Tony looks bad

Marty removed the stethoscope from his ears. “Encourage fluids and keep him comfortable. There’s nothing else we can do.”

Tony was in and out of consciousness. Madie understood the situation was dire but she wasn’t about to give up on her best friend and let him die. She leaned over to kiss Tony on his forehead before firmly stating to Marty. “I don’t care what it costs this gang; I don’t care who you bribe or what you have to steal. Don’t let him die!”

Tony was dying; he would most likely die within the next day or so. Not wanting to partake in an emotional discussion with Madie, Marty simply replied, “The girls and I will go to the main library and do some research.”

Madie picked her diary up off the crate next to Tony’s cot. “I’m going to get some sleep. It’s been a long night. If anything changes feel free to wake me.”

Thoughts of slumber filled Madie’s head as she walked down the 2A hall toward her room. She walked most of the way with her eyes closed. A miscalculation in distance and position in the hall caused her to stumble into the water fountain. “God dammit”, she yelled louder than she intended. It wasn’t going to be a good day; she could feel it in her bones. Madie stopped to rub her wounded knee and caught a glance of the community bulletin board. Evan and JT had put up the new Fliers. In big red letters across the top were the words “Fall Festival”.

If she hadn’t been so tired and worried about her dying friend, she would have been more enthusiastic about the message. The Festival would be held in Liberty Park. The invite included everyone in the local area. Everyone loved the Fall Festival; it was a reprieve from the madness. As a sign of goodwill, all the local gangs and tribes would lay down their weapons. For three days, the fighting would stop, disputes set aside for another day or forgotten all together.

Madie was unaware JT had walked up behind her, she was staring at the flier has happy thoughts of last year’s event filled her head.

“Are you going?” JT said innocently as he reached to touch Madie’s shoulder.

Not hearing the question but the touch of a possible intruder, Madie spun around and threw a punch.

JT ducked and avoided the first hit. The second landed square on his left shoulder, “Hey! It’s me!” he cried out as he deflected yet another blow.

The familiar sounding voice caused Madie to stop flailing her arms in what was quickly becoming an out of control windmill. “JT, why the hell are you sneaking up on me?”

“I didn’t sneak! I’m on guard duty.” he waived his flashlight around as proof of his duties. “I noticed you were staring at the poster and stop to see if you were going.”

Madie felt foolish and a bit embarrassed. “I’m sorry”, she said apologetically. “I hope I haven’t given you a bruise.”

JT snapped his flashlight onto his belt. “It’s Ok, I’ll be fine, don’t worry about it.”

I really, really am sorry,” Madie said as she turned around to look at the flier again. “I love fall festival, don’t you?”

“Yeah!” JT replied as he glanced at his watch and suddenly realized he needed to be somewhere else. “Madie, I gotta go, I was supposed to meet Evan in the admin office like five minutes ago.”

“No problem, I’ll see you later…and JT don’t sneak up on anyone else.”

Madie walked the remaining few steps to her room and fell onto her awaiting bed for a couple of hours of sleep. It was almost sunrise, a cue for Scat to start wreaking havoc around the school. If she were going to get some sleep, she would have to do it fast.

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