Patty came around and having a hard time breathing quickly came to realize there was a crushing weight on top of her in the form of a large stinking man. He had his face buried in her neck and was kissing her while groping on her chest. In the background, she could hear rough talk and laughing.
Patty panicked and started flailing with both arms which caused her assailant to grab her left arm and pin it to the ground.
"Hold on their little lady, you're gonna like this.." he grunted as he doubled his hold on her.
Patty continued to struggle and the man pulled back his right hand and slapped her across the face.
"I TOLD YOU TO HOLD STILL! NOW MIND ME B**CH!" he roared and slapped her again.
With Patty stunned, he released his hold and rose half way up to undo his belt and pants. Patty fumbled through the haze for her holster but found it empty.
"I got your little pea shooter right her so don't go looking for it. Now you just lay back and enjoy the ride, darling." her attacker mocked.
He then stood and dropped his pants to the ground giving Patty a slim chance to escape this horror.
Her attacker had not managed to undo her cargo pants and she was still wearing her boots. Quickly drawing her legs up into her chest, Patty grabbed the fixed blade knife from her left sock and pulled it out.
She then struck out with both feet together and caught her attacker in the shins causing him to trip backwards over the balled up pants around his feet. Patty dove like a wild cat on top of the disgusting animal and buried her knife into his chest up to the hilt.
Patty went into a deep, dark haze of anger and violence.
She yanked the knife out and plunged it in his chest again three more times before pulling it out and grabbing her Glock from the grass where it lay.
She rolled to her right and faced the scene in the campsite. Some furtive little man had the pot of spaghetti and was shoving the food into his mouth with a pair of dirty little rat like hands all while watching Patty unemotionally.
On the other side of the camp, and partially blocked by trees, the big man with the striped shirt and a another, but fatter man, were holding a near unconcious Lamar between them. Stripe Shirt grabbed Lamar's head by his wavy hair and landed a solid punch across the right side of Lamar's face evoking a howl of laughter from the fat man.
Stripe Shirt turned and his cockyeyed grin disappeared when he saw Patty standing and holding the Glock in her right hand.
"Euly! Get the shotgun, that b**ch got a gun.!" he yelled.
Patty stepped over the dead man's body and barely looked at the ratface creep with the food as she fired two rounds into his chest. She turned automatically to her right and put three more into the fat guy holding Lamar. He let out an audible grunt and fell back his face contorted in pain.
Striped Shirt shoved Lamar forward towards Patty and turned to run into the trees. Patty allowed Lamar to fall face first to the ground but locked her knees, rested her right hand on her open left palm and fired seven spaced rounds into the back of Stripe Shirt as he stumbled through the underbrush.
Patty released the near spent magazine from the Glock and inserted a fresh one from the carrier on her belt. She then surveyed all four bodies before striding towards the one clad in the stripe shirt who started the whole mess. He was lying on his right side wheezing and barely alive as she stood looking down at him.
"Who are you?" he gasped.
"Nobody" said Patty, the Glock still trained on the man.
His right eye rolled around he tried to lift his head to look at her, but was unable to. Patty watched expressionless as the life ebbed from his body, eventually ending with a shudder and rasping exhale of foul breath.
Patty kicked out with right foot and caught the dead man in the temple. Morbidly, his right eye, nothing more than a cheap glass orb, popped from his head and rolled around on the ground in the fading light of the day.
Patty loooked for a moment longer at the one eyed monster before replacing her gun and turing to Lamar. He was curled in a fetal position and moaning in pain. Patty carefully lifted his head and examined his bloody face.
His injuries were bad. His left eye was swollen and cut, as if he had gone three rounds with a prize fighter. At least two of his teeth had been knocked out, his lip bleeding and his face was puffy from the number of blows he received.
He was favoring his right side which made Patty think he might have a cracked rib and she prayed there were no internal injuries. She made him as comfortable as possible and knowing he could not be moved, instead set to the grisly task of moving the four attackers as far from the campsite as she could drag them.
She checked their bodies and found two had wallets with ID's which claimed one was from Marshall and the other from some place called Nesbit which she had never heard of. She collected from the bodies three knives, two lighters, assorted cash and coins, a cheap .32 revolver with a broken trigger guard, two shot derringer in .357, a menacing looking handgun which turned out to be a BB gun, a single shot 20 gauge shotgun, and an odd handful of different caliber ammunition.
In the end, she unloaded the cheap revolver and pitched it into the cattle pond along with the BB gun. The derringer looked useful for a back up and the 20 guage might be a good trade down the line.
It took her nearly two hours, with breaks to check on Lamar, to drag the four bodies into the brush several yards from their camp site. She covered them in branches cut from the nearby trees and secretly hoped that pack of wild dogs would find the bodies and masticate them with prejudice.
Back in the camp, Patty liberally washed herself and changed her clothing feeling she would never be clean again. For the second time in less than a week, she had been assaulted by some piece of trash taking advantage of the situation. Her only comfort came in knowing that she had dispatched each of her assailants permanently, but the damage to her pchyche was also permanent and would have to be addressed at some future date.
In the meantime, Patty moved like a robot and it took all of her strength to tend to Lamar and focus on getting back to Elena once again rather than crawl into a ball and give up.
Patty cleaned Lamar's face and wounds, dosed him with ibuoprofen and put him the tent with both sleeping bags to rest as best as possible. In the meantime, she moved their bikes out of sight, put all their gear together and started cutting down leafy branches to camouflage their tent from passers by. In the morning, she planned on moving their campsite back further from the road and wagered that evil plans are often tempered by laziness.
The night was long as Patty stayed up most of it keeping watch and replaying the evening's events in her mind over and over again. She was angry and frustrated they had let down their guard. She was furious that this power burnout seemed to only bring out every form of filth and violence known to man. Most of all, she worried about Elena and her parents.
What was it like at their home? Sure, they lived in a reasonably rural location but what did that mean anymore? She was in a rural location right now and the presence of barns and cows is no magic shield against crime or deprivation.
Patty's father could take care of himself, but he couldn't stay awake night and day watching Elena. What then? The anxiety and tension were going to tear Patty apart before long and she had to do something other than sit and worry.
The night passed, tense and sleepless, and as the sky lightened, Patty was awoken from her light doze by the sound of Lamar waking. Patty's head was throbbing where she had been struck and without the benefit of a mirror, she was sure she had a black eye or something close to it.
"Hey." said Lamar from the tent, "Patty, are you out there? Patty?"
"Here I am. How are you feeling?" Patty asked as she flipped open the tent.
"Like my body was used as a front doormat at Walmart the day after Thanksgiving sale. How long have I been out for?" he asked.
"All night. They worked you over pretty well. You want anything?" said Patty.
"Sure, but Patty, what about you? Look at your face, did they do that? What else did they.. did they hurt you... well, you know?" Lamar said slowly.
"Rape me? No, they never got the chance and they never will again. I'll make some hot tea and soup for you, hold tight." said Patty.
"I must have been out when it was over. What happened to those guys who attacked us?" asked Lamar.
"I killed them. All of them." said Patty without a hint of emotion.
Patty fired up the gas stove and boiled some water while digging through the bags for a can of soup. She filled two metal cups with water and added honey and a tea bag to each while the soup heated in the pot she liberated from the hotel. The idea of eating grossed Patty out, but she figured she would have to have something before long.
While Lamar slowly ate his soup, Patty armed herself with the .22 and cut throught the brush in the direction the guy with the striped shirt came from to see if there was anything else out there. About twenty yards from their camp, she came across a couple of back packs and shopping bags piled up next to a tree.
Inside, there was some dirty clothes, a few cans of beer, a half empty carton of generic cigarettes, a pint bottle of no name bourbon and one pair of shoes. She felt dirty touching any of it, so she left it all behind for some other loser to find.
She hiked back the other direction and moving away from the camp, found another clearing next to the small cattle pond and surrouned by willow trees. It looked like a good place to rest on the far side and as soon as Lamar was done, she was going to relocate their camp here until he was feeling better, maybe in the next day or so.
She did not want to stay here at all but Lamar needed to recupperate if he was going to travel especially by bike. For all she knew, she had a concussion as well from the blow to the head she received. It was only through dumb, stupid luck she had only been out for a few minutes, before the unthinkable happened. She knew in her head what the outcome would have been. Her being repeatedly raped, Lamar beaten to death, both of them robbed and then left behind like trash.
Patty went back and told Lamar they were moving camp. Lamar was actually doing better although his head spun when he stood and his side was still quite painful. He avoided coughing and sneezing as when he did, the pain nearly caused him to black out.
Patty struck the tent and packed everything in the trailer. She pushed Lamar's bike and trailer while Lamar took her's. It took about fifteen minutes to break through the brush and get to the new camp site and another half hour to set up once they arrived. They completed just in time, as they had their first strike of luck as it started raining, but they could sit in the tent out of the rain.
"We'll rest for today and tomorrow and then head out the day after if you are ready, Lamar." said Patty.
"After this, we pass Longview and then Tyler. Those are both decent sized towns," said Lamar.
"I know," replied Patty, "And that worries me. They probably have the same problems as Marshall and with each day, things are getting worse. You know, it's been about four days since this whole thing started and look how bad it's become."
"You and I were fortuitous in our planning, Patty. We had the means and your keen mind, to set us in the right direction early on." replied Lamar.
"Keen nothing, we were lucky. Lucky that you were able to hock your watch for a bike and trailer. I was lucky I survived last night's attack and the one in the alley. Lucky we were able to get out of Shreveport without getting robbed. Lucky that we were able to loot, steal and buy enough food and stuff with stolen money and not get caught. We were lucky, Lamar, nothing more."
"And we will be lucky if we can get home. Lucky if we can even get another twenty or thirty miles closer without being shot, brained by a rock, bit by a dog or attacked by gang of creeps." finished Patty.
"I didn't know about any alley," said Lamar quietly.
"Forget it. I only know one thing, Lamar. I am tired of all of this and I want to see my daughter. And I am going to kill anyone who gets in my way or looks sideways at me from now on. I've had it." said Patty.
The rain fell and Lamar excused himself to use the restroom. He put on his poncho and slowly walked out of the tent and diappeared into the bushes. Patty stood ready with her Glock in the event of trouble, but there was none.
Afterward, she cleaned the pistol while Lamar had something else to eat.