I’ve been breaking into apartments & eating canned food for three days
when I finally see someone alive. He’s wearing a blue militia uniform
& I whistle at him as soon as I’m sure he isn’t dead. He drops
to the ground & fires a shot in my general direction, then he
gets up & walks to meet me.
“Sorry about that,” he says while combing his hand through his oily black
hair & then reaching out to shake my hand. “My name’s Steve.”
He’s 5’8” & probably only 115 pounds. His eyes are a little sunken
in & blood-shot with rings around them.
“Barry.” I’m shaking his hand when I notice he still has his gun
drawn in his left hand. “I guess I’m new to Chicago.”
“Ah,” he says putting his gun away. He smiles & his teeth remind
me of Steve Buscemi, he may even actually be Steve Buscemi for that matter.
He draws his gun again quickly & fires at something behind me
& says, “We better get to my place.” I turn & look in the direction
he fired, but there doesn’t seem to be anyone or anything there.
I follow him up the street a few blocks & he leads me into a warehouse
& into an office. “So this is home I guess,” he says.
“Does anyone else live here?”
“No, I just… I just really don’t like people too much.”
“So where’s the rest of the militia?
“There might be four or five of us left around the city. We haven’t
been doing too good here lately. Is that why you’re here? I
thought we lost our last radio contact a year ago.”
“No, I came here because I was looking for someplace that had... someplace
for this ten year-old girl that was with me to have a future.”
“Where is she now?”
“I don’t know.”
“It’s not safe to just let a little girl wander around here. It’s
not the war zone it used to be, but that’s mainly just because our side
has pretty much lost now.”
“Somebody kidnapped her when I first got here.” I notice his hands
are trembling a little & he opens the drawer of a filing cabinet &
pulls out a bottle of whiskey. Just holding it seems to calm him
“I’m sorry man. Jeez, I don’t know what to say.” He opens the
bottle & takes a swig of it. He sits down & keeps sipping
his bottle. “Do you have a lot of bullets?”
“Yeah, I guess. Why?”
“Well, you want to do a rescue, right? I mean that’s why you’re hear
talking to me, right?” He reaches out & offers me the bottle.
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