Chatter

The chatter began immediately. Several people stepped into the abandoned store from the rear. Erik put the weapon down and waited to see what was coming up next. His world had dissolved. The other men in front of him were out of sight. He focused on the door beside the old meat counter. The only door from the back room. A loud crash followed by screams of horror. Further commotion rocked the world behind the thin gray door. A man sobbed, the outside door closed and the chatter stopped. The quiet only lasted a moment but it was enough. The old dusty shelves returned. Sean and Andrew stood near him. Weapons were all put away. Jean Claude stood, clutching his shoulder. The Haitian man didn’t need say a thing. He didn’t have too. His face was drenched in anger toward Erik.

Erik looked for only a moment then he returned to the back door. The gray slab of metal and wood swung forward revealing a small girl covered in blood. Following the girl was her young mother and father. The twenty year old father held his wife in his arms. She was hurt blood flowing from a wound in her arm and leg.

“Sara,” Erik whispered as flashes of his daughter floated through his head. The terror in this child’s eyes prodded Erik and he dropped the weapon. Erik ran toward the family grabbing a handful of dusty towels on the way.

“Let’s get you fixed up,” he said as he handed the small girl a towel and did a quick check for wounds.

“Thank God your ok, Sara.”

“My names not Sara,” said the girl.

Erik focused on the mother. “This is not good. She has a major bite wound. You have 24 hours before she passes but we can stop the bleeding for now.”

The father stands silent. His gaze fixed on the gore and dried blood in Erik’s two year old beard.

“Are you going to help me?” Erik asked.

“Sure,” said the father his voice barely audible. “Thank you.”

Erik lead the three to one of the store aisles and instructed him to lay his wife on one of the conveyor belts. Jean Claude, Sean and Andrew joined.

“I can help with this, I was a combat medic in the first War of the States,” Andrew offered.

Erik stepped away and let him work. He watched the man make a make-shift bandage for the leg wound and a compress for the shoulder.

He then found a working flashlight and headed for the back room.

“I will help you,” Jean Claude said from behind him.

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