By Cindy and Walt
I looked over the compound as the other wandered out to their fires, where they found the note.
Congratulations your time in this compound is over. There will be a bus arriving to give you a lift back to the main compound. Bring all your gear but leave all the structures in place. Leave any food you have preserved. Prepare to leave the compound immediately.
It seemed that immediately meant different things to different people. If we were headed back to Church Camp, I intended to shower before I did anything else. If they had something else in store for me, it would be a long day.
I realized that I had lost track of time. Most of the others, on day one of our adventure, had begun to count the days but somewhere along the line they all had lost track. They also had lost varying amounts of weight. Our clothes hung on us all. I hadn’t thought that I could lose more weight, but I lost all that I had put on since returning from paradise.
I found Miles sitting on an over turned five gallon bucket and staring up at the mountain. I approached him carefully.
Me: Miles are you ready to go home.
Miles: No. (he paused a long time) I didn’t beat up a kid. I fondled a student. I don’t know what came over me, but it was dead wrong. Here life was simple. All my energy went into surviving. I had no time or energy to waste on other things.
Me: Well you were pretty good at this survival thing.
Miles: I know. The twenty five grand to go through this course came from my dad. It was supposed to toughen me up. He is a former combat soldier.
Me: When you go home tell him you are no wimp. If he wants a second opinion have him call me and I’ll straighten him out.
Miles: Thanks Rose, for everything.
Me: Here comes the bus.
I handed the rifle and ammunition over to Killer, who was the one checking us onto the bus. The hand tools from the school were dropped into a big wooden box. I was already on the bus when Killer stepped on.
Killer: Rose you forgot to leave your pencil.
Me: I lost it.
No one else understood the private joke. The reference was to the ceramic object which would double for a number two lead pencil unless it was examined very carefully. They were considered even more harmless than a BIC pen.
When we got back to the Camp I was glad to see that the bus pulled into the area where we had spent the first night. I found some clean clothes then went to the shower where I allowed the hot water to run first over my front then over my ass for a long time. Finally I washed my hair several times.
I stepped outside the shower stall where I found two of my fellow campers waiting. I could tell it was going to be trouble. I did a threat assessment. I decided the bigger of the two was also the lesser threat. I began looking for a weapon should the need arise.
I saw then that they had moved my clothes from the bench. My guess was they planned to lay me across it. Rape was not a problem I had to face at the Church Camp before. If Andrew were still in charge, a rapist would just disappear into the lake.
Me: What is it you two have in mind?
The smaller of the two: You are a real bad ass I hear.
Me: So you plan to show me what a bad ass really is?
Him: No we gonna all be real friendly. I bet you will love cock even better than you do pussy. You just never got the chance to try it because you are so damn skinny.
Me: You really don’t want to do this.
I knew what was going to happen and it went down just about like I figured. He grabbed my hands. He expected me to be under control. I continued to struggle. He released one of my hands so that he could slap me. I took the blow so there would be evidence of a struggle. Also he could no longer hold me with the other hand because I kneed him in the testicles. He had only the one hand he held me with available to catch himself as he sank to his knees. I knew where the ceramic pencil was and while the second one stood in shock, I recovered it.
First I stabbed the larger one standing there open mouthed. I stabbed him in the shoulder deep but it wasn’t a heart or neck wound which would have been serious. He caught a break since he hadn’t actually tried to attack me. He saw his blood pumping out of his shoulder. He must have decided he wanted no more of the crazy bitch with the pencil covered in his blood.
I turned my attention to the first one who was on one knee and trying to stand. First I kicked him so that he rolled onto his back. Then I stabbed him in the gut. I only stabbed him once. I could have finished him off, but I chose not to do it. Yes it was a hard decision.
Me: I’m going to dress now. If you are still in the room when I finish, you will be finished as well.
They staggered out. I pulled on my clean panties and tee shirt. Then I slipped my ass into the suddenly baggy jeans. Finally I pulled on a sweatshirt. I decided I needed to have it embroidered with the words ‘don’t fuck with me. I have a pencil and I’m on the rag’. I sat on the bench to await my fate. It was Killer who came into the room.
Killer: What the fuck is wrong with you? Those two are still alive?
Me: I thought you would be happy, since you don’t have a murder investigation to worry about.
Killer: They are saying you asked for it. I taught you better. Yours should be the only story told.
Me: Hit me.
Killer: You sure?
Me: Put on your gloves and hit me.
Killer hit me once with his fist. The blow landed over my eye with enough force to break several blood vessels which would bruise nicely.
Me: Is that all you got.
Then he slapped me twice, one of the blows split my lip. Then he walked away without a word to call 911. The 911 operator sent the rural police to investigate.
It was several hours later before the police had the rape kit completed and the two men’s statements. As I always did I made the story fit the facts along with making the facts fit the story. My story was I fought them off using whatever I had at my disposal. The fact that they were both in the hospital meant that they couldn’t work out a story, so mine was the first story told and it fit the evidence.
The two of them were looking at five to ten years in prison. It would never come to that, since I wasn’t about to testify and allow myself to be cross examined. My plan was to scare the crap out of them, so that they never wanted to use force on a woman again. I had punished them enough. They were going to remember me. The cops said the pencil somehow went into the heavier one’s shoulder. I was also informed that he was likely to have pains there for the rest of his life. Especially when the weather changed.
The one who actually assaulted me was going to have trouble with some foods, since he had lost several inches of perforated intestines. He was lucky that he wasn’t crapping in a bag, I thought.
I made sure I remained a victim by refusing a lawyer. I knew Rita would love to defend me, but I chose to keep Swamp Dog out of it.
I stayed at Church Camp for a couple of weeks till I got things taken care of. Killer and Mica were very kind and sympathetic. That most likely was to avoid the lawsuit I could have brought against them.
I was making plans to move to the homestead in Maine just as fast as I could. The funny thing was I decided that there was absolutely no reason to build a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, so I took a page from Sylvia’s Porter’s biography and bought a used cargo container. The seller arranged to drop it on a parking lot in Farmer’s Grove. I arranged for a local handyman to finish it off inside while parked in that lot.
That took another week, so it meant another week at the camp. I planned to move but the Killer and Mica wouldn’t hear of it. The carpenter agreed to finish off the container as a cabin for my SUV and five hundred bucks plus the cost of materials. We agreed that I would turn over the SUV only after the work was completed.
The container had been left on the trailer while the work was done, so it could also be used to deliver it. When it was completed a semi truck would pick up the trailer and deliver it to Maine. It was cheaper to rent the trailer for over a week than it was to rent a crane to load and unload it. I filled the container with a lot more than furniture. There were tools, vehicles and gasoline generators.
I spent five hundred bucks on a heavy duty trike with wide tires and reinforced frame. I installed a motor and battery pack before I loaded it into the container. I also had a corrugated half moon designed metal building on wheels sitting on the trailer behind the container. While the handyman worked on completing the interior, I drove the SUV to have a look at the homestead for the first time.
When I arrived at the homestead, I took the SUV up the undeveloped fire road to have my first look at the land I had bought. The first thought I had was there is no way a semi was going to make it up this road.
I went back to the nearest town and did some asking around. I found a man with a big assed farm tractor. He agreed to pull the trailer to a site I had yet to prepare.
He recommended some of his farm workers help me to prep the site. The fire road ran through my property on the north end. I had about ten acres on the north side of the road and almost a hundred on the south side.
What the farmer and I decided was to drive up the road till we found an almost clear spot, then finish clearing it off for the container. The spot we chose was a place where the fire service had created a temporary storage area. They just pushed down some trees so they could store water tankers there in case of fire. It had since been abandoned, which gave me an acre of land with head high wild growth.
The farmer had his men help me clean it off while we waited for the truck to arrive with the semi trailer. The farmer used a chain to drag the container off the semi’s trailer and onto a farm trailer. He hauled the container up to the former fire service vehicle storage area. Once the container was close, he used the tractor and chain to drag it to the exact location.
The storage building was easy enough to drop. It took a day for the truck to bring it and a day to set the container. I took the SUV back to Farmer’s Grove and handed the keys over to the handyman who had done the work.
The whole thing, tools and all, cost me thirty grand and my SUV. It was ready to live in quickly enough. Before I left with the SUV I went to the grocery store nearest to my homestead. There I purchased lots of items which I couldn’t get any other way.
I spent my first night in the container and realized how much all this had cost me. It was a lot more than I expected, but I had to consider how much my freedom was worth. I planned to live alone and off the information highway so I would be free as long as no one really wanted to put forth the effort to find me.
I had known all along that once I moved into that container, my old life was over and I knew it was completely over. There would be no going back, no more Rose Seabold, Iris Martin or any of the others. It would be plain old Emily Jessup. She wasn’t the eighteen year old kid who got tangled up with drugs and then drug dealers anymore. She had learned there was no one left to try to impress.
Liam: I just hoped that Emily is as good of a companion as Rose has been.
(NOTE: A new story, The Investigators, begins Monday.