The Last Ones Remaining

The two barriers held in one Country just to avoid the corruption of our lives. Sadly, it's too late for any more changes, However, We have a Mayor to talk to us, he can tell us everything we need to know... Sometimes, and the changes that are made are in his power. Between the two barriers is Hell. A third barrier remains with peace and some secret way of living in an environment full of threats and danger. Violence continues through all the barriers, and it only remains with us... A little is unknown about the ones who live with us, but we all get on... Some how, and that some how is about to be revealed...

- Written By Luke J.R -

18+ Rated. Violence & Bad Language & Slight Sexual Content. Drinking, Drugs.

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21. Red Meadow

The Last One’s Remaining

Chapter 21: Red Meadow

This new family, I know I can’t trust her. Same with Heather, I didn’t know if I could trust her. So why am I feeling guilty for not including her, why do I feel that this is just a fantasy world for me?

‘Joe, I’ve got the suitcase in the car, and some of your clothes too… It’s not for me, it’s for you.’

‘Alright, so this is your car? And how’s the kid?’ I yawned.

‘Yes, this car was given to me as a present. Not that you needed to know that…’ She laughed.

‘And the kid?’ I mumbled.

‘His in the back of the car, I’ve managed to convince him that we are going on a trip, and he thinks we are coming back for him.’

‘S-so you’re lying to him? How is this going to make him stable for adulthood?’ I moaned.

‘Oh relax, like it matters… Red Meadow is the only place for us Joe, and once we have finished up there… We can take a trip with him, as long as no-one has adopted him of course…’ She whispered.

The car started, as the woman put it into reverse. She did a turn around the corner heading towards the Adoption Centre, and the town looked in very bad condition.

Windows were smashed and scorched burnt marks all over billboards and lots of houses too. The roads were full of debris and burnt up tree trunks. Crushed cars and bodies lied amongst the walls and the curbs of the roads. Some corpses looked badly injured and some looked horrific to even look at. Destruction near shopping centres and broken down parks. Dead animals and dying animals near the woods. Even the atmosphere looked toxic, not just the community.

Dark smoke and black fog travelling through the sky. Still lit fires burning rubble and anything flammable. Criminals and bandits were still roaming the streets smashing cars and looting shops that have been badly burnt and broken into. Even Emergency services looked awful, ambulances without sirens and Police cars toppled against each other with spray paint printed perfectly on the side. Lots of loot just rather useless or worthless sitting in a pile waiting to be burnt.

‘Red Meadow isn’t too far away, we’ll be there in no-time…’ She smiled.

‘P-please… Spare my life! I just wanted to get some shopping f-for my F-family…’ A voice screamed.

We passed the man, he wasn’t in good condition. We managed to miss his beatings…

‘What is Red Meadow like?’ The kid asked.

‘Never mind that, remember, you’ll be having fun elsewhere’ she spoke in a sweet tone.

As we passed more destruction, we stopped at an almost broken traffic light waiting for the light to flicker. The nameless woman still cared about road safety, so it seems. To the left of our car, I could see dried blood and parts of somebody rotting on the ground. Even glass that had been shattered just made the roads and pavements look disgusting. The small fires causing horrible smells and burning flesh by the looks of it made this place a whole lot worse.

We managed to get past the broken traffic light which delayed our drive for around five minutes. She turned the car in towards the parking area of the Adoption Centre. It’s so strange to see a town and possibly world full of crap and being afraid of everything. And of course having to witness all this just makes everyone feel down and bored of living. Some of the deaths amongst these victims have been suicide attempts, all of them might have been. I can’t say for certain though, I’ve watched many die by Human vs. Human situations. And it’s not a pretty sight to see, it’s just a Hell hole…

The parking area was also badly damaged, the Adoption Centre’s windows were cracked instead of smashed. And the cars parked taking up spaces were empty. Some had tint windows and some had clear windows. Most of the cars had been broken into by the looks of it. And some of them were just empty and possibly locked. A car alarm is also going off in the background with the Adoption Centre’s nice looking posters and billboards all broken and painted on. Some of it looked nicer than others.

‘Wow, I forgot how bad this town is…’ I sighed.

‘Y-yeah me too, I’ve got to say that it’s tough to survive out there… Good job we found each other.’

‘Are we there yet?’ The child asked.

‘Y-yes we’re here, help him with his belt please…’ She smiled.

I nodded, ‘yay! We get to go on our first trip together Dad.’

‘Not exactly son, think of it like your own little world to be in…’ I lied.

The woman got the child out from his seat and held his hand tightly, whilst I disconnected my seatbelt. The place looked better than the outside, no corpses or anything too violent. Maybe this place has good security after-all… Yet the sound of a car alarm is never a good sign…

I took hand of the child and the woman’s. We walked together towards the entrance of the Adoption Centre. That annoying car alarm was still screeching out sounds as we walked inside the Centre. The reception desk was pretty empty, there was a shadow blocking the light near the main entrance. Me being the big man, I had to walk over to the desk and ask for a placement.

‘H-hello? Anybody here…?’ I asked.

‘… G-go away, we’ve suffered enough…’ A voice cried out.

‘Y-you don’t understand, I’m here to book in my child…’

‘Book in? N-no, I’d just take the child and get him away from this planet…’ The voice continued.

‘N-no, I can’t do that, we’re low on cash just like everybody else out there… Can’t you just, take in our child and put him up for adoption?’ I sighed.

‘Adoption? The kids here aren’t really being… L-looked after, I know that’s wrong but I’m alone… The rest of my workers quit, we don’t stand a chance… We’re low on food and everything else a child needs to stay alive… We can only offer crappy bedrooms and even that won’t keep them happy…’

‘L-look, I understand the circumstances of being a parent, and I don’t intend on leaving him here for good. Between you and me, I just need him to be safe from the outside please…’ I whispered.

‘You know Sir that sounds possible… I can’t promise you that he is going to be safe here though… No-where is safe, it’s our job to fight for rights and stay alive out there…’ He smiled.

‘G-good, I’ll sign the forms and crap, just hand it over… And then I’ll be sure to collect him before midnight okay?’ I whispered.

He nodded, and it was good to see that I got him out from under his shell. The problems out there have probably caused him to lose everything. I can’t blame him for not looking after these children. Bandits and Criminals and just Humans in general, none are to be trusted… I guess, I can hold on to some of them without trusting them. Until they snap, that’s when I strike, and that’s when it’s effective. Hopefully that woman doesn’t learnt anything about my plan to bring the child back. The man handed me the form, as I ticked the boxes quickly and answered his questions.

‘Here, I’ve ticked them and answered them the best I can…’ I smiled.

‘T-thanks Sir, I’ll be sure to run this through my scanner and my computer, sorry for still making you go through the terms and conditions. It’s just, I still believe in the rules and everything that’s good to this world, please don’t hate me for it…’ He sobbed.

‘It’s good to see some decent people…’ I scoffed.

He nodded at me, looking at my fake family. He could see the child looking confused, he could see the woman who I named my wife to be unlucky. And I could see through his mind, I could see directly through his sight. Right down to the core, I could see the mixture in his liquid. The mixture forming together in his pupils, tears perhaps? No! It was more than tears, something toxic maybe…?

‘So, thanks for filling in the forms. Just leave the child round the back, they used to call it a play area you know… And now, well it’s a dump. I’m sorry for being so truthful…’ He trembled.

‘Whatever, just make sure he is safe or else, I can’t hold back my actions but I can control my feelings,’ I whispered.

‘S-safe is what I’ll do for him, and I can’t promise you his future will be bright, who can…? Ha’ he laughed.

‘Good one, just get on it…’ I sighed.

I walked over to the child near the woman, held his hand whilst looking around the corner. The woman waited twitching her fingers on the wall next to her. As we walked away, I felt my hand having a strange behaviour, tighter and tighter, I held onto his hand. Holding it closer to my heart, sometimes a child like this… Only a dream child could be so great, and this kid has taught me a lot. Not everyone can be trusted, and children included. I’ve learnt that miracles can happen, and of course what many would consider… Anything can happen.

‘D-dad, do you have to go…?’ He cried.

‘Y-yes, it’s better off like this. T-think of the Mother you’ll find son, think of a happy dream family coming true. You could h-have all that, all that and much more!’ I sobbed.

‘And you… What will you have Dad? Will you be happy with Mum?’ He asked.

‘Never mind that son, just keep looking forward, futures can be so bright. It all depends on you, son, on how you want to make your life count. I know you can’t understand me now, one day you’ll return to the same question and the same choices we made today…’ I smiled.

‘I-if you say so Dad, tell Mum I’m going to miss her… And I miss you.’ He wiped his eyes.

‘Well, I will give her your love, and I’ll make sure you have a safe journey, I promise you son.’

Before leaving the child alone in a waiting room or the play area from the past, I left him a note. Inside his left pocket, and that note was to be a good-bye letter, from me and his so-called Mum. Sometimes Family can even be friends, and I’ve never known an enemy to make Family so easily. It intrigues me on how this woman managed to seduce me to such a low level of sanity. I’m just not ready for another relationship, so hopefully she’ll stick with our business partner’s agreement just for today… And maybe tomorrow, and soon I want her out of my life, I’d like to restart, restart my life.

The Note:

Dear son,

Sometimes when Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. You wouldn’t understand that, so I tried to make your life a little more exciting, keeping the secrets and the way you think down to a minimum. The success of you leaving me, isn’t what I wanted. And hopefully you’ll see that as you develop better reading skills. My life has been decent, and yours has been… Well I can’t say it, I guess I care about you. And if you ever need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here… Not with you, and probably not even near you. You will see me one day, maybe the day you finally learn to read these words…

Yours sincerely, you know who…

It was time to leave, head for Red Meadow. A place that only could lead to Ryan’s thugs. This woman had me wrapped around her finger, one day she’ll ask for a ring. And I’ll just stand there shrivelling up in a corner waiting for the world to pass-by this era. Once the era is finished, so is a new man. I’ll be different, I’ll be able to see darkness in a whole new way. Let the world blind me, and I’ll sit back watching the stars who are only going to be there for another year of sadness and regrets.

‘So you left him?’ She smiled, ‘good, we can finally get a move on…’

‘Y-yeah, and by moving, I hope you mean making the right decision for once…’ I sulked.

‘Liven up, sometimes I think that you are the bad guy, and sometimes I’d spy on you for the facts in life…’ She laughed.

‘F-facts? There is nothing special about me, you spying on me was probably just a way to pass your time,’ I smiled.

Back in the car, after leaving my son alone in an empty dark room which had been reformed into a play area. Yet there is nothing playful about sitting there watching time go by without a care in the world. There will be nobody to control him there, maybe that’s what he needs. Control, and possibly friends. Hopefully he turns out to be something more than I am, someone reliable, someone trustworthy.

The woman slammed the pedals on her car, as we zoomed past smashed up parked cars. As we drove past broken down factories and half-broken front doors. Even the hinges were not holding on, they’d let go of any door slammed in someone’s face. The wintery conditions were just making the horror more clear, blood stained windows with a face marked down a frosted glass table. Everything looks so broken down and old, and I’d even switch the old with the new. Yet that wouldn’t make a difference, even the elderly are to blame for this. Even they can’t hold back on their past lives…

We finally arrived at Red Meadow’s main entrance, a narrow broad street heading over some hills. And outside the entrance was trash stacked up against the chipped brick walls. Even the windows from the houses in the distance looked awful. At least the wildlife was making a come-back, I could see birds sitting on trees, and even some escaped pets enjoying the freedom they wished for.

The sign read: “Welcome to Red Meadow, a place only Heaven can forgive…”

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