Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Ghost

Mac sat quietly in a chair next to the boy’s bed for several hours. For a while, it didn’t look like Jude would be waking up. Two serious head injuries in one day wasn’t something to be taken lightly, especially when The Compound had little to no medical supplies left they could use to treat him with. A few times, he twitched or moaned, and that was enough to give the man with the bushy red mustache hope.

Lucy had taken Mac place at a briefing in regards to their assault at The ICU. The mission had been a success for the most part, aside from the loss of Zak and Jude’s injury. Cable, the leader of The Crazies, had been ravaged by Stella and then covered with the falling rubble of the building. The Family’s reign of terror had finally ended, sending a harsh message to the remaining gangs still in the area – The Paragon Convoy was not to be crossed.

Though they had won the battle, the war was still far from over. Paragon would still have to send reinforcements if they wanted to keep running their trade route in Southern Florida. That meant Mac would still have to travel to Avalon, but Jude was still out cold. He’d wait, at least a day or so before departing without him.

Luckily, that night, Jude had his first flicker of consciousness in the form of a memory. He remember Dale and the slave camp, the beatings he would receive. All of these terrible thoughts pressed against his frontal lobe until he finally opened his eyes. The first one to notice was a nurse, who touched Mac’s arm and jerked him from his snoring slumber.

“Holy shit! You’re awake!” He cried, rushing to Judah’s side.

Judah didn’t acknowledge him at first, his mind was still hooked on Cable’s involvement in the death of his parents.

“Where is Cable? The leader of The Crazies?” Jude asked softly, wiping the sweat from his face.

Mac smiled and patted his roughly on the back.

“You ain’t gotta work about him no more. Bastards under a mountain of concrete” Mac exclaimed with a hearty chuckle.

Jude clinched his teeth, but said nothing about Cable’s involvement in his colony’s eradication. In the coming hours, he’d slowly forget about his angry towards the former Forge member. It would be replaced with hate for the entire organization, but that was something Judah could quietly conceal. He was just relieved that Terra Firma never again had to worry with Cable and his Family.

The next morning, Mac explained the plan to his young counterpart. They take the Neverglade Waterway north until it emptied out into Port Avalon, then speak with the higher-ups about sending extra help to The Compound. Lucille could handle operations while Mac was away since she was unspoken second in command. Their vesicle was an old fishing boat The Compound called The Ghost. It wasn’t much to look at, but it’d get them from A to B in under 24 hours.

The Ghost pulled away from the dock and began floating away from The Guerillas that had come to see the duo off. Judah wasn’t much for goodbyes and only gave a single wave before taking a seat next to Stella, who was whining excitedly.

“Calm down girl… Its gonna get better now” He whispered to his dog gently.

Mac watched the merchants on the dock become dots and vanish over the horizon. He hadn’t taken a moment to relax since before Jude had first arrived, so he checked ahead with binoculars one last time before closing his eyes to have a short rest. The Ghost tugged along in the setting sun, its engine matched only by the wind and several whispers from the shadows of the shoreline.

Miles away, back at The Compound, a merchant named Miles found himself revealing Jude’s current location amidst panicked gasps for air. When his attacker had heard what he needed to hear, the young man’s windpipe collapsed under the pressure of a powerful grasp. His target was moving to Avalon on a boat. He’d follow Judah silently, not slowing to eat or sleep.

While the sun disappeared behind the remains of The ICU, the bodies of The Family rested peacefully in mass grave. Cable hadn’t cared greatly for them, but it was still his duty to give them a proper burial. The boy from Indian River had allowed him to live, an ironic mistake he’d made himself so many years before. Cable wouldn’t make that mistake a second time. When the time was right, he’d slice the boy from ear to ear, right in front of his mustached friend.


  1. Short bridge between the next part. Just to keep people interested.

  2. Harrison! I can only hope that you have been locked in a small, poorly lit room these past few months, furiously typing away at this story to bring it to completion. I truly hope to see some more of this soon.