U.S. of After Chapter 31
I lay in the bush under my Dad’s ghillie suit, listening to the whole thing.
All my friends were in boy scouts, but not me. Dad was a SEAL. I hardly ever saw him, but when I did we were running around in the woods out here learning all kinds of crazy stuff. Dad’s boy scouts was hard core and just the two of us. Dad never let me slide. He never came back from the big one, either. I was pretty much on my own ‘till I hooked up with these tent people. I wouldn’t let them down.
I was about a quarter of a click outside the perimeter of camp, minding my own business when the other three guys got jumped. Amateurs. I tried to teach them some stuff but they were just good old boys. Thought they knew everything about everything. My taste in food kind of annoyed them, too. Wasn’t afraid to eat anything for protein. They were always looking for some canned stuff when there’s plenty of stuff out here crawling around.
My thoughts were interrupted by the commotion just this side of the camp, some guy wearing Ranger tabs backed up through the crowd and ended up at the edge of the woods near my location. I decided to watch him. Figured he was a spy sent by them militia types and he’d be reporting back to his cronies. I decided to make things interesting for him.
If he really was a Ranger, then this might not have worked, but I snuck up on that noob easily. Nope. Not a Ranger. I put a sharpened stick through his left thigh without much effort and he went down with a thud. Would have started screaming if I hadn’t covered his mouth and put the bloody shiv up next to his throat. He was going to spill his guts about everything until Kelly came out of the bush as well and started in on me.
“What are you doing, Gideon?” she whispered. “I hope they didn’t see us sneak off. If they did, we’re all dead.”
“We’re all dead anyway, ma’am,” I whispered to her, holding this wannabe Ranger still, forcing his wrist to touch his shoulder blades, shoving his face into the dirt. “Them guys are gonna wipe us out and take everything we have. Do we have a plan?”
The fake Ranger tried to say something and I gave his wrist a twist. He shut up real proper like.
“I say we hide out here and make our move,” I whispered. “I’ll ditch this traitor to the human race real quiet and then you and I can figure out how to help our people.”
I heard the pop-pop-pop of gunfire up the hill on top of the ridge and I figured that was the old man getting a mouthful. Saw the whole thing how he sacrificed himself to the big fat god of stupid on that horse up there. Way to go, gramps.
Kelly told me that the guy under my boot was wearing her husband’s uniform and all about how he stole it. That made me put my knee in his back and grind. She was kind of cranky about it, so I asked her what we should do with him, and she said that he’d probably just run away like a coward and that she didn’t think he was one of the militia. I took out a zip tie and fastened the fool’s wrists together. Impersonating an officer. That boiled me.
I left him laying there in the tall grass, took Kelly by the hand, and we slithered away like ninjas. I had to see what that gunfire was all about, so I had a back door up the ridge to check on the action.
Figured I’d see what I could get into. First I had to get Kelly at least to the boat and possibly out of here. She kind of reminded me of my Mom.
Then I’d have to figure out something to do about all this that would make Dad proud.