Patty woke slowly from a dream about Elena. The little girl was standing next to a blacktop road in the middle of the country on a perfect sunny day. Elena was wearing a beautiful white dress, mary jane shoes and had a big white bow in her hair. In the dream, it was from Patty's point of view and she was looking at Elena.
Elena turned, waved at Patty and skipped down the road away from Patty. Patty tried to move, but her legs were locked, her feet stuck to the ground. Elena grew smaller and smaller the further she got away and Patty could not cry out to her. Then she woke up.
Patty' throat was dry and she looked for a water bottle but only saw the metal flask Peri had given her. For some reason, the thought of drinking the overly sweet liquid made Patty slightly nauseaus so she reached in her bag and found a water bottle.
Drinking the entire bottle, she felt better and more clearheaded than before. She looked down and saw her Glock was out of its holster and lying off to the side. She did not remember doing that last night, but for that matter, she could not remember much of anything at this point. She checked the gun and found it loaded, so she put it in her holster.
Patty changed into travel clothes and repacked her things before getting out of the tent. She saw Lamar was sitting up and besides looking tired, seemed his old self. She went over to check on him.
"Lamar, it's good to see you up. How are you..?" and then he cut Patty off.
"Patty," Lamar said in a low whisper, "Listen to me carefully. Last night they doped you and me and took all the ammunition from your gun, No, don't check it, I already reloaded it. They took those four young men and had them tied to a tree and were making them.. do weird things. Look, we need to get our things together and get out of here..." he stopped suddenly as voices approached.
"Lamar, you look much better, but I think you need to rest again today. I am sure.." Patty stopped as Peri and Marci approached.
"Peri, would it be alright if Lamar and I stayed with you one more day? I hate imposing on your kindness, but he seems really weak this morning." said Patty in a sweet voice.
"Of course not!" said Peri, "To help a traveling sister is the best way we can serve our goddess and the earth. Come, let us get you some food and drink and we wil be on our way."
Patty winked at Lamar and followed Peri to the main campsite beneath the trees. The four young men were dirty, but were up and collecting and stacking the gear which had been taken from the wagon.
"Here, Patty. I made you some more of my vitamin drinks for your ride today. I recommnend you drink both of those today. It will get your color back and replenish your body."
"Thank you, Peri. I will be sure to do that." said Patty with a big fake smile.
Patty went back and took down her tent and repacked everything into the bike trailer. She also added Lamar's backpack but he would not let her take the sleeping bag but only gave her a "look" which meant something was up. She also dumped out the flask and replaced the contents with plain drinking water.
Patty asked Marci to help her put her bike on the wagon as she would be riding Lamar's. Afterward, she checked the Ruger .22 and found it was unloaded and the two spare ten round magazines missing. Patty pretended to be packing her bag but instead checked for ammunition and saw the ammo she captured from the bad guys a few nights ago was still in her fanny pack.
Patty reloaded the .22 with a box from Lamar's backpack and patted herself on the back for splitting the ammunition so many nights agon. By removing the magazine and placing it inside her fanny pack and pretending to be attending to her normal daily hygeine, she carefully reloaded the magazine and then replaced it in the rifle without anyone noticing.
Afterward, Patty went to the wagon to talk with Lamar.
"Did they give you anything?" she whispered to Lamar.
"Yes, that one woman brought me more pills and some of that orange drink. I pretended to be excited and palmed the pills and fake drank a few sips of that swill. When she wasn't looking, I pitched it." he replied quietly.
"Good. We are going to have to be patient and see if we can get out of here later in the day or even tonight. I don't want there to be more shooting if we can avoid it." said Patty.
The wagon was hitched and the party began to move back towards the road. Patty pretended to be blissful and carefree as she moved her bike toward the road with the group.
"Patty, I thought we would ride together again, but it looks like you put the other bike on the wagon." said Peri as she came up to Patty.
"Yes, I must ride the bike, but you should really be up higher on the wagon. That way you can see the road ahead and lead us better." said Patty with a sparkle in her eye.
"That is very wise sister. I can see you are already feeling better." replied Peri.
"I feel wonderful, like I could ride all the way to that place on the lake you told me about. Peri, later could you tell me more about this sisterhood and what it means? Before now, I felt so lost, but with you, I feel much more.. whole." said Patty.
"The goddess be praised. Your inner eye is opening to the truth of the world around you. I am so happy we are companions on this journey to a new world!" said Peri.
"Thank you, Peri. I just feel, happy. Does that make sense?" asked Patty.
"Oh it does, sister. The wheel of the earth turns and makes it's ways known!". exclaimed Peri.
"Marci, make sure they have drank plenty of the electrolyte solution before we leave." said Peri to Marci and pointing at the four poor men.
"You. Get your stuff out of the wagon and put it somewhere else or leave it here." ordered Chris to Lamar.
"What? I thought I was riding back here, miss." he said
"For now, pig. But we don't have room for all your junk." she snapped back.
"Chris, why not put it on the bike trailer? After all, we may need it later." she said with a wink to the big woman.
"Okay, Patty. Yeah, we'll keep it for later. You were a good find. I think I am going to like you." said Chris turning back to the wagon.
Lamar made a small smile and shook his head at Patty and her resourefulness.
Once the wagon and group was underway, Lamar decided to take advantage of his position in the back to see what Peri had in all the bins in the rear of the wagon. He assumed it was supplies, food and other necessities for the trip.
After quietly checking several of the bins, he was not surprised to find what he figured was back there. In one bin were several plastic containers marked "Herbs" and had titles like "Poppy", "Chamomile", "Marigold" and others he had never heard of like "Devils Claw" and "Maca Root". In a nearby bin, however, he found the source of the medications Peri had been actually dispensing.
There were several large pharmacy sized containers of Prozac, barbituates, ritalin, thorazine, methedrine, valium, Librium and several others he did not recognize. He had read once that combining certain drugs as obscure as digestive medications with high blood pressure treatments could cause memory loss and confusion and he wondered if that was what Peri was up to.
A trained pharmacist would know certain prescription drugs could be combined to cause an adverse reaction. A trained pharmacist would have access to these type of drugs and with the wrong motivation could compound and dispense them to the unsuspecting. And that was exactly what Peri was doing with the assistance of Chris and Marci. Lamar did not know the "Wny" but at this point, he could care less. Peri was dangerous.
Lamar got Patty's attention and pointed at the bins and shook his head hoping she would understand what he had found. Patty merely nodded and kept her eyes on Marci, Chris and Peri who were all riding in the front bench of the wagon. The four men, eyes souless and blank, walked along side.
After an hour into the trip, Peri called for the party to come to a halt. Patty rolled her bike to the right side of the wagon and saw on the side of the rode, a van marked "Dallas Christian Academy" and three teens, two girls and one boy, standing nearby.
"Please, do you have anything to eat? We haven't had anything in three days.." said one of the girls, a pretty blond who was the exact duplicate, albeit with messy hair and soiled clothes, as the other girl.
"Oh my poor children. Of course I do." said Peri gently as she stepped down from the wagon.
"Oh my, your shirts. Dallas Christian Academy." said Peri reading the girls t-shirt. "Did you know that Jesus was a myth based upon old pagan customs? Of course you didn't. I am sure they brainwashed you into believing all that nonsense didn't they?"
"Please, we are really hungry.. Can you help us.." said the girl, obviously tired and exhausted.
"Certainly, but I am afraid you will have to earn it, child. Now about that Jesus business. The myth about the virgin birth and heaven was all invented by the Egyptians thousands of years before your so-called Jesus existed. Now, if you are really hungry, then you are going to have to accept the truth, the real truth before I can help you." said Peri quielty, but firmly.
Patty looked at Chris and Marci and watched as one jabbed the other in the ribs and smirked at the teen age girl's quandary. Like a pair of cruel cats about the torture a captured mouse, they seemed to be enjoying this all too much.
Peri crossed her arms and turned back to the wagon,
"So, you can have a nice can of soup if you repeat after me - 'The Jesus boogie man never lived and was all make believe like Santa Clause and the tooth fairy?' - Can you do that, child?"
The girl started crying, "Please don't make me do that. Why are you being so mean to us. We didn't do anything to you.."
"Come on, lady, quit picking on Cassie. Why don't you just leave us alone?" said the young man putting his arm around the crying girl.
"Shut up, pig." said Peri casting an evil eye at the young man.
"C'mon Cassie.. How hard is it? Just admit Jay-sus is a big fat bunch of bull and you get some food. C'mon, Cassie, come and get it?" taunted Peri.
This time, Cassies presumed twin sister intervened,
"You're really mean, you, you,, I don't know what you are. We have been left her for who know how long and if you just want to be a witch, then go do it somewhere else." she said.
"A witch? Oh child, you don't know the half of it." said Peri.
"Hey girlie, your boyfriend wants you to starve rather than give up your skygod myth man. They all do that. That's how they control us women. Subjugate us with their male god myth and fairy tales and then force us to have their children." shouted Chris from the wagon.
"Hey, come on, is that any way to treat this poor girl? Let's give them some water and a few cans of food and move on. They look like more work than they are worth, sister." implored Patty.
"Still your tounge, Patty. What do you know anyway?" snapped Peri.
"Hey, Cassie?" asked Peri in a venomous voice, "Which one did it? Your father? The pastor? Some church elder? Which one convinced you to give your life to Jay-sus and then said you had to give your body to them to prove it? Which one told you all those filthy pigs told you it was all about God's love and then stole your innocence? Which one lied to you for their own filthy lust? Huh?"
"Nobody... I don't know what you are talking about.. We were left here after the van stopped running. We don't have any food.. why are you talking about my father..?" said Cassie before breaking down into tears.
"Peri! What's wrong with you?" said Patty. "What are you doing.. There's no need to get so nasty.."
"That's it.." said the young man, but Chris jumped down from the wagon and barreled into him as he charged towards Peri.
"C'mon pig. C'mon and hit a woman you pig? Can you do it, huh?" mocked Chris to the emaciated young man.
Everything happened quickly after that. Patty drew her Glock and Lamar jumped down from the wagon and pulled the hidden shotgun from his sleeping bag. Lamar moved around the left side of the wagon to the front while Patty went right and drew a bead on Chris.
"That's enough!" shouted Patty. Chris turned and looked shocked for a moment and then relaxed.
"Put that away, lipstick. It ain't loaded and I don't like it in my face." said Chris.
"Really?" replied Patty and then casually fired a round over Chris's head into the trees beyond the side of the road.
Marci reached for her coach gun in the bench but was stopped by Lamar's shaky but stern voice,
"I wouldn't do that, miss." he said.
"Your gun was empty last night, I did it myself. And I took all of your bullets, too." said Chris to Patty incredulosuly.
"The Lord works in mysterious ways, sister." said Patty.
"Stop it! You'll spook the horses!" shouted a nervous Marci from the wagon.
"That won't be a problem in a few minutes, Marci. Now get on down from there and leave that six gun on the bench or I'll have Lamar fill your full of holes." ordered Patty.
"I thought you were one of us, Patty." said Peri quietly. "You can still be part of our circle. All I ask is that you turn that gun on Lamar, kill him, and I will forgive you, my sister."
"Solly, Chollly, not gonna happen." said Patty. "I don't know what happened to you before the Burnout Peri, but you are one sick puppy. Drugging, torturing, picking on poor kids. You got some real issues, but that's for you to work out with the gorilla sisters."
"Marci, Chris, Peri, get over to the median and put your hands on the guard rail. Lamar, bring Chris and Marci's guns back here." said Patty not taking her eyes off of the three women.
"You kids. Any of you know anything about horses?" said Patty to the three kids.
"I do," said the boy. "My aunt has a riding school in Celeste."
"Good. Go unhitch those horses from the wagon if you know how. If you don't, figure it out real fast. Lamar, get those kids some water and food from the wagon, then get back over here." ordered Patty.
"Okay, you three climb over that median, cross the other side of the highway and start walking across that field over there," said Patty to Chris, Marci and Peri.
"Our stuff. Someone will steal our stuff," whined Marci.
"Not my problem, honey. Git going or I am going to start shooting. Go!" Patty shouted.
Peri looked over her shoulder and Chris and Marci slunked away,
"You will regret this. You and your brat. I will make you pay you treacherous backstabber. All of you!" Peri shrieked.
"Heard it all before." said Patty, silently relieved but her stomach churning at the thought of that crazy red head coming after her.
"The horses are off the halters, what now?" said the young man behind her.
"Lamar, get any food or water they have which we can take off the wagon. Get some extra antibiotics and pain killers and stick them in your bag for later. And find the rest of our ammunition they took. That really ticks me off they robbed us like that." said Patty.
"More than that Patty, They have been feeding our food to those four guys. We are missing a lot of canned goods from our stash." said Lamar.
"Swell, take what they got and let's get out of here" said Patty watching the three women slowly walk through the nearby fields.
"What about us?" asked the young woman nearby.
"You're coming with us," said Patty.
"We are going to have to walk with our bikes for the time being, but I expect each of you to carry extra supplies from this wagon for yourself. And no more whining, you got it?" said Patty to the first girl.
Patty turned to the four young, dishelved men next to the wagon.
"You, go back to Longview and look for help, do you understand me?" she said sternly.
One of the men looked up at her and muttered,
"Who are you? What do we do, mistress?"
Patty sighed and looked at the young man, "I am not your mistress, but a friend. Do as I say and you will live. Now go, that way and take this with you.."
And Patty pointed at the pile of supplies Lamar and now, the young man were taking from the wagon. Patty handed each a few bottles and cans and sent them on their way to who knows where. Hopefully, the drugs would wear off soon and they would be right again. But for what? Who knew.
Within fifteen minutes, Patty, Lamar and their three new charges left the wagon, but not before Patty went and slapped both horses on the rump and sent them down the road with a few rounds fired over their heads.