Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Last Beginning - Part Five

To make up for my absence I have “The Last Beginning – Part Five” for you all! Let me know what you think!

“The Last Beginning” - Part Five:

I awoke later that morning, Brandon was not beside me, instantly I felt a little panic well up in my throat. I looked at my insulin pump, it said 7:39 AM. Well it wasn't very late into the morning. I dressed quickly and pulled down the sheets from the window and tidied the back seat. I slipped on my tennis shoes and opened the back door and stepped outside.

Instantly I felt the heat and humidity of the day engulf me and the faint smell of something burnt flooded into my nose as I took a deep breath and peered up into the sky. The clouds were big, white and puffy and off to the Southwest a storm appeared to be building. I looked away from the sky and searched my surroundings for Brandon. He was nowhere to be seen. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and unlocked. Waiting on my screen, typed into my note app was a message that read:


I sighed relief and kinda half chuckled. I looked in the bed of my truck and grabbed one of my fishing poles with a lure on it and walked to the creek a couple yards away. For a creek it was flowing pretty good. I found a nice place a few feet away and emptied my bladder. I returned back to where I had laid my fishing pole and unhooked my lure and cast into the creek. I casted and reeled in slow, quick motions.

Just as I heard the gravel behind me crunch as if someone were walking on it, I felt a tug on the end of my pole. I forgot about what I heard behind me and snapped up my pole in hopes of setting the hook, I pulled up and reeled in the slack. Oh boy it was a good one. I pulled and reeled, pulled and reeled. Finally I got the fish up to the bank and just as I was lifting my pole to bring it out of the water, the fish made one hard flick and ripped free of the hook in its mouth and plopped back down into the water with such weight it splashed me. Instantly I heard what I recognized as Brandon laughing behind me.

I turned around half cocked, “It's not funny, what if we didn't have any food and that was all we had.”
Brandon rolled his eyes at me, I was being dramatic, we weren't anywhere near that point.

“Ah come on babe.” Brandon stepped forward and hugged me tight and turned up my chin and placed a kiss on my lips. “What kind of fish was that anyways.”

“Oh, it was a brown trout, kinda like the rainbow trout I'm always talking about fishing for in Hardy, Arkansas.”

“That was a good size fish.”

“Oh trust me they get bigger, and they love cold creeks and rivers.”

“I see. Well... You ready to get moving, we should make it there a little after noon. I was able to speak to my dad briefly over the phone before it went static and cut out. They are waiting at some place called Angler's Fishing Lodge, do you know-”

“Oh yeah! I know it real well! Some of the best catfish you'll ever eat, its right there off of White River by the turnoff for Blanchard Springs and Caverns!”

“Okay well that's good, at least you know your way around down there.”

“Are you kidding me? It's Mountain View, of course I do, you know I love it there.”

“You know I do,” said Brandon in a half-sarcastic tone. “Let's load up and head out, I'll lead us out and continue unless I start losing my way, looks like these roads start getting curvy and intersecting in crazy ways the further into the mountains we get.”

“Yeah, okay.” I reached up and kissed Brandon, I took a moment and took in a deep breath. The air around me filled my nose but most importantly Brandon's unique masculine scent, it was comforting, as I was still feeling screwy in the head from what had happened yesterday.

“Hey, you alright honey?”

“Hmm? Oh me? Yeah, I- I'm fine.”

“You don't seem fine.”

“Just this whole thing is exhausting, I'm frightened, I'm wondering whats going on back home, I just can't process this as fast as I need to. I mean we've got enemy jets flying above bombing random ranger stations. We are in the middle of being invaded. All I can think about are the bad things that might happen before we can ever make it to our family and make it out somewhere safe.”

“Feel better?”

“Yes.” My answer was short, he knew I needed to get that off my chest.

“Let's go.”

I nodded in reply and got in my truck and started the engine. Brandon did the same and pulled out of the timber and began moving forward down the road. I followed. We had a ways to go and these country routes, taking us around towns and cities made the trip even longer than it was suppose to be. But we had no idea what kind of roadblocks those were that we were seeing, so better safe than sorry.

According to my truck clock, by 9:45 AM we were winding a couple miles south down past Rolla, Missouri, not too far from Cuba off of Highway 44, where we had been camping with friends just east of there a couple weekends ago at the Huzzah Valley Resort. It was crazy to fathom, how everything then seemed so normal and now here we were outbacking through the state like a bunch of survivalist hippies.

My thoughts were suddenly interrupted when I heard something loud, really loud, fly overtop of us, leaving a giant shadow chasing it as it flew close to the ground. Brandon was still leading in front when he tapped his brakes several times and came to a hasty stop in which I followed. I sighed loudly, a little annoyed that he stopped so fast with both of us pulling trailers. Just then, my phone rang.... Brandon. I answered it.


“Stay put, that wasn't a friendly jet.”

“Oh, okay. Who's was it.”

“I don't know my flags for countries very good.”

“Describe it, I might know it, I took a World History class in college.” I could sense Brandon's eye-roll, but I hadn't been out of college very long, so I hoped my brain didn't fail me.

“It was white, green and red.

The first country that came to mind was Italy. “What? Italy, that doesn't make any sense they are an American ally. Wait... Was it horizontal or vertical?”

“What do you mean?”

“The colors, was white in the middle vertically, or was it on top horizontally.”

“I don't know.”

“Okay so then perhaps, it is a friendly if its the Italian Republic Air Force.”

“Maybe, lets start out again, it was flying low, but whoever was inside didn't seem too concerned with us.”

We continued down the road for a ways until we saw a roadblock. This didn't look good. While we weren't on the interstate we were on a major highway and we had fighter jets flying above our heads and we didn't even know if either were friendlies or not.

Brandon came to a stop and I followed suit. He got out and walked over to my passenger door, I unlocked it and he climbed in.

“I think we should turn around and detour wide to the west. That will put us about 30 minutes out of the way but I don't want to risk a run-in with the enemy.”

“I agree. About how far away are we anyways?”

“About 45 minutes, but with the detour an hour and some change.”

“Okay. Have you heard from anyone?”

“Yeah, I got a text from my dad, he said they are all safe and its really quiet, no looting going on there but everyone around is watching the news on the TVs in the lodge. He said its gotten really nasty in big cities. Smaller cities like the size of Litchfield are being infiltrated at a slower pace but it looks like the US has been caught off guard. The president issued a statement that they are working on tactics that would cause the least amount of loss of life.”

“Well that's good but what does it mean for us?”

“I'm not sure, my dad mentioned something about staying indoors and to not travel and to avoid any and all contact with enemy soldiers. It appears that those they find are being recruited or if they are non-compliant they are being held as POWs.”

“I see, so how many countries do we have invading at this point?”

“I don't know, I've been trying to send several text messages back to him but only one or two have went through.”


“Well lets not sit here any longer, they may have already noticed us but if we are lucky, with the boat in tow we look like weekend warriors.”


“I love you,” Brandon said as he leaned over and kissed me.

“I love you too.”

“Your head feel okay?”

“Its sore on the back and swollen but I don't feel dizzy.”

“If we can ever get to where we are going I want to take a better look at it and make sure its not swelling with blood.”

“I'd have worsening symptoms if I was hemorrhaging that bad babe.”

“Maybe, but you're a strong girl, you may be fighting through more than you're aware of now. How's your blood sugar? Everything okay?”

“Yes it is, I'm kinda hungry though, so I'll probably test it and grab a snack before we head out.”

“Okay, what do you want and I'll get it?”

“Just grab me a bag of chips and a granola bar out of that tan Aldi's bag in the backseat, and a water from the cooler if you don't mind?”

Brandon nods and gets out and opens the back left passenger door and tossed a bag of Cheetos and a granola bar up onto my console. While he rustles in the bed of my truck for some water out of the cooler I check my sugar. 138. I can deal with that. I add the carbohydrates up on the packages, take a bolus of insulin and tear open the granola bar.

A sudden knock on my driver side window makes me jump, its Brandon with a bottle of water. I roll down my window.

“Sorry, didn't mean to scare you. What's your sugar?”


“Good. Let's get going.”

“Here” I say as I toss the Cheetos at him. I noticed he didn't grab anything for himself and neither of us had eaten since last night. He looked back at me as to protest but nodded and walked to his truck.

With no one on the highway we circled around wide and doubled back to a road heading west. After about 50 minutes or so of driving I began to recognize my surroundings and flashed my truck lights at Brandon, he came to a stop on the now two-lane highway winding up into the Ozark mountains.

“I know where to go from here. I'll lead.”


After a few minutes of driving, my phone made a piano chord chime, signaling I had received a text message. Instantly my heart rate surged, since we had left yesterday I had tried calling all of my family numerous times over and over but never an answer. So, carefully I picked it up and read it.

Mom: Kayla, phone calls are not going through, please let me know you are okay. We are heading to our land in Cave City to get away from the looting and craziness here in town. Tried checking on your nanny but no one came to the door. We have Ethan with us. Love you.”

I texted back: I'm okay, love you too, phone service is being weird. Brandon, his family and I are in Mountain View, come here, its more secluded and farther away from people family land here. Have you heard from my Dad? Been calling, no answer, no texts working either.”

Mom:”Okay we we will head that way, where can we meet, its been awhile since I've been there, pick a good landmark. Yes, Jamie texted me and said they are holed up in a bunker with the US army and some other fugitives. She said they are safe for now.”

I sighed with relief, my dad, my other little brother and step mom were safe and under the protection of the military, which means they had food, water and shelter.

“Angler's Fishing Lodge, by Blanchard Springs, know it?”

“Yeah will meet you there.”

Finally we came upon the “Mountain View 8 Miles”. However, his family was at Angler's Lodge so I made a left hand turn onto Highway 9 off of Highway 5 which brought us immediately to Angler's. I recognized his families vehicles outside and pulled in.

Just as I cut off my engine and was about to get out my phone rang. It was my Nanny.

“Hello!?” I asked in a panicked voice.

“Kayla! Thank god!”

“Nanny are you okay?”

“No sweet pea, I'm not. Have you heard from your daddy?”

“Yea, he , Jamie and Riley are okay they are in a military bunker with some other survivors. Brandon, his family and I are sitting at Angler's right now in Mountain View. Mom, Jeff ( my step dad) and Ethan ( my other little brother) are heading here too. We plan to head to our land here and hole up. Where are you and I'll come get you.”

“I'm still here in Blytheville. I'm glad everyone is okay. I'm here by myself, Alvin (her friend) is visiting his son in Bella Vista and I haven't heard from him. But I'm in a bind, I've got the house locked up and the news on which cuts out every now and then, but Kayla its bad.”

My stomach felt like it was in my throat, she was hiding what she really wanted to say.

“Nanny what is it?”

“Yesterday, when this all happened, I was vacuuming and noticed the scenes on the TV, I turned off the vacuum and saw the bombings and Marshal Law being declared and when I saw St. Louis and Springfield on the list of bombed cities, I just went into a screaming panic, I tried to hurry over to my phone, but you know I don't walk that well and I got tangled up in the vacuum cord and I fell.”

“Are you okay!?”

“Well not really, I think I broke something. I've managed to drag myself over to the couch and prop up but my leg is swollen and bent in a crooked position. I can't get up no matter how hard I try.”

“I'm coming to get you.”

“No, you can't do that, its too dangerous.”

“Nanny, this isn't your choice, I'm coming to get you. Have you had any food or water since you fell?”

“No, I'm already about to use the bathroom on myself.”

“I'm coming to get you, hold tight, its going to take me a few hours but I'm coming.”

She gave a long heavy sigh, I knew she was worried I'd never make it in the process, but I was the only one who could get to her right now.

“Just be careful when you get here. Early this morning someone was knocking on my door, I stayed quiet because I was afraid they may try to get in if it was one of them Koreans or somebody.”

I knew it was Mom that she was talking about but I didn't want to make her feel in despair so I agreed she did the right thing.

“I'll see you in a few hours, I love you.”

“I love you too baby girl. Please be careful, I'll pray for you.”

I hung up with tears in my eyes, my 79 year old grandmother was sitting on the floor helpless with a broken leg. It burned me inside. I was so upset that I hadn't noticed Brandon had opened my driver side door with his family behind him and had been listening to the conversation. I looked over and dove out of the truck into his arms and balled and told him the entire store through muffled sobs on his shoulder.

“Well you're not going alone.”

I stopped my blubbering and got serious, “You're not risking your life, you've already done that once.”

“Well you're not going alone.” I opened my mouth to protest but I knew there was no need in fighting him, when Brandon gets his mind set on something it's impossible to change it. I wiped my eyes and he kissed my forehead.

I straightened up and stepped around him and exchanged hugs with his dad and family and addressed them, “Well I'm sorry you had to see me cry like a baby, but I have to go get her as I'm sure you heard what's going on. Y'all don't need to be sitting here out in the open though, this town is close to Batesville which is a decent size town that could already be infiltrated. I can give you directions on how to get to my family's land, and the key to the lock.”

Brandon's dad Terry, spoke up, “ Sounds good.”

I grabbed a map out of my truck and penned the route and on the back I wrote step by step directions and I explained everything in detail to Terry.

“Now when you get to the creek, only four-wheel drive vehicles will be able to take you across to the cabin.”

“Well then we might have to carry everything across, how deep is it?”

“Not very but the soft pebble makes it slippery.”

Brandon interrupted,” Take my truck, we are only going to need one vehicle to go to Blytheville to get Daisy. Just unhook my trailer with the bike on it first then take trips to carry everyone and everything across, just pile everything on top of our stuff and we will deal with it when we get back.”

“Make yourselves at home in the cabin,” I said.

“Ok cool, thanks we really appreciate this.”

“Its no problem y'all are my family too.” Brandon sidled up beside me and put his arm around my waist.

“Well honey if you're confident in your directions I say we get going, we should be able to make it before it gets dark.”
“Yeah, phones aren't working so I was pretty thorough.”

“Good.” Brandon stepped up and exchanged hugs and goodbyes with his family. We went inside Angler's and paid for a night to stay so that we could leave the boat parked at the lodge. Then we got in my truck and began our trip towards Blytheville, Arkansas where my nanny was waiting for us. We had no other choice than to take the only road in or out of the mountains then we could detour around Highways 14 and 18. I was back in my territory, I knew travel would be easy, I was just afraid of what we'd find in a town that was already dangerously filled with crime before the attacks on the US.

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