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The Burnout Chapter Thirty Nine

A quick update!

Patty stormed outside and walked with purpose but without direction. She barely made it around the corner and into a small alley separating two buildings before she broke down into tears.

Finally, after several minutes, she wiped the tears from her face and blew her nose on a kleenex from her pocket. The she began to make deliberate plans in her head while going through her bag.

"Fine. They can do this on their own, I'm going to get home to my baby. First, I have plenty of food. I've got three MRE's, a bunch of the freeze dried food I bought and still have some stuff from the CVS in Shreveport. I've got my rain gear, some extra clothing, my bathroom stuff, so I'm good there. I have the M4 with eight full magazines, my Glock and plenty of ammo there and I still have that derringer from those nutcases in the forest."

"The only thing I need more of is water, but I know I saw a creek back near that school we passed. I'll filter some water, fill up my containers and be on my way. Let me look at that map. Okay, I'll take the tollway over to 183 or 30 and go straight through Fort Worth to home. Without everyone else and with twelve or so hours a day walking, even with delays, it should only take me a couple of days."

"Well, I did what I could but I'm not a miracle worker. They can argue about going to Celeste or looking for the girls' parents, I could care less. I'm done with that whole mess."  she said to herself.

Patti stood up and adjusted her things and started walking toward the tollway when she heard the telltale sound of a helicopter. It amazed her how quickly the sound went from the mundane to the harbinger of terror in such a short amount of time.

She dropped back behind a dead car and got as low to the ground as possible as the helo passed overhead travelling low to the ground. It was heading directly into Brad's old neighborhood and reduced speed as if it were searching for something. Then, it banked to the right and held position low to the ground for a few moments.

Even though she was a couple of blocks from the helicopter, she could see that not only had it stopped, but there was movement from the passengers as well. The side door opened and a dark suited figure held out a long object and dropped it out the door to the ground below. Another followed soon after. The copter paused for a few more moments before subtly rocking back and forth and then peeling off in the direction of the airport.

Knowing it was best for her to simply continue away and to the tollway, Patty ignored her own advice and hurried back to Brad's neighborhood. It only took her a few moments, once she arrived, to determine that the helicopter had not stopped over Brad's street, but rather to the south. She moved quickly, sticking to the front yards and near cover, to come to a street remarkably similar to Brads, but with far less damage.

She saw nothing out of the ordinary other than all the homes appeared to be empty and there was no one around. Then she heard the sound of someone whistling, as if they were occupied with a task and making mindless music while they worked.

She listened carefully and homed in on one home with an overgrown front yard and high fence blocking the back. She went to the house as quietly as possible, peered through the slats of the high cedar fence and immediately saw motion in the back yard.

A man, wearing dark clothing, kneeled down next to a long, gray laundry bag and was looking through it. He pulled out an MRE, set it aside and pawed around in the bag, before puting the military meal back inside. He then stood and hefted the bag on his shoulder and went back to the house. When he turned, Patty saw it was Monroe.

"Now why would the DHS, FEMA or whoever those guys are be dropping food off at Monroe's house? I thought he was trying to avoid those goons as he called them?" thought Patty.
Knowing there was something more to the story, she followed the fence line until in the rear, facing the alley, found a partially open gate to the yard.

Looking inside, she saw another bag sitting in the yard unopened and the back door to the house ajar. She quickly stepped inside the yard and hid behind a stack of firewood long gone gray and surrounded by weeds. A few moments later, Monroe stepped out of the house still whistling to himself. As soon as he picked up the bag and turned to the house, Patty stepped out.

"Hold it right there, Monroe." she said holding the carbine on him.

Monroe literally jumped and dropped the bag he was carrying and turned abruptly.

"What the he--" he said, "You! I told you people not to follow me back. I'll kill you for that."

"Not likely. Anyway, I didn't follow you here, a little bird with whirling wings told me where you lived. So what's the deal, Monroe? Doing a little side business with FEMA?" said Patty.

"I don't have to tell you anything, bi**c." he hissed. "It's just a matter of time before they get your little friends now they know where they are."

Patty blanched. Monroe had turned them into FEMA and most likely, someone was on their way to get the teens who were completely unaware. Patty had to think fast.

"How did you know we were in the park? Did you follow us last night? You snake!" she said.

"Park? Don't try that with me. I followed your little group last night to the card store and I know the rest of them are still there. "

"But Brad, what was all that about his parents? You know what they'll do when they find him." said Patty.

"Casualties of war, darling. A man's gotta do what he has to in this new world. Besides, his parents are probably dead just like the rest of the neighborhood. It's too bad really, if only some of the others around here would have just played along, they would be in the same situation as me." Monroe bragged.

"Those were your friends and neighbors. What's wrong with you?" Patty replied.

"Me? What's wrong with you and that black boy? I saw what you two did to Brad, I saw his injuries. So what's the deal? You and the black kid got your dreams to finally come true? Caught a few white kids and how have them to pick on and do the dirty work? What is it? Some sort of race revenge?" he sneered.

"You're nuts," said Patty. "You're going to get Brad killed along with the other kids."

"Well, it's too late now. They've probably already rolled from Addison and are on their way now to get them. If you hurry, you might get there in time to watch your black boyfriend get fried. But don't worry about the girls, though. My friends have already promised them to me afterward. Perks of the job." smirked Monroe.

"You sick b**t**d." said Patty incredously. She knew she had to get back to the kids before it was too late. She turned back to the gate, but first said to Monroe.

"When I get back, you're a dead man."

"Not likely," he then snatched a small pistol from the small of his back but was too slow. Patty fired two rounds from the M4 and caught him squarely in the gut. Monroe grunted as if he had a bad case of gas, dropped the pistol to the grass and then fell to his knees.

"You b**ch..." he gasped.

"Sorry, Monroe, like you said, it's every man, or in this case, woman, for herself."

She then ran out the gate and back towards the shopping center.

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