This is Issue 57 of Hope On The Rocks, entitled "Nine People Present".
This Issue is Miles-centric.
509, Nine People Present
I’ve been thinking. While we might not be able to just go to that trailer park and ask that man to let our friends go, we could talk to him. Maybe explain how he took away our friends and such. Maybe that would work.
I am sitting on a lawn chair, looking at nothing in particular.
I wouldn’t say that I’m shy, but I’ve never been good with people. I was going to ask Lia to join me at prom, though it never happened. She went with one of the older boys, Jamie I think his name was. I hated him from that day, without really having a reason.
“You’re worried about Peter and the others?” I hear Tex’’ voice saying.
I look behind me, seeing him walking towards me, his hands in his pockets.
“No. They’re fine.” I say.
Peter, William and Doug went to get guns yesterday and haven’t been back yet. I’m not worried. We’ve been through worse, so I think they’re fine.
“Yea.” Tex says, stopping as he is behind me. “Probably.”
I look back at where I was looking before; a bunch of firewood laying unorganized just outside the barn.
“Y’know, Miles. I’ve been thinking.” Tex says.
I don’t say anything.
“We might just be able to talk to Lunar.” He continues, getting my attention. “Y’know, convincing him that hat he is doing is wrong.”
I sigh. I don’t know what to say. On one hand, I’ve been thinking that myself. On the other hand, we might just get killed.
“Yea.” I just say. “Maybe.”
Tex kneels down, looking at me. I keep looking at this wood, though.
“Hey.” He says, trying to comfort me. “This is rough. Your girlfriend is gone, taken, whatever. I’d constantly think about how many times she’s been raped today, and...”
I interrupt Tex before he can continue. “Thank you, Tex. Now I feel better.”
Tex smiles, looking down. “Yea, sorry. Just saying we should do something.”
I nod. “Yea, probably.”
Tex sigh, realizing that I’m not in the mood to talk. He pats me on the shoulder and returns to the house.
Later, I change my mind. I find Tex and we leave, not telling anyone where we’re going. We told Chad that we were going scavening, as he wouldn’t let us go back to the trailer park. And he wont let me go anywhere, really. If I go too much, or work too much, my gunwound might go up and I can get an infection. I am willing to risk that for Lia, though.
“What if we’re killed?” I ask, always having a hand on my bandages. I am nervous. If we are shot by these men, I will have no chance of saving Lia.
“We wont.” Tex just says, sounding just as nervous as me. He sounds like he regrets suggesting this.
“Right.” I mutter, looking from Tex to the road. A few hundres meters ahead of us is a small hill. It goes down, which means we can’t see if anyone should be walking down there.
And as I think about this, someone is walking down there, calmy walking down the road.
As he sees us, he raises his hand to wave, giving us a big smile.
Both Tex and I take up our pistols, aiming them at the man. From all we know, he could be one of Lunar’s men.
“Stop right there!” Tex yells. It is weird to see him like this. Usually Chad and William and Ridley manages these talks, but now it’s only Tex and me.
“Wow, friend.” The man says, smiling. “Easy, okay? I’m not looking for trouble.” He raises his hand, surrendering.
“Who are you?” Tex asks, obviusly not knowing what to do.
The man sees how unsure Tex is, I can see it, but he doesn’t take advantage of it. He just lowers his hands saying “I’m Kevin Gardner. Nice to meet you.”
Tex looks at me quickly. I don’t say anything.
“I am looking for Chad Bottom.” The man named Kevin says. “You know him?”
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