There was no help for it. She was going to have to go to that place! She had no milk for little Victoria and a cave was no place for a baby, even she knew that.
She had buried Melanie right by the spot she gave birth to the baby and carved her name into the tree as a headstone. She wasn’t sure of the date so didn’t put one. Now she had everything cleaned up and put away, she began the walk to that place. She just couldn’t think of anything that would be better for Victoria.
It was just getting to be dusk when she approached the property. There was a girl and boy outside talking under a tree that looked just under her age. She took a deep breath and stepped into view. And at that moment Victoria decided she was hungry and let out a cry of anger that could not be mistaken for anything but for a “feed me now” cry!
Another boy came from around the barn and now there were three young people approaching the girl as Victoria kept on with her cry.
Over the baby’s cry, she could hear the two boys talking about her as if she wasn’t even there.
“It’s her, that girl from the camera, I just know it”
“What do you think is wrong with her that she is alone?”
“Why is that baby crying?”
“Will you guys just shut up so I can talk to her and maybe help!” exclaimed the girl that had approached from the farm.
“Hi my name is Katie, what’s your’s?”
The girl sighed deeply and tried to sooth the baby while she said “I could really use some milk for Victoria here, she hasn’t eaten since her mom died and she is very hungry. Can I get some from you?”
Katie quickly sent the boys off to find one of the women to get her some milk and to tell the others that the girl was here with a baby.
“The boys will bring someone to help. So tell me about this adorable baby. And will you tell me your name?”
“I’m called Coon and this is Victoria, her mom’s name is Melanie and she was born just this day. Her mom died…..”
“Ok, hold on. We might better wait until an adult gets here so you don’t have to repeat yourself. Can I hold her?”
“Sure, but she needs changing bad and I don’t have anything to use.” She handed Victoria to Katie who became engrossed in looking at her.
Coon was getting nervous about more people possibly coming out “will you care for her just for a day or so while I go and find what I need for her? I promise I will come back for her” she asked.
Katie quickly said “of course we will watch her. But you really need to talk to the adults.”
Coon took a deep breath and replied “I would rather get going so I can get back faster. I have to find all I’ll need to care for her.” Victoria was actually cooing in Katie’s arms happily gurgling and Katie was making soothing sounds to her. “Remember that her name is Victoria.”
Katie looked up and saw that the girl was easing away from her and they looked at each other dead in the eye and Katie said “I will hold you to your promise that you will come back! Maybe we could even become friends?”
“Ok, I always keep my promises, thank you” and with those words, she slipped back into the forest just as the two boys were coming back dragging one of the women with them and being followed by a couple men.
She took another glimpse back and heard Katie call out “Don’t forget! YOU PROMISED!”
“I promise, I promise, I promise” was all I could think as I ran through the house gathering my beloved bow and backpack as I ran toward the cellars stairs. I had just heard the code word from my Poppy. “SHAWSHANK, SHAWSHANK, SHAWSHANK!” He had cried loudly as a gunshot went off.
I FLEW down and through the cellar and to the door that lead outside, by passing the small door that had allowed Poppy’s and I salvation during the nuke attack. I popped open the outside door and looked around quickly and then sped to edge of the woods. I only went in about twenty feet, just until I knew I couldn’t be seen and worked my way around to the front of the house where I had heard another gunshot.
I was horrified at the sight. My dear Poppy was crumpled to the ground and a man was about to bring a gun down on his head. There was another guy also laying on the ground about five feet from Poppy.
I didn’t hesitate, I had my bow pulled and loaded with an arrow before I even realized it.
The arrow flew true right along with my prayer. The man dropped the gun and grabbed at the arrow that was now stuck deeply into his chest. Thankfully, the arrow went right between two ribs and into his black evil heart!
I quickly scanned the area but didn’t see any one else so I ran back to my Poppy’s side. He was barely alive and only managed a few words before he breathed his last.
“Coon, I love ya gal; you have to be brave. Take what you need from here and go to our cave. I have no doubt that you will make it. You’re a strong and smart girl and I’m proud of you. Carry Granny, the Bugger and I in your heart.” and then with those words, he was gone.