Doing Time

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Re: Doing Time

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:56 am

The convict chose a drum surrounded by others and screwed the pump into the main opening. This allowed the fill hose to reach the other receptacles without moving the pump constantly. After attaching the tank hose he tossed it down to Todd. Once he had a thumbs up the work started. The ten gallons a minute in reality was really only five gallons a minute with a person working the handle. They averaged a full drum every ten or eleven minutes by switching out pumpers.

Everyone had their turn at the spinning the wood handle. When a couple drums were full the hose was lowered in the tank a little more to take only the water free fuel on the top. Since the last trip was a near disaster the guards remained alert. Almost four hours were required to fill all the barrels on the truck.

Trey conferred with Todd and Ann about exploring the truck stop. “Let’s check the shops for rubber gloves and something to keep the hoses and pump in. There could still be food in the restaurant too.”

Todd agreed “It’s only noon.”

Ann shrugged her agreement with the two men. Todd found a plastic barrel for the hoses and a bucket that fit the pump to keep it out of the mess. Three pair of industrial grade gauntlets was found under a work bench and several aprons to boot. Ann measured the tank again confirming at least another truck load remained.

Clearing the building resulted in only one goon being found. Kicking each closed door brought a response from the men’s room. The citizen Trey had spoken with upon first arriving was talked into doing the honors under the cover of the convict’s weapon. Two swings of the pipe brought the goon to the floor.

The search of the main building revealed a surprising amount of food and supplies. The convoy members took their turns at the cans of fruit that were opened for lunch. Canned and dried goods all went into the pickup trucks. Canned shortening, dish soap, scrubbing pads, aprons, paper towels were all taken. What little that could be eaten without preparation was left for the next trip.

The trip back to the prison went without incident. The dump truck was parked back by the tank’s fill pipes. Trey figured the tank wasn’t low enough to accept all the fuel and didn’t see the point of only pumping a couple barrels worth. If they had more empty drums another trip could be made but he had no idea where to get any. But then they would have to off load the full barrels. A ramp could be built so the drums could be rolled off. That would require another truck to haul the dirt. He made a mental note to talk to the man about it.

The bank robber went to clean up. He should have worn his clothing from the day before. Pumping the stuff wasn’t as bad as wrestling the barrels around but he still stunk of diesel. Deciding to check on Joker before supper he could hear raised voices well before the clinic door was reached. Opening the door he put his head in the room.

Nick was observing Joker and Dr. Doom verbally abusing each other with a smile on his face. The doc was yelling at Joker that she had cared for dogs with amputated legs that didn’t whine as much as Joker did. Spying Trey at the door she ordered “Get him out of here. I hope he falls down and breaks his neck.”

“He’ll need his clothing. He’s a very modest man.” The soldier replied straight faced.

Nick covered his mouth trying not to laugh. Dr. Doom stomped into the office then items of clothing began flying back out the door. Trey deposited the clothes on the bed as Joker wanting the last word yelled “You better not look while I’m getting dressed ya quack.”

The response was a slammed office door and a loud sarcastic “HA”.

Without his friend the smaller man would have fallen several times. Deposited at a table to wait for his supper he looked around happily. The young brothers joined him first followed by the bank robber juggling two trays. Peach walked up to the table looking uncertain. “Please join us” Trey invited.

“Nobody’s overly friendly here” the young girl replied sitting down.

“That’s true. They’re suspicious of anyone who can survive out there.”

“So they don’t like you either?”

“They don’t like us because we’re convicts. I’m a thief” Joker bragged. “He’s just a bank robber.”

“It was a case of mistaken identity. I’m innocent” he stared hard at his friend.

“Where did you learn about walking around the woods at night” Peach asked suspiciously?

Joker answered before Trey could “He was in the Navy. Or was it the Air Force?”

“The Army!”

“Same thing” the smaller man answered with his crazy grin.

“I can drag you back to the clinic.”

Joker’s grin changed to a sober look and he concentrated on the food on his tray. “Have you met Ann” the soldier asked?

“No.”

“I think the two of you would get along. She ran the fuel convoy today. In any case I’m going out tomorrow looking for some garden stuff if you want to come along.”

The main players drifted over to the table. The talk was about the fuel run today and the garden run tomorrow. Peach did get to meet Ann. The young brothers insisted on showing off their boxing skills before the evening ended. Trey noted that Peach could throw a mean punch.

Joker was doing better the next day only occasionally drifting to the side while walking. He had a seat in the sun watching the children and dogs playing while Trey readied his crew for the trip. A pair of Mr. Swan’s guards was going along as well as Peach, the Swede, Andrews and two new civilians. The new guys stuck close to Andrews seeming intimidated by the others.

Trey assigned crews to the vehicles and order of travel for the three trucks. Then he stated his orders for individual duties while stopped or searching likely areas. Mr. Swan’s pair was ordered to chamber a round in their weapons. The civilians had to demonstrate that they could load and chamber a round then were only permitted to load their weapons. Mr. Swan loaned out three hand radios for the trip.

The group of trucks began cruising up and down the back roads. The convict was looking for single family homes on several acres of land. Small property owners might have small gardens that were tilled by small tillers not suitable for his purposes or paid for jobs.

One truck would check out any likely looking place. The driver remained by the truck while the other two would peek in the windows of the garage if the home had a garden. Without the Joker along the method of entry was an axe or a crowbar. Gardening tools and a few doubtful seeds were found. Trey had a little luck finding a few dried tomatoes sort of still on the vine that he took for the seeds. The sky was growing overcast.

It was almost noon when the crew left one truck at the road and the rest drove down a gravel driveway that hopefully ended at a home invisible from the road. The drive wound through a stand of hardwood trees with the tips of the branches barely green with leaves. Passing a belt of pine trees a two story wood frame house came into sight. The walkout basement was also the garage.

The truck stopped so the crew had time to look the place over. The trucks turned around so they were facing the way they came. Trey led Peach, the Swede and a guard named Salvo up behind the house under a darkening sky taking the corners wide to avoid any surprises. The backyard held two sizeable gardens. The convict figured whoever lived here must have grown all their own vegetables.

After knocking on the door, literally loud enough to wake the dead and calling hello,he smashed the doorknob off the back door. The screwdriver blade was inserted in the revealed slot and twisted opening the door. First through the door into the kitchen the soldier noticed the air smelled bad. The ax made enough noise to bring any of the dead if they were able. The party stood quietly for several minutes. Rapping the table with the ax handle also brought no response.

The Swede checked a door that led to the basement. Closing the door he tipped a table chair so the back was under the handle and it couldn’t be opened. “Peach you stay here and keep an eye out back” Trey ordered handing her the radio. A hall led away from the kitchen as well as a doorway that was access to the living room. Salvo watched the hall so the convicts could clear the living room.

Other than checking behind the huge L shaped couch only the closet was a mystery. The Swede tapped the door with no response. Trey nodded standing ready with the ax. The door swung open to a shallow space containing a shelf full of board games and DVD’s. Several coats hung from a bar above a floor full of shoes and boots.

Moving to the hall exit Trey called clear as he waved his hand where Salvo could see it. The guard moved up to join the others as they proceeded down the hall. The front door was ahead and to the right were a closed door and the stairs to the upper floor.

Salvo watched the stairs, the Swede tapped the door and Trey took a quick look out the front door waving to the guys by the trucks. All three men looked at the door because something inside the room bumped back. Salvo backed away to keep the stairs and bedroom door in his field of vision.

The door was opened quickly and the ax met the forehead of a well armed male zombie. An AK clone hung muzzle down from a two point sling over its head and shoulder. The old style pistol belt circled its waist held up by an equally old set of suspenders. Four magazine pouches were attached to the belt leaving room for a handgun holster.

Stepping over the body Trey viewed the body lying on the bed in a nightgown with a bullet hole in its head. The two walk in closets held no surprises. Moving to the upstairs a hallway was fronted by four doors. All the rooms were empty of occupants. Three were bedrooms of children of different ages and one was an office. The three men just finished clearing the upper floor when Peach called from the base of the stairs “Hey, there’s some dead guys out by the garden.”

Trey looked out a window at the three goons by the back of the garden walking toward the house in time to see a fourth exit the tree line. “Use the radio to let the others know.”

“Already done” the girl responded.

Descending the stairs the group moved back to the kitchen. “Keep an eye on them. Let everyone know what they’re doing” the bank robber told Peach. “They could be coming for the house or the trucks.”

The Swede removed the chair from the basement door. The stairs were clear and the air smelled cleaner than the upstairs. The soldier lay down with his torso through the door to look through the open back stairs for movement. The childhood fear of a monster reaching through the stairs to grab his legs was now a valid concern.

“Come out, come out, where ever you are” brought no response. From the bottom of the stairs most of the basement was visible. Checking behind the furnace, water heater and small bathroom only took a minute. Cautiously moving through the door to the garage again the bank robber dropped to the floor looking under the two vehicles for the sight of feet.

The back wall of the concrete room was taken up by a work bench, some shelves and the rototiller they were looking for. Trey admired the big machine which was exactly what they needed. Peach entered the garage “The dead are coming up on the porch and more are coming from the woods. The guys we left up on the road are seeing some movement and our guys outside have some bodies walking up the field past the driveway.”

“OK, let’s get this thing in the truck” urged the soldier.

There was room between the vehicles to wheel the machine. The problem was that both were stopped too close to the doors to get past. The Swede pushed the big door up to the obvious relief of the crew members by the trucks. Trey cracked the steering column of the older Ford sedan starting the car with his screwdriver. The car moved several feet forward and the engine was turned off at the same time the gunfire started.

The tiller wheels rumbled over the gravel drive being pushed toward the pickup. The first drops of rain began to fall with a patter against the bank robber’s clothing. His peripheral vision detected motion as he started toward his people. Startled, he jumped back raising the ax, in time to see a goon finish its slide down the steep grass slope stopping on the small stones. The dead man’s head crushed under the under the ax head.

A second dead man slid down the slope slamming into the first corpse. It was barely stopped before it was also dealt a blow from the ax. Several more ghouls were at the top of the slope like kids waiting their turn at an amusement ride. Drawing his suppressed handgun, bullets began puncturing the heads of each goon as it came to a stop at the bottom of the hill.

Trey ran to the truck but with Peach’s help the two men already had the tiller in the back of the truck. “I saw a gas can in the garage. Go get it and look for some rope to tie the tiller down” he told Peach and the Swede. Turning to Salvo he made a circle over his head “You watch everywhere. Call out if more show up.”

The one man with a rifle wasn’t firing. He arrived just as Andrews bellowed “Too slow mother fucker” as he made solid contact with his ax to the lead ghoul’s head. Slapping the civilian’s arm saying “shoot” the man turned his head to stare at the convict puzzled. Pointing toward the field the soldier said “They’re coming for dinner. I suggest you aim and fire your weapon.” The civilian’s head snapped back to the approaching dead but seemed frozen below the neck.

Raising the Smith & Wesson and firing at the head of the closest zombie the bullet penetrating the skull over the eyebrow. “Chamber a round” Trey ordered in a firm voice. The man fumbled with his rifle taking a full minute to work the pump action Remington. The convict again fired dropping the closest goon.

The taller man made a whining noise before voiding his bladder. The soldier watched the liquid run down the trouser leg. Placing his hand on the civilian’s shoulder he could feel the man shaking. “What the warden didn’t know won’t hurt him” the convict thought. Placing the suppressor against the man’s temple he growled “Fire your rifle or I’ll leave you here with a hole in your head and the dead will chew on your bones”.

The Swede called out “We’re ready to go” as unconcerned as if they were in a store parking lot on a shopping trip. Despite the rain on his face Trey could swear his possible victim was crying. Ever so slowly the rifle was lifted into a firing position the blued steel barrel waving back and forth. The soldier shot another dead man that was uncomfortably close. At last the flat crack of the little rifle sounded.

“Again. Open your eyes this time” the soldier shouted in his platoon leader’s voice. The rifle fired again. The man fired each time he was ordered operating the slide even firing the last two shots on his own. The tears had been replaced by an angry grimace. “Fall back. We’re leaving.” Trey said as he walked away.

Passing the truck Peach waved the radio out the window “The other truck doesn’t answer”. Trey led his rookie to the other vehicle and climbing up in the bed followed by the new shooter. Banging once on the window was enough of a hint for Salvo to hit the gas.

“What’s you name civilian?”

“Gunderson.”

“Load your weapon Gunderson.” The tall man began struggling with the weapon and ammo in the bouncing truck bed. “You can tell whomever you want that I threatened to kill you and I absolutely would have shot you dead. I really don’t care. I’m still going to do you a favor. We’re riding back here so nobody will know you pissed yourself once we get wet enough. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid but you can’t let it paralyze you. “The two men sat with their backs against the cab avoiding the sting of the rain drops.
Last edited by Groucho on Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Nancy1340 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:56 pm

Very good to see a new chapter today. Thank you.

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Re: Doing Time

Post by dank » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:41 pm

:) That was tasty, can we have moar please?

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Re: Doing Time

Post by BreAnna » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:00 pm

I love this story! Thanks for the update! :D
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Re: Doing Time

Post by 91Eunozs » Wed Jul 23, 2014 3:56 pm

:clap:

Great entries Groucho...as always.

Quick question though. I haven't determined if it's intentional or not but at times you refer to Trey as "The convict" and at other times as "The soldier." Is this in allusion to his frame of mind or (perceived) role at that point, or just a literary device to mix it up a bit?

No great shakes either way though once I figured out it was referring to the same person... Just curious.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Halfapint » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:18 pm

That was a sizable dose of MOAR-phine thanks for that. I was interesting you chose to start calling him "the solider" instead of "the bankrobber". I didn't get why you did that until the end when it made sense.

Thanks for taking the time to write for us, this is VERY well done.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:20 pm

91Eunozs wrote::clap:

Great entries Groucho...as always.

Quick question though. I haven't determined if it's intentional or not but at times you refer to Trey as "The convict" and at other times as "The soldier." Is this in allusion to his frame of mind or (perceived) role at that point, or just a literary device to mix it up a bit?

No great shakes either way though once I figured out it was referring to the same person... Just curious.
That is a good question, the answer is literary. Bank robber, soldier, veteran, felon, convict. Same with zombies, goons, ghouls, the dead. Felt better this way than writing the same thing all the time. I was originally trying to avoid the repetitive use of the word "he".

I'd be interested to know if anyone thinks I'm using this device too much. Thanks.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by DAVE KI » Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:27 pm

Bank robber,soldier,thief,convict it all works for me ,though at one time I wondered but it also helps distinguish who's who. And that was a great update as usual.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Zimmy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:00 pm

I look at the soldier/bankrobber/convict phrasing as a sign of Trey transitioning back to the more noble and self sacrificing role of soldier.

Notice Joker stays thief or convict. Both synonymous terms for his station.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by DAVE KI » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:42 pm

Zimmy wrote:I look at the soldier/bankrobber/convict phrasing as a sign of Trey transitioning back to the more noble and self sacrificing role of soldier.

Notice Joker stays thief or convict. Both synonymous terms for his station.
Hmm. Interesting way to look at it. Though I think Joker may rise to the role of being noble when it comes to Doom.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by BreAnna » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:17 pm

I like how Groucho keeps it mixed up. I find it easy to follow without being annoyed by the constant uses of the same name or title over and over again. Great job! The only thing I want is MOAR! :mrgreen:
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Zimmy » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:23 pm

DAVE KI wrote:
Zimmy wrote:I look at the soldier/bankrobber/convict phrasing as a sign of Trey transitioning back to the more noble and self sacrificing role of soldier.

Notice Joker stays thief or convict. Both synonymous terms for his station.
Hmm. Interesting way to look at it. Though I think Joker may rise to the role of being noble when it comes to Doom.

I'm not calling Joker shallow. He is rightly called partner.

I think he would follow Trey's lead in decisions both righteous and callous.

They are partners in crime, captivity, and now apocalypse.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Redeyes » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:33 am

I like this story. You are doing a good job.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by DAVE KI » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:50 am

Oh I whole hardheartedly concur,I think he(Joker)found found ah I guess you could say a new partner.Not necessarily in crime though. :twisted:
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:26 am

Thanks for the comments guys and gals. The various interpretations are interesting.

DAVE KI, we'll just have to wait and see about Joker.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:28 am

They’re all dead

Before the lead truck exited the hardwoods it began to slow. With a hand on the top of the cab to steady himself Trey stood to see what was happening. Nine or ten goons were walking toward them down the middle of the driveway. Banging on the roof the soldier hollered “Stop”. The truck rolled to a stop only twenty yards away from the dead.

“Gunderson you kill the ones on your side when they get here. Don’t get too close to the side of the bed or they’ll grab you. You’ll be close enough there shouldn’t be any trouble hitting them. Take your time, aim and then squeeze the trigger. Trey’s Ra Ra speech was interrupted by Anderson running up to the truck. “I’ve created a monster” the bank robber thought to himself.

“Get up here in the bed. They’re too close together to fight them on the ground”. Anderson climbed up over the tailgate like a race horse entering the gate. “Slow down man. This isn’t like before. Your target will be lower, the truck bed could rock and it’s slick with rain. “Bed mats would be nice” Trey made a mental note.

Five goons went to the left and three to the right so Gunderson and Andrews changed sides. Two pawed at the driver’s window trying to get at Salvo. The convict stood against the cab in the middle ready to rescue either of the two if they were grabbed by a ghoul. Gunderson missed his first two shots at a distance of three feet. He took a breath and concentrated on keeping the front sight from bobbing around so much. When the rifle cracked the zed fell beside the truck shot through the eye.

Andrews had to move closer his targets than when they were on the same level. The three sets of arms were reaching frantically for their lunch and he could feel the fingertips touching his pant legs before he judged he was close enough. Looking down on the half bald skulls where the hair had slipped from the dead skin brought a sweat to his forehead. He felt much better when they were lying motionless on the gravel after three swings from his ax.

Salvo worked his way across the bench seat to the passenger door exiting the truck keeping an eye on the dead reaching for Andrews. The last two goons by the driver’s window were slain by the louder Ruger rifle firing twice. The four men took in the scene feeling a sense of accomplishment that was ruined as the rain turned into a downpour and all fled for the cover inside the vehicles.

The cold rain began fogging up the windshield. Salvo turned the heat to defrost waiting for the glass to clear before continuing to the road. The truck left on the road at the end of the driveway hadn’t answered the radio because it wasn’t there anymore. Trey made a radio check with the second truck with positive results. “If the dead came from that way” he pointed to the left “Then we should try that way” he pointed to the right.

The trucks preceded slowly, stopping at intervals to listen for an engine or gunshots, but hearing nothing. After a mile on the road a gang of ghouls were spotted staggering in the same directions as the trucks were moving. The bank robber who was just getting warm after his soaking suggested a new tack “See if you can just nudge them out of the way.” The Swede stopped to see what the lead truck would do.

Salvo moved forward at barely the speed of a walking pace. Once the truck was close he steered two wheels onto the grass at the edge of the road. Keeping a steady speed he hoped the tires wouldn’t begin to spin in the rain softened spring earth. As the hood passed each rank of the dead the closest who weren’t knocked over would grab for a hold on the slick wet paint. Most failed except two lucky ones who latched onto the tail gate. Clear of the pack the friction and drag of their feet being pulled down the road overcame their grasp.

The Swede imitated the first truck only using the opposite side of the road. The second failed to do as well as the first. The roto tiller lashed to the side of the truck made a handy handhold for the zed. The truck emerged from the pack with three being towed by the tail gate and four more hanging onto the tiller or its tie downs.

Two hundred yards from the pack the truck stopped with all but one of the ghouls still attached like ticks on a dog. The convict and the teenager slid out the passenger side with their melee weapons of choice. Before they reached any of the goons Salvo’s put his truck in reverse and backed as close to the other vehicle as he could peeling the four dead off the tiller leaving them twisted and broken on the asphalt.

The Swede and Peach finished off the tail gate hitch hikers with several whacks from the pipe and ball bat. The silent man nodded appreciatively at the teenager’s smooth, hard, swing precisely to the temple area. He now had a clue how she had survived on her own. An intense discussion occurred about making several reverse runs through the pack. Trey pointed out the broken tail light and dented, jammed tail gate of Salvo’s truck. The group agreed the tactic worked but could not be used regularly.
The now less numerous pack was getting too close for comfort so the trucks drove on.

Six miles from the encounter with the dead, the tiller crew discovered the other truck. Starting around a curve Salvo saw a tire in the road braking to a stop. The torn turf told the story. The errant driver took the turn too fast in his panic, lost control and left the road losing a wheel in the process.

The Swede followed Trey to the side of the road while the rest took positions that defended the mini convoy. Grass grew to the edge of road except where a hole a foot deep and three feet long met the road. The right rear tire dropped in the hole and was popped off. From the condition of the weeds and saplings the truck spun around from the jolt and went over the bank backwards.

The pair walked to the edge of the steep incline where they could see the vehicle farther down among the larger trees. Their descent was away from the path of the wreck where handholds were provided by a variety of different sized trees. The bark was missing on trees along the truck’s path where it pinballed down the slope. The wreck rested with the passenger side of the cab against a sturdy oak tree.

Getting closer they could see the driver’s door was open. Trey stood looking inside at the guard whose eyes were closed and head tipped forward held in place only by his seatbelt. The Swede turned a slow circle looking for the other occupant without success. The bank robber slid across the bench seat putting two fingers on the injured man’s neck seeking a pulse. The guard was still alive but the pulse was very faint. Climbing from the tilted truck he said “It’ll take four of us to get him out of here and up to the road.”

“The other one” the Swede asked?

“He could be anywhere. He’s on foot and didn’t take his rifle.”

A voice spoke from thirty yards away “He’s not on foot. Your man took my truck.”

The two convicts swiveled toward the voice as its owner stepped from behind a tree. Trey determined the older man was a farmer from the way he was dressed. All in Carhart from top to bottom except the John Deere cap the man also held a shotgun as if he knew how to use it. “I was making my rounds and heard them guys crash. They aren’t the first to lose it on that bend. Was that you folks doing the shooting a little bit ago?”

“Yep. We were out looking for a tiller and ran into a bunch of the dead. The new man couldn’t handle it and took off without us.”

“He looked pretty crazy when he knocked me down.”

“Look friend, a bunch of those goons are following us. I don’t want any trouble. I want to get him up to the other trucks before they arrive.”

“Drag him on out. The three of us should be able to haul him up there” the old farmer said.

Trey released the seat belt easing the injured man onto his side. He pulled him across the seat where he and the Swede each got a grip on his jacket. The farmer stepped up taking the guard’s legs. By the time the rescuers reached the foot of the embankment the two younger men were breathing heavily. The Farmer was one of those men who did hard physical labor all his life and despite his age was bearing the burden better than the pair of convicts.

Looking back and expecting the older man to call for a break, it became a matter of pride not to stop before the old Farmer did. The injured guard was hauled up the slope with some slipping and sliding in the rain. The front two had the advantage of using their free hands to pull themselves upward using the larger trees growing on the slope.

Peach saw the trio coming and had both rear doors open. Trey walked through pulling the patient across the seat as the others pushed. Both seat belts were used to keep the guard on the seat. Salvo ran back from his post where he could see around the bed. “They’re coming. They just came over that knoll.”

“That can’t be the one’s following us” the bank robber stated. “It must be another horde.”

“You can stay at my place until they go by. Get in” the farmer said sliding into the driver’s seat. Peach claimed a seat in the cab and the others hopped into the bed.

The trucks only went a short distance before turning onto a gravel road. At a heavy gate in a cut stone wall the old man got out to open the gate. The trucks drove through as Trey stepped down to close the gate and lock it. Salvo said he’d stay behind to see if the dead passed. Parking in front of the house the owner ordered the hurt man brought inside.

When the four men reached the door to the farmhouse the farmer’s mate directed them into a bedroom to the right with the admonition “Don’t put those muddy boots on my clean sheets.” Peach managed to get the boots off, then with the others holding him in a sitting position took off his coat and shirt. The pants were stripped off before covering the unconscious man.

“Why are we leaving him here” Peach asked?

“We were invited. Anyway, he won’t get better care back home. We don’t have a trauma surgeon or x-rays” the soldier said.

The older woman reappeared “Your coffee is getting cold. Come on out to the kitchen. And don’t track mud over my clean floors” the farmer’s wife said in a stern, well practiced manner. Taking Peach by the arm “You come with me darling” she addressed the girl in a friendly manner.

The men took their footwear off leaving them by the door. Crossing the living room and down a hall they found the kitchen. The farmer introduced himself as Zachary Taylor then Trey made introduction for his side. “Here’s my wife Connie”.

“And this sweet thing is Peach” Connie said leading the young girl wearing a dry sweat suit a little big for her. “My daughter in law is upstairs with the grandchildren. My son is out checking the back fence” Zach finished the roll call.

“So the stone wall doesn’t go the entire way around” Trey asked?

“Unfortunately no. What isn’t stone is fenced one way or another. My great, great, grandfather started the walls. He had a clan of thieves living not far through the woods. I hear that he figured the wall would slow them down enough to give him a good shot at them. It kept them from stealing large items like cows and horses. The ones that weren’t in jail or shot finally moved away in my grandfather’s time.”

“I finished with the chain link to keep the dirt bikes and four wheelers off the property. What kind of parent buys a kid a toy like that when they only own a half acre of land” Zach asked puzzled. “If they get hurt then I’d get sued for sure.”

“Your son’s a farmer also then” the convict asked sipping some coffee?

“He’s my youngest and despite my trying to talk him out of it he’s determined to be a farmer. There is no money in it anymore. Now my oldest son is a state trooper out in Springfield Missouri. The middle boy does something with computers for the Navy. They’re smart but tough too. I figure they are still alive out there somewhere. Taylor’s are difficult to kill.”

Zach’s wife shooed everyone away from the table once the coffee was finished. The group found themselves out on the front porch in their stocking feet. Once everyone was shod again the farmer and the bank robber walked a round about route back to the gate approaching in a manner that would prevent being seen from the road.

Salvo was alert and aware of their approach. “The first horde passed with no problems. The second is dribbling by right now” he whispered. The three men watched in silence as the dead staggered past the narrow lane without so much as giving it a glace. The rain had stopped but the sky did not clear. An hour after the last goon was seen the convict and the guard decided it would be safe to leave,

The trio walked up the gravel lane discussing the injured man in Zach’s house. The farmer acceded to Trey’s request to leave one man at the farm to look after their comrade. With a promise to return with the farmer’s truck in a day or two their business was finished. When a volunteer to stay was asked for Peach spoke first although the Swede was a close second.

The five men in two trucks drove through the gate only after having scouted the road on foot. It was late in the day and common knowledge the prison wouldn’t be reached before dark. After doing some thinking about the situation Trey was sure the coward would be telling everyone that the crew was dead. He’d have to wait and see what the reaction was but not everyone would believe him.

At the prison gate one of Mr. Swan’s guards told of how not ten minutes ago Crammer had arrived yelling that everyone else was dead. “He was lost” the convict told the others. The rest of the group nodded wondering themselves how Trey navigated the twisting back roads. Exiting the pickups they watched the soldier remove the suppressor from his handgun and check the magazine.

“You guys don’t need to be mixed up in this. Go find your families.”

“You think it’ll be like last time” the Swede asked?

“More than likely. We’re late and I don’t see anyone waiting for us.”

The bank robber walked toward the hall door followed by the crew. The Swede and Salvo kept up with their leader while Andrews and Gunderson lagged behind. The crew paused for a second at the door to the dining facility where loud voices could be heard. They entered the room unnoticed because all eyes were on the events at the Warden’s table.

The door’s closer allowed it slam shut noisily, immediately after the noise Trey used his parade ground voice “We’re back.”

All eyes turned to the source of the noise. The most common expression was surprise although a few showed anger at losing a prize. Mr. Swan was on the floor, Joker was being held at arm’s length by a large man, two others held Mr. Pitman against the wall and the brothers were kneeling by the table. The crew’s lost member Crammer stared with a look of disbelief.

The supposedly dead men were greeted by their crying families. Salvo was watching the crowd at the tables. The Swede drifted to the left as the two convicts advanced to the rebel’s location. A bruise forming on his cheek Alex looked up. Joker gave his friend an “It’s about time you got here" look. The Warden remained neutral. “You have two seconds to let them go” Trey declared.

The two men holding the Warden looked at the big man uncertain. Joker’s unsteady legs gave way dropping him onto the bench when he was released. Mr. Pitman was released with his captors stepping back a pace. Trey jerked a thumb over his shoulder at the door “Let’s go.”
Three men and a woman trapped in a building, send help. If you can't send help send two more women. Groucho Marx-Duck Soup

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Re: Doing Time

Post by Groucho » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:30 am

The bank robber expected a fight and was puzzled until he turned to follow his prisoners and saw Bobo standing by to give them a hand. Two women were screaming as the rebels were marched toward the door. Trey had them assume the position so they could be searched. While their weight was still on the hands against the wall he asked “So which one of you tough guys smacked the kid around?” The big man looked over his shoulder with a smile “I hit the little brat.” Trey smiled back as he kicked the man’s feet back letting him crash to the floor.


Salvo, who had disappeared when the situation was under control, reappeared with an arm full of shackles. The guard expertly hooked up each rebel before looking at the bank robber expectantly. “Isolation?” Trey nodded his answer. Bobo yanked the ringleader to his feet once Trey removed his boot from his neck as the Swede prodded the other two towards the door with his length of pipe. The trio looked crestfallen having gone from being briefly in control to being at the mercy of the convicts.

Turning his attention to the boys he assured himself they were well. The older brother stated that he wasn’t afraid and was echoed by the younger. Both kids showed the convict their bared blades they had planned to use if necessary. They were sent off to get some ice for Alex’s face. “I did give them the knives and told them to be brave” he thought not having foreseen this situation.

The others were helping Mr. Pittman and Mr. Swan. Swany was unsteady on his feet having taken a punch to the chin dropping him to the floor. Mr. Pitman waved everyone away and to quit fussing. Crammer sat with his family as if trying to believe none of this had ever happened.

Reality returned to the deserter in the form of the bank robber pulling him backward off the table’s bench seat. The man in question yelled in surprise and struggled until a cuff to the head subdued him.
Trey twisted an arm behind his back and marched him to the Warden’s seat.

Turning to face the prison’s diners he began his speech. “This member of our group deserted us when a horde of the dead approached us. He drove off in one of our trucks, wrecked it, injuring one of the prison guards. He ran from the wreckage leaving his companion unconscious and vulnerable not even bothering to close the door to the vehicle.”

“Someone not from here offered him assistance and in return was assaulted and had his truck stolen. Then he returns here spreading rumors which led directly to the altercation we had here.”

The Warden stood and asked “Can anyone else confirm these events?”

The crew members that were present raised their hands including the ones who had just returned from the solitary cells.

“Is the guard hurt badly?”

Salvo answered “Detmyer was still out when we left. He has a bad head injury.”

“Is the truck salvageable” the boss asked?

“It was wrapped around a tree in the woods down over a bank. To get it out we’d need a heavy duty wrecker” the Swede offered his opinion.

Mr. Pitman addressed the man on trial “Did you have reason to believe your crew members were dead?”

“We heard a lot of guns shooting. Then they just stopped.” Stuttering he added “Those things were coming down the road.”

“Did you desert your crew mate and assault a citizen offering you help before stealing his vehicle?”

“I don’t know, I don't remember. I was afraid. You don’t understand what it’s like out there. These guys are crazy, they act like they’re on a picnic or something.”

“While this case is being considered you'll be locked up until a decision is reached” the Warden declared.

Mrs. Crammer was screaming her protests as Salvo escorted her hapless husband from the room. The tiller crew briefly stood in line to have their trays filled. The hungry men made short work of the luke warm spaghetti and canned peas. Mr. Pitman tapped a finger impatiently on the table. Trey paused eating with his fork halfway to his mouth. He smiled at the gray haired man “We got the tiller”.

“How many dead were there?”

“Lots” the convict said through a mouthful of pasta. Swallowing he added “Probably a hundred or so. We didn’t actually count them. We had the tiller right there. All we had to do was load it.”

“Who was the helpful citizen?”

Trey held up a finger as a sign to wait while he chewed and then swallowed. “A farmer with a nice place. He’s a good bit older than me. The guard, Detmyer, is in one of his bedrooms. Peach stayed to watch over him.” Before the older man could ask he finished “The place has a wall around it so they’re both perfectly safe. I didn’t bring him back here because Dr. Doom can’t help with head injuries and bouncing him around in the truck wasn’t going to do him any good.”

The others who had a say at the prison but hadn’t been out with the crew gathered around as Trey talked. “I figured we’d take his truck back tomorrow and check on the patient. That would be the neighborly thing to do. “

“And what do we do with those down in the cells” Ann asked?

The Warden raised his eyebrow signaling he had the same question. “One, we put them on the road like last time. Two, they work off a sentence here. Three, we execute them. I always wondered how much grief we caused others by putting those folks on the road. What if they come back with some friends looking for pay back?”

Everyone at the table looked at Mr. Pitman. “I don’t regret what I did here. It was my duty to the people of the state. This case isn’t as clear cut. I think we have a meeting and everyone gets to say what they think. Then we here at this table vote on a punishment.”

“What if Detmyer dies” the soldier asked?

The gray haired man looked at his favorite convict “That was unintentional, not murder.”

Trey shrugged as the others nodded in agreement with the Warden. “When do we do this?”

“Tomorrow after breakfast” Mr. Pitman decided. “If the vote is to put them on the road they leave right then.”

“Then we should get food and fuel together tonight” Trey thought aloud.

“Good idea” the Warden agreed. “You all talk with your people tonight. Any belongings the prisoners had should be here when the punishment is decided.”

After that the meeting broke up. The bank robber left his friend the thief and the boys to explain things to Nick. He spoke with Nick’s group of people explaining what would happen in the morning. Then he rejoined the rest of his family. After they left the clinic Joker was curious “You were somewhere else in there with Nick?”

“I’m going down to the cells and administer a little prison justice.”

The other three were in firm agreement although the boys weren’t exactly sure what that meant, but they were sure it would be bad for the men in the cells. Arriving at the isolation block they saw Mr. Swan had the same idea. The head guard was exiting one of the cells with a satisfied look on his face and a night stick in his hand. “I remember those two and now they’ll remember me”.

Peering in the cells Trey saw both men were laying in their chains. One was crying and the other was swearing but neither bore a visible mark as testimony to their treatment. The convict had Alex hold his rifle and Lucas his suspenders with the pistol belt lying next to the youngest boy’s feet.

“Don’t stop it if it doesn’t get out of hand. Get the big man out if you please Swanny.” The soldier’s opinion of big guys fighting was that said big guys rarely fought anyone but other big guys. They depended on sheer strength to win a fight and had little training. Their stock in trade was to intimidate anyone smaller than themselves. What he had to watch out for was the big man who not only had training but was fast to boot.

With a large grin on his face Mr. Swan unlocked the cell and called the big man out. “Get your ass out here Dunston.” The guard was unlocking the prisoner’s shackles as Trey was stripping down to his bare chest. Dunston was not impressed and held up a big fist “I could kill you with this”.

“Are you going to do something or stand there and talk” Trey questioned?

He took two steps forward triggering a Joe Frazier type left hook that would have taken his head off if it connected. The bank robber slipped the punch then sidestepped the right hand that he had suspected was coming next. Another right hand passed over his leg as he pivoted on his left foot, leaned to his left and delivered a side kick to the body bringing a grunt from his opponent.

The convict crowded Dunston with his hands up bobbing under one punch and taking another on the shoulder to get into position. Like most boxers the big man planted his left foot to punch. Trey used a foot sweep on the lead foot to dump his opponent onto the concrete floor.

Dunston was slow getting to his feet. Shaken he realized he had to watch for the feet. That was when the bank robber closed again with a quick left followed by and upper cut to the jaw then watched the big man fall like a chainsawn oak tree. He skipped backwards looking at the lump on the floor. Mr. Swan hooked up the unconscious man and with Trey’s help dragged him into his cell.

The boys were awe struck at the performance. Even Joker looked impressed. Trey collected his gear while catching his breath. Nobody spoke as the group walked back to their cellblock. They all felt Dunston had deserved the beating he received. To walk off the adrenaline from the fight the soldier found Ann and Todd almost finished making parcels of food for the prisoners.

Two of the three vehicles were gassed up at the prison pumps. Nobody was sure which car belonged to Crammer. Chatting during the tasks revealed the likelihood that banishment would be the verdict. Banishment was all well and good before they knew their situation was permanent. The convict feared that someone else would suffer for the leniency of letting these men go free. There was a reason horse thieves used to be hung.

After a sleepless night the council gathered in the dining hall to watch the prison population trickle in for breakfast. The meal over the warden called the meeting to order. Mr. Swan and his men produced the prisoners. Mr. Pitman called for comments and almost two hours were spent listening to anyone with something to say. The gray haired man had to repeatedly guide speakers back to the subject at hand. The consensus was that since most of the population hadn’t been bothered personally the prisoners should be given another chance.

Mr. Pitman growled at the diners “Nobody is required to remain within these walls. Those that do must follow the rules. These men have caused harm to several members of this settlement and our neighbors. This behavior will not be tolerated here. This council will now cast their votes.”

Trey knew there would be no agreement to an execution so he voted for a five year sentence of servitude in chains. The warden frowned at the convict as all the others voted for banishment. The final announcement was that wives and family of the prisoners were not being forced to leave.

A crowd gathered to see the departure. The men were escorted to their vehicles one at the time with little to say. The women that were also leaving had plenty to say especially to the council members. Dunston as the sole occupant of his car stopped at the end of the penitentiary’s drive and began shouting threats which ended when Joker fired a shot with his rifle that broke the car’s rear window.

Trey rounded up his crew which included Joker this time. They set out to return Zach’s truck and check on the injured Detmyer. Being short one truck Joker got to drive his beloved Mercedes. Not far from the prison a hasty ambush was set up to make sure they weren’t being followed. An entire hour of waiting was allowed before they moved on.

The only dead the group saw were those lying where they had fallen on the last trip. The bank robber couldn’t resist another look through the house where the tiller was found. “I thought you guys already went through this place?”

“We were a bit rushed there at the end” his partner replied.

The two convicts turned up a few spare parts for the tiller and a stash of heirloom seeds. Ten minutes later they were at the Taylor’s reinforced gate where Peach let them in. The news was bad.

“The guard was still breathing when I checked him before bed last night. He died sometime during the night” peach informed the others casting a pall over the outing.

The young girl rode up to the farm house in the back of the sleek German car. Zach waited on the porch. “I’m sorry for your loss” were the first words out of the farmer’s mouth. “You can bury him here if you’d like. Over the generations there have been quite a few burials on the back acres. Not all of them were family.”

“I appreciate the offer. It’s very kind of you. The man we work for would prefer that we bring him home” Trey responded.

“So you’re not the top dog?”

“I’ll be honest with you Zach. We’re all staying at the state prison. The Warden is still in charge. He took in a lot of travelers when all this went down. A bunch of the guards and some of the convicts with no place else to go stuck around. Most of the civilians are on the useless side.”

“I won’t ask about a man’s past. The others all listen when you talk and it’s not out of fear so you must be close to the top.”

“We owe you for helping us out. If you ever need help you know where to find us” the convict acknowledged a debt to the farmer.

“I appreciate that son. Are you headed straight back?”

“I thought since we’re out we’d look around for a tractor and plow. We have a lot of people to feed.”

Zach thought for a moment before saying “There’s a farm not far from here” and proceeded to give directions. “Do you have enough room to put in a field at your place?”

“We have some room. But if we plant up to the walls we won’t be able to see anything coming.”

“Think about moving in at the farm. Everything you need is there already and it’ll take forever to move it all back to the prison. Just something for you to kick around. It’s not far from here in case there aren’t any farmers in your group.”

The bank robber stood in his thinking pose rubbing the back of his hand against his chin. “That sounds like what we need. Thanks Zach.”

“It would be nice to have neighbors. The women won’t feel like we’re hanging out at the end of a limb all by ourselves.”

Detmyer was wrapped in a sheet secured with twine and strapped to the back seat of the Mercedes over Joker’s protests. “I just don’t want a dead guy in my car. This isn’t a hearse.”

“It’s not dignified to throw him in the bed of the truck like he’s cargo or something” Trey said exasperated.
Three men and a woman trapped in a building, send help. If you can't send help send two more women. Groucho Marx-Duck Soup

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Re: Doing Time

Post by BreAnna » Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:24 am

Groucho wrote:There was a reason horse thieves used to be hung.
Awesome! :clap:
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Sheriff McClelland » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:20 am

Farm living is the life for me ...

I'm liking it ! ;)
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Zimmy » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:45 am

Great addition.
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Re: Doing Time

Post by teotwaki » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:08 am

Groucho wrote:There was a reason horse thieves used to be hung.
I recall a Louis L'Amour story where some hangings without trials had happened. The justification was that the men were so bad they just needed hangin'
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Re: Doing Time

Post by Halfapint » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:46 pm

YAY!! Fantastic! I love your double posts, always lots of MOAR when you post! Thanks for keeping with this story it is turning to one of the finer posts that we have here!
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Re: Doing Time

Post by dank » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:54 pm

I love how this story is going Groucho. Keep it coming please. :awesome:

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Re: Doing Time

Post by DAVE KI » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:06 pm

I liked it a lot. And personally I was thinking about shooting him, but after being threatened more I know i would've.
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