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The Crucible (Part 8)

by Don Money about a month ago in Series
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Surviving The Fall

The Crucible (Part 8)
Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

Rosie, Jose, and I race down the hill toward the camp and run headlong into the militia members who were charging up at the top. Our two groups close on each other and it takes us all by surprise. We are way outnumbered. Five armed militia members smile as they see their opponents are just three kids.

The fact that they have the advantage has weighed in our favor because they are feeling overconfident in their position. Instead of blasting away with their guns, they think they may be able to capture us and this leaves them open. Three of the men in the group sling their rifles over their shoulders to free them up to grab us. The other two, a woman and a man, keep guns in hand to cover their allies.

Before I can even start to formulate a plan, Jose has launched himself at two of the men. Leaping from the higher ground gave him momentum and his head-long leap sent two of them crashing to the ground. Rosie is the next to react and sends a stone from her slingshot at the woman still holding the gun. The projectile pops her right on the mouth, sending broken teeth cascading from her lips. The woman drops her rifle, turns in shock, and flees.

The man holding the other rifle has been entranced by the action going on around him and as he swivels his head in my direction he sees the business end of a broadhead arrow aimed at his face. Without a second thought he drops his weapon and runs back down the hill.

Jose has one of the men he took down in a headlock and the sight of my arrow holds the other man on the ground and the one still standing at bay.

Rosie tells the militia members, “Leave all of your weapons and go.” One of the men hesitates, angry at being bested by kids. She sends a rock from the slingshot into his stomach and he doubles over in pain, the fight gone from him.

A smattering of guns, knives, and even a tomahawk crash to the ground before the adults turn and leave. We make our way down into the camp where Rylie and Raif have accomplished the same goal as us, Not a militia member in sight.

Jose sticks out his hand to the pair, “Well, we came to rescue you two, but that clearly wasn’t needed.”

“I don’t know about that,” Raif responds, “you lured a good number of them away and made it possible to take care of what was left behind.”

I add my input, “I think it was all a little mutual because if you hadn’t taken care of what was left in camp we might have been overwhelmed.”

Clearly, we all see that things worked out the best for us by inadvertently working together. Rylee breaks the reverie, “We can’t stay, we left behind the kids we were helping in the woods.”

Rosie jumps in to calm the situation, “It is ok they are hiding out in a cave. We found them and gave them food. They are how we knew to come looking for you.”

Before we head back to the kids hideout we all decided the best thing to do was gather as much supplies from the Crucible as we could carry and destroy what was left behind. Maybe that would hamper the militia members from causing us anymore problems for us when they regrouped.

Task completed we headed back to collect the kids. Along the way we all exchanged stories of how we got to this point. Rylee shared that they were taking little kids, Alea, Allison, Thomas, and Caden, to a sanctuary for kids run by two sisters, Tinsley and Kinsley. The two women had built a safe place for kids and Raif and Rylee went out to find kids who were in danger and bring them to the Harbor to live.

Rosie, Jose, and I exchange a look. I ask the question the three of us are thinking, “How do you two feel about adding three more to your team?”

A smile brightens Rylee’s face, “That is the best idea I have heard in a long time.”

The End (for now)


About the author

Don Money

Don Money was raised in Arkansas on a farm. After ten years in the Air Force, he returned to his roots in Arkansas. He is married with five kids. His journey to become a writer began in the sixth grade when he wrote his first short story.

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