The End: Story Two - Enter the Cave Part #1 By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story Two
Enter the Cave Part #1
By: David K. Montoya

Mike and I walked out and boarded the bus. Richard was stretched out in the very back of the vehicle. Even though he had several horse blankets on top of him I could tell that he was shivering. We walked up to my brother and told him that we were going to take him inside because I thought he could freeze to death if he stayed out here. Rich grumbled something, but it made no sense. I grabbed under his arms and Michael grabbed his feet. While we carried him from the bus, I noticed how bad Rich really looked. He was very pale and his skin felt cold to the touch. I was worried that my brother had contracted something in Ely that could have been deadly; for him as well as the rest of us. Mike and I carried him into the Visitorís Center and put him into an area that looked like it had been an employee break room.

As I came out of Richardís room I saw the other three had set up camp in the center of the Visitorís Center. They were eating canned pears and seemed to be enjoying the secure surroundings. Rose held up an unopened can for me, but I told her that I would pass because I needed to make sure everything in the bus was safe.

I walked back out to the bus and once inside I headed directly to the rear of the vehicle where there were no windows. I shuffled through a few bags until I found a used bottle of peroxide and some gauze. I also found some tape. I laid everything out so I could clean and dress my wounds. I knew that I would have a lot of them with what had happened in the last few days. Once I took my T-Shirt off, however, I was surprised to find that only a few bruises were visible and the wound on my shoulder was nearly healed. My body should have been in a lot worse condition than this. As I was examining my arms I realized that my skin had started to look more like a human than an Unlucky. Was I healing on my own? Come to think about it, I was feeling better. I was unable to give my condition any further thought when I looked up and noticed Michael was standing in the aisle directly in front of me. He asked me when I had been bitten.

I explained that it was back in Airepseh, when an Unlucky had snuck up behind me and caught me by surprise. Mike wanted to know how I was doing now, as I slipped my shirt back on. I told him that I felt good, even though that made no sense, but I really felt good. I asked him what was he doing out here in the cold weather. Michael chuckled and explained that while checking the complex he found a makeshift shower. He had come to the bus to get the pack of matches to light the water-heater. I told him that he would not likely get it lit because there was no gas available to light it with. Michael leaned back against a bench and laughed. He explained that there was a large propane tank out back.

We got the water-heater lit and got the heating unit working although the entire building stunk for a good two hours, but we were comfortable and warm. It almost felt like life before the sickness. All of us agreed to stay there until we ran out of propane which we guessed would be in two or three days.

Michael and I carried Richard into the shower and got him scrubbed down and back into bed as fast as we could. It wasnít much of a bed as it was made of folded blankets with a sleeping bag on top of that, but it was the best I could do for him. After we got Richard settled in for the night and everyone had had their turn with the shower, I decided it was my turn.

I was amazed that even after the others had showered, the water was still piping hot. I stood under the nozzle and let the streaming water run down my head. It felt like several little fingers massaging my scalp. When I opened my eyes I was troubled at how much dried blood had come off me as it collected in the large basin at my feet.

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