It has been a long day. Matt and Jonas have still not returned with Scat. I am keeping my fingers crossed the little pest is doing fine and didn’t get caught by the Central goons. Tony, he is still recovering. We are still taking turns looking after him. He is not taking in a lot of fluids but his color is improving slightly. We held elections today. Pete will take over as the man in charge of security. He has started looking for people to fill the deputy positions. I need to put a Thank you in the Bear News for everyone that helped out in the middle of the night.
Now for some good news. Casey finally delivered her baby. Her labor lasted for days. She was in labor, then she wasn’t, she was in labor then she wasn’t. I felt bad for her because she was in constant pain. Everything turned out fine in the end. Mom and baby are doing well. As soon as Casey is up to it we are going to have a naming ceremony. The ceremony usually occurs about two weeks after the babies birth which will put it around the end of the month.
We moved Tony from the basement up to the admin hallway. He is not doing well. His eye seems to be better but his stomach is extremely bloated and painful to the touch. He isn’t holding any food done but we are insisting that he drink water. I honestly don’t know if this is doing any good or if it is doing harm but I heard once that you shouldn’t let people get dehydrated. Marty, Gretchen and Cecilia have headed out to the main library to do some research on Tony’s condition. With any luck they will come back with some answers on what we should do to help him. In the meantime, the kids are taking turns sitting with Tony and trying to keep him comfortable.
He was tall and lean. His dark curly hair handed down from his mother; “God rest her soul”. With a heavy sigh, he wraps the food-stained apron around his waist. He loathed this place: the counter, the stove, the constant smell of grease. The diner and its associated debt originally belonged to his dead parents.
The office of Financial Affairs had no sympathy for late payments. Family debt had to paid on time or face the consequences. The wolves were already knocking at the door. He considered running away from it all but his younger brother was still tagged as a commodity. His location could be traced.
Went to the market plaza today to see if I could find a pair of new shoes (old shoes). The ones I have are coming apart at the seams. I couldn’t find any I could fit my feet into. I guess I will wear these a little longer. While I was shopping I over heard some people discussing the Central Bobcats. They are causing trouble all over town. I am not usually afraid of anything but the leader of the Bobcats worry me. He is so evil. People say he is that way because his father was always beating on him, especially if he lost a tournament. I don’t know if this is true or if it is just a rumor kids spread around to explain his meanness. I do know that he never seems to have remorse about his actions. He actually enjoys hurting people.
Today, I sat beneath a tree at the park watching kids play. Watching the kids play brought back memories.
I was a few days shy of my 12 birthday, when both my parents died. Dragging their bodies to the backyard took most of the morning. I wanted to bury my mom and dad in a grave but the ground was too hard. I couldn’t push the shovel into the dirt more than a couple of inches no matter how hard I tried. By the end of the day, both of my hands were bloody with blisters, and my back hurt.
Determined to give my parents a proper burial, I placed a blue tarp from my dad’s tool shed over their bodies and then layered bricks my parents planned to use to build a fire pit over the tarp. With two pieces of wood and nails, I fashioned together a cross. On the cross, I wrote my parent’s names.
My family went to church twice a year. I had never been to a funeral. I relied on what I had seen in the movies to hold my little church service. I opened my mom’s bible and flipped to Psalms. I didn’t know what I should read so I read the first couple of lines on the page. After I said goodbye to my parents, I walked back inside the house. My heart ached. I was alone and terrified. The world outside my front door was in turmoil. Sounds and smells of death were everywhere. The street gangs were running up and down the streets in my neighborhood fighting and destroying what was left of our beautiful neighborhood. I went to my room, hid beneath my blankets, covered my ears and prayed to God that he would let me die.
I climbed out of bed the following day and staggered into the kitchen for a bite to eat. There was nothing edible in the refrigerator. The pantry contained egg noodles, flour, sugar, sauerkraut and a single can of lima beans. I grabbed the can of beans. The electric can opener sat on the counter but was useless. My house had been without power for a couple of weeks, nothing electrical worked. The manual can opener was in a drawer, next to the stove on the other side of the room. The kitchen wasn’t very large but with wobbly legs, the walk seemed difficult. I had to stop midway to catch my breath and wait for a feeling of light-headedness to pass. It took all of my remaining strength to open the stubborn can. The effort made me cry. I walked into the living room, wrapped my mom’s quilt around my shoulders and sat on the couch. I stared at the open can. I hated those beans. I didn’t want to eat them but my stomach hurt. The first bite of beans caused me to heave but I swallowed any way.