“The Rescue” is an excerpt from the forthcoming novel, After the Fall.
After an electromagnetic pulse attack on the U.S. all transportation and communications were destroyed. Shortages of food, fuel and other essentials quickly developed and Jason retreated to the mountains to escape the breakdown of society that occurred.
He stopped at the edge of the woods and scanned the house; no sign of anyone. Cautiously, Jason approached the rear corner of the house from the field and quietly tested the back door. It was locked. He went around to the front. It was broken open. He slowly entered.
The furniture was overturned—signs of a struggle. Jason stopped and listened for some time. It was completely quiet. Moving further into the house, he found Sam in the hallway on the way to the kitchen. He had been shot multiple times. There was blood everywhere.
Jason reeled in shock and turned away, his stomach heaving. His fought back the reflex to vomit; his head was light. Stumbling back out onto the porch, he dropped to the floor and breathed into his cupped hands to keep from passing out. Tears welled up in his eyes. After a few minutes he ventured back into the house to try to find Judy.
The kitchen was ransacked, the table was overturned. Cabinets were torn open and emptied. He found a part of Judy’s dress torn and lying on the floor but he could not find her.
They’ve taken her, she’s alive!
Then his face clouded as he thought about how they might treat her. The basement where Judy kept the food supplies had been discovered and stripped. The liquor cabinet, Sam’s pride, was empty. Jason could not find any other sign of Judy in the house. He took a sheet from the bedroom and covered Sam.
I’ll find her, Sam. I’ll get her back and make them pay for this…this… He couldn’t find a word to describe it.
I don’t know how far they’ve gone, but I’ve got to follow. He was filled with grim thoughts of what was to come. He went to the well in the yard and pumped cold water over his head, took a long drink and shouldered his rifle. Then he set off at a trot on the road going south.
Jason kept up a trot for over an hour when he saw smoke ahead. He veered off the road and worked his way through the fields and hedge rows, slowing and moving more carefully as he got closer. Finally he stopped and laid down at the edge of an overgrown field. He was about 50 to 60 yards from the encampment, which was in front of a burned farmhouse. There were a number of tents spread around the yard with people—mostly men, although Jason spied a few women—moving in and out of the remains of the farmhouse. From the looks of it, the group was getting ready to party and feast.
Enjoying what you stole from Sam and Judy.
Evening approached and Jason lay back in his hide position. Got to wait till dark; how do I find where they’ve put Judy? He hoped she was not in the house. He couldn’t see how he could get either of them out and survive.
Stay tuned for part 2!