Friday, July 1, 2016

The Last Beginning - Part Four

Alright! Alright! I've heard my fans' cries long enough! Here you go part four of “The Last Beginning.” (Yes I am going to turn this into a book, with much revising and extension made to detail of events in the first three parts/chapters. But... you'll have to read my book to see it ;) Also, please note that Russia will be changed to North Korea.)

The Last Beginning – Part Four

The drive was long, darkness was falling over us as we had long crossed over the Missouri state line, heading southwest following backroads within 15 to 20 miles of I-44 South. We were nearing our next checkpoint marked just outside of Bourbon, Missouri, when Brandon flashed his lights at me, signaling me to pull over. Cell service had really been sketchy the entire drive, sometimes it worked, other times it didn't. We had spent the first few hours with our phones connected in a call to each other, sometimes we talked, other times were silent, it just made us feel a lot more comfortable about the situation with some sort of open communication. Anyways, I pulled off the side of the road carefully and waited as Brandon got out of his truck and approached mine.

I thought about just rolling down the window but instead I opened the door and stepped out. It felt good to stretch my legs. Of course neither of us hesitated to step into the other's embrace. We had passed many, many roadblocks that could be seen on the interstate from our country routes.

“I think we should find a good secluded road, maybe somewhere with some thick timber, park the trucks and bed down for the night. It's been a long day, I'm tired, you're tired.” said Brandon, startling me from my thoughts.

I nodded in agreement, “You lead, you have the enlarged city maps.” Brandon nodded back and briskly kissed my forehead before hurrying me back into my truck. I kept a close eye on him watching him walk back to his own, regardless of how close it was, I felt like if I took my eye off of him for a moment that something bad would happen. I had begun to fill up with guilt for not having his back at the gas station. I knew he didn't blame me, more likely himself, but I still felt accountable. Instead of screwing around encouraging the downfall of humanity I should've had his back, and I failed. It almost cost us a life, whether it would've been his or mine.

I watched as Brandon started his truck and the headlights beamed into my right side view mirror. He pulled out and past me, I put my truck in drive and followed him down the road. First we took a right, then passed by a few farm houses with cattle pastures surrounding them. Everything seemed quiet. I rolled down my windows for some fresh air. The temperatures were dropping along with the sun. It wasn't cold but it was definitely a good break from the heat of the day, and we were nearing some foothills, so the humidity didn't seem so thick either.

After following the road for a couple of miles we made another right and then took a sharp curve to the left and back to the right and the road straightened back out. We followed it down until it dead ended at a large patch of timber. I could barely make out the darkened area where the ground was carved out, while the sound of rushing water filled my ears. I stayed in my truck, not sure what Brandon had in mind. I was surprised he wanted to be somewhere with only one road out, but then again I there was only one way in, easier to protect, perhaps.

I put my truck in park and watched Brandon circle around and pull up next to me with his window rolled down. I rolled my down too.

“Pull to the right and turn on your brights and park so that they are shining into the timber.”

I nodded even though I didn't have an explanation, I knew better than to question him when he was tired and hungry. I pulled to the right and turned on my brights, illuminating the timber. Brandon pulled in a half circle and began backing the truck in. I raised my eyebrows, afraid he was going to hit a tree with the trailer, but of course he didn't. I couldn't back a trailer to save my life, much less this little fidgety boat I had on the back of my truck.

Brandon backed all the way in until the front of his truck was at least a couple feet into the timber. He turned of his truck and lights. He waved at me and I turned off my brights. I scooted over into the passenger seat as he approached and climbed in the driver's seat. We were like that... We could always anticipate what the other wanted or was thinking without much explanation, most of the time anyways.

I didn't say anything when he got in, I knew it was the time to keep quiet and not play 20 questions while he was trying to focus. He didn't have any bright lights to help him see to back my truck in the timber but he did, slowly, until my truck too was a couple feet back from the timber line.

Brandon broke the silence,”We'll sleep in your truck, your back seat barely has anything it except for pillows and blankets and a couple of bags.”

“We can fold up the back seats, give us room to completely stretch out,” I said.

“Okay. I'm hungry, what do we have that's quick?”

“I've got a couple things in the bags in the backseat, there's some water in the cooler in the bed.”

Brandon gets out of my truck and shuts the door and grabs water out of the cooler in the bed of my truck, while I hop over the seats and transfer the bags to the front seats. I raise the back seats. I have an extended king crew cab, you can practically fit a twin bed in it. So I lay down two sleeping bags for padding and two pillows side by side and unfolded a light blanket for cover. I then fished some tape out of a bag and taped two sheets around both back windows. I reached up front, turned my key and rolled down the back windows, I turned the key back to OFF in the ignition.

I heard a knock on the left, back door, “Can I get in?”

I replied, “Hurry up, so the mosquitoes don't get in.” I moved out of the way as the door came open and Brandon climbed in, in a hurry.
Once inside the truck, the top light took a few minutes to go off and he pointed to the back windows with sheets.

“Good thinking. I knew it was going to get stuffy in here, but I didn't want to be eaten alive by mosquitoes either.”

I smiled, feeling like I had received a little pat on the back.

“Okay, so what do we have to eat?” Brandon said as he took off his shirt and pants, leaving himself in only his boxers. He threw his clothes and keys in the driver seat and sat back down on the floor of the back seat.
“It's not that hot yet,” I rolled my eyes in reply.

“No, I'm trying to avoid getting sweaty at all, or I won't sleep.”

I replied with another eye roll and reached for a bag in the front seat, I sat back down on the back seat floor, with my legs crossed, facing Brandon. I dug around and pulled out two cans of ravioli, some chips and gushers.... We ate like little kids at the house sometimes.... I know ridiculous.

“Where's the can opener babe?”

I glared my eyes at him, he was thinking I forgot to bring one, even if we did, a pocket knife would do just fine. I sat everything between us, stood and reached back into the front seat, put the first bag back and looked into a second one and grabbed two plastic forks and the can opener. I sat back down and shook the can opener in his face. He smiled at my small gesture of sarcasm.

We silently ate, not even a word passed between us. When we were done, we set the trash onto the middle front console and turned off the overhead light. We both just seemed to sit there for a few minutes. I was beginning to feel a little warm for comfort, so I took off my pants, left my panties and shirt on, and slipped off my bra. There wasn't any way in hell I was sleeping with underwire on just because the nation was in a crisis.

“Come here baby,” said Brandon.

He had laid down with his back facing the folded seats and pulled me in beside him. We just lay there while he quietly and lightly stroked the side of my arm.

I broke the silence,”Why did we park into the timber?”

“If someone comes down this road, they will hopefully not notice us, and people tend to pull to the left in a circled dead-end so their lights wouldn't shine in off to the right and reveal our trucks.”


We laid there for what seemed like eternity, when I heard a pesky mosquito buzz near my ear, I swatted at it. It could be worse, just one was okay. At least the sheets were keeping them out and the air in the truck wasn't stuffy. Moments later, I heard a “Got you” as Brandon smacked and killed the mosquito on his arm. I chuckled and cuddled in closer to him. I couldn't seem to get close enough, just as much as I couldn't seem to process this day, it all felt like a silly dream I was going to wake up from. Reality seemed so far away........

I awoke suddenly. I couldn't recall when I had dozed off to sleep, the last time I looked at my insulin pump, the time said 11:53 PM. I felt just a bit too warm, I realized Brandon still had his arms wrapped around me and our legs were intertwined as his soft snoring echoed into my ears. I moved quietly and carefully and felt around until I found my pump, still attached but under a blanket. I woke it, the time said 4:37 AM. I hadn't been asleep long, or at least as long as I had wanted to. But my bladder was bugging me.

I had to go and there was no delaying it and going back to sleep, I moved carefully out of Brandon's hold, trying not to disturb him and grabbed a flashlight out of a backseat pocket. I eased open the right back door and closed it quietly. I shone the light into the timber, I wasn't really one to be scared of the woods. I had camped out in the bed of a truck with my horses plenty of times and climbed out to go pee in the middle of the night. But everything now just seemed to have a touch more of uncertainty with everything going on.

I shook my head of The Walking Dead nonsense and started quietly humming and singing Bright by Echosmith, while I searched for a nice flat place to pee near the truck.

I was just feet away from the truck, when I had finished doing my business. I was walking carefully back through the timber, seriously only in my panties, shirt and tennis shoes.... When the loudest BANG, CRACKLE and POP of my life sounded. The whole ground shook with more sounds following the tremors. It sounded like fireworks almost. I looked into the sky and saw it was illuminating with blasts of fire from explosions. There was a ranger station about 20 miles up the road on a tall hill of timber. We knew because there were various signs for it and it was even displayed on the map.

I heard a muffled call of my name by Brandon from inside the truck. The back truck door flew open and I shined it at Brandon's feet. He ran to me.

“What in the hell was that?”

“Look,” I said as I pointed towards the hill on the sky. “The ranger station. They must be bombing any possible small means of communication between military and law enforcement.”

“Any closer and that would've singed us.” We stood and watched the site burn on top of the hill in the distance.

“Brandon, why are they bombing out here? We are over an hour and a half away from any major cities?”

“If North Korea is as determined as I think they are, they more than likely have small fighter jets set with points to eliminate. And even worse, if they are out here doing this, the United States' military defense has failed.”

I swatted at mosquitoes and pondered what Brandon had just said. “But we have one of the largest armies in the world.”

“It doesn't matter how big your army is, when half of it is overseas and the other half is caught off guard. They could have made an alliance with Russia or someone else.”

This was all terrifying but I was feeling restlessly tired. “The mosquitoes are tearing me up, can be go back to sleep for awhile?”

“Yes, I don't want to drive right now anyways, our headlights would give us away to whomever may be flying overhead.”


“Listen.” We were both quiet and barely audible in the distance was the small sound of a jet engine. It seemed to be sweeping back and forth over the land in the distance. The ranger station still burned bright but the fire in the trees around it puttered out as there had evidently been a rain here the previous day, allowing the trees to stay protected from the moisture.

I went to hold up the flashlight to turn it on, to see our path back to the truck, Brandon stopped my hand from coming up and spoke a simple “Don't.”

Of course, what was I thinking anyone in the area above us may see it. We carefully felt and strained to see our way back into the truck.

Once inside we resumed our closely intertwined sleeping positions and drifted off to sleep...

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