This is Issue 22 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "We Might".
This issue is Miles-centric.
302, We Might
So the power went off. Now the whole town is gathered at the marketplace, looking at Sylvest, who is standing with William and some other guy, on the balcony of the main hall. Quite big of a balcony I’d say.
Yesterday, Lia and Esther were making food when the power went off. Luckily, Al had bought some lamp oils from Lillian.
I am standing near Axel’s stall. I can see Axel, sitting in his wheelchair. Next to him is two guys standing.
“Citizens of Rogersville.” Sylvest begins. I look up. “We might be in the middle of a crisis, that are threatening our lives. We might have lost family and friends. We might not survive this month out. But one thing is for sure: We are not losing our hope.”
“Bullshit.” Chad mutters. Me, and a couple other nearby guys giggle.
Sylvest continues: “Yesterday, everything got dark. We are now out of power, but this can’t take us down. Not if we want to survive.”
I take a deep breath. In school, I always hated speeches, and now I’m taking myself in analysing this one.
“I need all of you.” Sylvest says. “We need a new way to get power. We need scavenge teams. All of you can contribiute with something. Whether it’s cleaning clothes or putting down the nearby zombies. You all are good for something.”
After the speech, I am standing at Axel’s stall, with Chad, Odin, Al and two guys I don’t know.
“So how’s the guitar, son?” Axel asks me. I bought a guitar from Axel about a week ago. Actually, I’m surprised he remember me, because I haven’t talked to him since.
“It’s great. It really is. Tell me if you ever get a tuner on sale, though.” I say. The guitar sounds a bit odd, so a tuner would be nice.
“I think we have one, right?” One of the guys says. He’s tall, blond and friendly-looking. The other one is obese and kinda creepy-looking.
“We should.” Axel says, looking at the guy. Apparently, the two guys here work for Axel. Axel begins to look through some of his boxes.
The tall guy reaches out his hand. I shake it and say: “Hi, Miles.”
“Peter. That’s Landon.” The guy says and nods in direction of the obese guy.
“You two work for Axel?” I ask, and before I can get an answer Axel hands me a tuner.
“Got anything to trade with?” Axel asks.
I search my pockets and find a box of .32 ammo. I show him. He shakes his head gently.
I then take my handgun, which Chad insists that I carry on me all the time, and give it to Axel, who without any words, accept it and the ammo. I then shove the tuner back in my pocket.
As I turn around, I see Sylvest talking with Chad. Chad nods and shakes Sylvest’s hand for some reason.
Sylvest then come over to us.
“Hi...” Sylvest says, looking at me as like he doesn’t remember my name.
“Miles.” I say.
“Miles, yes. Hi, Miles.” Sylvest says. He nods to Peter, Landon and Axel. “Axel and company. I would like to ask you guys for a favor.”
“That sounds interesting.” Axel says.
Sylvest ignores Axel and says: “I need some people to scavenge materials for the windmills. There’s some hardware stores a few miles from here.”
“We know where they are.” Peter says.
It seems like Peter, Landon and Axel dislike Sylvest for some reason. I don’t see the problem. He seems to control the town okay.
“Yes...” Sylvest says after a deep breath. “I want to ask if you two could take Miles here along, and scavenge what we need.”
I don’t know what to say. I just look at Peter.
“Eh... Sure.” Peter just says.
“I’ve send four more teams out. I’d just prefer if there were three people on each team, so that...” Sylvest gets interrupted by Peter.
“What’d you say to the black man over there?” Peter points at Chad. I am curious too, but too shy to ask. Well, I don’t think ‘shy’ is the right word, but you know what I mean.
“Oh, Chad? Yea, Chad’s the new sherif.”
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