What follows is just one part of an ongoing survival fiction series written by John Rourke and has been published on Amazon. It is being made available here for free. A new entry is published every day. The story is written in a daily journal format.
July 20th Rescue mission…….
Worst day in my life.
Bill and Carrie came to the house this morning at 8:00am. Hearing the knock at the door I knew something was wrong. I invited Bill and Carrie in and they told me their oldest daughter was gone. They went on to tell me that Amber, 16 years old, had left in the middle of the night to see her boyfriend. They said that she had been begging them to drive across town to see if Aaron was OK. Obviously they never took Amber. I asked how they knew that is where she went and they told me Amber left a note.
I asked if they knew where he lived and they had an address. I thought for a moment and I told them it was time to go.
I woke M and Eric up and told them what was going on and that I would be back later.
I wanted at least 3 -4 people to go. I did not want Bill to go but he was the only one who could identify Aaron. So, it was Bill, Lewis (member of the Security Team), Mark (Jessie’s husband) and I. We drove the Jeep. We were all armed. Bill had a Mini-14, I had my Stag AR, Lewis brought a Winchester 70 .270 with a nice scope on it, and Mark carried my Remington 870. I had a tactical vest with extra magazines. I loaned Bill a surplus AR magazine pouch. I hoped we would not run into any problems.
I punched the address in my GPS and made absolutely certain I made my way around what used to be “the bad section of town”. I drove through expensive, nice neighborhoods. The destruction was awful and I began to think I had made a mistake. Large houses costing hundreds of thousands of dollars burnt up and vandalized. Windows broke, doors left wide open. Every so often a body could be seen laying in a yard or on the street. Then I came across one of the most horrible sights I have ever seen. A man was hanging from a large tree. That image was burned in my mind. Bill began to cry thinking of what may have happened to his daughter.
The GPS said 4 miles to go when we came across a car blocking the road. I didn’t like the looks of this. We were approx 300 yards from the car when I stopped and pulled out my binoculars. This just didn’t look right but I could not see anyone and the ways to get to where we were going was few. I inched the Jeep forward and told everyone to keep their eyes peeled in front, on both sides and behind us. When we were 50 yards from the car I switched the Jeep into 4 wheel drive planning to go around the car into peoples yards. 25 yards away I saw movement near one of the houses on the right and I floored it. The Jeep’s engine jerked everyone against their seats as we lurched forward. I aimed the front of the Jeep to the left side of the car in the road – figuring the bad guys were on the right(assuming most everyone is right handed). Right when I drove up on the lawn to the left of the broken down car 3 people ran out from a house on the right side. I kept going and they started shooting. We were 10 yards past the vehicle when I heard rounds passing by and impacting the Jeep.
Bill shot out the window towards the 3 people and they dove for cover. 50 yards further away I felt something hit the back of my head. It was a strange feeling. I continued to drive and I turned to see Lewis yelling at me. I wasn’t hearing him – my adrenaline and focus had been on my driving and the shots fired had my ears ringing. It was then I realized that there was something all over my neck, my right shoulder, and a little on my dashboard.
It was Mark. He was dead. One of the bullets hit Mark in the neck. He bled out quickly. He was dead.
I screamed like I never screamed before.
I looked at the GPS – 3.2 miles to go and I considered turning around to seek revenge. I considered heading home. No – we needed to try to find Amber. I drove forward. No one said anything until we were about a quarter mile away. I told Bill he needed to prepare himself for the reality that she might not be there. We turned the corner and headed down the street Aaron lived on. I estimated the house was just up on the left.
We pulled up and the house had been obviously vandalized. Windows were broke. We decided it would be best if all of us went in. I carried my Stag AR and gave Lewis my S&W M&P 9mm. I reminded everyone to keep barrels pointing in a safe direction and not to cover anyone with their gun while going through the house.
We entered the front door. I entered taking point and hit the momentary switch on my weapons mounted light. Saw nothing except broken furniture, lamps, holes in the walls, etc. We went room to room searching. I saw what looked to be blood staining the carpet downstairs. Next, we headed upstairs. I did not like this and wished I had a flash bang grenade or something. Walking up those stairs I felt like I was doing the stupidest thing I had ever done. We inched our way up and found nothing. The house was empty.
I told Bill I was sorry. He teared up. I told him lets just take a look around back. We headed out the back door. Aaron’s family had a garden out back. Not much in it but there was some. We walked to the shed and opened the door. There were the typical garden tools, lawnmower, chairs. It was right then we heard a voice – a girls voice. She was calling out……”Daddy!!” Bill jumped back and looked to his right and ran over in that direction. I saw him suddenly look up. The neighbor had a tree house. Aaron and Amber were up in the tree house.
I need to get to sleep but to sum it up Aaron’s parents were killed a few days after The Event. Aaron had been living in the tree house ever since – scavenging for food and supplies each evening. Aaron buried both his parents behind the shed. That’s not all – Aaron’s little brother Caleb was with him. They all came down out of the tree house and Amber ran over and hugged her father. I yelled over that we needed to go and go now. Aaron grabbed a backpack and we all headed to the Jeep. I grabbed a blanket as we went through the house and Bill and I wrapped Mark up in it. Amber screamed when she saw him. Managing to fit everyone in my Jeep we headed home.
The trip home was much less eventful. I asked Lewis if he got a good look at the 3 people that were shooting at us. He said all he could tell was that they had blue bandanna’s on their heads – all of them.
I am so tired. The worst of it all was having to go knock on Jessie’s door – and when she opened it she knew. M took little Addie up to her bedroom and I told Jessie that Mark was gone. It didn’t go well.
She blames me for his death. She’s right. I shouldn’t have taken anyone with kids. He was never in the military. No training at all. It was stupid. I will never forgive myself.
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