Posts Tagged ‘Amy’

“I’m clueless. The only one I’ve even talked to has been the preacher. I was hoping to get a few of the girls into separate quarters. It’s one thing to have a dorm for kids…but all the adults in the Rec Center with them, is a pain in the ass. No one is getting any sleep between the snoring, kids giggling, and going to the bathroom all night long, it’s fucking circus. Then add all the bitching…shit.”

“Is there more units at the camp?” Matt asked.

“At least three. They’re not in the best shape but movable. Maybe with a little cleaning and a new mattress or two, they’ll be serviceable. We can keep looking for campers if we head back toward one of the bigger towns.”

“Hell no! We make due. No one’s heading into that cluster-fuck.” Matt growled.

“What if we get a bunch of tarps from that home improvement store or look for some place with tents?” Larry suggested.

“Tent’s might work if we can find a sporting goods store or a rental store. They have those big white ones like they use for weddings.” Matt offered. “Get a couple portable air conditioners and generators, maybe. But then we’re back to making way to much noise.”

“I’ll talk to the team and see if anyone knows of a place that might have supplies we can use to expand our living space.”

“Meanwhile, let’s go over to Billings and put half those women in the empty camper. It’s stupid for all those women to be in one camper. The damned waste tank will be overflowing by morning.”

Matt and Larry walked across the parking lot to the furthest pair of campers. They got to the preacher’s trailer and tapped on the door with the end of a flashlight.

“Billings? We need to talk.” Matt called out. He could hear a harried discussion then the door opened a couple inches.

“What do you want?” The man in coveralls growled.

“I want to talk to Billings,” Matt announced. “Get him out here, or I’m coming in.”

“He’s busy.” The man retorted.

Matt sighed. “You were starving, and now you have a full belly. Either Billings gets out here, or you can load up that fucking bus in the morning and drive on outta here.”

The door slammed, and a frantic conversation took place behind it, then it reopened, and Billings appeared. It was evident he had been in bed. When Billings opened the door to speak Matt caught a glimpse of a young girl in a white shift staring at him. Her hair was a tangled nest while red marks marred her young face. Her eyes were red and puffy.

Matt turned and whispered to Larry. “Assemble the men and make sure they’re armed. Tell Jasper and Joan to get the kids in the Rec Center.” He whispered.

Billings watched as half a dozen uniforms in addition to Larry lined up behind Matt. “What is the meaning of this?” He puffed up his chest and did his best to look authoritative.

“Get out here. All of you. And leave your fucking guns inside.” Matt ordered as he pulled his handgun. Larry and the men behind him raised their weapons.

Billings started to close the door, but Matt slid the Mag Light into the opening. “What do you want? You don’t have the right to order….”

Matt grabbed the door and jerked it open with Billings still clinging to the barrier. He stumbled outside. Matt caught him and pushed him to the ground.  With a nod to Larry, he was searched, and then pushed to his knees.

The remaining men stared at the scene, unsure what to do. Matt reached into the camper and pulled the rifle from the man wearing coveralls. Matt raised his handgun at the men. The little girl’s eyes were big as saucers.

“You men get out here! Don’t make me shoot you,” Matt ordered. “I’ve had a long fucking day, and you’re pissing me off.”

Larry and the soldiers took control of each man as he came outside. Matt walked inside the camper while the remaining men were each searched then forced to their knees next to Billings with zip-ties on their hands.

Matt nodded at the second camper and ordered. “Everyone out of there, too.” He walked into the men’s camper where the child still stood trembling. He sat down at the table while the girl stood staring at him. The child was terrified.

“My name is Matt. You don’t have to be afraid of me. I’m here to help you. Can you tell me your name and how old you are?”

“Mary.” She answered as tears slid down her cheeks. “I’m twelve.”

“Is your father one of those men?” He asked.

She moved her head from left to right then answered. “My daddy’s dead. I don’t have no family.”

Matt was confused. “Your mother is not one of those women?”

Mary squared her shoulders. “No! My family’s dead. Some sick people came into the camp. Daddy locked me in the camper, then he and mama and two other men tried to kill them, but they got hurt.”

“What about the preacher and his men?”

“They didn’t come out to fight them.”

“When it was over, they were covered in blood, and the preacher said they would get sick, so the men shot ‘em all. Just like that, they shot them.”

“Did the other men have families?” Matt asked.

“Yes. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. They killed Becky’s mom when she pointed a gun at the preacher. The other man’s wife and two daughters are here. Becky’s daughter is my age. They came got me and said I belonged to them now.”

Matt struggled to control the rage that was building. He wanted to kill the bastard. After taking several deep breaths to steady his voice, he asked. “Did he hurt you?”

“Yes.” Mary turned toward the door and whispered. “He said he was saving me.”

Matt jumped to his feet with his fists clinched. When he saw Mary shrink away, he realized her fright, and he sat back down. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m just so angry right now.”

“Can I shoot him? He did it to my friend, too.” Mary asked.

Doc opened the door and saw the large black man sitting on the top step with a worried look distorting his face.

“Well.” Doc turned back to Amanda. “It seems we have a changing of the guard, young lady. Jake is outside, and the Lieutenant has disappeared.

Amanda smiled at Jake from the bed and held out her hand. “He’s my coach.” She announced.

Jake’s face bloomed with surprise and joy. “Me? Are you sure?” He rose and stepped inside the bedroom to kneel at the side of the bed. “I…I….” He stuttered.

Despite the grip of another contraction she reached out her hand and whispered. “I couldn’t think of a better person. You know I love you.”

Jake grinned. “Really? Really?” He pulled her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers. “I was…I just couldn’t. Really?”

Amanda laughed. “It’s alright. Now, do what you do.”

She turned to her side, and Jake immediately began to massage the small of her back. Amanda relaxed and focused on her breathing. When the contraction eased, Doc cleared his throat. “Well, it’ll be a while, and I think you two have things handled for now. Helen and I will be downstairs for a few minutes. Someone mentioned coffee?”  They disappeared from the room.

Jake sat back, and Amanda turned toward him with a questioning look on her face.  He whispered. “I know you loved your husband and I’m sorry he didn’t make it. I know I can’t take his place, but I love you and want to be this baby’s daddy.”

“I love you, too.” She smiled. “Now let’s get this baby born.”

Jake grinned back until he saw her face melt into a grimace. “Right.” He grinned. “I’m gonna be a daddy.”

Doc and Helen came down the stairs whispering and chuckling. They appeared at the kitchen door, and Doc asked. “Did I smell coffee?” He asked as he walked into the kitchen where Matt, Larry, and the girls now sat.

“We’re having a baby now?” Amy asked.

“We sure are, little one.” Doc settled at the table, and Helen poured two cups of coffee, crossed to the table and settled on a chair.

Doc took a sip of coffee then spoke. “Well, Matt, quite the merry little band you have here. I take it, the illustrious Reverend Jacob Billings is a new arrival.”

Matt bounced Clair as she pulled at his collar giggling. “It does seem to be getting a little out of control. And yeah, we got Larry to thank for Billings.” He frowned.

Larry looked up from the cup of coffee in his hands. “I think I should have turned around and left the bastard there. But they were starving. They had those little girls.” His voice trailed off.

“Who exactly did they have?” Matt asked.

Larry shrugged. “Five men plus Billings, two are young men, maybe early twenties. There’s eight women, four middle age, four real young and then three little girls, preteen I’d say.”

“No little boys?” Helen commented. “That’s strange, and all the women are dress in long dresses. They remind me of those Amish or Mennonite folks except the look on the younger women’s faces.” Her voice trailed off.

Larry continued. “The preacher insisted all the women stay in the big camper and the men are in the smaller one next to it. They turned the campers, so the doors face each other. Something weird about them, for sure.”

Doc stood up and nodded toward Helen. “You gentlemen seem to have things to discuss, and we have a baby to deliver.” The old couple ascended the stairs without more comment.

“Well, this is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” Matt chuckled and turned to Amy. “Time for you two to get back in bed. One of us will be in to tuck you in in a little bit.”

Amy yawned. “Yes, sir. I’ll fix Claire’s bottle then we’ll go.”

Matt smiled and nodded. “Thanks, sweety.”

He let Claire’s hand slide across his face to his lips. He caught her fingertips between his lips and blew out. The baby giggled as she collapsed against him and hugged his neck.

“Da Da.” She giggled. She pulled at his hair, then sat up and grinned.

Amy appeared and reached out for her sister. “Good night, Mr. Matt and Mr. Larry. Tell Mr. Jake good night for us, please.” She disappeared down the dimly lit hall without a backward glance. The small lantern flicked on and a hint of light spilled from the back bedroom.

“Da da?” Larry grinned.

“Drop it,” Matt growled. “Now, about the preacher.”

“I don’t know what to tell you, but I do know, all those women and girls can’t stay in a one-bedroom camper.”

“What?” Matt jumped to his feet. “How many units did you bring back?”

“Six,” Larry answered.

“I put Doc and Helen and the girls in one, Red and Theresa with a couple kids in another, then the rest of their group in the third. We can go back for two more units tomorrow.”

Matt ran his hand through his hair. “Aren’t any of them families? What in the hell is going on with them?”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen…no need to be so jumpy.  I assume you’re Lieutenant Monroe, so you’re the man I am here to see.”  The man stepped closer to Matt and reached out with his right hand.  “I’m Reverend Jacob Billings.”

“Well, Reverend Billings, you have just barged into my home.”  Matt ignored the outstretched hand and Billings let his hand drop to his side. “You three can turn around and get the hell out of here.”  He bellowed.

Billings looked startled then reached out as if he could appease Matt’s ire.  “Sir, I mean no disrespect….”

“You damned well did disrespect me by barging into our home.  Now get out!”  Matt nodded at Jake.

Jake walked over to the trio and with Larry coming up behind him, escorted the men outside.  He pulled the door closed behind them and flipped the lock.

Matt slumped into the recliner just as Amanda walked into the room carrying Claire and with Amy at her side. She chuckled.  “Well, that was interesting.  You know that isn’t the end of it.”

Matt looked up.  “No, but it gives me a night to sleep on it.”

Amanda’s face tightened, and she handed Claire to Amy.  She turned to Jake.  “Now I think you can go see if the doctor Matt brought back is all he claims to be.”

Jake’s mouth turned down in worry.  “Oh, Lord, have mercy.  It’s time?”  He raced to the door, flung it open and raced outside.

“I’m going to the bedroom upstairs.  Please have the doctor come up when he gets here. The kids can stay in the downstairs bedroom.”  She suddenly gasped and folded against herself as she clutched at the doorway.

Matt stepped up and draped his left arm around Amanda and swept his right under her legs.  He pulled her off her feet, turned and headed up the back stairs.

“I got this.  Larry, look after the girls.”

Matt carried Amanda up the stairs and through the door at the top of the stairs.  He looked around then crossed the room to the double bed.  He sat her gently down on the sagging mattress.  “What can I do?”

“Help me into this gown,”  Amanda answered around a groan of pain.  She pulled the loose t-shirt she was wearing over her head while Matt reached for the cloth.  She loosened her bra and tossed it and the shirt to a nearby chair.

“It’s going to be hard enough having this baby without drugs.  I’ll be damned if I’m wearing this thing.”

Matt held up the gown while turning away from Amanda’s full breasts and her swollen belly.  She stuck her arms into the armholes and let the thin material fall down around her.  “Okay, I’m decent.  Let me hold your arm” Matt, reached out and Amanda stepped out of her sandals and shed her shorts and underwear.  She reached back to lay a sheet and quilt aside and then looked up.   “You can let me go now.”

He did, and she eased into the bed and pulled the sheet over her just as another contraction gripped her midsection. She curled onto her side and moaned.

“What can I do?”  Matt whispered.  “I don’t know what I can do to help.”

Amanda forced a laugh.  “Can you have this baby for me?”  At Matt’s shocked expression she groaned.  “You can rub my back.”  She rolled to her right.

Matt felt the panic rise.  After a brief hesitation, he reached out with his fingers and lightly stroked her back between her shoulder blades.

“Not there,”  Doc called out from the doorway.  “Use your thumbs and make circles right above the dimples of her bottom. “

Doc walked into the room with Helen at his side.  “Well, I guess we got her in plenty of time after all.

Matt watched as Doc removed his jacket and set a bag and box of supplies on the chair.  He walked around the bed to sit down in front of Amanda.  “Now, Helen will get some things set up then when we get all settled I’d like to do an examination and see how far along we are. If that’s alright with you?”

He continued without giving Amanda a chance to answer.  “I’ve been retired for a while, but having babies is as easy as riding a bike.  I don’t have much to do, but make sure you’re doing what you need to do.  Actually, Helen will be doing more.  She brought a few things but do you have towels and baby stuff?”  He looked around and noticed the stack of newborn supplies on the dresser.  “Well, I guess that answers that.  You’re pretty well prepared, looks like.”  With a nod from Helen, Doc got to his feet. “Well sounds like we’re ready. Let’s see how we’re doing.”  He turned to Matt.  “You can wait outside until we’re done.”

Matt’s heavy footsteps could be heard escaping down the stairs.  A minute later, Doc opened the door to see Jake sitting on the top step.

5 Hiding

Posted: April 18, 2015 in Book I Terror in Texas
Tags: , , , ,

The big blue dumpster sat at the side of the building her mother had pointed toward. With the boxes of empty bottles and lack of food garbage, Amy was pretty sure it was a bar where people spent their time drinking beer.

When she saw the metal lid on the dumpster, she wondered if they would be safer in the building with the people or in a big metal box. She knew drinking men were not always nice so she decided on the box.

“We’re going to hide in the box, Claire Bear,” Amy whispered. “I have to put you down for a few minutes. Don’t cry. We have to stay quiet.” She handed the baby a toy from her pocket.

Amy dropped the diaper bag at the side of the metal box and sat her sister on a clean piece of cardboard. She slid cases of empty bottles to the side of the blue dumpster and made steps with the boxes. She propped open the lid with an empty cardboard box. It left her just enough room to ease a single case of empty bottles over the side and slide it inside the dumpster. She worked two more cases over the edge of the dumpster. When she was satisfied with her steps up and down, she made her way back down to the alley. She could still hear moans from beyond the fence when she picked up Claire and the bag.

The baby whimpered and Amy pulled her close and whispered. “It’s okay Claire Bear. Mommy will come for us soon. We’re just going to play hide and seek, okay?”

Amy held Claire close while she made her way up the stacked boxes. She eased the bag over the edge and dropped it. She stepped over the side and climbed down the steps of stacked boxes inside.

She flattened a piece of clean cardboard on the bottom of the dumpster and set Claire down. She stood up and pushed the lid high enough to pull the cardboard free. She tossed it away and lowered the lid.

The enclosure was dark inside and smelled of wet cardboard, but Amy felt safe for the first time since her mother had pulled them from the car. Tears slid down her face as she hugged her sister.

Even with a heavy quilt wrapped around the baby, Amy was worried Claire would get cold in the metal box if mommy didn’t come before night. But this was the safest place she could find.

Inside the dumpster, Amy looked around. In the gloom of the closed up dumpster, she saw cardboard boxes and a couple bags of trash. She turned on the fairy light toy Claire had been playing with and shined the pin light around the container. She decided she could make it better. She let Claire play with the flashlight and moved across the container where she flattened boxes across the floor. She slid a larger box to the corner and turned it on its side.

She picked up one of the bags of trash and stood up. She pushed the lid up an inch, peaked out and saw no one in the dimming afternoon light. She tossed the bag out then closed the lid. She listened for a moment then tossed out the second bag.

When she was finished cleaning, she picked up Claire and slid back into the open box with the diaper bag at her side and the small flashlight turned on. She settled into the corner and laid Claire between her legs. She changed the baby’s diaper and tossed it to the far corner.

Amy whispered. “Stinky. Pew! Mommy must have fed you peas for lunch.” She tickled Claire’s bare tummy when she was finished taping on the clean diaper. Claire smiled and giggled. Amy drew her hand away with a start and whispered. “Shush…baby girl. Bad people might be out there.”

The ten-year-old poured water into a bottle liner and added two scoops of formula powder just like Mommy had taught her. She covered the top with a clean nipple and shook the bottle to mix the formula. She settled Claire on her lap and nudged her lips with the nipple. The baby sucked greedily at the bottle and Amy turned off the fairy light.

The sounds of the monsters grew louder and closer. Amy listened to the sucking noises Claire was making and hoped the monsters couldn’t hear her.

Amy sighed as she hoped her mother would come soon. When Claire was done with her bottle, Amy set it aside and raised the baby to her shoulder. Claire squirmed and pulled at Amy’s hair playfully.

After a soft explosion of air, Amy settled Claire on her lap. Within minutes, the baby was sound asleep in her sister’s arms. Outside the dark haven, she had created, Amy could hear distant screams. As time passed the screams grew louder. Then they would fade away and shrieks from another direction would take their place.

Amy felt tears fill her eyes, but she blinked them away. She had Claire to protect and care for. When she was sure Claire was asleep she slid a box lid close and covered the bottom with the quilt her grandma had made. She settled the baby in the makeshift crib and pulled a granola bar from the bag.

While she ate the bar and sipped at the opened bottle of water, she worried the sound of distant screams and moans of the sick people would wake Claire, but the baby slept on. Amy leaned her head against the side of cardboard and her eyes drifted close only to pop open again when the moans of the sick people grew a lot louder.

She ignored the tears trailing down her cheeks as she listened to the screams of terror and pain filling the night. They were so close. In the gloom of the dumpster, Amy was terrified and felt so alone in the big metal box. How would her mother ever get to them.

Still hearing the sick in the night, Amy pulled her sister’s make-shift cradle deeper into the corner of their cardboard sanctuary. She leaned her head against the side of the box, closed her eyes and prayed. “Please God,” Amy whispered. “I don’t want to be alone.” She hoped the night would pass quickly and her mom would find them soon.

Just as Amy dozed off, the dumpster lid quietly opened and something heavy dropped into the metal container. Whatever was thrown in the dumpster landed with a heavy thud when it hit the bottom on the box. The lid eased back into place and then a funny, zipper sound came from outside. Amy waited and the zipper sound came two more times. There were whispers then a heavy knock on the metal.

Harried words called out, but Amy couldn’t understand the words with the cacophony of the moaning outside. Footsteps landed on the lid then danced across the metal. The moaning surrounded the dumpster. After a minute, angry voices taunted the bad people from far away then disappeared and the moans fade got further and further away.

A moan inside the dumpster made Amy’s breath catch. For a heartbeat she was sure someone had dropped one of the bad people inside the dumpster with them. She sat there with the darkness surrounding her and pulled Claire into her arms. She was almost too frightened to breath.

When she did take a breath, Amy could smell liquor and hear the sound of the heavy breathing. He mumbled and whispered harshly. “Fuck! Where the fuck, am I?”

Did the sick people speak? She was sure they didn’t. She had not heard them speak, so he was just a drunk.

“Shuuuuush,” Amy whispered. “Be quiet. Go to sleep.” She waited for an answer, but there was only the return of snoring. She finally decided the man must have passed out. At least he was quiet. She slowly pulled boxes in front of her to hide herself and Claire from the drunk.