The numbers are dwindling, the group is down to 14, with a cold-blooded murderer in their midst.
. . . And the beast, don’t forget the beast.
Minutes pass what feels like hours, and hours pass what feels like days.
Only 3 hours pass before brave Mary Jane says, “If no one is going ta kill anymore, I’m hungry and I will be willing ta make whatever mealtime it is. I’m comin’ out.”
Silently, the encampment of scared refugees walk toward her for their meal.
All is well.
No one talks. The refugees keep to themselves, not knowing who to trust. Some try the entrance to see if it will budge. The act is fruitless, but most try anyway. None try together, for together one can hurt. But alone . . .
All is well, until talk comes of what to be done with the bodies.
Fing, not willing to be out done by his brother says, “We should eat them, to harness more of a chance of survival.”
Felicia not understanding the magnitude of his words, “GROSS!”
For the first time that I can remember Grandpops yells. It echoes throughout the cave. “ENOUGH! EVERYONE WHO IS WILLIN’ TA SUCCUMB TA XING’S TRICKERY, GO TA THE EAST SIDE OF THE CAVE AND EVERYONE NOT, WEST! NOW!”
Grandpops is separating the good from the bad. He’s taking the light out of the dark.
Foom – East
Fing – East
Fang – East
Liz – East
Calvin – East
Jeb – East
Job – East
Gwen – West
Grandpops – West
Mary Jane – West
Norman – West
May – West
Ben – West
And Felicia is just standing in the center. She stands in the center twisting her shirt, and crying softly. Every so often, she lets out a whimper and sucks up her snot.
“Felicia, come here. Felicia come ta Aunt Mary Jane.”
“Sweet baby Felicia, come ta Jeb. Jeb will take care o’ ye.”
“I don’t like it when ye guys yell. I don’t understand what’s goin’ on.”
“Aunt Mary Jane will tell ye, if ye come ta me.”
“Yer friend Jeb will tell ye not only what’s goin’ on, but everything . . . if ye come over here.”
I didn’t see him until she screamed. He was so quiet. He was always so quiet.
Calvin stabs May.
Rose petals fall from her torso, with a black hole in the center. Little violet petals still in her eyes.
May is dead.
Ben rushes over to May, but it’s not like in the movie scenes where everything is slow. No, this is moving too fast. Too much emotion, too much confusing emotion. Who to watch, May and Ben or watch out for Calvin? My heart aches.
Ben can’t take it, “My May Flower! No, no, no. May.” Ben begins softly, then increases convinced that it is the right decision, “With great power of morality must come great responsibility to uphold that morality. I’ve failed you. I can’t maintain my or other’s morality in this . . . this place. I’ve failed you.” Taking the bloodied stone dagger out from May’s gut with a scunk, he jabs it into his own. “I’ve failed you, I’ve failed you, I’ve failed you, I’ve failed you, I’ve failed-.”