And so it continues…(if you get sick easily or are extremely sensitive to blood and guts, do not read this part. Skip down to chapter nine. But, then again, if you've even seen or read COTC in the first place, I don't see why this would be problem for you.)
"Open your shirt," Isaac said sadly. Malachai slowly obeyed, displaying strong abdominal muscles from three harsh years of working in the cornfields.
"Isaac, what are you doing?"
"Sarah, don't look. Now go!" Malachai was scared stiff. Without another word, Sarah and Job ran crying from the room, the two adults soon to follow.
"I hate to do this to you, Malachai. I've always liked you." Malachai didn't answer. He couldn't answer. He just swallowed hard. Isaac took his finger and drew an imaginary guideline on Malachai's skin where he was going to cut.
Oh my God, this is it…thought Malachai. Isaac gave Malachai a hug and whispered, "I'll miss you" into his ear, "but it is God's word." The preacher kept an arm around Malachai so that he wouldn't collapse backwards, and, trying not to look his ex-follower in the face, Isaac slowly poked his knife through the soft tissue of Malachai's belly and slid it down.
At first, Isaac's victim didn't feel anything. The cut was smooth, and probably killed many of the nerves. Then, he felt kind of a dull soreness around the wound, and he couldn't tell if he was breaking out in a hot sweat or was desperately cold, but he was starting to feel light headed.
"Goodbye," Isaac said. His voice was cracking, but Malachai's vision was too blurred to be able to see Isaac's face. He felt a hand reach up into his chest cavity and start to pull…but just as he began to feel a something inside come loose, he heard a resounding bang followed by a loud and pained "OW!" As Malachai's vision became clear for about five seconds, he caught a glimpse of a teenage girl with dark curly hair standing over Isaac's unconscious body with a frying pan in her hand, hollering, "That'll teach you to screw around with my Chai Chai!" After that, he saw nothing.
"Is he okay? Please let him live--oh, God, please, let him live!" Job was pacing around the top floor of the barn, sobbing and praying desperately. Rachel and the two adults had managed to get Malachai out of the little shed and into the large barn without leaving to much blood for anyone to follow. Rachel, a good seamstress from three years of making clothes, had sewn Malachai's stomach and, although his breathing was sharp and was not yet awake, had succeeded in keeping him alive.
"He'll be fine, Job, I'm sure…" said Vicky rather uneasily.
"…Huh…where…Job?" was heard from a pile of hay over in the corner of the room. The barn was dark, and the sun was setting quickly, but Vicky, Burt, Sarah, and Job could make out a tall figure rising slowly to its feet and stumble over into the wall.
"Malachai?" Rachel called softly. She had just come back from getting a clean shirt for him from her father's closet in her old house.
"Sit down. I'll come to you." Malachai obeyed, and Rachel bustled over and gave him the shirt. A flannel blue and black plaid button up that Malachai was too lazy to button, it was far too big for him, but comfortable.
"Okay," he said, holding his stomach as if it were going to fall apart at any second, "Burt, go down and make sure the area is all clear. Vicky and Rachel, on point. Rachel, make sure everyone knows where that is." Rachel nodded.
"Malachai, I don't think this is such a good idea…I mean, you're still hurt-"
"I'm fine Job, but thank you. I want you and Sarah to stay here. Burt, signal the girls and me if it's safe. Got it?"
"Got it." Burt started down a ladder and descended quickly to the ground floor of the barn. It smelled awful down there, like something had gone in there and died…looking into a darker corner of the room, Burt discovered where the bodies of all the dead adults had been hidden. He shuddered and suppressed a horrified scream, and set to looking around the outside of the barn. He found nobody, however he saw what looked like flames blazing out in the cornfield.
"AAAAHHHHH! SOMEONE, QUICK! THE CORN'S ON FIRE!"
"SSSHH!" were the hushed responses that flew through the air. Burt heard two loud thumps, and saw that Malachai and Rachel had jumped halfway down the ladder to come and have a look.
"It's just Amos's passage, Burt. Remember from before? Pablo Picasso Gone Stark Raving Mad?" Rachel reminded. Burt nodded.
"Wait a minute…I forgot! I totally forgot about the passage! We still have time to stop it, come on!" Malachai jumped and started running. Vicky started helping the younger kids down despite Malachai's orders. Rachel easily caught up with her weakened companion as he stopped to catch his breath, the four others close behind.
He told Rachel and Vicky to retrieve the others still waiting in the church, and Burt to take the kids into town and hide until Malachai and only Malachai came to get them.
"Rachel, do as I say, go on!" Rachel didn't move, instead pleaded with him to be careful, and that she didn't know how tight the stitches were, and so on. He turned and stared deeply into her wide, terrified eyes.
"I love you, Rachel."
And he took off.
"Do you think something happened to him and that crazy man?" Timothy suggested worriedly. "Like Isaac?"
"Who knows," replied Ruth, and then added, "who even cares" under her breath. The ever apathetic Ruth didn't think that anyone would make it out alive."
"Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scree-um," sang Ruth, skipping around a tree,
"the Adams family!" No sooner had Ruth finished singing when Rachel and Vicky came bounding towards them, screaming things all at once, until finally, Timothy hollered "FREEZE!" sending Vicky and Rachel about ten feet in the air. They were asked to explain it so that everyone could understand, so they did. They then sent Timothy off to guard one end of the main street with his huge black machete, and Rachel went to the designated point in case of something happening…wasn't sure what, just following orders. Vicky and Ruth went into the church, where they met up with the others that Malachai had told to stay there. There they lay, beneath pews, waiting to die, waiting for rescue, waiting for further commands, with no clue how much longer…
"In my memory…I will always see…the town that I…have loved so well…" The Dubliners were Rachel's favourite band, an Irish group, with phenomenal talent. She had wanted to be an Irish folk singer, and she was well on her way before Isaac interfered. Rachel had a beautiful voice, and so did Malachai. The night was cold and lonely; no one seemed to be coming, so the girl took the opportunity to look back--back on her dreams, back on her and Malachai's small Irish band back when he was a freshman in high school and she was in 7th grade.
Chapter 10: 3 years ago, night before the coffee shop massacre…
"Now the music's gone, but they carry on
For their spirits' been bruised, never broken
They will not forget, but their hearts are set
On tomorrow and peace once again.
For what's done is done, and what's won is won
And what's lost is lost and gone forever.
I can only pray for a bright, brand new day
In the town I loved so well." Malachai drew the bow slowly over the strings of his old violin, and Rachel made the last strum on her guitar the softest.
"Wow…" Rachel said quietly, "I've always loved that song! You're a kickass violinist, Malachai, have you been practicing?"
"Not really," he laughed.
"Liar!" Rachel accused jokingly. She and her friend made a great team. The band consisted of them and some backup instrumentalists, and it was called Call of the Celts. They were a hit in their town, as well as many surrounding.
"You ready for the gig in Hemingford tomorrow, Chai?"
"What's wrong?" asked Rachel. A look of sadness spread across Malachai's face. "Are you okay?"
"Do you wanna talk about?"
"…I wanna practice."
"Okay." So they set their instruments down, had their backup instrumentalists get ready, and busted into a soft-shoe reel, pounding out the different steps in their minds.
Push down, hop down, lift out, scissor-kick...why does he look so upset?
Step, glide down
Step glide down...should I tell her?
Push down, slide out...I wish I knew what he was thinking
Jump, twirl jump...I wish I knew what she was thinking
Cut point…he'll be fine
Hop back…I'll tell her. I've got nothing to lose.
"Rachel, stop. Everyone, stop." The music ceased, and Rachel looked triumphantly into her friend's eyes.
"Hah! I knew something was up with you!"
"Excuse us, guys." Malachai took Rachel's hand and lead her out of his garage and into his serene front yard. It was a beautiful night. Stars were bright and undisturbed by light pollution against a deep purple sky. The usually summer fragrances of freshly cut grass, neighbours' barbecues and insect repellent settled in the breeze. Two deer scampered into the hedges at the sight of the two teenagers.
"So…what's up?" asked Rachel brightly, encouraging Malachai to spill his feelings.
"Rachel--I don't want to scare you. But you need to know…you know Isaac Chroner, don't you?"
"Yes, he lives down the street from me. What about him?"
"Well, you see…he needs us to do something for him tomorrow at Hanson's…something drastic…"
And that was it,Rachel thought, he left, and I didn't see him again until I saw him standing over the body of Officer Hotchkiss in the schoolyard.
"RACHEL! RACHEL! THEY SAW US!" Job screeched, frantically running towards her down one of the side roads, Burt, Timothy and Sarah after him. She heard other voices, but those didn't sound as friendly.
"Rachel, this is it! IT'S NOW OR NEVER!" cried Vicky coming from the opposite direction. The kids were followed closely by Malachai, who, once again, was busy hollering demands.
"Elijah, block off Oak Street! Mary, Catherine, Andrew! Take that side! Where's Burt and Vicky?"
"We're here!" called Burt. He and Vicky ran to Malachai and took from him two lethal weapons. They were not too intent on killing anybody, but then figured that in a town like this one, it probably didn't matter. All those under Malachai's rule scattered down the streets as a few of Isaac's minions began sneaking down a side alley. Rachel sprinted over to her friend and they held each other in a tight embrace.
"Chai Chai, did you break up the passage?"
"Of course! What do you think started all of this? Isaac was beside himself, and Amos didn't know what hit him!" They were speaking in harsh whispers to each other, Malachai still not strong enough to talk much louder than that. Aside from their voices, the town square was silent, the children waiting at their posts for more orders. None came.
"Malachai…do you think this is what the rebels in Ireland feel like?" Malachai grinned at his friend and said, "sure, I guess so." The two held each other, Malachai's bare chest warm against Rachel's face…she could have fallen asleep…if not for-
"Malachai, look out!" Rachel jumped out of the way, watching Malachai
do the same, as Isaac came hurtling at them, driving them apart. Then they didn't see each other again until much, much later…
"Malachai, what on Earth do you think you are doing?" an angry voice came from off to the side. The last thing he saw before he and Rachel were parted was that Isaac was also nowhere to be seen, so Malachai knew that Rachel was safe…or that she was probably safe…he hoped she was safe.
"Malachai, are you even listening to me?" Burt came running at Malachai and practically dragged him away from where he was standing into a vacant alley. "It's not safe for you out here."
"Burt, it's not safe for anyone out here-"
"But especially you. You're still not well, you lost a lot of blood earlier. Now, you get into Hanson's, and you stay in Hanson's."
"No!" Burt pushed the eighteen-year-old through the door of the abandoned restaurant and sprinted away into the night.
Okay, I really hope you enjoyed that! Please review, I'm gonna write more ASAP!"