Part 1: The Hunt
Myra crept through the thick brush one careful step at a time. Rain had recently fallen and the slope she was descending was as slippery as it was steep. She was all too aware that one wrong step would send her sliding down to the bottom of the gully and give her presence away.
Reaching a tree about halfway down the slope, she leaned against it and held her breath, listening to the sounds of the forest. The birds had gone silent and it seemed even the sounds of the insects had stopped. 'I know you’re close, Bo. The forest can hear you breathing.'
The words were unspoken yet sounded very loud in her thoughts.
She made a mental effort to quiet her mind and body, reaching out almost spiritually into the forest.
This was but one of the many survival skills she learned over the years. Skills she instinctively relied on, and were as much from the traditions of her Native American heritage as they were from her Army-Ranger training.
Pulling a short leather cord from her pocket, she tied her long dark hair in a ponytail behind her so that it would stay safely out of her face.
After a moment, her senses became tuned to the forest. Underneath the subtle sounds of the land filling the air, Myra heard the faint but distinct sound of movement crunching wetly through the brush below. Quickly dropping to one knee, she brought her accelerator rifle up to her shoulder and aimed it down the slope, toward the direction the noise had come.
Her thumb passed over the power switch and the weapon’s familiar hum pulsated almost inaudibly through its carbon-fiber stock. The subtle drone of the magnets made the rifle feel almost alive in her hands. It was a unique and comforting sensation that never failed to calm her often frayed nerves.
Sweat mixed with the remains of the cold rain on her head and began to drip into her eyes, but she held steady, knowing the slightest sound could alert her prey. ‘Okay, big guy. Just a couple of more steps and I promise, I’ll make it quick!’
Through the tangle of vines, about two hundred feet down the ravine, Myra made out a distinct shape moving in the brush. She felt a sudden rush of adrenaline course through her as the last few seconds of the unfolding drama approached. She held her aim steady until she was sure of her target. As the figure became clear, she adjusted her aim slightly. “I am very sorry,” she whispered as she fired.
With a quick touch of the firing stud, her accelerator rifle coughed loudly. A single, hypersonic pellet scorched the air as it flew downrange and slammed into the hapless buck’s skull, ending the unfortunate creature’s life as if it were a candle blown out in the wind. It was dead even before its legs collapsed and the only sound it made was a dull thud as it fell to the ground.
Myra stood and slung her rifle over her shoulder. She was saddened by having to kill such a grand beast, but also pleased it hadn’t suffered.
Remembering her companion, Myra looked around slope with growing annoyance. “Bo! Where the hell are you? Stop screwing around!”
About sixty feet away, Bo Roberts rose to his feet from out of the brush. Smiling broadly, he waved at Myra. “Admit it, you couldn’t find me, could you?” The smirk on his face showed just how pleased he was with himself.
Myra shot him a glance that was almost as dangerous as the rifle she carried. “Seriously, right at the end of the hunt, you’ve got to play games?”
“Come on, admit it. You didn’t know where I was!” Bo grinned at her and laughed as he made his way down the slope toward her.
Bo was a country boy at heart who had grown up in these woods. While he lacked Myra’s training, she had to admit his overall field-craft was pretty good. In fact, his natural ability as a scout had earned him the name 'Bolo' among his clan. A term from the now dead and gone world that had once meant Be On the Look Out.
His thick brown hair framed his boyish face, and Myra found it difficult these days to stay angry with him even when he did act like a teenager. Even so, she wasn’t ready to let him off of the hook just yet.
“You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you instead of the buck,” she snapped as he crossed the distance between them. ‘I still might, if you weren’t so damn cute, you bastard,'
she didn’t add. Turning without waiting any longer, she began moving toward the kill. “You better not be staring at my ass!”
“Damn, girl, you give yourself too much credit!”
“Yeah, sure. You say that now but tonight you’ll be all over it,” Myra replied, enjoying the banter. Without having to look, she was certain his eyes were firmly on her backside as she walked down the slope.
Bo was watching and had to admit that she did have a fine ass. When he captured Myra two months earlier, she had been gaunt to the point of starvation. Coated with the dirt and grime from her prolonged forced march through the forest, she had been near death from exposure and exhaustion when she stumbled into his life.
There, in the ruins of Springdale, Bo found her and took her by force as his lover. At least, that is what he had thought at the time. Since then, he had learned much more about his dark haired mate and more than once, he had the cold feeling that if she had wanted to kill him that night, she might very well have been able to do so, even in such a weakened condition.
When he caught up to her, she was standing next to the buck’s carcass, looking mournfully at the fallen beast. Bo looked too and saw the small hole just about a quarter inch off of what would have been dead center of its skull. “Myra you do realize that you aren’t supposed to aim at a buck's head, right?”
Myra, being a soldier and not a hunter, merely shrugged. “It looks dead enough to me.”
Bo looked back up the embankment to the tree where she took the shot some two hundred feet upslope. His gaze then drifted to the antiquated accelerator rifle she used, noting the iron sights and lack of any type of scope. He whistled softly, very impressed by her marksmanship. “Yeah, I guess you didn’t miss it, did you?”
“Nope. It’s my kill, so you get to dress it,” Myra said, reminding Bo of their agreement.
“You’re gonna have to do this sooner or later you know.”
“Not if you keep playing games while we hunt, I won’t.”
Myra casually leaned against a tree and gave no hint that she was going to let the deal be changed now. The truth was that during her time in the Rangers, she had done far more gruesome things than field strip a deer, but that didn’t mean she wanted to. This was one area where she was fine with the idea of ‘men’s work.’
Bo continued to grumble, but went about the gruesome job with a practiced hand. Once he was finished, they had over sixty pounds of usable meat. Their transport was still miles down the road though, and by nightfall snow had started to fall in hills outside of what once was Springdale, Arkansas.
Rather than trudge through miles of icy snow in the dark, they chose to erect their tent on a rocky ridge that jutted out of the hillside about a half mile above the road. Myra felt that the ridge offered both protection from the wind, as well as giving them an excellent vantage point over the valley.
Bo hadn't really cared either way, figuring that the conical, teepee-style tent would give them all the cover they needed. In the end, he let her have it her way. By then, he knew better than to question her when she started talking about 'tactics' or 'strategic value'.
Myra put a piece of meat on a spit and set it over the flames. The strong aroma of fresh meat, sizzling over the fire made them both ravenous. Neither of them had eaten anything but old canned goods for weeks, and that night the roasted venison seemed to melt in their mouths.
They were sharing the usual small talk as they ate, planning the next day, and talking about how happy the clan members would be when they brought back so much fresh meat. It was in the midst of this that Bo stopped and looked seriously at Myra. “That night in the storeroom when we, when I found you. Why didn’t you stop me?”
Myra held his gaze for a long moment while she considered his question. Bo had caught her at gunpoint while she slept that night, and it had been fairly obvious to her as to what his intentions were at the time.
Myra remembered the shock and exhaustion she felt when he burst through the door. Rather than risk everything in an attempt to fight him off, she made the choice to give in to his desires. It seemed to be her best choice at the time, and since that night he had done nothing to make her regret making it.
She tilted her head and shrugged slightly as she finally responded. “You had a blaster rifle, remember? What could I have done?” There was no animosity in her voice. She spoke simply as if it were a matter of fact, as if she were merely discussing the snow falling silently outside.
Bo sighed inwardly, not quite accepting her apparent indifference.
“Yeah, I did. But I think we both know by now that if you had wanted to… well, that rifle wouldn’t have stopped you from defending yourself.” He shook his head, feeling not a small amount of shame from his actions that night. “Instead, the next day you saved my life. I’ve never thanked you for that.”
Myra said nothing for several long moments, unsure exactly how to answer him. He was right, of course; she could have defended herself quite effectively, even in her weakened condition. “I guess it was because I never really believed you wanted to hurt me.”
Myra slid over to him and crawled up onto his lap, snuggling against him. “I was alone and needed someone to care about me. I decided to take the chance that you were the someone I was looking for.”
Bo lightly caressed her cheek. “Your instincts were right again, Myra. I want you to know that. I never did want to hurt you, and I never will.”
Myra allowed herself to relax in his arms. She had been with Bo for two months now, and though she had been sharing his bed, she still felt unsure about him as a man. The truth was, she had found it difficult to trust him completely with the memory of that night haunting her.
Things were beginning to change between them though. Despite his bravado, she had come to realize that Bo was a good man. He was fearless in the field and fiercely loyal to his friends. His boyish sense of humor could make Myra smile even when she didn't want to, and she believed she might have been attracted to him even if he wasn't the last decent man on Earth. That last thought made her smile.
Up until now, they had just been lovers of convenience. Two people, caught up in the hell that life had become, and they turned to each other for the only comfort left available to them.
Now though, Myra realized things were changing between them. Despite all odds, she managed to find more than just security. She found true happiness, and it was a glorious feeling that she instinctively knew needed to be shared with the one man left in the world who was worthy of her love.
Myra kissed him gently on the cheek and then tucked her head into his strong shoulders. "The old rules are gone, Bo. They died in the War with the rest of civilization. What you did, what we did that night, was what people have always done. I think its time we both learn to accept that."
Myra then rose to her feet, determined to show him a side of her he had not yet seen. “Okay, get up; let’s get you out of those clothes…”
Bo smiled broadly as he stood, very pleased with her sudden playfulness. “Now you’re talkin’, girl. Looks to me like you’re a bit overdressed too.”
“Yeah, yeah. You first, big guy.”
As he started to remove his shirt, Myra laid her hand on his. Giving him a quick kiss, she whispered to him. “Let me do it, okay?”
Bo was suddenly taken aback by the unexpectedly soft tone of her voice. He had never seen her act in a truly caring way toward him. He wasn’t sure how to take it or what to say, fearing that one wrong word might break the spell.
She unbuttoned his sleeveless flannel outer shirt and pushed it off of his shoulders. “What is it with you and sleeveless shirts anyway?” she asked rhetorically. The truth was she had never minded his penchant for cutting off the sleeves because his well-muscled arms were kind of a turn on for her. It gave him a rugged look that made him all the more attractive in her eyes.
“They just make me feel all bound up, that’s all,” he said in his boyishly, defensive way.
“Sure they do, I think you just like showing off those guns of yours.”
“Oh, you like em’ do you?” He curled his right arm up tightly, flexing the not unimpressive muscles on his bicep.
She gave his arm a slight squeeze and smiled playfully. “Actually I do. I think you have sexy arms.”
Bo felt a rush of pride and made a quick mental note to never wear sleeves again.
Myra slowly lifted his under shirt up and helped him pull it over his head, making sure all the while that her hands kept in as much contact with his skin as possible. Dropping the shirt, she kissed his chest lightly and caressed his flat abdomen with the palm of her hand.
She felt him shiver slightly as she touched him, and when she unbuttoned his trousers, his body jerked visibly. Bending down with deliberate slowness, she drew his pants down until he was able to step out of them. As she rose, she was careful to run her fingers lightly up his legs until she reached the elastic waistband of his shorts.
For a moment, she simply fingered the elastic, enjoying the look of excited wonderment on his face. He was showing a side of himself that was as vulnerable as a boy, and much more innocent than the man who took her two months earlier. It was the kind of innocence he usually hid, and she found it very appealing.
Bo fidgeted at her touch and finally could take it no more. “Well, you gonna take my shorts off too?”
Myra took a step closer to him until barely an inch separated them. “Let’s think about this for a second,” she said and quickly grasped his cock through the thin material of his shorts. Giving him a firm squeeze, she felt him begin to lengthen and become hard in her hand. She bit her lower lip in an almost shy naughtiness as she began stroking his shaft through his cotton boxers until his length protruded through the fly.
“I think its safe to say the Boss-Man here is awake," she said with a quick squeeze of his cock. “So yeah, he’s invited to the party.” With that, she peeled his shorts off and let them drop to the floor.
Once again taking his cock in her hand, she held it in her palm and gazed down at it, enjoying its throbbing warmth. When he reached out and tried to lift the bottom of her top, she lightly slapped his hand away. “Oh no you don’t. This is my show this time. Lay down on the sleeping bag.”
“What the hell, woman,” he protested, but Myra put a finger on his lips.
“Please, Bo, just lay down okay?” The softness of her request disarmed his protests and he made a show of shrugging his shoulders.
“All right, but ain’t you gonna take off your clothes too?” Bo sat down and then lay on his back, his hard cock still proudly rampant over his belly.
“Can you roll over onto your stomach for me?”
“C’mon, Bo. Please?”
“Oh hell, okay. But you sure are acting strangely, woman.” Bo flipped over onto his stomach and laid his head on his arm. He heard the faint rustle of clothing and smiled a bit when her shirt landed about a foot away from his face. “That’s more like it!”
“Well, then what do you think of this?” she answered and dropped her sports bra onto her already discarded shirt.
Bo smiled and looked back up at her, but she quickly cupped her bare boobs in her palms, barely containing her pliant flesh.
Myra smiled back at him. “Hey, no peeking!”
“Okay, okay. Have it your way,” he said, no longer complaining.
At this point, he could only see up to about her knees, so when her pants dropped and were quickly followed by her panties, he was again tempted to look up, but decided to allow her the little game she was playing.
Myra straddled his hips and sat gently on his naked butt. Running her hands over his shoulder, she began massaging his muscles, working downwards slowly until she felt the tension begin to leave him. "That’s it, Bo, just try to relax and let me take care of you.”
"Okay, Myra, I think I can get used to this.”
"Haven't you ever gotten a massage before?"
"Well, yeah, sure I have, but not from a naked, crazy woman!"
"Crazy? If that's how you always talk to women, it's a wonder you ever got laid."
Reaching into her pack, she removed a face cloth and wetted it with her canteen. Once it was saturated, she spread it flat on one of the rocks surrounding the fire.
As she waited for it to warm, Myra laid her body over Bo's and let her dark, distended nipples trail over his skin, tantalizing him with a gentle contact that promised so much more. "Lucky for you I have low standards in men."
Myra trailed kisses down his spine until she reached his ass. She planted one deliberate wet kiss on each cheek and let her fingertips tickle his balls until she felt him squirm slightly under her. "How does that feel, Bo?"
"It feels pretty damn good."
"I'm glad you like it." Myra retrieved the now heated towel from the rock. "You can roll over now."
Bo flipped over and she knelt on her haunches between his knees. Myra slowly rubbed her breasts with the towel until her skin glistened in the firelight. When she reached between her thighs and over her pussy, his cock actually twitched in anticipation.
"Goddamn, Myra, you really know how to turn a guy on!"
Myra laid the towel over his cock and balls, bathing them in its warm wetness. "I really haven't done this before either, Bo," Myra said as she carefully cleaned the taut skin of his glans. "But you're special to me, and I want to make you feel like a man."
Setting aside the towel, Myra slowly slid her palms up and over her flat stomach before cupping her breasts. Over the last two months, she had come from the point of starvation back to good health. She managed to put on maybe ten pounds and sometimes thought most of it was in her boobs. She was still very lean, but the muscle tone she had long been proud of was returning to her. She finally felt beautiful again and was eager to share the benefits of her health with her man.
She tweaked her nipples until they were tingling and standing proudly out from her chocolate colored areola. With a playful smile, she rubbed them and then laid down on his chest.
"I want to thank you, Bo Roberts. You saved my life too. If you hadn't taken me that night, I probably wouldn't have lasted much longer. I want you to know how much I needed you then, and how much I need you now."
Bo was not the kind of man who was accustomed to sharing his feelings vocally, so he reacted in the only way he knew. He kissed her hard and she returned it just as passionately. Her emotions welled up in her breast as his mouth feasted on hers and she knew that their feelings for each other had risen to a new level.
They were changing and becoming as one. It was as exhilarating for her as it was unexpected, and she surrendered to the moment without hesitation.
Myra sighed excitedly at sensation of his rough hands creeping up and over her hips as he stole her breath with his kisses. She could feel her own wetness become heated, and when he squeezed her butt in his hands she ground her pelvis onto his cock. "Mmm, I love how hard your cock feels against me, Bo. It's so hot on my skin."
Bo's eyes flashed with sexual hunger and she could have sworn she felt him throb against her belly.
"It's gonna feel even better when I get it inside you,” he promised in more of a growl than speech as he tried to roll her onto her back.
Myra resisted, keeping him under her. She knew how much he loved to control their lovemaking but she wasn't quite ready to let him have his way with her just yet. "Mmm, not so fast," she whispered. "We have all night."
Myra slipped off him and knelt at his side. When Bo began fondling her tit, she just smiled and sighed, enjoying the pleasant sensations.
Bo pinched and rolled her thick, dark nipples until she almost shivered at his touch. Bringing her boob close to his mouth, she let him suck it while she stroked his cock. When his hand slipped between her thighs, and found her sex, Myra opened herself to his touch until his fingers slipped into her moist entrance.
She allowed herself the sweet luxury of his mouth on her breasts for several long moments while they fondled each other. By then, his thumb had found her clit, and the insistent circles he was making around it made her whole body begin to pulse in time with his movements.
Whether it was the look on her face or the way her body reacted to his touch, Bo seemed to sense her need. He dipped his finger deeply into her and massaged her passage.
Myra felt his touch vibrate through her body, and when he drew her juices out and over her clit, she felt like she was going to explode.
Her pussy was drenched by her arousal and his oiled fingers slid around her button with a devilish intent. Myra had stopped stroking him and was now just rhythmically squeezed his shaft as he fingered her. “Oh shit, don't stop! Right there, baby. Make me come... please make me come!"
Her skin blazed with excitement and she felt the pleasure spread from her thighs to her belly until the delicious sensations crested, causing her entire body to quake as the orgasm rolled through her.
"Oh wow, I don't think I've ever come that easily before!" Myra gasped as she laid over him and playfully kissed him. "I guess that means I actually like you!"
“Well, hell, I should hope so, woman! Now stop playin' games and show me how much you do.”
Bo gave her a gentle shove on her shoulders as he spoke, urging her to slide down his body. Myra felt his hot erection pulsing against her belly, and with a wry smile, gave in to his unspoken demand.
Hunching over on her knees, she drew his cock into the valley of her breasts. There, using her hands to keep him nestled deeply in her cleavage, she began stroking his length, fucking him with her boobs.
The heat of his erection felt wonderful against her skin and the view of his head poking up between her tits made her ache with desire. "You have a really nice cock, Bo. Have I ever told you that?"
Bo just grunted in response as he thrust his dick upwards in frustrated excitement. She was teasing him unmercifully, but she also knew how hard he was trying to control himself. It wasn't just about this night either. She was well aware that he had been carefully keeping himself in check ever since that first night he had taken her.
Since that night, though, he had made no further attempt to force her into his bed despite his need. They had been having sex, but it had been as much for her own satisfaction as it was for his, and by then, Myra knew well how much he regretted his actions that night. He had tried to respect her boundaries, and in so doing he had allowed her to come to him in her own time. It was just another thing she found amazing about him.
Loosening her hold on her breasts, she let his cock bob forward toward her face. She then kissed the head of his cock and licked the spongy crown, moistening his skin. Bo gasped at the touch of her lips, and when her mouth descended down over his length, he physically shivered in excitement.
Myra swirled her tongue around and around until her mouth was filled with the tangy flavor of his cock. Bobbing her head, she sucked him as deeply as she could for a time until she was almost gagging on his hardness. Then she drew her lips upwards and off so that she could flick her tongue against the underside of his shaft.
Myra sucked him off many times over the last few months. It was almost a concession on her part because she had not wanted to get pregnant. Now though, the idea of having his child seemed less the threat he had once made it, and if she did get knocked up, she knew at least that the child would have a real father. In the hell the world had become that made all of the difference to her.
Myra kissed his thigh and felt the tension running through him. He was like a lion, and like any beast, she knew he was meant to roar. She sucked his cock once more, then pulled up and slapped it against her lips.
"I'm ready to be yours, Bo. I want to be your woman."
Bo's eyes blazed as her words sank in. Then he sat up quickly and grabbed her by the arms, holding her tightly with his strong hands.
"You're sure, right? Don't be playin' games with me now!"
"No more games, Bo. You don't have to hold back anymore."
With the strength and ferocity of an unchained animal, Bo rolled Myra over onto her back and pinned her arms over her head. He kissed her hard and then slid his mouth down her neck, biting at her flesh in hot, passionate lust. His hands found her breast and squeezed them together as he sucked hard on her nipples until Myra was clawing at his back.
She locked her calves behind his thighs, and reaching down between their slick bodies, guided his throbbing manhood toward her entrance. Myra felt him tremble as she slid him down into her channel and when the head slipped in, he pushed into her with all of his strength.
"Ohh fuck!” she gasped as his thickness thrust into her body. She was wet and ready, but still there was an initial sting as her passage struggled to conform to the shape of his rock-hard cock.
Bo seemed to be inflamed at her visceral reaction to his thrust, and he held her arms so tightly that her skin turned red under his grip. His face became a snarl of masculine aggression and he fucked her hard and fast, making her firm tits bounce on her chest every time he drove his cock home.
By then, the sting had passed and Myra felt the delicious sensations of being taken spread like a pulsing warmth through her body. She found herself timing her gasping breath with his movements, taking a new breath each time he pulled back, only to have it driven out of her when he plunged his cock back to its root. Her thighs were taut and her legs embraced his, holding her tightly to him as he rode her.
Bo slid in deeply and pressed hard against her pelvis. For a brief moment she thought he was coming but his wicked smile showed he was still in control.
"You like that, do you? How 'bout this?" he said as he rotated his hips, swirling his dick inside her until Myra groaned at the force of his body grinding hard against her clit. He then drew his cock back slowly until it slid out of her wetness.
Bo rested his shaft on her clit and sawed back and forth for a moment until Myra couldn't stand it any longer. "Don't tease me, Bo! Put it back inside me! I want your cock so badly!"
"Roll over then, and get on your knees. I'll give you all you want."
Myra eagerly complied. When she felt his hand grasp her hips, she reached between her quivering thighs and guided his cock back into her wet channel. "Oh yes, that's it, Bo, fuck me good..."
Bo leaned forward and slammed his cock in, driving it into her with strong, powerful thrusts. Soon, the sound of his hips slapping against her ass filled the tent. He was fucking her full force, and Myra gripped the cloth of the sleeping bag tightly, as if she were holding on for dear life.
Incoherent murmurs escaped her lips and the beginnings of a cataclysmic orgasm coiled in her belly. She pushed her body back on his cock, impaling her moist pussy on him as he continued to fuck her inflamed sex.
The sound of his ragged breathing in her ears told her he was close. Soon, he would cum, filling her canal with his seed, and Myra welcomed the thought eagerly, focusing on the erotic decadence and using it to spur on her own orgasm.
Just as she crested, Bo grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her back. He grunted and growled, and when the hot moisture of his cum began filling her, she screamed and came hard all over his spurting cock.
They collapsed together on the sleeping bag, both almost out of breath from their lovemaking. Myra ran her finger through her pussy, feeling the thick wetness of their union.
Bo gathered her in his arms, holding her close and she sighed in contentment. Myra hoped they would make love again later, but in that moment, she was happy to just curl up and enjoy the radiant heat of his body.
By dawn, the storm had passed and the sun rose warmly in the sky. Myra came out into the cold morning air feeling more relaxed than she had felt since before the War. With both hands on her coffee cup, she inhaled the exotic aroma rising from its heated contents.
She and Bo had set up camp on a ridge half way up one of the many ancient and worn mountains of the Ozarks. From this vantage point, Myra could see all the way across the small valley and beyond, clear out to the pass that led out of the valley. It had been from this pass that they picked up the buck’s track the day before, and they had followed it all the way up to this ridge before bringing it down.
She knew that later that morning, Bo would have to make the long walk down the deserted road and recover their transport and she almost found herself envying him the walk. ‘Almost,’
she thought to herself mischievously.
She would have actually been glad to go with him, but with about sixty pounds of fresh meat to guard, someone had to make sure wolves or bears didn’t find it before they got back. Besides, there was really no need for both of them to go.
For now, Myra took a moment just to enjoy the view. Light snow had coated the trees with a dusting of white and the sky was a shimmering deep blue that seemed to go on forever. Down below, an abandoned quarry had filled with water over the years and the new lake sparkled in aqua iridescence. “It’s going to be a beautiful day,” she said to herself.
Myra heard the movement behind her but pretended not to notice. In a moment, she felt Bo’s hands slip around her waist, and tilted her head as he kissed her neck. ”Mmm good morning, sleepy-head.”
“Good mornin’ to you to, Sweetcakes.” he replied. “Any more of that coffee left?”
“There’s a full pot on the fire. Go ahead and pour yourself a cup. I’ll cook up some breakfast in a bit.” ‘Listen to me, wanting to be all domestic!’
she thought wryly. It seemed so strange, but being able to take care of him in such a small way just… well, just felt right somehow.
Myra made some bacon and fried a couple of eggs for them. After the meal, Bo began his long walk to their truck. Myra estimated that he was going to have to walk a good fifteen miles or more before getting there, so expected him to be gone most of the day.
She spent the afternoon having the very rare luxury of time. Time to finally rest. Time to finally just enjoy life. By the time the sun began to descend in the afternoon sky, she found herself missing Bo.
By now, she had broken down their camp, collapsing their tent and stowing their gear to be ready when Bo got back. Once he was there they would load everything in the transport and head back to the compound in the ruins of Springdale.
Myra thought she heard a sound echoing off the valley floor below, just above the breeze. She listened carefully and another series of rapid pops came over the wind. Her eyes widened and she felt a cold chill run through her at the unmistakable sound of gunfire. Actual chemically propelled rounds. The only people she knew of who used such outdated weaponry were the same, nomadic types that had murdered her family.
Myra stood at the edge of the ridge scanning the valley road. Down below, she could see their truck driving fast along the Rim Road over the quarry lake. Behind it, several electro-cycles were pursuing, and their riders were firing wildly at the truck.
“Oh my god, they’re after Bo!”
Myra felt cold terror run through her as the band of raiders chased after him. For all she knew, it was the same band that killed her family. In fact, it was fairly likely. The forty or so miles separating Boxley from Springdale would be nothing to these riders, and there just weren’t that many people left to make the assumption that this was a different band. The very fact that they were using old style weapons just about sealed it in her mind.
Despite the anger and fear she felt, there was nothing she could do but watch as the surreal drama below unfolded in apparent slow motion. Bo swerved left and right as the riders tried to pull alongside. The bulk of the truck would protect him from the gunfire as long as he kept them in the rear, but on the narrow twisting road, it was nearly impossible for him to maneuver.
Myra watched as one started to go around him and was greatly relieved when Bo swerved at the last minute, causing the rider to crash headlong into the rocky hillside. “That’s it, Bo, make it cost them. You can do this!”
Myra estimated that at the speed they were moving, it would still be at least ten minutes before Bo could get close enough for her to help, and she was becoming frantic in frustration. She knew that long before they came into range of her accelerator rifle they would have gone around the bend and out of her line of sight.
The chase moved behind a stand of trees, and for a moment, Myra lost sight of them. Then, in horror, she saw them emerge from the other side with one of the riders moving up the side the truck. Myra could see him clearly on the rim side of the road as he came alongside and raised his machine pistol toward the cab.
By what happened next, Myra knew Bo must have seen him. The truck veered toward the rim, knocking the rider off of the bike and sending him tumbling down the cliff face and into the frigid water below.
Before she could shout in victory though, Bo's front tire bit into the soft ground and jerked roughly. It turned toward the edge, and Myra choked on her voice as the transport tumbled down the slope, rolling violently until it fell free of the cliff and plunged headlong into the icy depths of the lake.
Myra stood in open mouth shock as the electro-cycle riders stopped to survey the scene. Despite all her training, all her combat experience, she couldn’t comprehend what she had seen.
“Bo? Oh, my God, Bo. You can’t be… You’re all I have, you can’t be dead…” Her voice trailed off as the agony of realization hit.
The riders had clearly been satisfied with their handy work and returned to their bikes, not even bothering to check on their two fallen comrades other than to collect their weapons.
No tears came to her; there had already been far too much death in her life for that. What she felt rising in her was so much more than sadness, it was a deep and burning anger that instantly overrode any logic she could have summoned. From deep within her a wailing scream broke loose and echoed across the valley.
Myra watched the men as they remounted the cycles. She was on foot, so the direction they now took would be critical. When they headed up the road, continuing on their way toward her campsite, she grinned in evil satisfaction and calmly slung her rifle over her shoulder as she began walking down toward the road.
Myra could have disappeared into the brush. Even if they had heard her scream they would not have been able to judge a direction, and with such a big head start they would never have been able to find her. Not unless she wanted them to of course. By the time she reached the road, the sun was low in the sky. Myra didn’t feel the cold and peeled her jacket off, dropping it on the hard, broken asphalt.
Myra powered up her rifle and stood motionless in the middle of the road, waiting for the bikers. She had no delusions of surviving against the odds she faced but she no longer cared. As far as she was concerned these were the same riders who had killed her family, and now they had taken the one person left whom she had truly loved. “Come on you bastards. Let’s finish this!”
Within just a few minutes she heard the telltale whine of the electro-cycles as they came rolling up the road.
Cam Bradshaw was riding in his customary position in front of his gang. He was still charged up by the chase and destruction of the truck, but was pissed that they had gotten nothing to show for it. Nothing except for the loss of two of his men. ‘Stupid fucks,’
he thought bitterly. Getting themselves killed by an unarmed yahoo in a truck. Two idiots that were too fucking stupid to live!
Nate had always been useless anyway but Big Shot would be missed. He was a crazy son of a bitch, but he had always been someone Cam could count on.
As he led his men around a wide bend, a single figure appeared in the road ahead. Cam slowed his gang, but kept approaching until he realized it was a woman with some kind of rifle. ‘Well, I’ll be damned,’
he thought, and held up his hand while he came to a stop.
The rest of the riders stopped with him and took up positions on either side. They were fanned out across the road, waiting for whatever orders Cam decided to give them. Cam looked either way. “Everyone sit still and play nice. Let’s see what we can do for the little lady.”
His voice was mirthless and he hoped he could get her to put the rifle down. She had to have supplies somewhere and maybe even some other people in her group. Even if she was alone, she was pretty and would be good for some nighttime entertainment. “DT, go see if we can be of some help to the nice lady!”
DT grinned knowingly at Cam. "You got it, Boss. She does look like she could use a friend!"
Born with the gift of gab, Earl Jackson had always been a convincing liar. Before the War, he had made a nice living by running cons on the unsuspecting and otherwise used his silver tongue to take advantage of anyone unfortunate enough to make his acquaintance. It had been a useful and profitable skill that had always served him well.
After the destruction though, his natural ability to twist the truth had truly proven its value by enabling him to talk his way out of dangerous situations that might have otherwise cost him his life.
That was a valuable skill indeed to men like Cam and his raiders, and they had since taken to calling him Double-Talk, or DT for short.
Putting on his most concerned and friendly smile, DT jumped off his bike and started walking the hundred or so feet toward the girl.
He was smiling but also tried to look concerned for her. He watched her closely though, and so far she made no effort to raise her weapon.
"Hey, don't be afraid," he said, when he was about twenty feet away. "I'm not here to cause trouble. I'm just worried that you might need help, okay?" She had the burned out look of someone who had seen too much and was half out of it. Like she didn't really know what was going on. That suited him just fine. All he needed to do was get the rifle from her and then it would be all over.
"What's your name?" he asked pleasantly. "I'm DT. My friends and I were just out for a ride. Do you need some help? We have some food and water." He was just a few steps away when he saw something change in her eyes. For the briefest moment her dazed, unfocused gaze shifted to one of searing intensity, but it passed as quickly as it appeared.
DT was a little unnerved by the sudden transformation, but decided to press on. Just a couple more feet, he thought. "Would you mind putting the gun down? You're kinda scaring me and I'm not going to hurt you or anything."
Myra looked up and smiled thinly at him. "I know."
With nothing more than a quick flip of her wrist she pointed the barrel of her weapon at him and fired. A burst of pellets slammed into DT and dropped him on the pavement.
Cam watched in horror as DT dropped. "What the fuck!" he screamed as he fumbled for his gun. "Holy shit! Shoot the fucking bitch!"
Myra calmly flicked the accelerator rifle's selector switch to auto, and in a single fluid motion, brought it up to her shoulder. Before Cam had even finished his order she pulled the trigger. Three-millimeter pellets begin streaming from the weapon as fast as they could enter the chamber. Magnetic coils accelerated them to better than five times the speed of sound and they crashed with thunderous energy into the bikers.
Myra hosed down the entire line of men, killing several before they could even begin to react. The rest dove for whatever cover they could find.
Myra expected this and used the confusion to run for the tree line. The sound of gunfire filled the air and bullets began whizzing past her just as she dove into the brush.
Myra’s heart was beating hard by the time she rolled down into the gully. The sharp reports of gunfire still sounded loud in her ears and the trees above her suffered impacts from the incoming fire.
The presence of this gully was why she had chosen this spot. She knew the V-shaped depression in the hillside would give her the initial cover she needed against such overwhelming odds.
Keeping low, Myra quickly ran upstream, splashing her way through the little creek until she had become lost in the cover of the forested hillside.
Once she was certain she was out of immediate danger, she changed direction. Carefully working her way up and out the gully, she dropped into the undergrowth, effectively disappearing into the saplings and kudzu of the forest floor. ‘They’re going to expect me to move as far away as possible,’
Myra thought as she considered her options. ‘Well, soon maybe, but not just yet!‘
She was sure she had hit at least five of the bandits, maybe more. Those kinds of losses would either fill them with enough rage to pursue her, or frighten them enough to run. ‘No, they’ll come. They won’t be ready to let me go just yet!’
Somehow Cam had been lucky. He had not been hit, but he was horrified by what he saw. Seven of his remaining men had been butchered by this woman and somehow she had gotten away. He looked at what was left of DT and spat angrily. "Fuck, that makes eight!"
Cam was as pissed off as he could ever remember being but deep down he was scared shitless. That bitch had mowed his men down like she was a fucking machine. One second everything had been looking up and the next, he’d lost eight more men! How the fuck did she get away so quickly?
It was bad enough losing Nate and Big Shot, but now he was down half his men and he still had nothing to show for it. ‘I’m gonna kill the bitch,’
he promised himself. ‘But first I’m gonna make her pay.’
“When we catch you, bitch, it’s gonna fucking hurt!” Cam screamed in frustration towards the forest.
His biggest problem now, though, was his own men. They called him Camshaft because he was the one who was supposed to make things happen, and he had been a leader long enough to know how fast they could turn on him once he had lost their respect. Especially if they thought he’d gone weak.
Cam took a long look at the gully the woman had jumped into and finally saw her track. Several vines and branches had been cut or broken and he smiled at his discovery. “Come on guys, she can’t go very far in this shit!” Cam took the lead as they began following her trail through the tangled Kudzu.
Myra slowly worked her way through the brush, for once glad that the ever-present kudzu vines were so thick. For men unaccustomed to such terrain they would prove to be nearly impassible.
She could hear one of them screaming in outrage and cursing her from the road. Soon, she heard their clumsy footfalls as a number of them tried to track her.
Myra smiled thinly and started moving quickly, not deeper into the forest but parallel to the road until she was just a couple hundred feet from where they had left their bikes on the road below. There, hidden deep in the brush, she watched and waited.
So far they were doing just as she had expected, and all she had to do now was wait for the men to find her trail.
As the sun began to drop below the hills on the far western side of the valley, Myra became certain they had found the trail she had left for them.
The sound of the men as they stumbled through the underbrush slowly faded and now, even when she listened hard, she could no longer detect a trace. By then, she figured they would have followed her false trail back to spot she and Bo had camped in the night before, far enough in that they would have no chance at finding her unless she wanted them to.
More importantly, the whippoorwills had started their nightly serenade and Myra knew that the timid night hunting birds would have remained silent had the bikers been anywhere near her position.
Myra counted only three men down on the road. Left there, she was sure, to guard their electro-cycles. ‘Too bad they hadn’t bothered to move them to a safe place,’
she thought as she aimed her rifle at the nearest in the line of parked bikes.
Myra pressed the firing stud and let the natural rise of the barrel lead her rounds over the line of parked bikes.
Pellets traveling at supersonic speeds slammed into one after the other, chewing into their plastic components and tearing their carbon fiber frames apart. By the time her accelerator rifle finally ran out of pellets, the bikes had been reduced to smoking piles of plastic garbage.
“There goes your ride home, guys.” Myra spat venomously. “No one leaves until the party is over.”
Myra calmly pulled the power core from her rifle and tossed the useless weapon into the brush. Darkness was falling and Myra set off to put some distance between her and the three men who were cowering behind rocks down on the road below.
By the time he got back to the road, Cam Bradshaw was in a complete rage. He had been certain that the track he was following would lead him straight to the bitch, right up to the point when the staccato sound of her accelerator rifle echoed up the hillside from behind him! It was only then he realized he'd been tricked! ‘Goddamn it to hell! How the fuck did that happen!’
He spat in frustration, as he looked over the wreckage that had once been their bikes. It was bad enough that he had lost so many men, but now they were stranded in the middle of fucking nowhere!
"Cam, this is really fucked up, man. We need to get the hell out of here!" Darwin had been one of the three men Cam had left behind, and he had seen firsthand how easily she destroyed their electro-cycles. The very fact that she had aimed at the bikes instead of him chilled him to the bone. "I think she's got help up there; why else would she have stranded us?"
"That's why you don't do the thinking around here, you idiot! If there were more of them they would have already come after us!" Cam gazed up the hillside and into the forest. "No, she is alone up there. Hell, she's probably watching us right now!"
"Oh shit, Cam! If she is, she could pick us off one at a time. We gotta bug out of here!"
Cam could see where this was going and knew he had to get control of the situation before it was too late. Pulling his pistol from his holster, he pointed it right in Darwin's face. "If you take one step down that road, I'll kill you myself!"
He looked at the rest of his men and slowly waved the weapon at them all. "That goes for all of you! We aren't going anywhere until we find that bitch! She isn't getting away with this shit. Y’all got that?"
The man called Fryer put up his hands, trying to calm his Boss before anyone else got shot. "Okay, Cam. We get it. But if you think she's watching, we do need to move."
Cam lowered the weapon but didn't put it away. "If she was gonna shoot at us, she would have done it already. How many rounds do you think it took to do all of this, eh?" He waved his gun at the ruined bikes.
Fryer saw where he was going and breathed a sigh of relief. "She's empty! That's the only thing that makes any sense."
Darwin looked hopeful but still wasn't buying into it yet. "Then why shoot the bikes, Cam? Wouldn't she want us to leave? Maybe she's got help coming!"
Cam considered the idea and shook his head. "Maybe, but they're not here yet. It's too dark to hunt that bitch tonight. We'll make camp here and go after her in the morning. Once we have her, we'll find out what we're up against."
Myra felt like she had been walking forever in an endless night. The breeze blew cold but she didn’t feel it on her skin. She felt as dead as the men she had killed and had no doubt that, before the night was over, she would kill again and again, until she herself lay lifeless on the forest floor.
First though, Myra needed to cleanse herself and to prepare her spirit for the long journey home. The thought of dying didn’t frighten her anymore. Existing in this tomb of a world had become worse than death itself, but Myra did have beliefs.
Her beliefs and spirituality were instilled long ago by her family’s ancient roots to her Cherokee blood. She had lived her life by the wisdom of that spirituality and now, on this last night of her life, she had but one responsibility left to those beliefs.
Eventually, she came across a small clearing deep in the brush. Here, she could make a fire and hopefully find peace for her soul. As she gathered the wood for her fire, Myra remembered the words of her Grandfather and those of a Great War Chief of the native peoples who once inhabited these lands. The people Myra had come from.
When she had joined the Army, her Grandfather had been very proud. “You will be a warrior of our people, just as I was and my fathers before me,” he told her. “We have been a family that believed in serving our people for as long as is recorded and before.” He sounded old that day, but there was no mistaking the pride he had felt for his granddaughter.
Myra remembered his kindness and the love he had for her. She also remembered that he had asked her to honor their heritage in her life, and if necessary, in her death.
“You may have to face a great enemy one day,” he had warned her. “If that day should come your life will be in danger. Be ready for that day as the Great Chief Tecumseh of the Shawnee advised. Write your Death Song and sing it the day you die. Die proudly, like a hero returning home.”
At the time, Myra felt he was been being overly dramatic, but now she understood. She lit the fire and as the flames roared into life, she said to the wind, “Grandfather I have written My Song!” Hear my words and be proud of your son's little girl!” And then, in the traditions of her ancient past, she began to sing.
Hear me my father!
This is my Song!
The world has grown cold,
And there will be no dawn!
Soon I will join you,
And we shall rejoice!
Our enemies have trembled,
At the sound of my voice!
Life is surrendered,
To loss of what’s dear!
I greet my Death gladly,
With nothing to fear!
Hear me my Mother,
Your daughter‘s in pain!
She comes in great sorrow,
Having nothing to gain!
I come to my people,
Having nothing to save!
My enemies defeated,
I leave only my grave!
Myra finished her song and stood quietly as her words died in the wind. Only the sound of the fire disturbed the night now and she realized that despite her grief, she was in peace with the woods once again.
This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than Lushstories.com
with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
<a href="https://www.lushstories.com/stories/fantasy-scifi/the-survivor-ch-2-myras-song.aspx">The Survivor ch 2: Myra's Song</a>