A/N- Hey all, I'm back for real this time. I tried to post last night, but my internet went down. It is a little short, but I promise that starting this week I am going to be posting at least twice a week. Once Wednesday nights and once Saturday nights. I hope everyone is still with me, I am committed to finishing this story and we have a long road ahead of us. This chapter has no beta because I was too embarrassed to ask my old one. If you are interested in betaing, leave me a message or a review about it. THANK YOU!
Charlie woke up with a quick startled gasp. She was laying on a soft blanket, but underneath she could feel the hardness of a wooden wagon. There was a constant movement of bumps happening beneath her in an uncomfortable pattern. She looked around her hardly moving her body. Last thing she remembered was her running away from President Monroe. No, not President Monroe, her father Bass. Suddenly, she remembered her Mom and jumped up from her laying down position only to be grasped onto by a close body.
"You're going to be fine," the voice said.
"My mom," Charlie gasped out, looking at the boy she earlier saw walk out of the classroom to grab her friend, "Where is my Mom?"
The boy must have been only a year or two older than her. He sat there without speaking. Charlie noted his hand was still on her arm.
"Hello, I said where is my Mom?" Charlie repeated more aggressively this time, snapping him out of his momentary daze.
"She's dead," she suddenly heard from behind her. She turned quickly and saw her Father sitting there, his head inches away from his palms like he had been resting inside them. His palms were covered in blood, as was his face. A cut filled with dirt sat above is left eye. A bruise circled around his mouth. The impact of the blast had propelled them both forward and into the floor. Charlie noticed her own body was in a lot of pain. She pulled her arm away from the man and rolled it noting the pain that shot up to her shoulder. She couldn't think about the pain though.
"Dead," Charlie stated as a question. She did not want the answer.
"There was a bomb. Miles att-," Monroe began.
"Miles? The man you were looking for?" Charlie questioned angrily.
"Yes, he must have heard reports of our helicopter and chose to strike while we were far from home," Monroe said with a frown, rethinking the day. Rethinking everything.
"So it's your fault. She's dead because of you," Charlie accused.
"She's dead because of Miles Matheson," he said angrily with a point of a finger. "I was simply looking for him in our old town. We'd heard reports that he came by, and all I wanted to do was see if he was visiting your mother. I wanted to ask him why he left. I guess now I know. He left to join the rebels," he spat out the last part like it was disgusting.
"Can you blame him? I've heard about what your men do to people. Maybe he didn't want to be a part of it anymore," Charlie said with a smirk at the end.
"He started it," Monroe began to say, but Charlie stopped listening. She sat up then and got a good view of the wagon. To her left was the young officer who donned a bow and arrow rather than a gun like the rest of them favored. To her right she saw the man who was her father. Her mother had told her stories of this man. That he was a great and honorable man. Those stories were lies, she realized. Lies that hid her from the more painful truth. Her father was a mass murderer who harshly ruled over the republic. He was still talking, but Charlie still wasn't listening. It was easy to block him out. She had done it many times before during particularly boring lectures at school and a few times when her mother would try to explain the importance of composting to her. She thought about her mother again.
She pictured her mother then, sitting on the porch in their house, talking about composting. It seemed so important now. Charlie wanted to go back. She closed her eyes and for a moment she was really there. Her mother was smiling, rocking in a chair, staring towards her beautiful garden, but all too soon, she was shaken back to reality.
The blast was loud. The wagon fell to one side as if the wheels had just disappeared. After stepping out of the wagon, Monroe found to his dismay that they had. The four remaining men in the convoy looked around them. It looked to be a bomb that was placed on the road.
"Stay at the wagon," Monroe told Jason.
"Sir," the boy started.
"Protect Charlotte, Lieutenant," Monroe interrupted him.
The three remaining men took out their guns. Jason took a hidden one off his ankle and placed it casually on his thigh sitting back down with a sigh. Off in the distance there was movement. Monroe motioned his men towards in.
"What's happening?" Charlie asked in a whispered voice.
"Just your average every day rebel attack I'm guessing," Jason replied with a sarcastic smile.
"Why am I here?" Charlie asked, peering out the opening of the side of the wagon that was now almost facing up.
"You're Monroe's daughter," Jason casually replied.
"What does that even mean?" Charlie countered, looking back at him.
"Well, when two consenting adults," Jason started once again letting his face be concurred by his sarcasm.
"No, I mean why did he take me? So, I'm his daughter. I get that, whatever. Why am I here?" Charlie interrupted not in the mood for jokes. Jason looked her over then. He saw her white flowed dress. It was covered in dirt and blood now.
"You're his daughter," Jason said again. This time Charlie understood. They were taking her to the capital, to Monroe's home. She would never see Jasper again.
"He should have-" Charlie began, but gun fire rang out. Three shots fired in a row. Three men left the wagon. Would none of them return? Would these rebels kill her? She wasn't a soldier. She could barely stand watching the town butcher hand her a freshly killed chicken. She wasn't ready to die. Jason, however, did not seem anxious. He pulled his gun up from his leg and aimed it towards the entryway to the wagon.
The curtain lifted then and Jason smiled.
"Locals looking for an easy score on an unmarked wagon. They ran when they saw our uniforms. They didn't run far," Monroe said with a light laugh. Charlie just sat there, waiting to be acknowledged again. The other two men walked in then.
"We've found their wagon sir," one said with a laugh, "Seems to be an upgrade as well."
Monroe laughed then and grabbed Charlie's hand helping her out of the awkwardly angled wagon.
"How long till we reach where we're going?" Charlie asked avoiding its actual name.
Monroe pointed to a rusted green sign on the side of the road.
'PHILADELPHIA 90 MILES'
"We're almost home," Monroe said, walking away from her.
'Home,' Charlie thought.
That wasn't its name.