Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Part Three of Three

Wow everyone! This is great! I really didn't expect such a simple request to catch on with my readers! This crazy tale of a story has seemed to capture more attention than I expected, with over 11,000 views and 6,000 shares across social media! (Perhaps I should become more active on my Facebook page!) I appreciate all of your reviews, a few of my favorites were:

“From part one you pulled me in and sat me down, I anxiously awaited part two, now here I am awaiting part three! I know the prompt said three parts, but please, please don't stop there! This story is on my mind all day at work!” - Casandra, Texas.

“I love the simple yet real life introduction, the way you left me hanging on part two almost gave me hurt feelings,” - Leston, Arkansas.

“Please tell me you aren't going to stop this series after part three???? I think you could turn this into a book!” - Margarette, California.

After such reviews, I'm really considering turning this into a weekly episode, along with returning to my usual blog content. But for now, without much further delay, here is part three of three:

“Kayla! Kayla! Come on honey, wake up! Please! Come on...” My head was fuzzy, but I fluttered my eyes open to the sound of Brandon's voice. I felt something warm running down my face, and the sun was much to bright.

“Brandon...” was all I could muster up to say.

“I'm right here, you hit your head pretty hard honey.”

Events just moments before flooded back into my memory, I reached up and touched my face where I felt the warm running sensation, I then looked at my blood soaked finger tips.

“Am I going to die?” I asked as my heart began hammering in my ears.

“What?” Brandon hadn't realized that I didn't quite know what was going on, I thought the man had shot me.

I peered up at Brandon who seemed to be sitting on the ground with my head in his lap. I turned my head sideways and saw the lifeless body of the man in khakis laying feet away, with his blood draining out of his head onto the concrete in front of the gas station store. I stared at the man, contemplating how that was almost me lying there. I was avoiding shock, but definitely counting my lucky stars. I continued to stare at the man as Brandon poured some water onto a cloth and cleaned my face off.

I laid with my head in Brandon's lap for what seemed like forever. I closed my eyes and prayed to God real hard thanking him and asking for him to keep Brandon and my family safe. I startled out of my prayer when I felt a single drop of water splash onto my eyelid. I felt Brandon wipe his thumb across my eyelid and then I opened my eyes to see his own red and watery. I didn't say anything I just stared back at him.

“Sorry honey, it's hot out here, you just keep laying there until you feel like you can sit up,” him and I both knew it wasn't sweat that fell from his eyes, but I dared not take away his pride, I knew how I'd feel if it were the other way around with me holding his head while he attempted to recover temporarily from a hard knock after nearly being shot in the face.

“I might have a concussion.”

“I know, just lay here, we're fine, I've got you, just lay here for a little bit.” I nodded my head as I noticed the fuzziness was leaving my brain and the sunlight didn't seem so bright anymore.

“How did he get your pistol?” I asked after a long period of silence.

“I was on the tank and one of the pumps reached its cut-off limit so I tossed it to the ground away from the trailer, I felt my pistol move in my pants band but I felt it was still there, I should've tucked it back down...” he gave a long pause. “Then a wasp started swarming me and I started swatting at it as its little wasp buddy appeared with it, eventually I felt my pistol slide out and fall to the ground.”

“It didn't go off?” I couldn't remember hearing a gun shot from within the gas station; however, the wind was blowing pretty hard off and on all day.

“No, I didn't have one in the chamber. That's why I ducked out of that guy's reach, I knew if he pulled the trigger nothing would happen. I'm so sorry I couldn't catch you, I didn't mean for his weight to fall back, I didn't know-”

“Brandon stop, I'm alive, I'm right here you saved me from much worse, now tell me what happened.”

He nodded and began again,” Well I kept fueling the tank and the wind picked up really hard, I should've been watching my surroundings because I didn't hear that truck pull in. I got the tank as full as I could and when I tossed the nozzle down to put the tank lid back on, I noticed my pistol wasn't on the ground anymore. I knew if it was you, you would've said something as you walked up, but as soon as I looked past the driveway and saw the truck parked a voice from the other side of the tank said 'Hey buddy, looking for this?' he had it pointed directly at me. I realized he didn't know it wasn't loaded, I was just going to try and talk him down and overpower him when I got the chance; however, when I saw you sneaking out of the station with that bag of yours I thought it'd be easier to lure him towards the gas station where I wasn't cornered against the truck.”

“Oh...” That was all I could say, this early in a nationwide disaster and already humanity was going to shit, myself included.

“What is in the bag by the way?”

I felt guilt rise in my emotions but I fought it back and casually said, “Money.”

“Oh, good thinking. I don't know if ATMs are working or not.”

“The one inside isn't so I cleaned it out.”

Brandon chuckled and continued stroking my face. I didn't think he was disappointed in me, but I couldn't say for sure.

“I think I'm ready to try and sit up.”

“Take it slow.” I strained to sit up as Brandon supported my back and braced me. The world seemed to spin for a moment but everything settled back into normal and my vision became clear.

“Help me up.” Brandon looked at me with questioning eyes but jumped to attention when he realized my determination to stand. With a hand, he pulled me swiftly onto my feet. My head instantly felt woozy, so I stepped into Brandon and laid my face on his chest until the feeling went away.

Finally I stepped back at arms length, with Brandon refusing to let me go.

“I think I can walk now.”

“I don't know.”

“We can't stay here much longer, more people like that are going to flood in, highways and interstates may be closed but there is no way police can cover all the back roads out of the city.”

Brandon half opened his mouth to protest but closed it when I began stepping without him. He trailed me closely as knelt next to my truck and grabbed the trash bag from behind the tire. I shook it and smiled at him. He opened the back door of my truck and I tossed in the bag.

“I'm afraid of you getting dizzy while you drive.”

“I'll pull over, I don't think cellphones are working 100 percent at this point but I'll flash my lights at you if I have to pull over.”

“You know the route to the Ozarks better than I do, because you've actually driven it. How about you lead and I'll follow.”

“Okay.” I turned for one last hug and kiss before climbing into my truck. Brandon turned on heel but turned back quickly and stepped up on my truck and kissed my deeply through my open window and said, “I thought I almost lost you.” He then walked swiftly to his truck climbed inside, started the engine, rolled down his window and gave me the thumbs up.

I put my truck in drive and pulled out of the gas station and made my way down the frontage road where I made the marked turn on my map onto a back road. I watched my surroundings intently, I peered at Brandon in his truck every few seconds in my rearview mirror. Not too far into our country route I saw some tractors and trucks all gathered in a field as what looked like a farmer and his hired hands standing in a circle looking at their phones. News about the collapse of our nation was spreading. I watched for as long as I could the smoke and destruction of Springfield disappear out of sight as we made our country trek through central Illinois.

(While part three was not as long as the previous two parts, I wanted to stall on this post and take a general poll of my reviewers. Anyone that leaves a review please mention if you would like for me to continue this story and if so a suggested title. Thanks everyone for your support and as always thanks for reading Straight Southern!)

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