(From Part two ending)….
They go about finding a way to dig further tunnels into the ground to hide supplies. Perhaps enough room for them to hide and create air ducts. They are already a good team. Neither one of them wants to admit it. They go to bed lying a foot apart but both feeling lonely like they always have.
“John?” She Whispers frantically…
“I think someone is in the barn. I can hear them looking around. Stay still.” She whispers again.
There is the sound of a person scavenging. So desperate, so emotional, so hopeless, and becoming angry. She hopes the person will just move on. She hopes she will not have to hurt anyone but deep down hours have gone by and each hour she is feeling more and more protective. This is her childhood home, her life, her work, is all inside the barn. And now, because society has collapsed she has to deal with people stealing. It does not seem right. She has had enough and feels a burst of adrenaline.
“Hey there! She yells at the thief. Put that down right there and I won’t shoot. Do you want work? Do you feel lost? Well so do I. i do every day that I live in a hole. I worked to live in a hole!”
The guy is shaking. He thinks she is insane and going to kill him.
“I will leave! Please just let me go!” He exclaims. “I thought no one was here!”
By this time of course John emerges. “Who are you?! Get the hell out of here!”
“Wait John! Let him stay! Why am I asking you anyway? It is my place. You don’t even know my name!” She yells at him.
”Elizabeth! I saw it on your mail.”
“Darn you John! You little detective you! No wonder your wife hates you. You are nosey.”
“No, just protecting myself Elizabeth! Like you do!”
“Stop calling me that. You are overusing it on purpose. Geez. Well, both of you can stay. But you both answer to me! This is my place, not yours! Remember that!”
“Ok fine. You have a point. Sorry I stepped out of bounds. I felt the need to protect you.”
“I can hold my own, John. Always have. But thank you for the kind gesture.”
He doesn’t know if she is being nice or mean at this point. She is just too witty and too realistic sometimes.
“You’re welcome Miss.”
“Fine with me, Miss. I am sorry I came in here like this. I have been quite frantic. Without food, car crashed, and lost. Then I heard screams yards away and just started running. My name is..my name is…Thomas.”
“Okay, nice to meet you Thomas. It’s okay. Just don’t cross me again. You are lucky to be forgiven like this. Most people do not have the capacity.” She says firmly.
“There will be people from the city, looking for help, food, anything, and they will do anything to hurt us. We must trust wisely. Us three, will be the main framework of communication from this day forward. Nothing should be withheld from one another that is important to the survival of each one of us. Nothing will get through us, we will all converse and decide who lives. This is not going to be easy. I do not want to play god but I cannot be nice to everyone or we will die. There is not enough food, water, and shelter. I did not plan to that level. Unless you both think we are definitely going to have issues staying here. And we should try to find something new. So, do we stay or do we go?”
“Stay.” John says. ”There is nothing out there for us. I can imagine what is going on right now and we probably have a better chance here. If we go out there, we may not return.”
”I say go..” Thomas says. “How can we hold people off here? We don’t have any weapons, any bombs, nothing. Let’s go and find a tank or weapons or something to defend ourselves with from a military base nearby or ammo store. Something.”
“We have weapons already. The question is can you use it?”
He nods. He doesn’t want to admit he has used a gun before it seems. There is something wrong with his expression now. The life has drained completely from his flesh and he just stares at nothing…still in shock.
”Hey! No zoning out! There is no way you can defend when you are upset. We must shoot. Practice! We cannot afford to lose our lives and no defend those who need our help either! We have a chance to protect or lie down and be selfish. I say protect those who want to be protected and be part of our community.”
”We have been kinda rude to him Liz. The poor guy is in shock still. My name is John. And obviously you know Elizabeth.”
“Sure do. Nice to meet you both.” And he smiles but in a nervous way.
She cooks some steak and potatoes, which eases the tension. Then she insists they all practice. She equips silencers on all the guns. John shoots. Liz shoots. John Shoots. Thomas stands there. Then….
He fires. Immediately he is angry he missed the bulls eye by a millimeter.
“Holy crap! You know what you are doing. Were you a military boy?” John asks.
He nods but looks down, ashamed. ”I was released. I don’t want to talk about it right now. My buddy died carrying me back to safety.”
”Sorry. I didn’t mean to ask so much. There is a new struggle going on now, true. We must focus on the present, right? We must keep on our toes and look ahead for the enemy. Right?”
“Right.” And he shoots perfectly.
They drink and talk about their past lives together. They wonder where family members are, they wonder how the world will be in twenty years. They wonder if there is another planet out there. They just think if the world is over then they wouldn’t be here. They try to create a purpose out of what is left. Together they move forward but still sleep with one eye open.