Look for a sales announcement at the end.
Jocelyn—now a graceful, strong, and sinuous seventeen-year-old—leaned forward and patted her horse’s sweating neck, “It’s just ten more miles, Blue. I know you can do it, girl.” She straightened up and gazed west. The sun, about an hour high yet, was blazing and causing a red dusty haze. She could wait for night. She had Interstate 94’s ditch to travel in. No fences to worry about…but she had been gone two days, she wanted to get home. And if she left in daylight they could run all the way. Just walking, in the dark, well, who knows what they might walk into?
She patted Blue’s neck again, “What do you think, girl?”
The horse gently shook her head and gave a soft neigh, then leaned down and took a mouthful of green grass.
She ran her hand over the 30-30 Winchester lever-action rifle Carter had given her for her biggest armament when riding, then she dismounted, stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Blue’s neck, “I want to go now, girl, and I bet you do too. I bet you’re just dying to run like the wind those last ten miles…aren’t you?”
Blue shook her head again and lightly stomped her right front foot.
“I knew it!” Jocelyn swung back up into the saddle, tightened her legs on Blue’s sides, gave a quiet couple clicks of her lips and gently slapped Blue’s rump, “Go, girl! Go like the wind!”
And they did.
She kept herself low against Blue’s neck and did nothing but hang on, watching the green world go by as a blur. Blue knew she was going home, and would go there without any further commands from her mistress.
A mile went by, then two. Ahead appeared a growth of giant cottonwoods on the other side of the interstate fence—
She saw chunks of the earth coming up to meet them, then she was flying over Blue’s head…endlessly, and she knew—she just absolutely knew!—she had just killed her horse.
Her mind went to the first time she placed a blanket on little Blue’s back, and Blue’s eyes, how wide and wild they became and how she kicked and bucked and pulled confusedly on the halter she was holding with all her strength.
Grampa Carter was nearby, just there if she needed help. He was always there, just in case. He always encouraged her to do it by herself, and get hurt if necessary but to learn, and sometimes she did get hurt, but he was always there to keep her from getting hurt too much, just enough to learn.
“Just hang on, Sweetheart!” he had cried, “Blue needs to know who’s boss, and you are her boss, Jocelyn.”
How she loved her adopted grampa.
And Blue that day she whinnied and whinnied, just a high and piercing sound. She had never heard her little pony make such sounds but oh my, that day she did, and she just kept on and on and on—
Jocelyn hit the ground, tasted dirt and grass and rolled, and rolled, and stopped rolling to face the ground.
And that hideous whinnying just kept on and on and on—why wouldn’t she stop? Just a blanket could not be that bad, it just couldn’t…and then the whinnying stopped.
The world became so silent it hurt her ears. Her arm hurt. She felt for it, and rubbed it…not broken…what’s happening?
She rolled onto her back and faced what was left of the blazing sun. How beautiful it was. Whenever she and Carter were together and something wonderful and beautiful happened he made sure she saw it, and more importantly experienced it. Sometimes she would wait and wait for the sunset, and then she would watch it, and sometimes she would even set her alarm to get up for the sunrise.
As Carter said, “You can always see the sunset. It will just happen, with you or without you, but the sun rise is different, then you have to be there, and experience those first few streaking rays of fire…”
But the sun was disappearing. Where was she? What happened? Slowly but slowly she began coming out of her romantic daydream, or whatever it was—where’s Blue?
She became fully awake and sat up and looked all around, and saw her dear pony, in a heap—“Blue!!!!”
She tried to keep the scream quiet but knew it had come out loud and would be heard for a mile on such a quiet night. She went to her knees and felt a pain slash through her so viciously she didn’t even know where it started, so stayed on her knees and crawled at least forty feet to her horse.
How could she have flown so far?
She didn’t know, and reached her horse, and felt her insides collapsing, for her dear horse’s front legs were mangled, one even missing. The ground was soaked with Blue’s blood—“Oh my god, Blue, my darling pony!” She wrapped her arms around Blue’s head and neck and felt her breathing, and felt her heart and blood pumping, but very little life left—
“Get on your feet.” The command came not loudly and with no emotion, but then that was how they were. They followed orders and they gave orders. But they felt and showed no emotions, no feelings necessary.
“Get on your feet!” The command came a little louder.
She pulled her arms from her dying pony and looked at Blue’s eyes. They were faint, and clouding over. She would die soon. Nothing Jocelyn could do.
“Get on your feet!”
She pulled back to her haunches. How many were there? Just one? She could handle just one. She swung to her left to get her hands on the ground. She still hurt. It wouldn’t be easy rising, but she didn’t think anything was seriously damaged. She would hope.
Darkness was falling fast.
She positioned herself with her hands and knees supporting her. Then she looked up.
Just one all right. Just one black uniform close. But not ten feet beyond him were three more, all with their weapons leveled. And all with their dark face shields down—how the hell can they see with those things? But no matter how violently good a fighter she felt she was, there would be no chance against four of them.
She pushed back to her haunches again, then braced with her hands and stood.
The close one swung his weapon, she knew meaning to start walking in that direction. She nodded, then looked back at Blue, and saw what looked like a final movement. She wanted to cry for her horse, but she couldn’t, not in front of these inhuman creatures in black uniforms.
Satisfied, she turned to leave, then heard another sound from Blue, just barely a whinny. She stopped and turned back. Blue had actually lifted her head a bit, and looked at her, then the gentle head fell back again, and movement stopped. Her dear pony was gone.
She walked to the fence and crawled through.
“Move!” With the command came a not-gentle poke with his weapon.
She turned and grabbed the barrel, jerked it from the creature’s hands and slammed it into the black uniform’s face shield, “You mutherfucker! You killed my horse!”
She knew now that they were human. She could thank the South Dakota Militia leader, Wesman, for that information. He had gotten it from the lab technicians and doctors at Bismarck, who had cut some of the super soldiers open and discovered they were fully human, but plumb full of the drug…whatever.
She didn’t remember all the details and didn’t remember the name of the drug, and didn’t care to remember, but she knew drugs in the food and water had played a large role in the parts of the country that had been taken over by the Illuminati so quickly, and killed so many, many, people.
She followed the slam into the face shield with another slam to his throat. She didn’t even see a fifth black uniform who slammed the butt of his weapon into her head.
And her world went dark.
Second in Command Carter
Carter stared toward the rising sun. Where was Jocelyn? The young girl and he were still nearly joined at the hip, but sometimes she would go riding and not tell him, but she always rode into the pasture, the much safer direction being west—never east he had told her, and to his knowledge she had never gone joyriding east.
Was that what she did when she mounted her pony and went galloping away, just like her mother, Chantal, use to do? Yes. And he loved her for it. He loved her for whatever she chose to do, because whatever she chose to do she did well. He was so proud of her.
But where is she?
Gone for two days. Someone had to know. But Chantal didn’t, and Noni didn’t and Amber didn’t. None had any idea. Who else could he ask? Those three—and Sawyer, her new someday-daddy—were the only ones she had bonded with.
Other than himself.
Would somebody have told her to do something important for the militia, something dangerous, something that would take her east toward the encroaching Illuminati super soldier camps?
Who would do such a thing? And especially who would order Jocelyn to do something dangerous without clearing it first with her grampa, her grampa who worshipped the ground the girl walked on.
Only one person. Why that one person could still feel such contempt for Jocelyn he could not imagine, but he knew she did, and it was time to approach her…and, finally, ask.
He shaded his eyes and looked west one more time.
There was no cloud of dust, no dot on the horizon.
His fists tightened, his teeth clinched, his heart gave a solid beat. He turned, and would find that one person, and ask her where she sent Jocelyn.
On the way to find that one person Carter passed, “Axel, I might need your help, son.”
Axel nodded and fell into step with him.
When they reached the house, they met, “Sawyer, join us, please.”
They entered the house. Carter stopped them at the door to the computer room, “Wait here, boys.” He entered and saw, “Amber, would you please go get Noni.”
“Beth just relieved her,” Amber answered.
“It’s okay, Amber, go get her anyway.”
Amber’s eyes grew wide, but she hurried off.
Beth, sitting at the main computer terminal, turned and faced Carter.
The look in her eyes told him he was correct, “Beth, where did you send Jocelyn?”
“We got a message from Valley City that the Illuminati super soldiers had set up camp north of the interstate between Oriska and Tower City. I thought we should check it out.”
“So you sent Jocelyn out there alone?”
Beth didn’t answer. She didn’t need to.
Noni and Amber arrived, “Carter, what’s up?” Noni asked.
“Sorry, Noni, but you will have to stay on duty a little longer.”
In the ten years passed, the girl’s rich black hair still shone, the dark blue eyes were always deep and sharp. Noni’s beauty had not left her, but she rarely smiled these days, and her normally sober face grew more sober as she answered, “All right.”
“Thank you, Noni.” He then turned to, “Amber, please go over to the other house and get…,” he thought for a few seconds, “I think Genevieve. Bring her here, and tell her to be prepared to stay, and then you join me out in the shop.”
“Yes, Sir.” Even more wide-eyed, Amber again hurried off.
“Noni,” Carter said, “Please train Genevieve to replace Beth, and pick someone else to also train, so that you girls can be eight on, sixteen off. That way all of you can get more rest, and help in other areas. If you have any trouble let myself or Chantal know.”
“Will do, Carter.”
“Beth,” Carter said, and started toward the door, “Come with me.”
He didn’t see Beth’s face, but he heard whatever she threw hit the floor.
Carter led the way to the shop. He had always liked Beth, at times he had even considered trying a relationship with her, but her never-disguised attitude toward Jocelyn had kept him from ever approaching her. He couldn’t help it. His adopted little granddaughter—even though now a grown young woman—would always be first with him, next to Chantal.
“I’ve seen how you look at that girl, Carter,” Beth said from behind, “How you’ve always looked at her!”
The tone of her voice repelled him. He couldn’t begin to think of a response.
“Are you actually fucking her now?”
He turned and drew his gun at the same time, cocked it, and aimed at the sky, “How could you even begin to think that?” He had never felt such fury, but kept the gun pointing up. If he ever brought it down he didn’t trust himself not to shoot her.
Beth’s eyes told him she thought that too, yet, “Ask anybody in the militia, Carter. Anybody who has seen you two together would say ‘He’s got the hots for that little girl.’”
He brought the gun down partway and took one step toward her.
Sawyer stepped between them, then faced Beth, “That’s not true, Beth. I’ve seen how Carter looks at Jocelyn, and it’s with the love of a grandfather.”
“I agree,” Axel said, “No way there’s anything different, and I’ve never heard a bad word from any of the boys, not from anybody.”
Carter stepped back, uncocked his gun and holstered it, “Thank you, boys.” He turned and continued toward the shop.
Luckily, years earlier, when they had planned to actually, maybe, have prisoners, they had constructed plenty of cells, four, six by eight feet, with a folding cot and latrine pail available for each one. Only one was occupied, “Put her in the far one, then bring—“
“You’re going to lock me up, Carter?”
“Until I feel I can trust you again, Beth, yes.”
“When will that be?”
“When Jocelyn is back, and safe, and unhurt, then, maybe, we’ll talk about it.”
“All right.” He looked into her eyes, but felt no emotion other than disgust, “Almost from the beginning you have had this…jealousy—can I even call it jealousy? I think so! Jealous of a little seven-year-old girl, Beth—what on earth?
Beth looked down.
“You left her behind at that last town in Kansas, didn’t you? You left her behind on purpose, and if Genevieve hadn’t screamed ‘Where’s Jocelyn?’ I don’t know how much longer it would have taken me to realize she was missing. We might have lost her that day. We were all stressed during that nightmarish trip and you took your one chance to get rid of her—am I right?”
She kept looking down, “Yes, and I’m sorry.”
“You’re ‘sorry.’ You can’t get away with such an act with just ‘I’m sorry.’ Lock her up, boys, then bring that other prisoner to the shop office, and you boys plan to stay too.”
They started away.
“One more thing, Beth.”
They all stopped, and turned. Beth’s eyes were wide, yet appearing to feel no remorse, he was sure.
“When this…event…started, ten years ago, when I left Fargo to look for my daughter and granddaughter, I told Mason, that if either of those girls got hurt, and I found out that he had anything to do with their abduction, that next time I saw him I would kill him. Little Dodie is still with her abductors…and I’m sure she has been hurt, many, many times. Anyway, luckily, so that I didn’t have to kill my son-in-law, he died by someone else’s hand.”
He hesitated, “The same promise goes to you, Beth, except I may just follow through anyway, whether we get Jocelyn back safe and sound, or not.” He then turned and walked straight to the shop office.
Dodie, now a vibrant and beautiful sixteen-year-old, nearly a perfect picture of her mother, Chantal, was sleeping…and dreaming of happy times, times she had forgotten, times she had forced from her mind in order to survive her new life of being a love and sex-interest for an ancient old man.
A horse came galloping into her dream, a beautiful light gray Arabian horse and her colt running alongside—and her mom!!!!
She came out of her sleep and found herself fully awake! She stared at the ceiling; she still slept in the pink room with the huge pink teddy bear, an inanimate thing she had loved and held closely to also help her face her new life. How long since she had allowed herself to think of her mom? She barely remembered her mom. She just remembered the love, the hugs and kisses, and the last time she saw her mom, that look on her mom’s face and what her last words were, ‘Just do what he wants, Dodie.’
It maybe was the worst thing her mother could have said, and the best, for she had cooperated in whatever was required of her…and had survived. But she was all through with that!
Then her grampa came into her mind. Her last time with him was sitting on the bales with the kittens, and the one kitten with the attitude, and she asked, “Can you handle him, Grampa?”
But of course her grampa, a big strapping man who worshipped her, could handle a little tiny kitten—and the wave goodbye as she and her mom were walking home. She remembered that too, and could still see her grampa waving—and then she couldn’t see him anymore, and that bug sting came, or whatever that was!
Tears came. She could not stop them, but she did turn and bury her face in the pillow so that the sounds would not travel out of her room. She did not want that woman to hear her, that woman who had remained by her side all those last years, and not once—not once!—had the woman ever—EVER!—showed feelings for her. How could she be so cold?
But of course I have never once shown feelings for her either.
The tears stopped.
She remembered the woman’s last words before she went in to meet the old man, “You have to be a big girl, now, Dodie, for your life is going to change. You’re okay. Just walk on in, and there’s a man waiting for you. He’s going to take good care of you.”
He took good care of her all right!
Ten years later and all the memories were coming back as if happening just yesterday.
She knew why. Just that day, just yesterday, before she had been sent to her room—as if I was a child!!!!—she had seen and heard the news from Free America. She had heard the city of Fargo mentioned, and the small town of Sanborn, where her Aunt Dani had a farm. That night she listened to her own stolen radio under the covers, and learned even more.
She knew those two names—Fargo and Sanborn!
Her Aunt Dani would be there, and her mom, and her grampa, and she was going to go see them! She would do whatever it would take to escape from the old man—she would kill him if she had to! And that woman, and the maid, and the butler!
I’m going home!!!!
Nothing would stop her!
End of the first 3 chapters. Beginning at midnight, May 11, 2015, look for a free Amazon digital download, and remember, you do not need a Kindle but can read on most any electronic device.
Unfortunately, folks, with all the BS going on in our dear nation, right now, especially with Jade Helm 15 in full swing and hundreds upon hundreds of military vehicles on the move, my 3-book series almost seems prophetic. The following short video does not match the preceding material, but it does pertain to the reason why I began the series in the first place. Plus Jon Voight is one of my favorite actors, and I trust him.
The second video is slightly shorter, and a bit weirder, but, again, it pertains to why I wrote the series.