Thursday, December 08, 2005

Short Story - Rain in the Forecast

Rain in the Forecast

Mist flows down from the trees forming a virtual curtain across the
landscape. Dex limps through the woods with purpose and determination
driving him forward at more of a controlled fall than a limp. His foot
squishes in and out of his blood soaked shoe. He is unaware of how long he
has been running and is barely aware of the pain that is no longer shooting
up his leg. Dex looks back to see if they are still behind him and
immediately loses balance and crashes into the ground. Luckily for him,
there is a large rock that cushions his head as he falls.
The hunger is what finally wakes him up. His stomach is in knots
and his head is still spinning. Be it from the loss of blood or concussion
he isn't sure. His first instinct is to run again, but his leg protests
with intense pain. It has been a few hours judging by the darkness and they
have not found him yet. Maybe they have given up; maybe it is just a matter
of time. Either way he has to keep moving. He can't think about the pain,
hunger, or loss . . . the loss. Oh, Brittany, he sobs almost under his
breath as he drags himself to his feet. For the first time he looks down to
check his leg. A whole about one inch in diameter is on either side of his
inner thigh. Fresh blood is now oozing onto the crusted pants leg. He
takes off his shirt and ties it onto the wound and starts limping away.
The sense of urgency from before the fall is gone. His sense of
security and slow pace allow Dex to think. They had just wanted to see the
planes coming in and out. It was his idea. The only reason that Brittany
agreed to come at all was the picnic and that it seemed really romantic.
Lizzie and Jake had come too. It was all his fault and he was the only one
left. Their blood is on his hands. The thought of it makes him want to
give up.
He had been out the airstrip plenty of times. He had always dreamed
of being a pilot even though he had never taken steps to make that dream
come true. Dex considered himself an airplane enthusiast. That enthusiasm
had cost everyone but him their lives. When that strange and silent plane
had come down, Dex just had to leave the tree line run down the fence to get
a closer look. Brittany had followed and Lizzie and Jake stayed. By the
fence they had come into the light, but all that concerned Dex was that
sleek ship in front of him. It had absolutely no lines and looked like
something out of a movie. He realized he probably shouldn't be seeing this
as a flood light pointed directly towards him. A split second later some
kind of soldiers, they weren't wearing any uniform he was familiar with,
came running towards them. There were two of them, and Dex did the only
logical thing. He grabbed Brittany's hand and started running.
Lizzie and Jake had been paying more attention to each other than
anything going on around them and did not hear Dex and Brittany approach.
"Get up," Dex yelled when they were within sight. "We got to get out of
here now." Jake didn't quite get the urgency until he saw the soldiers too.
He fell in behind me and hit the ground before he got under the cover of the
tree line. There was no sound or gunshot, just Jake lying there motionless.
Dex pushed the girls on the path towards his car ahead of himself, and as
they exited the woods the soldiers were waiting for them. The girls didn't
have a chance. Dex turned back into the woods when he felt the sting in his
"My fault," Dex murmurs as he falls and catches himself against a
tree. He reaches up to wipe the sweat out of his eyes and feels his fever.
He is getting dizzier and more disoriented by the moment. He has to sit
down and rest; there is no way around it. As he leans back against a tree
he closes his eyes and never wakes up.

"Channel 3 news; news you can count on!
Disturbing news tonight as 4 teenagers are robbed and murdered outside of a
truck-stop on interstate 4. The four were apparently parking behind the
store when they were accosted. Police have not released the names of the
victims pending notification of their parents. There were no cameras at the
rear of the store and police do not have a suspect. If you have any
information, please contact the Crimestoppers Hotline at 555-1337. In other
news there may be rain in our forecast . . ."

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