The Final Hour

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An Introduction

We arrived in the Colony about an hour ago, it’s maybe about two o’clock. Rayla and I are sharing a small tent. The food here is decent, the portions are filling but not large. They don’t have a lot of meat which is fine for Rayla and me but not so much for Major, that just means that he and I will have to go hunting every now and then to get him so more meat.

“Rayla, Amara, come on, Hunter wants to meet you guys,” Isaac hollers from outside the tent.

“Coming!” Rayla shouts.

“Should we bring Major?” I say poking my head outside.

“Yeah, Hunter may or may not care if he’s here,” Isaac replies.

The four of us walk to Hunter’s quarters. Isaac knocks on the door and opens it.

“Come on in girls,” Hunter says with his back facing us, bent over a map.

“Hi Hunter, my name is Rayla, and this is Amara,” Rayla says, standing just inside the doorway.

“Hi, Rayla, Amara,” Hunter replies, turning around, reaching his hand out to shake our hands. Once he shakes Rayla’s hand and reaches for mine, Major growls at him, “And who is this?” Hunter asks moving his hand away from mine.

“Major, my dog,” I reply nervously.

“Well, if you guys are going to stay here he will need to not be aggressive,” Hunter says looking down at Major cautiously.

“Isaac, go ahead and bring Aaron in,” Hunter says towards Isaac.

“Okay,” Isaac says, walking out.

“So girls, how many people have you killed?” Hunter asks sitting down in a chair.

“I’ve killed none, Amara killed one,” Rayla says looking over at me.

“Why?” Hunter questions.

“Because I would be dead if I didn’t” I reply looking back up from the ground.

“I see,” Hunter says as the door opens and a young boy somewhere around our age walks in.

“Aaron, this is Rayla, Amara, and Major,” Hunter says to Aaron, “Girls this is my son Aaron.”

“Hi Aaron,” Rayla says, shaking his hand.

“I’d shake your hand but I don’t want you to get bitten by Major,” I say chuckling softly.

“Nice that he’s protective,” Aaron says chuckling along.

“Aaron and Isaac, you two can give these girls a tour,” Hunter says gesturing for us to leave.

“No it’s fine,” I say declining the offer.

“I’m not taking no for an answer,” Aaron says gesturing for me to follow.

I look over at Rayla, she gives me a nod to follow him.

“Do you guys want to do separate tours or together,” Isaac asks, looking over at Rayla.

“I don’t care, up to you two,” I reply, looking over at Rayla.

“Why don’t we do separate,” Isaac says looking to Aaron for agreement.

“Yeah that’s fine, You take Rayla, I’ll take Amara,” Aaron comments in reply.

“See you in a bit for lunch!” Rayla shouts as she and Isaac walk off.

“Okay so why don’t I show you the horses?” Aaron says leading the way towards a pen with a handful of horses inside.

“The light brown is Harley, the buckskin paint is Milo, the black and white one is Ace, the white one is Paloma, the yellow one is Oscar, he’s our cart horse, and the fully black one is Bandit. Milo is mine, Ace is my dad’s, Harley is Isaacs and Paloma was Kaila’s,” Aaron says standing by the fence, leaning against it.

“What about Bandit?” I ask keeping my gaze on him as he walks towards a tall patch of grass.

“He’s got a bit of a meaner streak to him so no one can ride him. I’ve tried once but he kicked me off,” Aaron says while watching Bandit graze.

“He’s gorgeous,” I say watching him pull the grass out of the ground.

“Yeah I guess he is pretty handsome, but he’s a pain in the ass,” Aaron says watching him.

Bandit lifts his head up and walks towards us. He moves more towards me, nudging my hand with his muzzle, “Hi Bandit, what are you doing?”

“I’ve never seen him do that,” Aaron says watching in awe.

“Well he does certainly seem to like me,” I say stroking his face.

“Yeah, well come on, we have a lot more to look at.” He says, walking away.

After about an hour, Aaron and I met with Rayla and Isaac for lunch, we sit with just the four of us. The meal is carrots, potatoes, leeks, and chicken. It’s actually pretty good.

“So, what state are you guys from?” Aaron asks looking over at me.

“South Dakota,” I reply, taking the chicken from my plate and feeding it to Major.

“Did you live near Mt. Rushmore?” Aaron asks curiously.

“Yeah, we got to see it a lot,” I reply.

“What was your guys’ favorite part about Mt. Rushmore?” Isaac questions.

“The trails,” Rayla and I reply in unison, breaking out laughing.

“That doesn’t surprise me, I’m sure you guys got sick of seeing heads made of stone,” Isaac says chuckling, Aaron joining in.

“Yeah, it got boring after what the 5th time?” Rayla questions, looking over at me.

“Yeah, we went at least once a month if not twice,” I answer.

“Damn, that’s pretty often,” Isaac comments.

“Yeah, there were probably way better ways to spend our time and money,” I add.

“What else was there to do?” Aaron asks curiously.

“Well in the spring the flower fields were always fun to go and see, and then in the summer we would always go to the pool or the beaches and in the fall we would go hiking and in the winter skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing. So there were always things to do,” Rayla answers.

“Wow, so you guys kept busy,” Aaron comments.

“Yeah, and the days it was rainy we would have either a lazy day or go to the gym,” I add.

“Wow, no wonder I felt put to shame when we first met,” Aaron comments, chuckling slightly.

“Eh, you shouldn’t, part of it was because we never really stay in one spot for very long so we’re always moving and we have to carry shit too so we still get a good workout,” I say, laughing along.

“Makes sense, but I hope you guys plan to stay awhile?” Aaron adds, in a hopeful voice.

“We’ll see, that’s if this one doesn’t get us kicked out first,” Rayla comments, bumping my shoulder.

“Very funny,” I say, looking over at her.

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