yes, mam. Captain Brian Jameson. I’m sorry we couldn’t do more for your family.”

“Me too.” She introduced herself and her daughter then added. “What now? The van is destroyed?”

“You get your choice of trucks from the four these assholes were driving. You can come with us, or you can head back out to wherever you were going.” Brian answered. “We’re loading everything from your van into a truck then we’ll head back to the fueling station where we were staying. We’ll spend the rest of the night there. We can talk about your options in the morning, and you can make those decisions then.

Elaine nodded. “What about my son and husband? I’d like to bury them.”

Brian sighed. “I’m sorry. The best we can do is put them in the van and burn it in the morning. We don’t have the tools to bury them, and we can’t chance a fire tonight.”