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Before you read part 2 don’t forget to go back and read part one to familiarize yourselves with the plot again 🙂 Here is part one:
This is my story and I DO NOT GIVE ANY PERMISSION TO COPY OR USE ANY PART OF THIS ARTICLE
“It’s Time To Go Home – A SHTF Story” Part 2
The color drained from Henry’s face. Axl’s body lay flat before him, the empty soulless eyes stared at Henry, offering a grim glimpse into the future. Thoughts flashed through Henry’s mind, ‘could I leap forward and tackle them?’ but he quickly dismissed that notion, even if he managed to grapple with one of them the other would soon send him reeling to the floor along with Axl. The blood was dripped down Henry’s face, it trickled along his lips and the coppery taste felt warm, it was about the only thing that was warm in that wasteland. Quickly, he glanced around at the cabin but there was nothing he could reach in time that would give him any advantage. The situation seemed utterly hopeless so he fell to his knees, hoping that they men would take mercy.
“That’s what I like to see, you’re not as stupid as you look,” the first man said. A few dark blonde locks were matted to his forehead, creeping below the edge of his woolen hat. A deep scar ran along his right cheek and his skin was mottled, and his mouth seemed to be set into a malicious grin. The other was younger but no less mean. Dark stubble peppered his jowls and there were gaps in between his teeth, creating a whistling sound when he spoke. Henry bowed his head and closed his eyes, awaiting the inevitable. He gulped nervously and wished that he could pull out the picture of his family to look at one last time before he died, but he dared not in case they took that from him as well.
However, after a few moments the shot never came and he looked up at the men.
“How long have you been here?” the one with the scar asked, “how long!” the other yelled when Henry didn’t answer.
“A-a few m-months,” he stammered. The men looked at each other, evidently impressed.
“You look healthy too, how have you survived?” the one with the stubble asked.
“I had rations, raided some abandoned cabins. Killed some animals,” Henry said, almost ashamed of the lengths he had gone to in order to survive, the details of which he wasn’t about to reveal to these men.
“Maybe we could use him.”
“We are a man short now,” they both roared with laughter. As they did so Henry’s eyes flicked along Axl’s body and settled on a pistol hanging from his waist. He was almost shaking with nerves, and as waves of nausea passed through the pit of his stomach he shot out his hands and grabbed the gun, lifting it and shifting it between the two men. They immediately raised their weapons and Henry tried not to stare at the two barrels looming before him.
“Not so smart after all, are you,” the man with the scar sneered. He lowered his gun and shook his head. “You really think you have any choice whether you live or die? We’re the ones with the power here; we’re in control of your destiny. You have no choice. You want to see what happens when you pull that trigger?” he challenged.
Henry’s control over his hand faltered, the stress and anxiety becoming too much for him and the gun began to sway through the air.
“I can still be a man,” he said through halting breaths, “I can go out fighting on my own terms.”
“Look around you, who cares if you’re a man or not? The world has changed, civilization has changed, humanity has changed. We’re not the same anymore. But if you want to die, fine, I’m more than happy to oblige.” He steadied himself, but at the last moment his younger partner leaned in and lowered his voice, although Henry could still hear.
“You sure about this? Maybe Duke would like him around. If he’s survived this long he might know of some areas with supplies, and listen to the way he talks, Duke would probably like someone from his homeland, and he’s going to be mad at you for killing Axl.”
“Axl had it coming for a long time.”
“Yeah well, I’m just saying.”
Henry’s ears pricked at the mention of Duke. If he was from England perhaps Henry could work with him to find a way home, or at least find some way out of this mess. He dropped the gun and held out his hands.
“Fine, you guys win, I’m sorry, it was just the heat of the moment you know.” The two men looked at each other skeptically but they got some rope out of their packs and fastened it tightly around Henry’s wrists. He winced as the thick rope bit into his skin, but his spirits were lifted and he knew the hope that he would be reunited with his family was still alive. They hauled him up and pushed him out of the cabin.
“What do we do with him?” the one with the stubble asked, pointing to Axl.
“Just leave him here, unless you want him for dinner.”
“I’m not that desperate yet.”
They left the cabin, the cold wind bit at their exposed skin as they walked to the vehicle. The younger man pushed Henry in the back, making sure he was secured. The other revved up the engine and soon they were speeding away. It was a bittersweet feeling because Henry had spent so long in that cabin it was almost like home, but he raised his hands and held them close to his chest, and he’d swear that he could feel the outline of the picture even through his thick coat. There was only one home, and he was determined to get one step closer.
The car sped through the black evening, the ground scraping underneath the tires. Henry tried to keep track of where he was heading, but he lost all bearings. Eventually it ground to a halt and he was unceremoniously pulled from the car and practically dragged along the ground, barely keeping his footing. The two men threw him in front of a crackling fire, where a man sat atop a throne.
“Ah, Max and Daryl you have returned, and you brought me a present,” Duke said, pleasantly surprised.
“Yep, and guess where he’s from,” Max said, itching his stubble. Daryl kicked Henry to urge him to speak. He uttered a few words and Duke’s face spread wide into a grin. Henry returned the smile, but then he saw the darkness in Duke’s eyes.
“Throw him in the cage for now,” he said, and Henry was dragged off against his will, struggling until eventually Max got tired of it and slammed the butt of his gun into Henry’s face, and Henry was shrouded in darkness.
to be continued ………………