After the shooting in the ranch, due to the death of Jeremiah Otto, there was a midnight stir among the Indians and the white people living there. They were trying to get to an agreement about what to do with the Otto's.
On the one hand, Jake Otto committed no crime; but Troy... He just wanted to do what was right for him. He needed to avenge his father's death because, deep down, he knew the Indians had killed him with just one purpose: to get the lands that had been taken from his ancestors hundreds of years ago. Minutes after the suicide mission started, Troy felt the world crashing on him when he found out who was actually guilty of that murder: Nick Clark, the only friend he's ever had. But Troy clearly didn't have the guts to kill him because Nick was the only one who has ever shown him understanding and trust. More than his own father had ever given him since the first second he was born.
People who lived in the caravans, nearer to the Otto's house, had to hide in the armory where only three weapons were left to defend the place. Meanwhile, the shots heard in the distance stopped and silence was the only thing that could be heard. Not even the Indians dared to leave the armory and head to the house so as to tell people what had happened with Nick and Troy - who were hidding inside, living or dead.
As soon as silence was felt, I ran towards the main door to get out of that oxygen-depleted armory. Nevertheless, one of the guards standing next to the exit stopped me by putting his gun immediately on my head. The tension between the two groups turned the atmosphere even edgier. No one could see beyond fear and helplessness about not knowing what would happen next.
''What the hell are you doing!?'' I stared directly into that man's brown eyes.
''You all better listen to me. No one will get out of the armory until Walker allows it. You heard me!?'' He frowned, giving us all an intense, angry look.
Because of that man who was three quarters taller than I am, I didn't dare to take another step forward. The Otto's sibblings and Walker were in leadership of every single corner in the ranch; after Jeremiah's head was ripped off his body we all tried to live peacefully which was kind of impossible since Troy would not agree on any term under no cincumstances. What's more, considering that this issue started over lands that clearly have no value whatsoever during a zombie apocalypse, perhaps, we were all going to die meaningless.
''Please, I really need to go out there. Everybody's in risk of losing their lives... I just need to bring them back. There's nowhere to go besides this place, do you really think I'm going to run away? I don't even have a gun...'' This time, I looked at the other watchman, who belonged to the militia that Troy himself had created weeks ago to protect the ranch area, expecting an optimistic answer from him.
Both guards looked at each other and gave the go-ahead for my exit from the armory. As soon as I left, I ran to the back of the caravans, which were placed right next to each other, trying to keep an eye on what was happening where the crowd of that armed group was. Not longer after, someone else saw me out there and came after me but I managed to scape and hid between a few trees that surround the main entrance of the ranch and then made my way to the house where Nick and Troy were, unseen.
"Hey... You idiots. If you don't go out there by your own foot, you'll get yourselves killed." I saw Nick behind that old bed. Troy looked numb, as if he had just seen the devil. "Your father must not be so proud of you." I added, looking at his powder blue eyes, not showing a touch of affection towards him. It was about time to get Troy to behave as an adult and stop playing kamikaze.
He got up from the floor, unhurriedly, and still looking numb.
"My father..." he stood beside me for a few seconds, looking for the right words to pronounce. "They killed him. Besides, he never was proud of me anyway..." He placed his riffle on my hands, making me stagger as he got out of the room slowly.
"Hey, Troy..." I turned around expecting him to look at me. However, he kept walking downstairs and gave up the fight.
I woke up after sleeping half an hour straightforwardly and I gazed the sun's rays come through the cracks in the window. Troy was about being exiled, if they hadn't yet.
I headed where they were deciding where to take Troy so he couldn't come back to the ranch after leaving there in the middle of nowhere, as if Troy didn't know those lands like the back of his hand. After all, he was the one in charge of protecting these people, they couldn't just kill him.
Everybody left but one of the indians who was clearly keeping an eye on Troy.
"Could you please leave us alone?" I stared at the indian man.
"Sorry, but I have direct orders from Walker to keep an eye on him until his departure." He replied.
"I'll go with you. It's decided." I got closer to both of them.
"Madison will. You're not in a position to decide what to do. We lead you, so we decide who comes." Troy would look at us without pronouncing a single word, until he saw my facial expression change immediately.
"No. You are clearly not in that position. You came here claiming these lands, making everybody believe they're yours, still you not have a single grain of sand in here. You've just arrived here so you better lock your shit down." Troy's look towards him was fulminating, half smiling the way he used to when he got pissed. "You'll see..."
I noticed Madison approaching us in the distance and I decided to approach her as well, so that they wouldn't hear us.
"I want to go in your place." I whispered when I was close enough.
"You can't, you're definitely not trained to go be there, it's not like having a walk on a Sunday evening" I stood for a few seconds in thought. Madison didn't know I had been sneaking training with the militia.
"It's just the three of us, Madison. The area is clear... Either way, I don't need protection, I can take care of myself. She didn't mumble. Forthwith, I got into the back of the car, joining Troy where they usually carried boxes full of supplies. "This is going to be fun." I looked at him.
"You're brave, huh." They had blindfolded him so that he couldn't see the road we were about to take.
I looked at him for a few second and sighed. I began to feel as if I had a void inside me, a lump in my throat and chest; deep down I knew things weren't the same anymore. I could easily get on very well with everybody but everything became darker ever since the Clarks arrived. It wasn't their fault anyway.
"Hey Troy..." I noticed how quiet he was since we left the ranch. "I'm sorry... I made you feel awful."
"As if I ever got the change to feel right." He half smiled and then slightly nodded. "It's cool between us." I nodded as well, even if he could not see me.
I realised that his left hand was bandaged so I grabbed it. The whole bandage was covered by blood.
"What happened?" His countenance was serious but seconds later, the corners of his unique lips curved into a broad smile.
"Indian blade... If I had a matching pair, I'd be Jesus..." He showed me both of his hands and we both laughed at his bad joke.
"We arrived." The indian man looked at us and I looked at Troy, helping him out of the car, as they had not removed his blindfold yet.
Troy finished taking it off with his hands tied still and looked around.
"Wow, I see you got fully ready for the special event." He peeked my belt, where I carried a pistol and a sharp knife. I shrugged and he smiled again. "Are you that afraid of me? Of us?"
"Oh boy, don't get too cocky. He might be scared of you..." I looked at the other man. "But me... Not even close." I moved closer to him, making him understand that I was not afraid of any of his actions. "But you know what, Troy? I do scare you, enough." We both stared at each others' eyes, as I whispered, breaking the rope around his hands.
He didn't even answer and he turned towards our not-so-wanted partner, who was carrying the bag that Troy would take with him on his road to nowhere.
"Do you really think I won't be able to go back to the ranch just by blindfolding me?" Troy stared at the man and stood quiet for a few seconds. "Tell me something... What's your name?" They both looked at each other and Troy kept talking before the Indian could pronounce a word. "You know what...? Don't tell me." In less than a second, he pulled the knife out of the Indian's back pocket and stabbed him directly in the chest, leaving him lifeless, splattering blood all over his clothes.
"What the hell have you just done!?" I pointed my gun to his head, without a second thought.
"Oh, hey!" He looked back at me and showed ne the knife covered in blood. "You weren't afraid of me, were you?" He smiled, he didn't care about his actions. Without taking an eye away from me, he carelessly grabbed his bag and I didn't hesitate to shoot the handle of the rucksack making it drop to the floor. "Jesus, that's aim, huh. It would be good to have you with me, come?" He smiled again and he pursed his lips at the lack of response.
"Drop the damn knife. Not gonna tell you twice, Troy."
He snorted and, before he dropped the knife, he was faster than me. He spun me around and put the knife to my throat, holding my arms tightly so I couldn't shoot him.
"You're nobody to tell me what I should or shouldn't do..." He murmured, making us both fall on our knees.
We were both hectic from struggling not to kill each other. But I had to keep trying to get him to let go of me. He had his lips pressed to my ear and I could perfectly hear his heavy breathing. Realising that he wouldn't let go of me that easily, I opened my hand and dropped the gun.
"You like to mess things up, that's the only thing you're good at..." I couldn't even hear my own voice. "You never settle for what you have, you like things to be done the way you want it... You're a killing machine and I hate that from you."
I gained momentum and propelled a headbutt onto his nose, causing it to bleed and Troy to pull away from me. I sat on the floor trying to catch my breath without taking my eyes off him.
"I'm tired... Please, I'm so tired..." He scowled at me, blood running from his mouth.
"You'll rest when you die..." I murmured.
Seconds later, I got up from the ground and turned my back to him. I grabbed his backpack and headed straight to the driver's side, getting into the car. Why did it have to be like this? Why was he like this? I couldn't leave him alone in this, after all, his father had been taken from him, and he would never see his brother again.