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This ties back into Alice, but I thought it deserved a space of its own.

The last of my family dies

Grandma was walking me and three of the girls that lived on our street home from school. She said it wasn’t safe for little kids to be out on their own anymore and since the school stopped running school buses she had been walking us back to our homes. I keep telling her that I am not a little kid anymore, I am ten years old and the girls are too. She just smiled at me.

Grandma and me are all we have since grandpa died from the flu this year. Mon and dad had gone to heaven last year when the snow collapsed the building they worked in. This is going to be my first Thanksgiving without them and without grandpa too.

I look over at grandma and say, “I really miss grandpa and his stories and all the things we did together”.

She said, “I miss him too, but we have to keep going on for each other’s sake”.

“It’s dark walking home now, why don’t they have street lights any more”?

“Bud, the city can’t afford to pay for the street lights anymore, like the school can’t afford buses. I am worried that they might close the school soon, then no more free breakfast and dinner for you.”

She starts to say more but a van pulls up beside us. Grandma yells, “RUN!”

But before we can get started men have jumped out of the van and a car behind us. We are trapped between them, the van, and a fence behind us.

Grandma pushed us all behind her and yelled, “STAY AWAY FROM US, YOU CAN’T HAVE THESE CHILDREN”.

One of the men stepped into the light and I recognized him as the creepy policeman from school, Billy. He said, “Oh yes we can’t Mrs. Silas”, then shot her in the head. Wet sticky stuff rained over us and she fell to the ground. We were too scared to say anything.

One of the other men spoke up and said, “We have four pretty little girls to play with and sell”. I recognized his voice; he was a friend of Billy’s.

Billy said, “No, you have three pretty little girls to play with, I have a pretty little boy to play with”

Something about the way he said that and we were all crying like little kids. We tried to run then, but the men caught us and held us with no trouble. One of the men was laughing, he said that his little angel had wet her pants, she must like water sports. He looked at her and promised her they would play some water sports with her. I heard her talk, confused, it was Sally, “But, I don’t swim”. The men thought that was a big joke and started laughing. They tied our hands together and tied our legs together and tied our hands and feet in front of us.

They tossed us on mattresses in the back of the van, Billy got in to drive and four of the men were in the back with us. Billy called back to not damage the merchandise, no bruises, no broken bones, and remember virgins bring a higher price so take them from behind.

We didn’t know what that meant until the men started pulling down the girls pants, when their bottoms were bare they pulled down their own pant and stuck the penis in them. All of the girls cried and the men just laughed and kept pushing.

Billy called back, “Bud you watch close, soon that will be you and me”. Then he laughed.

I closed my eyes and tried to not hear the crying and the men’s talk about what they were going to be doing with them and who they would sell them to.

The van stopped and the girls were taken into a house, the windows were barred and boarded up like most house now. Billy came and picked me up by sticking his hand down my pants and his finger in my bottom. I started to cry again, he said, “That is OK cry, get warmed up, soon you will have something to really cry about”. Then he rubbed my face against the front of his pants. I could feel his penis big and hard and knew he was going to do thing to me that the other men were doing to the girls.

I said that I wasn’t a girl and he couldn’t do that to me. He said he didn’t like girls and he would do that to me, just like he had done to Tommy. Tommy had disappeared two weeks ago and no one knew what happened. A lot of boys and girls had been disappearing around town, I knew what had happened to them now, and it was happening to me too.

I won’t remember what happened next, I won’t let myself remember.

I hear Billy snoring, I have cried out, no more tears left in me. I move my hands and am able to pull them out of the ropes. I move quiet so I won’t wake up Billy. I see his pistol, a big bright shiny one. My grandpa taught me how to shoot one like it only smaller. That was before the police took all the guns away from people, for our own good. I am going to use this one for my own good. I put it to his head and pull the trigger, I thought it broke my arm, but he will never snore again.

I hear the girls calling out, pick up the gun and go looking for them. They are tied up, but no one else is in the house. I get a kitchen knife and cut them free. They are bleeding from behind like I am and have blood around their mouths like I do. We gather our clothes and get dressed. We go to our homes across the park, the park is dangerous we have been told, but we feel it is more dangerous on the streets.

We get to our home street, there are police cars there. We go in the backdoor of Ran’s house. Ran’s mother is there and Ran runs to her, her mother is crying. Her father comes back and sees us, he has been crying. He says that Officer Muldoon has been there, he said that I had killed a policeman, Billy, and my grandma.

Ran says that Officer Muldoon had helped Billy kill my grandma then he had pulled her pants down and done things to her. I told him I had killed Billy for what he had done.

We hear the police start up their cars, a loudspeaker says they must tell them if they see me as I am a dangerous fugitive. Then they leave.

Ran’s father goes to the other girls parents and get them to come to his house. They all cry when they see their girls and hear their stories. I have no one to cry for me, but they all say how brave I am for saving their girls. I don’t feel brave, I feel alone, no one in the world to care about me now that grandma is gone.

The parents are all talking, they say they can’t stay here and risk their daughters again. They make plans to go to relatives outside the city, even if they are turned away they can leave their daughter safe with them.

Ran’s father asks what do they do with me, I have no family. I say that my friend Spence has written and said that his father said that me and grandma can come down with them. The state they moved to is safe and there are people that help other people. But, grandma is dead and I don’t know how to get there.

Ann’s father ask if I have an address, I reach in my school bag and pull out a postcard that Spence, it showed a bunch of ragged dressed people sitting in front of a ragged house all looking happy, on the front it said, “Y’ALL COM ON DOWN”. On the back was his address.

Ann’s father looks at the address and says I know some people that can help down at the racetrack where I work.

Sally’s father says we need to move tonight. Everyone goes to get ready, Ran’s father takes me over to my house and says to pack what I need, I won’t be coming back. Then goes to help his family pack.

First thing I do is take off the clothes I am wearing and toss them in the hamper, then take a shower, the water is cold, but I don’t care I scrub myself until I am raw.

What do I take? Grandma and grandpa had made me a storm bag in case we had to go to a shelter during a storm. I grab it, put socks and clean underwear inside. Stop and get dressed, my newest jeans, wool shirt my mom had bought me, boot I use to wear to go on walks with grandpa. I put the photo album inside that grandma had put together for storms; she said those were the most important pictures. Under the album was a bag of silver coins, grandma has said they were old and better than the new money we have today, I packed them too.

I took Billy’s gun out and opened it like grandpa had showed me, only one bullet fired, because only one dimple. Five left to shoot, that is not enough, maybe grandpa had some that would fit this gun. I went to his office and looked in his hidey hole that he had shown me. There was the pistol he had taught me to shoot! And a full box of ammo and a part box, 32-20 Winchester it says on the boxes. I cried, I thought I was cried out but these were tears of joy for being close to grandpa.

I put the pistol and ammo in my school bag and got some food from the kitchen, canned food that wouldn’t break. Not too much it was too heavy. A couple of water bottles filled from the tap.

Back to Ran’s house, all of the parents are there with their girls and other kids. Ann’s father has me get in the car with him and his family. We go to the racetrack; Ann and I are hiding under a blanket on the floor in the back. When we get there we go inside the horse stables where we can’t be seen from the outside.

I hear him and another man talking for a moment then a woman’s voice. Ann’s father calls for me to come out and bring my stuff with me.

He is standing there with another man and a big blonde woman. She says, “my name is Sam and my father run security here and for the railroad and other places, you will be safe with me. The police know better than to bother anything connected to my father. I am going to take you on the railroad to your friend’s home. No station there, but we will stop any way. Are you ready?”

“Yes, can I say good-bye to Ann and her father?”

“Of course”

I go to Ann and give her a hug and say good-bye, she starts crying. Her mother gives me a hug and say thank you for saving my girl. Her father give me a hug and thanks me too, he looks ready to cry. I pull Billy’s gun out of my school bag and give it to him, tell him it is too big for me, but he might be able to use it.

He just holds it by the barrel and looks at it like it might go off and shoot someone by itself. The other man comes over and takes it out of his hand and says let me give you a quick lesson. He leads Ann’s father off.

Sam takes me by the arm and leads me over to her car, we get in the back seat, there is already a driver in front. We are off as soon as we sit down.

Sam says, “Bud we are going to the train station, no police allowed there so you will be safe. The train is scheduled to leave soon, but they will hold it for us. You will be safely out of this town before you know it.”

We get to the train station and almost fly through. We are just on board when the train starts to move. Sam leads me down to a cabin and says I can put my stuff in there. I put my storm bag there, but keep my book bag with the photos and the pistol. She just smiles at the bag with its duck decorations. She locks the door and gives me the key, be careful with that key she says. I put it on the key ring with the key to my home’s front door, I feel the tears trying to start but I hold them back.

She takes me down to the dining car and ask if I am hungry, I wasn’t till she ask. What do I want she ask, I say can I have a hamburger, I haven’t had one since I was little. She smile again and ask if I want fries and a chocolate shake? I think she must be rich to afford that and say if it is not a problem, I would like that, please.

Heaven, so long since I have eaten this well. Not heaven, grandma, grandpa, mom, and dad are not here. I remember what grandma said when grandpa died, they will live in my memory as long as I live. I am going to keep them alive for a long time.

Sam doesn’t say anything till I am done. Just works on her food, steak, baked potato, and coffee. I know she is rich.

When we are done she leads me back to the cabin and pulls out the seat to make a bed, I lie down.

Someone is knocking on the cabin door, I am lost for a moment, remember, and am feeling really lost. I hear Sam asking me to open the door.

She is standing there with another woman, a little woman not much bigger than me. “Bud this is Sally she will take you to a station near your friend’s home. The tracks don’t run by it or we would drop you off in his front yard. I have to take care of some other business, another friend might be in trouble.”

She called me a friend!

I notice that the train has stopped. Sam leaves and Sally turns to me and ask if I mind if she bunks down in my cabin. I invite her in and she pulls out the other seat to make a bed. She ask me to lock the door, curls up on her bed and falls asleep. I lay down thinking I will never get to sleep. Sally is waking me, asking if I want breakfast.

We will be at my stop in 30 minutes and a real pirate queen will be there to take me to Spence’s new home. They have sent word that I am on the way and a little of what happened.

“A real pirate queen?”

“Yes her name is Alice, she has a hook, and eye patch, drives a Grey Goose”

I am confused but think life is getting better if I am in world where a pirate queen will help me.
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