Rough and Unready

Here we find ourselves at another Wednesday and an Indies Unlimited flash fiction challenge. I hope you know the deal by now. They give out a written and picture prompt and we use those to create a story of 250 words or less.

Unless we don’t…

Yeah, this story went a little long. But that is how the story crumbles sometimes. You can never be too prepared for a force of nature that causes havoc and destruction without rhyme or reason.

Rough and Unready

They wanted to rough it. There would be no phones, no computers, no contact with the outside world.

Trevor could see the glaring flaw in that plan now. Zack started having acute abdominal pain last night. This morning he was feverish and almost unresponsive. Whatever it was, they needed to get him to a hospital and quickly.

They crafted a makeshift stretcher to carry Zack several miles back to the trail head. When they got there, the car was gone…

Rough and Unready

photo by K.S. Brooks

The ranger station had closed for the season. They had carried Zack via stretcher all the way back and had no other recourse. Jessica pushed Trevor till he agreed to break into the station office and look for a phone.

“We need an ambulance or something,” she said. “Hell, even if the cops bust us for breaking and entering we should still be able to get some help here.” She glared at Trevor before she stomped over to where they had lain Zack on the ground.

Amy kneeled over his body. She had past her first year in nursing school and felt out of her depth still. Sure she could check him and get an idea of what was going on but it wasn’t enough.

George twisted the door knob again. It was still locked. The whole thing was his fault. He had left the keys in the car. But the park was closed and they could get lost in the woods for the weekend. No one would know. But Zack…

He walked around to the front of the station. The big picture window would give him access, all he needed was a decent rock and then maybe something to help him over the edge.

He found the biggest rock he could carry and beat at the window to crack it, then he stood back and threw it at the cracked glass. It shattered in a spray and lights flicked on inside the building.

The three of them were caught off guard by the lights and the sounds of movement from inside the building. They were even less prepared for the shotgun barrel that peeked out of the newly broken window.

There were no words when the first blast hit Trevor in the face. His head exploded in a shower of lead shot and bone. The barrel turned its attention to Amy and Jessica and fired again. Jessica dropped to the ground and didn’t move but Amy took the shot to the leg. She fell to the ground but clawed and scrambled as best she could away from the weapons assault. She hadn’t made it far when she heard the footsteps approach and then stop beside her.

“I hoped it had just been your car I would have to dispose of.” The rough voice wheezed out the words.

Amy rolled over to look up at him and was met by the butt of the rifle to her temple. It was the last thing she saw.

An hour after he had killed off the sick on, Jeb had loaded the bodies into the back and trunk of the car. There was a lake at the end of the service road into the campground that he could push the car into before he left the area.

Damn kids. They always got in the way of his good time.

***

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