Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Troublemaker 10

Chapter Ten


Twin sets of deep brown sparkling eyes opened simultaneously. Lying alongside each other, unclothed with their warm bodies touching, they both smiled as it was a perfect way to wake up.

“You look good in that blue swim suit…the color suits you well.” Gary whispered.

“Ruthie is so awesome…I could actually smell her.” April was swallowed up in the memory of the dream. She moved closer and kissed him, refreshing their earlier passion. Her hands moved along his side as she reached around and pulled him ever closer.

Gary also moved his hands softly along her cool smooth skin, within moments, their bodies and souls again joined and climaxed in an intimate sexual crescendo.

Catching his breath and unwillingly, Gary sat up, the cool air creating a barrier to the warm glow beneath the thin blanket. Knowing that Ruthi’s comment about the snow would necessitate them having to leave, he placed a couple logs on the on the coals, and got dressed.

April also sat up with the thin blanket wrapped around her bare shoulders, overwhelmed with feelings that she often imagined, but never really experienced. Alone in her afterglow, she reluctantly got dressed.

Turning on the radio overrode the quiet and intimacy of the cave.

“…it looks as if we are on the trailing edge of this storm. The Storm Track Radar shows that by late this evening everything should be pushed out of the area by this fast moving warm mass of southern air…the news is next” A commercial for a plumbing company followed by a lawyers pitch played …“In news today; The Navy is reporting that one of their submarines is missing. The nuclear missile submarine Wyoming has been overdue for a week; Naval sources say. The Wyoming is one of the Navy’s advanced ballistic missile submarines and is based out of Kings Bay, Georgia. This makes the third incident with a Navy Submarine in the past two weeks…in other news Applied Genetics Research has announced that the enhanced wheat, corn and soy beans they have developed will increase US farm yields by over 40%; this will dramatically relieve the current world food shortage. UN General Secretary Santana said that the US would take all necessary measures to have farms across the country use the enhanced seed for this year’s crop…Coming up after a commercial break is ‘The hour of Islam’ …”

Gary’s eyes opened wide at the mention of Kings Bay; as did April’s over the mention of the crops. “I’m not interested in listening about the ‘religion of peace’; let’s listen to something else, alright?” Gary, looked at his watch he saw it was 11:27am. It seemed much later. “We should get our gear ready, and leave tonight.”

April nodded her approval

“I don’t know about you, but I am still wore out from yesterday…” he thought of the weather report “…I thought the weather people said last night that we had a few days of this snow remaining.” Gary paused and shook his head “Here we are…end of the world and the weathermen still can’t get it right.”

April laughed “Yeah, they should hire Ruthi.”

Gary smiled in agreement. Looking over at the spotters back pack; he pulled it toward him and started emptying it. Grasping the bag by the bottom; Gary turned it upside down and emptied the contents in a heap on the blanket. The very first item that caught his eye was a rectangular green plastic object. Smiling, Gary said “Cool”

“What is that?” April asked

“This, my love; is a Claymore mine. It might look harmless but; see this…” Gary turned it towards April so she could read the raised letters on the front…’FRONT TOWARDS ENEMY’…” I’m glad that Mr. Spotter didn’t think to set up a defensive perimeter behind him yesterday. Inside this mine are hundreds if not thousands of steel ball bearings and plastic explosive; when the mine explodes they spread out and shred anything in its path…very nasty”

“It won’t go off in here will it?”

“No, only if I put this detonator…”Gary opened a small green plastic box and held up the pencil thin probe…”into the top, connect it to the ‘clacker’ by this wire…” he held out the green squeeze type detonator and a roll of brown thick cable “…connect it to this roll of wire and squeeze the handle” Gary set the Claymore off to the side and continued rummaging around. Pulling two pieces of hardware up from the pile, he held one to show April. “Hey, check this out”

“That’s weird looking, what is it”

Gary took the device and placed it over his head and eyes “These are X-Ray vision goggles, now I can see through everything” Looking at April he leeringly said “Wow!”

April wrapped her arms around her breasts in mock embarrassment and said “Gary Martin, are you turning into a pervert?”

Gary laughed “Hey I thought you said you didn’t have anything to hide”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it.” April said mockingly

Gary laughed again “These are night vision goggles, and no I cannot see through your clothes; you can rest easy; your ‘secrets’ are safe with me’ He said with a wink of the eye. “What these will do is amplify the light and literally make night into day. It looks like our Mr. Spotter was carrying equipment for both the sniper and himself.” Gary turned over more stuff that was in the bag “Lets see; MRE’s…maps and compass…small notebook and some envelopes.” Gary took the MRE’s and reading the labels. “Hmmm, Chicken and Rice, Chicken and Rice…and more Chicken and Rice…what no Baby Back Ribs?” Gary looked at April and they both laughed.

April took one of the Meals Ready to Eat, opened it and shared with Gary.

Gary unfolded the map “Nice…this is a topo map of our area and Ft Ritchie. Now what is this?” Gary looked at the top third of the map and saw an area circled in red marker and labeled “Site ‘R’? Do you know what Site R is?”

April shrugged her shoulders and said with her mouthful. “I haven’t heard of it”

Gary refolded the map and set it in the pile of things they would take with them. He then picked up a small green notebook “It looks like Mr. Spotter kept a notebook of their kills” Pausing for a moment “Hey babe, would you turn on that camp light please?”

With a push of a button, the bright light bathed the interior of the shelter with a bluish-white illumination.

Reading the book Gary saw each page had a drawing of an area with estimated ranges and red X’s where they had made previous kills. Thumbing through the kill records, he saw the page, which wasn’t completed, of the Finney residence. Gary said nothing to April about this page…he took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. Towards the end pf the book, he came across some notations that strangely stood out. “We will transfer money from their bank accounts to us as a bonus” Gary looked up and the realization of what he read became clear “So, it seems that these guys are killing folks and then stealing their money…nice pay plan, fucking assholes.” He paused for a moment, stood up and then paced in anger. “If we weren’t heading down south, I’d pay them a little visit” He tossed the book in the ‘take with’ pile angrily.

After settling his anger down, he sat back on the sleeping bag, taking the rubber banded stack of letters and started thumbing through them. “Well, well, well; it seems that Mr. Spotter has some mail, maybe it’s from Mrs. Spotter. This guy was an idiot; you never, ever take personal items like this into combat with you…” he paused looking at April “…because guys like me might get a hold of them.” Gary said with a sinister smile. Taking the envelopes and arraigning them by the postmarked date he opened them up.

April scooted closer to Gary and sharing a cookie from the MRE , they read the letters laying side by side, their warm clothed bodies radiating a low grade heat in the cool cave.

“Do you notice anything strange about these?” Gary asked

“Like what?”

“Well, for starters, they are written in English.” Gary turned over the envelope and read the name. “’Captain Ali Haki’…You’d think that they would be written in their own language. Also, notice that they are posted just a couple of days apart, she must miss him.” Gary and April read the first letter together.

April read aloud “She says here…” April’s finger had touched the sentence and followed it “…‘the children and baby are fine and we are looking forward to moving to America’…” Reading further “…‘your sons want to know if you have seen any Cowboys and Indians’…” Gary smiled at that comment “…‘your friends, Mohammed and Ishmael are moving their families to Iowa and to Kansas, and are looking forward to being farmers living in America’…”

Setting this letter down, April picked up the next one and commented. “Do you think; that they assume that just by coming over here and taking over farms and homes by force that they could go on about their lives like it’s no big deal?” April said angrily

“I’ve never heard of any Pakistani or Sri Lankan or Middle Easterner wanting to come over to be farmers. Doctors and engineers yes, but farmers?” Gary was also puzzled

The next letter read; “…‘I received the money you sent, your sons and I thank you. It takes a long time to get this, but everything came alright’…” Gary paused “Is she saying that he sent cash? I mean a wire transfer takes seconds, why mail cash, especially if everything is electronic fund transfer?” The letter continued “…‘I hope that it didn’t hurt when you got that awful thing in you. As you know and have said to me, we would never allow that here’…” Gary turned and looked at April at the same time she looked at him, both spoke simultaneously “…they don’t have the Encompass system in…” looking at the postmark again “…Pakistan.”

“What would you be willing to bet they aren’t the only ones that don’t have the Encompass system?” Gary commented.

April read the last letter “…‘the Doctor says our baby is coming along fine and should be born by the time you get this’…”

“So Mr. Spotter is a daddy, too bad he’ll not see him.” Gary spoke without remorse

“…‘I am concerned that we cannot have the food that is sent from America, there is not much locally grown food at the stores now. I wish you would tell me why we have to be one of the many here that goes hungry, not that I doubt you as I always do your will’…”

Gary looked at April and put his finger in his mouth and made a gagging motion.

“…‘The radio and television say that there are still problems with the Jews everywhere in America. They say that the Jews will actually eat small Muslim children if they get the chance. Can this be true?’…”

“I remember years ago when the Muslim clerics would preach that nonsense. It is unbelievable that people would buy into that crap.” Gary said disgustedly

“Well it looks like they still do.” April commented

“What do you make of this?”

April thought for a moment “It sounds like; for whatever reason, she was told by him to not eat the food sent from here. She must be feeling some shame or anger because she says, ‘they are one of the many that are going hungry, and he needs to tell her why’. I don’t understand why he would want them to go hungry either, especially with a baby, do you?...” April thought momentarily and continued. “…Then she says that ‘the Jews are eating Muslim children.’ They must be really ignorant to believe that.” April said not realizing her genetic makeup.

“I don’t know what it means either, I mean, why tell someone to go hungry, when they don’t have to? Maybe the guy is just a control freak or something.” Gary set the letter down.

April and Gary sat up, questions running through their minds.

“If I was pregnant and you asked me not to eat the food…” April thought for a moment at the question and suggested an answer “…maybe the food is bad?” She said as Ruthi’s lesson came to mind.

“If you were pregnant?” Gary had a surprised and somewhat scared look on his face.

April rolled her eyes and calmly commented “You have nothing to worry about sweetie…I’m on the same type of birth control as you are.” She smiled.

“So…what type of birth control would that be?” Gary asked

“The kind where you fall in love with someone, have sex and hope that you don’t get pregnant.” April said cautiously, and then grinned.

“That’s what I was afraid of…fall in love?” He moved closer “Are you saying that you love me?”

“Yes…I do.” April confidently nodded

Gary sat back and thought it through for a brief moment, not saying anything. He leaned over beaming, and kissed her gently on the lips, savoring the moment.

His mind wouldn’t allow the emotions of the moment to continue as he reached over and picked up the topographic map, then finding their location. “Here is where we are and where we need to go” Gary said as April moved closer looking over his shoulder.. He traced a line with his finger from the cave along the ridge to where it gradually sloped to the south. “I hope that we can end up around here where the access road, railroad tracks and the stream cross. We’ll take the train tracks into town. Hopefully, we should be by ourselves out there tonight. It looks like the tracks go behind the Feed Store…that should work out well.”

“I hope that Mr. Johns will help us.” April said concerned.

“I hope so too.” Gary paused “We need to eat and rest up, the hike out will be tough with all of the snow. I’m thinking that with the warm front moving in, we should probably head out about 1am or so.”

“1am? Why so late?”

“For the very reason you just said. 1am isn’t a time when people are out and about, so that will give us the best window of making the Feed Store undiscovered; by day-break.”

April played with the radio; she wasn’t having much luck finding the short-wave station that she wanted Gary to listen to.

Gary set the map down and picked up his Garand. Sliding back the bolt, Gary ejected the remaining rounds and began to field strip the battle rifle. Taking the cleaning rod and jags he had stashed in the cache, Gary broke down the rifle into a pile of components, cleaning and examining each small piece as he disassembled it. Opening a bottle of cleaning solution, its smell filled the room.

“That stinks!” April stated holding her nose

“Yeah it sure does. This is used to clean out the grime and copper from the barrel. I’ll be finished with it shortly.” He said as he slid the long coated cleaning rod with the nasty smelling chemical through the barrel.

“Gary…what was it like…when you killed those men?”

“He paused and answered “When I saw them getting ready to attack your house, I wanted to kill them all. I didn’t think of anything other than to lay the front sight dead center on their chest and squeeze the trigger.” He continued with the greasing of the rifle and reassembling it.

“It made me sick when I saw those…soldiers…and their heads. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

“War sucks…and so does dying.” He looked up at her “Let’s just make sure it doesn’t happen to us, ok?”

April nodded her agreement.

Once finished with the Garand, Gary took the Ruger pistol and also broke it down and doing the best he could without the proper tools, cleaned it. The 1911 .45 was already clean and needed no attention, except to eject the rounds in the magazine and reload. Once the weapons were cleaned, inspected and reloaded, Gary packed the back packs with the supplies he thought they might need. He decided that for this trip April would go unarmed, as she didn’t know anything about the weapons and he didn’t have the time or ammo to properly teach her. April’s pack would have the clothes that she wore the day before and Gary’s clothes that Molly had given him.

The pair then rearranged the cave by placing the weapons they wouldn’t take, explosives, cooking supplies and everything else to the rear leaving out the coffee pot and the beans that were on the cooling fire.

“Would you help me with the deer?” Gary asked

April hesitated “What do you want me to do?” She really didn’t want anything to do with a dead animal.

“Just open the door for me, ok? We’ll take her outside and toss her off the edge. I don’t know when we’ll be back and this place will really smell if we leave her here.”

April opened the door and bravely, taking on a newfound courage, slowly crawled outside while Gary lugged the doe’s carcass through the entrance. It was still snowing outside and the doe tumbled down the exposed cliff noiselessly out of sight. “It’s pretty up here isn’t it?” Gary said

“Yes it is…peaceful too.” Gary and April stood outside, arm in arm for a few minutes, the snow blowing gently and the swirling breeze making for a photographic winter wonderland scene; the chill finally ushered them back in.

Gary and April talked for a while, giving each other glimpses of what their past lives were about and how things would never be the same again. More wood was placed on the coals, as they forced themselves to rest up for their dangerous journey ahead.

“Gary, do you think we’ll ever be able to come back here?” April said looking over to him.

“To the cave; or to this area?”

“To this area.” April softly said

“I sure hope so. I also hope that we can put an end to this bullshit and go on with our lives.”

April snuggled up and linked her arm through his “What do you want?”

Gary looked at this woman understanding her question. Reaching deep inside him for a wish or hope that he thought would never be there again, calmly he said. “I want to be free…I want to be productive, and not destructive…I want to have a place where I can grow my own food …and…maybe raise a family.”

April turned off the radio and the bright camp light and lay down under the thin blue blanket and patted the spot next to her, an unspoken invitation for him to lie down...which he did. As she covered them both up with the blanket, listening to his rhythmic breathing, feeling safe and secure. April reached behind and wrapped Gary’s arm over her, pulling it tight against her body, wedging them closer.

It was the smell of her hair, and the warmth of her body that wouldn’t allow Gary to sleep. As he lay there with his eyes closed, he moved his hand under her under the thin black top and rested it firmly against her bare full breast.

April turned over to face him and the two spent the remainder of their brief time together, giving and receiving each other, with a commitment of love on a level that they had not expressed to anyone in their past life.

Gary whispered softly in her ear as they lay satiated with themselves. “I love you.”

Smiling and closing her eyes, April soon drifted off to sleep...followed by Gary.



The office looked no different than any other in the cost cutting and results oriented business world. The cubicles were open and lit by the drop ceilings fluorescent lighting. Computer systems on each desk with secretaries scurrying about the software design division, gave the real impression of high paced activity.

In the middle of the large room sat one of the software design engineer’s. The man barely fit in the swiveling armless chair as he was well over 300 pounds. The balding overweight engineer was only 35 years old and had the appearance of someone much older. Nobody noticed as he opened up his wallet and removed a small slip of paper. The engineer typed the lines of computer code into the program opened on his system. Once he finished, the engineer went to the men’s rest room, shredding the code then flushing it.

Over the companies intercom system the CEO of their company announced the great news. BAE Systems Underwater Division had won the contract to upgrade the software and targeting system on US Navy’s Mk 48 Heavy Torpedo. The applause was energizing. With recent cutbacks in Defense spending, countries found themselves in the unenviable position of sharing weapons systems. Today’s announcement was rumored months ago, although the system trials took much longer. The US Navy was very impressed with the British firm’s ability, performance and price.

Lunchtime found the obese engineer having the same brown paper bagged meal as he had for the past two years. The engineer turned espionage agent was recruited almost three years previously and exhibited good field craft. Today he deposited his waste into the trash can using his left hand; this was the signal to his unseen observer that the mission was accomplished.

Leaving the office after work, the engineer drove his car to a train station 30 miles distant. He boarded a train north to a small artsy town on the coast. The engineer turned spy, who now was a saboteur, checked to see if he was being followed, and finding no sign of any trail, left the train and took a cab to a family run Thai restaurant. The restaurant was in fact a safe area which was used by the Russians and the Middle Easterners to conduct business. Seating himself and ordering an appetizer he waited for his handler to arrive. He had only met his handler a few times in the past three years. Most of their transactions were accomplished by prearranged dead drops and numbered Swiss Bank accounts. Today’s job was the culmination of two years in designing the deadly work, which was actually created in Moscow, and resulted in the deposit of $100,000 pounds into his Swiss account.

The handler arrived and spoke “Good afternoon sir. I see that the spring rolls are excellent here.”

“Yes they are; would you care to join me?”

The spymaster sat down and spoke softly “I see that you have installed the code. You are sure that you did this correctly?”

“Of course I did…” he said egotistically “… It was a simple data entry. You could have had anyone do this.” The engineer seemed perturbed at the suggestion that some how he couldn’t enter in a simple line of code.

The spy smiled; but didn’t say that they also had another compromised employee in the company as a back up, should he have failed. “Excellent. Your funds will be available immediately. We will contact you when we need something else, or if you find something that we need to see.” With that said, the master espionage agent rose and left.

The engineer felt on top of the world, having performed a line entry on a computer that did who knows what, but that someone was willing to pay him a great sum of money for a few keystrokes. The engineer finished his meal and had called a cab. Outside he saw the cab arrive; as he was walking to get into the cab two men walked in to the restaurant. One man stopped and asked him for the time. Being brought up with typically excellent British manners, he obliged. As the engineer was looking at his watch, one man reached out and touched his arm. The engineer felt a pin prick and his eyes opened at the small intrusion into his skin. The men smiled and went into the restaurant, while the engineer thinking he just imagined the pin prick; got into the cab and gave directions. Before the cab had entered the main road, the engineer suffered a massive heart attack and died in the back seat.


Gary opened his eyes to the darkness of the cave, his arm wrapped around April as she was tight against his body. Gary had the intimate part of his life turned off years ago, and didn’t think that there would ever be a time when he would ever experience intimacy again; he was wrong.

Gary slowly unwrapped his arm and checked the time; 7:17pm…time to get up. Pulling the blanket off of his side, he put some fuel on the fire, dressed and sat off to the side watching April sleep, as the crackling wood burned brighter. Smiling as he thought to himself, she is so very beautiful and they were in love. The few minutes he had to himself were stimulated by her aroma which he wore like a perfume on his body.

Gary wondered at the dream he just had and just how that fat piece of shit engineer figured into the Navy’s problems with their submarines. Thinking about the events from the past few months, he tried to make some logical sense over it all. There were pieces of the puzzle that he either didn’t have or that just didn’t seem to fit. He would however, do the same thing he’s done for the past three or so years, and that is; take one day at a time…that to him made the most sense.

April opened her eyes and felt Gary not at her side, she woke up fully. “How long have you been up?” April said as she stretched, her smooth skin exposed down to the waist, the fires glow shimmering on her smooth skin.

“I got up a little while ago. I was just thinking about everything and trying to make some sense out of it all.”

“What time is it?” April questioned as she dressed.

“7:35…I’m going to check to see if it’s stopped snowing.” Gary went to the front door and removing the boughs, poked his head outside like Punxsutawney Phil on February 2nd. Crawling back inside, “It’s stopped snowing and it’s clearing up…there’s also a moon tonight.”

“Great”

“Maybe…maybe not. With a bright night sky, we could be spotted, but it will also be easier for us to hike out. Let’s hope that we can slip out of here before they arrive.” Gary said.

April fiddled again with the short-wave radio, finding what she was looking for. ’This is Freedom Radio…we are the only station on the air that is broadcasting the truth…’ “Gary I found it!” April was very excited.

The announcer continued …‘ladies and gentlemen, we are living on borrowed time. It seems as if the whole world is falling apart. As you can tell, we don’t broadcast what the propaganda wire services feed to us; we broadcast the information that you tell us. Although some of the information we receive is unsubstantiated, we simply put it out for you to decide for yourself.’

“Now that’s different, usually the “media” tells us what to believe, as if it’s gospel.” Gary said as he commented.

‘We have reports tonight from the US, Europe and Africa. First from the United States…it seems that the President has made herself a new underground home. Rumors are that President Chase and the New World Order Socialist factions of the Congress and Senate have moved to a nuclear bomb proof bunker in the Catoctin Mountains in Maryland….this seems to tie in to what we reported last week that the Encompass system computers are also located underground at a base in the Catoctin Mountains…if anyone has any further information, let us know…’

Gary’s eye opened at that bit of information which made him feel very uneasy.

‘…from Florida comes a report of a new aircraft that was spotted two days ago. A listener near Eglin Air Force Base reports of numerous aircraft sightings, similar in appearance to the Unmanned Reconnaissance Vehicle; called the “Global Hawk”…the listener who jokingly says he is a ‘certified aircraft nut’, says that the new Global Hawk is almost twice the size, and it is large enough to have a weapons carrying capability…in other military news, a listener in Kansas reports a build up of United Nations Peace Keepers and their families in rural areas, not normally associated with any military activity…It seems that the only thing keeping the US from becoming another Third World nation is the fact that we can produce the food that the world needs right now. It is very clear that food…is the new oil, so to speak...Yesterdays wheat futures for Winter wheat closed at $9.85 per bushel, a record high…’

April scooted over to Gary and sat next to him. They both stared at the radio like they would have a television broadcast…in another life.

The announcer continued ‘…let’s talk about the food shortage for a minute…we are receiving reports from the heartland about the genetically enhanced corn, wheat and soy beans…it seems that the growers are now being forced to plant these crops. No one knows what genetic enhancements have been made by the company Applied Genetics Research; except to increase the actual yield, which by all standards is phenomenal….if anyone can shed further light on this, let us know…’

Gary was feeling a little anxious over the broadcast. On one hand it was good to know that someone else knew what was going on, but on the other hand it was disturbing as it seemed that no one cared or was doing anything about it.

‘…Another aircraft has gone down, this time over Kazakhstan…reports say that 22 soldiers have been killed…folks, it sounds like to me that someone is targeting aircraft with our soldiers on them…now I know that they are now called the “World Police”, however, they are still American soldiers…’ The announcer paused for a moment ‘…in International news…China has announced that they a buy out of Wal-Mart and General Motors, they say that they will keep all factories and jobs in the US, but will have controlling interest in both companies…India also announced the purchase of Ford Motor Company…’

Gary shook his head at the financial aspect of the news, even though his personal interest in the stock market and business news ended a long time ago. This story mirrored the dreamed image of the newspaper headlines.

The announcer continued ‘…well, that about wraps up today’s news. There is something else that I want to talk about and that is the unbelievable take-over of our country. There are some of you out there that feel it is a good thing that the UN is running the show now. I want to ask you a question…where are the people that disagreed with this take-over and government? You don’t hear from them, do you? Are they alive, or are they dead…or are they in the relocation camps we have heard rumors about? If you know anything, anything at all about this…please contact me…Freedom Radio is now signing off…stay safe until tomorrow.’ The signal ended with an electronic beep.

Gary and April sat next to each other, not speaking…just deep in thought. Gary spoke first “Come on lets get out of here.”

“I thought we were going to wait until 1am. It’s not even 9 o’clock.”

“April I can’t sit still right now. I didn’t know that the President and her government are holed up near us, and that changes things. I would feel a lot better being out of this cave and headed south, right now.”

“Ok, then let’s go” April agreed

“Let’s get your pants legs bloused tight against your boots to keep the snow out.” Gary said as he worked on Aprils pants. They also drank a cup of coffee and had a few bites of the cooked beans and venison.

Finishing up with their winter dress and making sure the weapons and ammo were holstered and secured; the pair topped off the packs with MRE’s, filled canteens, blankets and the radio. They put out the fire; blew out the candles and crawled out of the cave; pushing their back packs and the Garand in front of them.

Gary and April stood outside of the entrance as the smoke from the extinguished fire rolled out of the caves opening. Their eyes needed a few moments to adjust to the outside darkness. It was a beautiful moonlit night.

Gary pulled April next to him “April I need to say something”

April had no idea what Gary was going to say “Ok”

Gary put his arm around her shoulders and bowed his head “God, I want to thank you for saving us. I want to thank you for the shelter and the food. Please let us get to where we need to go and do what we need to do….’ He paused “…I also want to thank you for April and bringing us together. Amen”

April looked at Gary and saw another side of him, which she liked “I didn’t know you are religious.”

“I’m not religious April. I figure God got me here and I’m just thanking Him and asking that He gets us both through it.”

With that said the pair started their hike out of the mountains and towards town. April’s hands clung to Gary’s pack, her eyes focused on his back and her fears subsided.

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