This is the twenty-second issue and part 4 of Life is Death.
Jim: When we left, we... Bryson voluntarily stayed behind. Philip and he went in after Jeromy went in, they were in hiding. Their leader, just some guy... The sick bastard recognized Jeromy. He knocked him out and brought him out there, in front of everybody. He slit his throat, right there. The people? They just watched like it was normal, as if it was just a car driving by while they were on their front porch. They acted like it was NOTHING! Well, we're gonna prove them wrong. Jeromy's death wasn't nothing. And now they're all the way up in a small walled-off part of Fort Dodge and we don't know when they'll come back. It could be tomorrow, it could be in five minutes, hell, it could be weeks! But we need to act like we mean it. Like Bryson didn't die for nothing. The ywent down fighting, we know that. But now we have to all learn how to defend ourselves. The kids too, they have to know. We're gonna teach them how to defend themselves, how to make sure it isn't them when it comes to someone dying. They have to know.
Jim turned away and started walking away from the rest of the group. Philip's head was bowed in silence and Carmen had tears coming from her eyes.
A day later, Philip and Nick sit inside, playing Blackjack in Nick and Molly's room.
Philip: Hit me.
Nick: Boom! I win, bitch! You deal.
Philip takes the cards and shuffles them, then looks at the first one and smiles. He sets down an ace facedown and a king faceup. Nick examines his cards, then smiles.
Nick: I'll stay.
Philip: Well then you lose, I got twenty-one, shithead.
Nick: God, damnit!
Just then, a rumbling was heard outside. Philip and Nick both jumped up and ran out the door, staring into the sky. After about half a minute of searching, the sound got louder and an airplane emerged from behind some trees. Way up in the sky, about five-hundred feet above, a plane strays overhead. Philip and Nick start jumping up and down, yelling.
Philip: Do you think it's a rescue?
Nick: It has to be! Look at the markings, it says CAP! Civil Air Patrol!
Philip: HEY! HELP US! HELP!
Nick: Are they flying away?
Philip: No, no they can't be!
Nick: HEY! COME BACK!
Philip: COME BACK!
Jim and Bill run up, seeing the plane as well. Kelly and Kate run up too, and then Molly, Eva, and Jordan. Michelle and Ella run over too.
Philip: No... Please save us..
Nick: No... Shit! It's landing! COME ON! Let's go!
Philip: Bill, you and Nick go! I'm staying.
Molly: No, Nick, please-
Nick: Eva, Molly, I'll be fine. I promise. I love you.
Eva: I love you too, Daddy.
Nick climbed into the RV and Bill followed. Jim and Philip nodded as they drove off after Jim opened the gates.
Carmen rubs her eyes, then glances down at her stomach. She grabs a pack of cigarettes out from her bag, then lights one and hesitates, then inhales the smoke. She blows it out, then starts crying again and stomps out the cigarette. Kelly walks into her room.
Kelly: Hey, Carmen... How're you doing?
Carmen: Horrrible... I just feel so guilty... Why did he have to die?
Kelly: It's horrible, I know... I lost one of my kids... But you can't feel guilty... You had nothing to do with it.
Carmen: No, it's not that... I feel guilty for never telling him...
Kelly: Telling him what?
Carmen slowly looks up at Kelly, her eyes bloodshot.
Carmen: I'm pregnant with his baby...
- Jim Horvel
- Philip Gords
- Bill Pednure
- Kelly Gords
- Kate Gords
- Jordan Gords
- Ella Horvel
- Michelle Horvel