The End: Story Two - In the Heartland Part 4 - The Conclusion By: David K. Montoya


The End:Story Two
In the Heartland Part 4 - The Conclusion
By: David K. Montoya

Michael fired one round that hit Vaughan in the back of his head, erupting out his forehead. The doctor collapsed in front of his children. Francine dropped to her knees next to her father and began to weep, but Peter Junior expressed anger instead of sorrow. He screamed profanities our way, calling us murderers, saying that his sister could have helped his father, but we had shown gratitude for saving my sonís life by taking his.

Finally he screamed out to Michael that since he took PJís father from him, now Junior was going to take me from my son. Junior took off running in my direction. I met him at the steps in front of the house. He took a wild swing, which cost him dearly as I countered, burying the axe deep into his cranium. Like his father, he fell to his death.


It was mid afternoon when we finished loading the school bus. Some of us had gone through the house to take whatever we could use along the way to Haven. The others buried all of the dead out by a large oak tree in the front yard. All of us met at the fresh burial ground. I found Michael and Francine at Dr. Vaughanís grave.

Francine was sobbing. I wanted to say something but what? Iím sorry for your loss, although itís my fault that theyíre both dead? Then I saw my son put his arm around her and pull her to him so she could mourn while he comforted her. I realized at that moment that I would not have to say anything. Michael had already done it for me.

I waited a few moments before I approached the two. Francine had her face buried in my sonís chest when I came up to them. I told them that it was time to get going, Michael turned to me and said that Francine would like to go with us as we made our way to Haven, and was it alright?

I looked deep into my sonís eyes and saw the nervousness, and the fear. I had to smile at Michael. Despite the fact that he had faced countless hoards of dangerous Unluckys, it took every nerve in his body to ask that one question. It made me reflect back when I was in his shoes. I was shaking in my boots as I asked Michaelís Grandparents if my wife, (then girlfriend) could come live with us. Of course the situations were totally different, but the fear was all the same, and I respected that. For the first time I no longer saw my son as a child, but more of a young man. I told them that of course she was welcome to join us on our adventure to Haven. He gave me a big smile of relief and thanked me. I told them that they were both welcome but we needed to get going because a storm was coming in and we needed to be out of the state before it got too bad for traveling; after all, the bus did not have a windshield.

Francine asked if we could go to the barn before all of us left. She explained that there was a lot of vital information about a possible cure for the mutating sickness. I could not have passed up on that opportunity for the world and agreed to visit the barn house on one stipulation that I was allowed to join her as she collected her information.


A light drizzle started once we got to the barn house. Fran showed us a secret dirt track to take so we could get the bus there. As we came upon the building, the front doors were wide open. Michael and I grabbed our weapons and unloaded from our vehicle, with Francine following behind. She explained that we would be able to get in and out quickly, because all of the information was kept in the same place. When the three of us walked inside we found the entire complex in complete shambles. It appeared that someone had beaten us to the barn. There was not an inch of space that hadnít been upturned. Francine began to weep again. Before my son or I could ask what was the matter, she explained that most of her adult life was spent in the barn and now it was all gone.

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