Storm Warning, Chapter 13

Fiction By Jackie West // 1/14/2011

                Garrett stood as Jackie, having finished her food, came into the room.

                “How is he?” she asked.

                “I gave him a sleeping drug. He’ll be out for a while. When he wakes up, I need to know so I can give him another painkiller,” Garrett explained.

                “Can do,” Jackie said, thrusting a thumb toward the back of the cave. “Go get yourself some food. You deserve it for trying to save his life.”

                “OK.” Garrett headed off.

                Kinalo came out as he went off. “So, what’s up with Damon?”

                Jackie explained everything that Garrett had told her, ending with, “When he wakes up, I have a surprise for him.”

                “What kind of surprise?”

                “A surprising kind of surprise.”

                “What are you going to do?”

                “I’m going to tell him how he got from trying to run away to here. Maybe he’ll believe me, when I say I’m his creator.”

                Kinalo settled on a stool and leaned against the cave wall. “Tell me when he wakes up. I don’t want to miss it.”

                Jackie grinned as she stood nearby. “No, you don’t.”

                Brynn came in soon after Kinalo had fallen asleep. “I heard every word, and I don’t want to miss it, either.”

                “Okay,” Jackie said as she shrugged.

                “I just checked on Dory. She’s asleep and seems to be doing fine. It will still take her a while to recuperate.”

                “That depends on my mood when the time comes. If I feel nice, I might make her get better faster. If not, who knows…?”

                “She’d never believe that if you told her.”

                “She doesn’t have to.”

                “You want her to.”

                “Yes,” Jackie admitted, “but it’s not essential.”

                Brynn sat down. “I’m going to take a snooze.”

                “I’m going to make sure that Garrett isn’t scarfing the food.” Jackie headed off.

                Garrett looked up as Jackie walked out of the shadows. She noted that the portions he had served himself were pretty skimpy.

                “Hi,” he said.

                “Hi,” Jackie replied. “How much food have you had?”

                “Not much. I know that this food has to last awhile, but I’ll be leaving right after my patient has recovered.”

                “You know, Garrett,” Jackie said as she leaned against the wall, “have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in your own world?”

                “Sure, probably lots of writers think about that.”

                “I’m sure that none of them actually try to.”

                “Most likely not. We’re some of the most creative thinkers around.” Garrett set his plate down. “So, why did you come here?”

                Jackie grinned. “To make sure that you weren’t scarfing the food.”

                “I know the situation. I won’t eat so much food if it’s got to last us.” Garrett quickly finished his food and set the plate aside.

                “How long should Damon be asleep?” Jackie asked.

                “An hour or two,” Garrett replied as he relaxed against the wall. “Wake me up when he does.”

                “Why am I the only person who doesn’t want to take a nap?” Jackie grumbled to herself as she went to check on Dory.

                Afterwards, she stood near the entrance to the cave and looked out at the surrounding forest.

                It didn’t take long for her eyelids to droop. She rubbed them and tried to stay awake, but it was useless. She was soon asleep leaning against the wall.

 

                Brynn’s eyelids shot open. She felt that something was wrong. She stood and rubbed her eyes.               She checked on Dory and Damon, who were sleeping soundly and doing fine as far as she saw. Kinalo and Garrett were both asleep and breathing.

                Where is Jackie? she thought to herself as she headed to the front of the cave and saw no one.

                Brynn ventured out into the forest and walked cautiously around the clearing.

                Suddenly, something pushed her to the ground and put a hand to her mouth.

                “Whatever you do, don’t yell or scream!” hissed a voice. “Be completely quiet and I’ll let you go.”

                Brynn nodded hastily and was released. She sat up, breathing hard. “Reule?” she said incredulously.

                “Lie down,” Reule ordered her. “It’s not safe here anymore.”

                “Why not?” Brynn asked.

                “Trust me. It’s not.” Now lie down.” Reule pushed her back to a lying down position and put himself on the ground beside her. “Jackie called. Said you needed a bodyguard.”

                “I do not!” Brynn said indignantly, though she tried to keep her voice down.

                “Turn onto your back very slowly,” Reule said as he shifted himself to the same position.

                When she had done so, Reule pointed upward. “Look.”

                Brynn looked up-as if she wasn’t already-and put a hand to her mouth to stifle a startled gasp.

                “Now are you glad I came?” Reule whispered out of the side of the mouth.

                Eyes wide, Brynn nodded.”Yeah, I am. Very glad.”

                “Good. If it had gone unappreciated I would have left right after knowing.” Reule turned his face toward her. “Personally, I wouldn’t want to meet up with them by myself.” He grinned. “Have a buddy so that in the face of danger you are aware of and they aren’t, you can send ‘em in first.”

                “Reule!” Brynn said in an annoyed voice.

                “You know I wouldn’t do that. It’s not chivalrous in the least.” Reule smiled innocently at her.

                “Yeah, and since when were you worried about being chivalrous?” Brynn asked.

                “I’m more chivalrous than I seem. Now start crawling back to the cave…” Reule gestured for her to move. “I’ll keep an eye on our intruders.”

                Brynn carefully got on her hands and knees and slowly moved toward the cave.

                When she reached it, Reule said, “Now tell everyone to stay inside. Their lives depend on it.”

                Brynn nodded. “I will.”

                “Good. Now get fully in.” Reule remained on his back, watching the sky and what was there.

 

                “You know who?” Kerry asked.

                “I know your creator,” the girl said. “Now, don’t get too shocked. “I know that people around here never believe it when we say it, but I do know her.”

                Kerry eyed her cautiously. “Who’s your leader?”

                “At this moment, me,” the girl said.

                “Why?”

                “Because. Don’t ask any more questions. Just trust me.” The girl stuck out her hand. “Jordan West. Nice to meet you.”

                Kerry hesitantly took the hand. “Kerry Nicholas.”

                “I know,” Jordan said.

                “I won’t ask how,” Kerry said, sighing.

                “Good, ‘cause you already do.” Jordan turned to the tall figure directly behind her. “I trust them, you can too. Hoods off, everybody!”

                There was a mass rustling as all the people dressed in black removed their hoods.

                Kerry let her eyes rove over the assembly. There was a good mix of males and females, and they looked like they ranged in age from twelve to nineteen or twenty.

                “So, do we need to leave?” CJ stood and released the girl he had tackled. She stood and glared at him.

                “Say yes, Chief. I don’t think we’re going to get along well,” she said.

                “Tiertze, we’re here to protect, not fight. We most certainly have enemies, but not with those who are with us in our cause,” Jordan cautioned.

                “We are?” Jess raised an eyebrow questioningly.

                “If you live to see justice brought, then yes,” Jordan replied.

                “I guess,” Jess said, rather hesitantly.

                “It’s a yes or no.” A young teenage male stepped up beside Jordan.

                “Yes,” Tristan said firmly, throwing a quick glance at Jess, who shrugged.

                “OK,” she said.

                “Now, Tiertze, please treat even those who hurt you with kindness, or Chief is going to be unhappy, to put it lightly.”

                “He sounds like nice guy,” Kerry commented.

                “He’s actually nicer than you think. He’s my older brother.” Jordan smiled sweetly.

                “Nicer than I think and he’s your brother? I don’t think so.” Kerry shook her head vigorously.

                Tristan turned to the teenager who stood beside Jordan. “Who are you?” he inquired.

                “I’m David, Jordan’s cousin,” he said.

                “Now about staying here…” Jordan stroked her chin thoughtfully and turned to David…”…should we let ‘em stay?”

                “How about I make that decision,” came a voice from behind the group.

                The other s parted to let through a tall male of about twenty years who came to stand on Jordan’s other side.

                Jordan looked up at him. “Oh! Hi, Reule.”

                “Hi, Jordan,” Reule said briefly before turning to Kerry, Jess, Tristan, CJ, and DJ, who had also come in. “I see they found you in our cave.”

                “Yes?” Jess asked impatiently. “We’ve gone over this already.”

                “Well, it seems as if your creator wants me to let you stay.” Reule folded his arms and sighed. “So I guess I’ll have to.”

                “OK.” Tristan moved to the side of the cave and motioned for Kerry and Jess to do so too. “We were making dinner. Have any decent cooks?”

                “A few.” Reule turned to the others in his group. “Milton, Vanar, and Wilson, please assist our friends in making a dinner.”

                Three kids in their mid-teens stepped out from among the others and went to the back of the cave.

                Reule stepped toward Tristan, Jess, and Kerry. “I suggest that you let those two take cooking lessons.” He pointed to CJ and DJ. “We won’t always be here to make you food.”

                Tristan waved off the boys. “Do we need to talk?”

                “Yes, I was about to suggest that.” Reule sat on the floor and motioned for the trio to join him. “You can use this cave for as long as you need to.”

                “That’s good,” Jess said.

                “We won’t make you pay anything.” Reule pursed his lips. “Now, the purpose of the group is to ensure justice for those who need it. As of yet, we have not helped anyone, and hearing about the murders, we are trying to help figure out who is behind them.”

                “We want to do that, too,” Jess said, nodding.

                “And I want to find my father,” Kerry added.

                “We can do both. He’s a police officer, right?” Reule asked.

                Kerry decided not to ask any questions. “Yes. He disappeared.”

                “I know,” Reule said mysteriously.

                “So, we’re working together?” Tristan asked.

                “I guess so, now. Just keep CJ and Tiertze apart for now,” Reule said. “They don’t appear to like each other very much.”

                “Alright,” Jess said.

                “Now,” Reule said, leaning forward, “we need to plan…..”

 

                Four days later, Kerry was assisting Vanar Pytheria with the midday meal when DJ ran into the small kitchen.

                “Reule needs you both in the front room,” he said breathlessly.”

                “Alright.” Kerry set down the bowl of vegetables she was holding and followed DJ out of the room with Vanar on her heels.

                Everyone had gathered in the front room, sitting on mats on the dirt floor. Reule was near the entrance with a TV set that was on.

                “Watch,” he said in a voice that was none too happy.

                Everyone focused on the screen.

                “More bad news today,” the announcer said, looking at his papers. “The killers have struck again.”

 

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