The End: Story Two - In the Heartland By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story Two
In the Heartland
By: David K. Montoya

Some time passed and it was nightfall; I remained with Michael for most of the day. When I went downstairs I was met with the smell of fresh rain and wet wood. Everyone was gathered in the living room chatting with each other. Dr. Vaughan met me at the bottom of the stairs. He led me to where everyone was sitting. The doctor wanted to introduce everyone to me. Across the room was his son Peter Junior or PJ for short. He was reclined back in a chair reading a book and drinking from a wine jug. On the sofa was Vince, who was going through a stack of paper attached to a clipboard, which I found out later was his "to-do" list for the following day on the farm. Daniel, Linnie, and Alvin were seated on a couch across from the sofa. They were drinking what looked like beer. Dr. Vaughan explained that they had a brewery in the back. Vaughan said that he was missing one of his men, Arturo, who I found out was the well-built guy who had carried my son into the house. As the introductions were being made two people walked in the front door soaking wet and the doctor introduced them as his two strays. The boy was Jeremy, who was rescued from a nearby farm. His brother had contracted the Ďsicknessí and late one night he transformed into an Unlucky and slaughtered the family while they slept. Jeremy had been out with his friends and when he came home the boy found his family dead and his brother a monster. He took off down the road screaming for help as his brother chased behind. Arturo happened to come by, killed the beast, and brought the kid to the farm. Jeremy told them the story once, then never spoke of it again.

The girl was Nancy. She wandered onto the farm onr day, but never told anyone where she was from or how she ended up there. Vaughan said he originally planned to turn her away, but Jeremy talked him into letting her stay.

After that I followed the doctor across the room to a door that was almost right next to the staircase. He asked if I was hungry, that one of the hands had made barbecued ribs for dinner. How could I say no to that? As we passed through the doorway, I found myself in a kitchen and it was not the only thing that I found. At the far end of the kitchen was the well-built guy Arturo and Rene. They were only talking but appeared to be getting friendly with each other. They looked like two kids who got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Instantly I felt a swirl of emotions, but what could I say or do?

I fixed up a rack of ribs for myself and decided to dine alone outside. I sat on a bench-swing. The rain was still coming down along with a slight breeze, which made it relaxing while I ate. The food itself was beyond wonderful. I hadnít eaten ribs since my wife made them at least fifteen years ago.

My mind wandered as I thought about her and the way things were when we were together. I flashed back to that dream I had the other day with everyone in it. That was odd; maybe it was my subconscious telling me that Iím tired of being alone.

When I went back inside I discovered that everyone had gone to bed. I didnít realize that I had been outside for so long. I walked over to the sofa; it was covered in a South West design and the cushions appeared to be flat from several years worth of use. I stretched out across the sofa and to my surprise found it to be quite comfortable. I stayed there for some time, watching as a clockís metal pendulum swung back and forth. I was almost asleep when the sound of my sisterís voice brought me awake. She was sitting across from me. She told me that we needed to talk. I could tell that it was something serious by the look on her face.

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