Journal Entry 154
I have given out more hugs in the last two hours than I have given out all year long. I have said it before but I have some good friends. General Yates and his soldiers are out side securing the captured Black Cobras. Yates dropped by a few minutes ago to see how I was doing. He is so sweet. Tony dropped by my room shortly before that and invited me to get something to eat. I asked him to give me a little while. I needed to finish with this journal entry and shower. I’d drop by his room when I was done.
My brain is a little wonky. I am having some serious difficulty forming thoughts in my head. I’ve been trying to write everything down that happened before I forget it. I am so tired. I need to tuck myself into bed. I need to shower first. I stink. I wish I had a bathtub. My stomach is growling. I am not sure when I ate last. It was yesterday at breakfast maybe.
Journal Entry 153
As we reached the Black Cobra tribe building Cain jumped up on the front steps and invited the crowd to join the festivities. His girlfriend was drooling all over him, still making a fuss and telling Cain how great he was. Her continuous talking was making my headache turn into a migraine. I wanted to tell her to shut the (insert dirty word) up.
The girls and I were paraded to the front of the stairs and forced to kneel on our knees facing the crowd. Cain sent a couple of Black Cobras into their tribe building to get the Cobras that were inside so that they could watch our execution. The crowd suddenly went hush. Cain started to give a speech about defeating the enemy. I knew we were getting ready to die so I closed my eyes and tried to think of something else.
I heard a gun go off and Cain stop speaking in mid-sentence. He fell down the stairs and landed beside Hemy and me. I think I was frozen where I was kneeling. The crowd panicked and tried to run. I stayed where I was. Tony reached down and grabbed my arm to help me to my feet. It took me a moment to realize who he was. I hugged his neck and started to cry, again. I thought Tony and the others had died in the explosion. That’s when I noticed General Yates and about 50 of his soldiers surrounding the crowd. Yates looked at me and with a smile said “I told you I had things under control.”
General Yates and his soldiers rounded up all the Black Cobras they could find and burned the Cobras tribe building to the ground.
Journal Entry 152
I was on my knees in the gravel staring back at the burning building. I think I was in shock. Some of my closest and dearest friends were in that building. Cain was dancing around like a fool gloating over his accomplishment. His girlfriend was dancing with him. She stroked his ego by saying he was the best leader ever. She even suggested Cain make himself King.
After a couple more minutes of hero worship and gloating Cain demanded we all get back on our feet. We continued down the road toward the Black Cobra’s tribe building. We had started to draw a crowd. The whole town must have heard the explosions. I hadn’t seen this many people in the streets in a long time. I felt like I was on display. In the back of my mind I was worried about how bad I looked. Would someone write about this day? How was I going to be portrayed on the page? Would they say I was a good leader or a bad one? Some of the people on the street cheered as we passed by. The people cheering were Black Cobras and a few tribe members loyal to the Cobras. A majority of the people just stood there. A few of them looked as if they wanted to help but were afraid to try. I tried to look confident even though I was dying inside.
Journal Entry 151
Cain never liked it when people didn’t do what he asked immediately. I knew from first hand experience that Cain’s temper was short. I felt his fists on more than one occasion. He yelled one more time for General Yates and his soldiers to toss their weapons out the window. To prove he was serious about his threat of blowing the room up he pushed a button and blew up the adjacent storage building. The explosion was so loud I thought we were all getting ready to die. General Yates and his soldiers tossed their guns out the window. I was praying Yates had a plan.
Cain had our attention and to prove he was in charge and to prove he controlled our fates he pushed Hess over the railing. She hit the floor with an awful thud. I couldn’t help but cry. Once the tears started I couldn’t make them stop. I asked Cain “Why did you do that?” He simply said “Because I can.” Cain’s sidekick seemed to enjoy the display of cruelty. She was jumping around in the loft laughing and clapping.
Cain had his Black Cobras tie Yates, Jonas, Matt, Pete, Joshua and the rest of the boys to poles in the room. The girls and I were led out and marched up the street with Cain and his girlfriend in the lead. We had walked about two blocks when we heard the building we just left blow up. The explosion was so big several of us were knocked off our feet.
Journal Entry 150
I thought Cain had died long ago. I had no idea he was the leader of the Black Cobras. I could have sworn it was someone else I had seen previously. I stood there in the middle of the floor looking up at the loft. Cain was standing there looking down at me with that giant toothy grin on his face. (That face used to haunt me in my dreams.) The girl who had been tied up with the explosives yesterday stood beside him, all happy and smiling. She had Hess tied to a rope. Leading her like a dog. Cain must have had Hess beaten. She looked like the walking dead.
I was trying to think of something clever to say and at the same time hold back the nausea I was feeling. The past I had tried to forget had suddenly rushed forward. The hunger, the cold, the abuse, and the awful things he made me do. It was an awful winter. Our resources were few and we were starving to death. I hadn’t eaten in days. Some of the other kids were already walking skeletons. I went out to search for food.
I was so hungry that I would do just about anything for a bite to eat. I ran into Cain. He had a smile to die for. I thought he was an angel sent to save my friends and me. I didn’t realize until it was too late that the smile he enjoyed showing off was hiding the face of evil.
I must have been a nice shade of green because Yates whispered for me to relax he had things under control. I didn’t see control. Cain demanded Yates and his soldiers toss their weapons out the far window or he would blow up the room.