Yellow Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 13 (v.1)

Submitted: April 20, 2008

Reads: 161

Comments: 2

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Submitted: April 20, 2008

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The sun was going down outside and shadows clustered in the darkening room when Ryan woke me.I looked up at him as he stood over me.It was getting on to night and he told me we needed to move upstairs in the house.I nodded, considering where I lay, the large window at my back.
“You think you can walk on your own or do you want help?”he asked.
“I don’t know yet.”I told him.
Struggling to sit up, I groaned as sharp lances of pain ran up and down my sides.My head started pounding and swirling fog filled my brain.I laid back and shook my head.
“Give me a minute.”
He stood silent, watching out the window as I gathered myself.I counted to ten silently then swung my feet to the floor, went gray, and held on to the arm of the sofa until my head cleared a little.Holding my hand out to Ryan for support, I rose shakily.He slipped an arm around my back and offered his shoulder to me.I leaned into him, collecting myself, and then let him lead us from the room.Turning left, we passed through a large open foyer and started up a wide curving stairway.
As we mounted the steps, I took in the gilded framed paintings hanging from the wall, the antique wallpaper faded by time.I stopped my ascent, turned back to look toward the doorway and noted the green door, bordered on either side by narrow floor to ceiling windows.I knew where we were.Turning my attention back to the stairs, I concentrated on my progress to the upper floor.
Ryan led me down a long hall.Passing an open door I turned to look in at the murmur of voices.There were six people seated around a large oak table, shelves of books lining the walls around them.We passed the room and turned left at the end of the hall and entered another smaller hallway.Two doors to the right, we turned in and I saw Dale reclining on a narrow bed.She glanced up as we entered and Soldier hopped from her lap and padded toward me, purring his welcome.Ryan helped me to the bed next to Dale’s and scooped Soldier up and scratched between his ears.
“I’ll go get your things and bring ‘em up.”He told me before setting Soldier down next to me and then leaving the room.I looked over at Dale.
Her head was bandaged where the bullet had grazed her temple.Lying on top of the bed covers, the cut away material from her sweat pants revealed the gauze wrappings around her lower thing and ankle.Dark crimson stained the sterile gauze.
“How you doing kid?”I asked.
Dale shrugged.“Still alive.You gave everyone a good scare though.How are you holding up yourself?”
“I’m pretty beat kid.”I leaned back against the pillows on the bed and shifted myself to ease the pressure on my ribs.“I thought we were gone for sure.”
Silence hung between us in the still room.Dale picked at the covers next to her and stared toward the door.The murmur of voices from down the hall grew louder and something banged.Soldier lifted his head and stared to the doorway with his ears pricked.
“Sounds like a disagreement.”I spoke.
Dale turned to face me.“They’ve been arguing for the last few hours about what to do.”
I nodded.“We’re in a bad spot here kid.”I told her.She looked at me and didn’t respond.“Do you know where we are?”
“No.”
“We’re at Malabar Farm.You know of it?”
She nodded her head.“I’ve been here a few times when I was a kid.It’s where that author used to live.”
“Louis Bromfield.”I supplied.“We’re in his old house right now.This room is one of the servant’s rooms.There’s four more like this in this hall and a kitchen and a bathroom.There’s also a back stairwell.”
“How do you know so much about it?”
“I grew up about a half mile from here.I know this park like the back of my hand.It’s a bad place to be right now.”
I looked up and Ryan was standing in the door listening to us talk and watching silently.He held my shotgun loose in his right hand and my backpack in the other.When I looked at him, he entered the room and laid my belongings on the bed next to me.Standing uncertainly in front of me, he looked at his feet.
“What do you mean?”he asked.
“I mean this place isn’t going to be easy to defend.There’s five entrances to this house, no windows facing the South end of the house on the top floor and livestock in the barn just a stones throw away from the house.”
Ryan nodded.“Maybe you should come down to the library.They’re talking in there.Trying to decide what to do.”
“Okay.”I told him.“Give me a hand kid.”
He helped me to my feet and when I was leaning against him, I looked at Dale.“You should come too.”
We made our way slowly down the hall and to the library where the large congregation was in heated discussion.They quieted as we entered the room and one of them, the man in the RFD hat, pulled a padded armchair to the table.He helped Ryan lower me into the seat gently and then sat back down at the table glancing around the room at the other survivors.Ryan spoke up.
“I heard Aaron talking to Dale when I was bringing his stuff up to him.He said he knows this place like the back of his hand.”
Those at the table turned and studied me.I returned their stares, studying each in turn momentarily.There was Ginger, her hands wrapped around a mug with steam drifting from its open top.Seated next to her was a smaller man of middle age, his hair receding and his face openly anxious and scared.He was wringing his hands and casting his glance from face to face in the room.His gaze settled and tracked up and down over the man seated at the head of the table and a look of distaste crossed his face.
The man that had drawn the distasteful expression didn’t notice.He was leaning back in his chair, studying me with open curiosity and what seemed to be a small amount of contempt. His light brown hair was a mass of curls atop his head and the small smile on his face curled his narrow bloodless lips.His shoulders were broad and his naked chest, visible between the open buttons of his shirt, looked powerful.I let my gaze sweep him up and down and tried to push my automatic dislike of him from my mind.
Seated beside him was a short woman of indeterminate age.Her hair was honey colored and hung in kinked waves to her shoulder.Her right hand rested on his thigh and she looked at me with light brown eyes then to RFD beside me and from there to the faces of the others.She shifted slightly and looked back at me.Seated to my right, between the honey haired woman and myself, was a short pudgy man somewhere in his fifties or so.He wore a grim expression, his face creased with lines of sleeplessness and worry.As his chest hitched with a suddenly drawn breath, I imagined he was living with the tragedy of the loss of loved ones closer to the surface than the rest of us.Perhaps, amid the struggle of survival, he had not been able to subjugate the grief that would be ours later if we survived.He was the first to speak.
“Mr. Horton, I’m glad you could join us.”He looked to Dale and Ryan where they stood next to me.“Dale.Ryan.Have a seat.”
They pulled up chairs and sat down with the rest of us and Ginger offered me a mug of coffee from a thermos, which I accepted.I sipped at it, appreciative of the bitter warmth and its comforting effect.Curls, as I thought of the man with the unbuttoned shirt, stood up and leaned over the table, resting his hands on its top.
“Well Horton, we might as well get on with it.That’s Ginger, as you know.”He indicated her with a dismissive gesture.Then he went around the rest of the table.
“Greg.”The nervous guy.“Nadia.”He squeezed the shoulder of the woman next to him.“Old Bill’s sittin’ next to you.And on your left is Charlie if you didn’t know.My name’s Palmer, but you can call me Slim if you like.And you know Ryan already and you brought Dale with you.”
I nodded as he went around the room with his introductions.After he had introduced himself, I sat silent.For a second he remained standing and it became awkward.With a shrug, he lowered himself heavily to his seat.I sipped coffee and looked over to Dale and noticed her fidgeting with her shirt.It occurred to me she had been through the day, most likely, without a cigarette.
“Any of you got a smoke?”I asked.
Greg reached into his pocket and drug out a pack of Salem’s.Holding them across the table toward me, he shook the pack, one of the cigarettes slid forward through the hole torn in the foil top. I plucked it free and offered it to Dale who stared at it a second before accepting.She gave me a bewildered look of appreciation as Greg tossed his lighter to her.
“First of all,” I began.“I’m grateful to you folks.If you hadn’t come along, we’d probably be dead right now.”
“You don’t seem like you’d a gone too easy.”Charlie spoke from beside me.I shrugged.
“Easy or not, I was at the end of my rope with a long drop to the bottom.Now, I don’t know how you came to be in this…group, but it doesn’t matter.What does matter is that we’re all here now and I think that increases our chances.”
“That’s right.”It was Nadia.“Slim says we need to stick together and figure out the best way to wait this thing out.”
“Damn right!”He said from beside her.“All we gotta do is last out until the military pulls together and starts cleaning this mess up.”
I looked to Greg who was lighting his own smoke.He shook his head slightly in disagreement. Ginger shifted in her seat.
“And I damn well say we need to pick us a leader, someone to be responsible for getting’ us through this shit.”Slim added.
“Got any ideas?”I asked.
He shrugged then stood up.“Well, I know a little about who’s here.Old Charlie’s a good guy and a farmer but he’s not really used to handling this kind of thing.Bill over there, he’s tore up over losing his wife and his head’s not in this right.”Bill shot him a glare that he ignored.“And Greg, well, he’s just too damn jumpy.”Greg shot to his feet.
“And just who the hell do you think you are?”He demanded.Slim spread his hands and smiled.
“Hey, I’m just callin’ it like I see it.You got any military experience?You ever deal with being in charge of people when they’re workin’ a pipeline with ten thousand pounds of pressure blowin’ through those conduits?”
“I don’t see what you’re fucking job has to do with this!”Greg challenged.Slim’s face darkened with anger and he stepped away from the table and pointed in Greg’s face.
“Maybe you want to see if your candy ass can figure it out!”
“Stop it!Both of you!”This was from Ginger.She was standing now too, her eyes slit toward the two men.
“She’s right, boys.”Charlie put in.“Just settle down.”
Greg looked to Charlie, then Ginger.He shrugged and puffed on his cigarette.Slim was glaring daggers at him.“You heard ‘em Greg.”Greg’s head whipped around and he narrowed his eyes, looked at Slim’s intimidating frame then sat down.After a moment, Slim followed suit.I passed a hand slowly over my face and shook my head.
“I suppose you have the others posted on guard duty.”I said in the aftermath of their outburst.
“That’s right.”Slim stated.“My idea.”
“And where are they?”I asked.
“Where they need to be.”Came back his reply.I struggled to my feet and leaned into the table for support.Lowering my upper body across the table toward him, I spoke low to Slim.
“Was it your idea to bring everyone here?”
“Damn right it was!”He shot back in an angry voice.I nodded and slid back across the table to sink back into my chair.

“Then I don’t trust your judgment.”


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