Second Dead

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Chapter 10: Going home

“What are you doing? She might be a moaner!” Dad pulled Susan from the car.

“But she’s alive,” Susan whimpered.

Dad gave his pistol to Susan, reached into the car and shook Klara. He continued to shake until her eyelids fluttered.

Unable to open her eyes beyond the tiniest of slits, Klara just swayed while her head lolled back and forth.

Dad felt Klara’s face. “She’s warm. Help me.”

Dad and I pulled Klara from the car and laid her on the floor. He checked her torso for bites. She appeared to be uninjured with the exception of her hands. Her fingertips were reduced to bloody stumps. Several fingernails were gone. Pus oozed from her wounds. Crusty blood stains covered her face and clothes.

“We’ve got to help her,” Susan shrieked.

“Calm down. I know,” Dad yelled. He inspected her legs for bites.

“Dad,” I pointed toward a plastic four-wheeled garden cart.

Dad ran to the garage door and pulled it up with one fluid motion. The door creaked harsh and metallic. He picked Klara up and walked to the driveway. I maneuvered the cart out of the garage and helped place Klara into the transport. Her legs and head hung over the sides.

Klara opened her eyes, this time wider than before. She gazed around. Moving her eyes seemed to tax what little strength she possessed.

Susan knelt down. “Klara, you’re going to be all right.”

Klara stared, groggy and disoriented. She fixed her eyes on Susan. At last, she focused and moved her lips. “Susan?”

“Yes, it’s Susan.” She broke down into tears. “Oh Klara, I’m so sorry.”

Klara closed her eyes.

Dad seized the cart handle and pulled it toward the front door. Susan stood up and helped push the cart, with a pistol in each hand.

“Susan, keep watch. Anna, help me get the weapons.” He dropped the handle and headed toward the door.

After several trips, we managed to empty the contents of the closet into the cart. Quite a good haul. Thousands of rounds of ammo, five shotguns, four rifles, three of which came with high-powered scopes, two small .22 rifles, a dozen pistols, and one mean looking military-type assault rifle, gave us undreamed of firepower.

“Anna, bow,” Dad grunted while he pulled the cart down the sidewalk. Susan fell in and pushed the cart behind him.

“For God’s sake, Susan, put those things away.”

Susan pushed the cart with a pistol in each hand. Both weapons pointed at Dad. “Oh, right. Sorry.” She checked the safeties before dumping them into the cart.

We reached the edge of Melvin’s yard. Dad turned off the road and into the mud. We passed between the houses and Chris and Theo ran up the hill toward us.

“Who the hell is that?” Theo exclaimed.

“Language,” Dad rasped, “go.”

Theo grabbed the handle and started to pull while Chris and Susan pushed the cart. Dad straightened up and bent backward while he stretched the sore muscles in his back. He was not in the best of shape.

“Come on, Dad, let’s go home.”

He jumped at the sound of my voice. “Thanks, Anna,” he huffed, short of breath.

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