Chapter 43

Walker Chapter 43

Copyright 2011 Banzai Ben and Amazing Anastasia

 

Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker

 

I just finished killing that damn Eastern Brown Snake. Stacy fell out of the tree by the snake, woke up, saw the snake, and passed out again (damn women and their crazy fears about snakes and bugs) so I pick her up to move here away from the snake. I suddenly hear a hell of a noise as something crashes through the bushes behind me. It's got to be the damn rhino again and he's caught me flat-footed - no weapon and my hands full of Stacy.

 

I turn and prepare for death (and hope it's quick) when Bo flies out of the bushes and begins to stomp the hell out of the snake. I've never been so happy to see any horse and shout, "Well you're a sight for sore eyes! Where the hell have you been?"

 

He nickers and comes over beside me. I see he's missing his saddle, is all lathered up and smells just like horse sweat - only horse sweat squared! But it doesn't matter to me. He's back and with him here we just might make it back to the bunker. I ask him, "Where the hell is your saddle?"

 

He shakes his head and I figure he lost it escaping from the dead lion. I move over to a different tree to set Stacy down on the ground. Then I go back, ignore his smell (difficult to do!), hug the hell out of his neck and praise him, "You're the finest horse I've ever known."

 

He nickers and noses me…

 

Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker

 

I wake up and hear a horse and hope it's Patches. I open my eyes and see Ben and Bo are having a 'together moment.' I look closer and see Bo is covered with lather and is shaking a bit so I go into teacher mode, "Ben you need to take care of Bo."

 

Ben turns towards me, smiles and offers, "I am. I'm telling him what a good horse he is."

 

I fight my way to me feet even though it hurts like hell, suddenly become concerned and demand, "Where's that scary snake?"

 

Ben is still praising Bo (I wish he praised me like that) and replies, "Bo stomped the hell out of him."

 

 

I'm stand beside Bo, reach over, scratch him and say, "Thanks Bo, I didn't want Ben trying to make chili out of that nasty snake." Bo nickers and nuzzles Ben some more.

 

Now it's time for me to give Ben some more horse instruction. I explain, "Ben, Bo worked very hard getting back here, possibly too hard, and that's why he's so lathered up and is shaking. You need to wet a rag with cool water and wipe him down with it."

 

Ben complains, "Stacy you're the one that wanted to keep the horses so I think it must be your job. Besides we don't have enough water."

 

I respond, "No Ben. Bo's your horse and you need to sacrifice your water to do this."

 

Ben counters, "Okay then you need to get back up in the tree with the rifle and stand watch. And remember while you're doing that, snakes can climb trees."

 

I look over where the dead snake is and grimace. Not only would it be very painful to climb up in the tree again, it wouldn't keep me safe from the snakes…

 

Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker

 

I'm not sure of all the details, but I'm damn sure Stacy froze when she saw the snake because it was entirely too close to us by the time she alerted me. Plus she was distracted as hell while I was repairing the rifle – that reminds me, I need to go and look at the rifle. I walk over, take one look at it and I'm pissed. Bo in stomping the hell out of the snake, just happened to knock the rifle over and stomped the hell out of it too. I want to take what's left of the rifle and beat him to death with it, but he did come back to us. Most horses wouldn't do that and we certainly need him. I will just ignore the rifle for now. Where was I? Oh yeah, Stacy's SA has been questionable so I need her to wipe down Bo while I make sure there are no more surprises in this circus from hell. Yeah I was a bastard to capitalize on her fear of snakes, but even though this is Texas, we are still in a war.

 

I watch Stacy think and she finally admits, "Well, I'm too sore to climb a tree right now. So I will wipe down Bo while you stand watch. But I am still using your water."

 

It's good to know that sometimes things still work out for me. I grab the Winchester (thank God Bo didn't stomp it to hell too) head over to the tree and climb up into the lower branches. Stacy comes over and says, "Ben did you forget something?"

 

I look at her and answer, "I don't think so."

 

She points, "I need some water out of your pack and that neck scarf you're wearing."

 

I inform her, "Just so you know, this is water for both of us and it's all I have left. And you're sure not getting my shemagh! It's been through hell and back with me. Use something else to wipe him down."

 

Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker

 

Ben is back to being his disagreeable self and actually uses my fear of snakes to get his way. If he hadn't saved me (my pain is a constant reminder of that fact) I would be mad at him. So I relent and say, "Fine I will use my shirt and just enough water to get the job done."

 

I almost remove my shirt when Ben surprises me by throwing his neck scarf at me and says, "What the hell, it's not like I can't wash this. Go ahead and use it. Here's the rest of our water too."

 

I look up at him, smile and say, "Thanks Ben." Then I wonder why he changed his mind. Oh well, Grandmamma was right, men are a wondrous mystery…

 

Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker

 

Stacy begins to take of her shirt and I sure as hell don't want that to happen. So I give in and let her use my shemagh to clean Bo. It needs to be washed anyway and if Guy hasn't taken over the bunker and the generator is still working, then I can wash it there.

 

That presents a problem I hadn't thought about: What if Guy has taken over the bunker? How in the hell will we know he did? Even worse, how in the hell will we ever get his fat fucking dope smoking ass out of there?

 

I make sure not to let this troubling issue distract me while Stacy wipes down Bo.

 

Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker

 

I begin to wipe down Bo and notice something. Now that I'm not really scared, my back is really sore too. I reach my arm around, feel a bandage there and wonder what the frack has happened back there. I guess I need to ask Ben about it later. Bo is sure liking his rub down so he moves and noses me. I talk to him, "Thanks for coming back, I really wish you had brought Patches back with you."

 

He nickers like he understands and I laugh when I consider that perhaps he understands me better than Ben. I finish and announce, "All done." Then Bo takes off and Ben yells, "What did you do to him?"

 

I reply, "All I did was told him how I wish he had brought Patches with him."

 

Ben slaps his head and complains, "Great we just get him back, now he's gone again to look for another damn hay burner."

 

I answer, "Sorry about that. I really didn't think he would do that."

 

Then I change the subject, "By the way did something happen to my back?"

 

Ben gets the exact same look as a kid does when they get caught doing something naughty while he answers…

 

Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker

 

Shit! Stacy finally notices her torn up back. I was dreading when she finally became aware of the problem because I don't want to tell her what really happened. She asks me and I lie, "Well it did get scraped up some."

 

She gives me the bitch look and orders, "Ben you're a damn bad liar so tell me what happened to my back."

 

I jump down out of the tree to talk with Stacy. Then I hear a noises again worry it's the damn rhino so I yell, "Stacy get up in the tree!"

 

Stacy sprints to the tree and makes like a monkey while I pull up the Winchester, thumb back the hammer, aim, wait and calm myself. I'm ready to fire when Bo and Patches erupt through the bushes, I lower the Winchester and yell, "You need to let me know when you're coming."

 

But this time they don't stop and keep running right past me. I hear a new noise behind them, realizing what it is, bring the Winchester up and don't even wait to see it. I begin to fire at the noise and I know I hit when I hear the solid thunks. I empty the rifle, step behind the tree and start to reload.

 

Stacy realizes what the noise is to and yells, "Ben throw me a revolver!"

 

Without looking, I slip my hand down, draw and throw the revolver toward the sound of her voice. She complains, "Dammit you hit me in the face!"

 

I whisper loudly, "Stacy keep your voice down."

 

The rhino charges out into the clearing, Stacy begins to fire and I realize I made a mistake. The rhino might not have seen me behind the tree because of his poor eyesight, and I might have been able to hide, but he sure as hell can hear and feel Stacy firing at him.

 

He charges towards the tree and I bug the hell out of there…

 

Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker

 

Well Bo came back with Patches but he also brought the fracking rhino with him. Ben tosses a revolver to me, it hits me right in the lip but at least I catch it. The rhino runs into the clearing, he looks confused at first until I fire at him. I hit him then he charges towards the tree, Ben takes off running, the rhino sees him and begins to chase Ben and frack I'm out of ammo again. So I throw pinecones at the rhino again, hoping to distract him but he must want Ben pretty badly because he ignores the pinecones.

 

I begin to cry because the rhino is gaining on Ben while Ben's running away from the trees. I jump out of the tree to try to distract the rhino when…

 

Present – Ben – Travel back to the bunker

 

I realize my goose is finally cooked! I made a tactical mistake and ran away from the trees. The rhino sees me and gains on me with every step I take. It's just a matter of time until he catches me. Normally I would put the rifle over my shoulder and fire at the bastard (yes I can hit things this way because I've practiced) hoping to hit it, but Stacy's behind me and I can't afford to do that because I might hit her.

 

Then Bo charges into the clearing from the side, rears up, paws the air and makes a hell of a noise! The rhino stops like it's confused then bellows, changes direction and runs towards Bo. I guess those two have some unfinished business because the rhino is more pissed at Bo than he is at me. I take the opportunity to spin, pull up the Winchester and fire at the fucker until the rifle is again empty.

 

He's moving slower and bleeding like hell (he should be, he has 12 .30-30 rounds in him). Bo's run off again so he turns toward me and charges. I crash through some bushes, see a creek with about a ten foot drop off below me (I try to remember if rhinos can swim) get ready to jump in when fuck it all! I see a log with two fucking eyes looking at me. Yeah it's a fucking alligator and it wants me for a meal. I grab the largest root I can see, swing over the side and hold on for dear life hoping the root doesn't break. The rhino crashes through the bushes, doesn't see the creek or drop off in time, slides over the side and begins to fight with the fucking alligator. I personally hope the fucking alligator wins. I begin to pull myself up when…

 

Present – Stacy – Travel back to the bunker

 

Ben crashes through some bushes with the rhino right behind him. Bo's returned and we go running after Ben. As we get to the bushes, I'm ready to crash through then when Bo grabs the collar of my shirt and stops me. I yell, "Let me go! Ben needs help."

 

Then I look and see there's a big drop off and a creek below it. I blink my eyes because I can't believe the rhino fell into the creek. It looks like he's badly hurt and he's fighting like crazy against three crocodiles. There's blood everywhere in the water so I assume Ben went over first. I sink to me knees and begin to cry until then I hear. "If you could stop crying I sure could use some help getting back up before this damn root breaks."

 

It's Ben! I get close to the edge and see he's holding onto what has to be the smallest root I've ever seen, I sure don't know how it's supporting his weight. I hit the dirt and reach my hand over the side. Ben can barely grab it but he does and holds on tight. I try to pull him up but I can't. In fact his weight is causing me to slide over the side of the drop off with him.

 

Ben realizes what’s happening and says, "Stacy, I can't let you die with me."

 

I know what he's going to do, so I grab his arm with my free hand and yell, "There's no way in hell I'm letting you die alone. We're a team and we either live together or die together."

 

I slide even faster now as I keep staring at the hungry crocodiles and the still fighting rhino. And the whole time I hope they are too distracted with each other to bother with us…

 

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