I have started a new Star Trek quilt project. This quilt is Romulan themed and will be a present for my daughter’s birthday in December. There is a mistake on the quilt, I inverted one of the blocks accidentally but I am not taking the quilt apart to fix the mistake. Hey, it gives it character. LOL!
Matt, Jonas, Lisa and I took refuge in this abandoned school a few years back to escape the fighting and bloodshed on the streets. In less than a year, our little gang of misfits grew from four members to twelve.Today, we have 28 active members, plus a few other drifters that hang around from time to time. As a member of the original four, I was unanimously elected leader. There was no fighting or posturing for the role of leader; No one else wanted the responsibilities.
I try to make good sound decisions for the good of us all. The only person who ever opposes these decisions is Matt. Sometimes, I think he disagrees for the fun of it. Today was no exception.
“Thanks for coming! I said as I welcomed everyone to the meeting. “I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I only have one thing on the agenda today. The Central Sharks have taken our winter fuel. We need to replace what we’ve lost. I’m looking for volunteers. I need three or four people to travel to Wolf Valley. “
In a display of “I am king of the warriors”, Matt interrupted the meeting by jumping on top of a center table. “Why travel all the way to Wolf Valley? We know where our fuel is. Xavier has it.” He raised a fist into the air. “Let’s take back what’s ours!”
To my dismay, the calm silent room broke into cheers of “Fight!. .Fight!.. FIGHT!” with a majority of the people agreeing with Matt. “Wait!..Stop!.. QUIET!” I yelled.
I attempt to bring everyone back to reality. “Who hasn’t seen what the Central Sharks did to Tony? He’s one of our best fighters. The sharks almost turned him into hamburger. Most of us in this room couldn’t fight our way out of a paper bag! You’re all idiots with a death wish! Every one of Xavier’s goons is twice the size of our biggest man.”
I took a deep breath. my face felt like it was on fire. I was probably a bright shade of red. “I know everyone wants to pummel Xavier and take back what’s ours. I want that too! However, we are not strong enough. Sheriff Pete stopped by for a visit. He promised me he would take care of Xavier and his goons.”
Jonas stepped forward in support of his brother. “What’s the Sheriff going to do? Slap Xavier on the hand and say play nice with others?” Everyone in the room laughed. I wanted to laugh too but I was trying to be serious.
I looked around the room and stared into the faces of my friends. “I don’t know what Sheriff’s Pete’s plans are. He didn’t say but risking the lives of everyone in this school is stupid. We don’t need to fight the Central Sharks. We can travel to Wolf valley and replace the fuel.”
Marty spoke up “Wolf Valley is nearly 8 miles from here; Longer, if we travel around the Red Hyena territory instead of going through it.“
“Look, I know it’s a pain and inconvenient.” I jumped up on the table next to Matt. “If it was any other gang I would say, “Let’s fight and take back what’s ours.”
“Why don’t we fight?” Matt said in reply.
“Because…if we fight one or more of us will die. I don’t want to die. Do you want to die, Matthew?” I asked as I stepped up face to face to my good friend.
“Why don’t we vote on it?” Cecelia said from across the room.
“Yes, why don’t we vote on it, Madeline?” Matt said in reply.
I stepped away from Matt and throw up my hands. “Fine, we’ll vote.” “Everyone who wants to fight the Central Sharks in a fight to the death raise your hands.”
Matt, Jonas and a few reluctant others raised their hands into the air. JT counted aloud and wrote the number 6 on the black board.
I smiled and cleared my throat. “All those in favor of making a trip to Wolf Valley please raise your hands” I looked at the sea of hands and smiled at Matt.
“It looks like I am going to need those volunteers.”
Matt, Jonas and a couple of their supporters stormed out of the room.
Tony is still alive but he is in serious trouble. The injuries caused by the Central Sharks are severe; he burns hot with a fever. We have moved him into a vacant room in the admin hallway; the workshop was too secluded to look after him properly. The Stewarts are taking care of most of his medical needs. Volunteers are sitting by his side to keep him company. I am keeping my fingers crossed he survives. I do not wish to lose another friend. I have lost so many over the years.
In spite of the Sharks invading our home yesterday, I dreamt a wonderful dream last night. For a moment, all my troubles were gone. I was home safe in my parent’s house: no drama, no struggle to survive. I lie on my bed snuggling between clean fresh sheets, enjoying the laziness of the day. My mom sang to the radio as she cooked her famous buttermilk biscuits, eggs, sausage and gravy. My dad sat at the table, drank coffee and watched my mom cook as he pretended to read the morning newspaper. My mouth watered as I waited for mom to say, “Boo Bear, come down to eat.”
The Runt interrupted my dream before the invitation to eat. At the first opportunity, the boy dies. Wearing his oversized combat boots, the little pest stomped up and down the 2A hall singing my name. “Madie…Madie…Madie.”
I pulled my mom’s quilt over my head and tried to ignore the noise.
“MADIE…I’M HUNGRY!” the boy yelled as he banged his fists on my door.
“Go eat a POTATO!” I yelled from the comfort of my bed “I’m not your MOTHER!”
“But I don’t like potatoes!” he responded. “I want eggs!” His whiny voice sounded pathetic and needy. Tony caters to the boys every need and treats the gutter-rat as if he were a helpless toddler. The boy’s neediness drives me crazy.
I climbed out of bed, flung open my door and leaned into the boy’s face. “I DON”T CARE! Gutter-rats don’t get to be choosy; especially ones that enjoy disturbing my sleep. Now go away and leave me alone!” I gave the boy a stern look before adding, “Disturb me again and YOU DIE!”
Before I could close the door, I hear a familiar voice say “Afternoon, Sunshine.” It was Sheriff Pete.
Pete and his Posse of deputies do their best to keep lawlessness on this side of town to a minimum, a difficult task considering the circumstances.
I glanced at the clock on the wall. It was later than I thought “Afternoon Pete, How you been?”
“I’m well. You’re off to a cheerful start.”
I rolled my eyes and motioned for Pete to come in. “Better arrest me know ’cause I’m gonna kill that boy someday. What brings you to our humble school?”
Pete stepped into the room and sat on the edge of my desk. “JT stopped by my jail, said you guys had some unwanted visitors.”
“It was the Sharks.” I sad with disdain. “They beat up Tony and took most of our winter fuel and an assortment of other supplies.”
“I heard. Stay away from Xavier and his goons. Don’t confront. Don’t retaliate. They are too big and too dangerous.”
I rubbed my eyes and ran my hands through my tangled hair. I wanted to disagree with Pete but I knew he was telling the truth. We would fail miserably in a one on one fight against the Central Sharks. Except for Matt, his brother Jonas, Tony who lies dying and a couple of others, we don’t fight well.
“I’ll hold a meeting and ask everyone to keep their distance.”
Pete walked toward the door. “Tell your gang, my Posse and I will take care of Xavier.”
I waved goodbye to Pete as I imagine myself plunging a knife deep into Xavier’s chest as the rest of my gang of misfits vanquish his goons.
Still hungry, the Runt returns to my room holding four eggs he stole from the farmers market. “If you cook these, I’ll share.”
I couldn’t turn down the boy’s offer. I hadn’t seen or eaten an egg in weeks.