posted on Jun, 14 2014 @ 08:20 AM
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG.
Whatever Sandra was dreaming about departed her mind without a second to spare. She, along with everyone else, sat bolt upright, glancing around
nervously, all locating Seamus, who was standing in the doorway, staring at them all just after hammering his fist into the wooden wall.
"Time to rise an' shine, laddies." Seamus said. "Ass crack o' dawn, just like I said. Ain't got a moment to spare, all those who're wantin' to
shoot, come to the saloon an' have a bite to eat first. Come on, come on!"
BANG BANG BANG.
After a few final bangs, Seamus left.
Realizing the sun had barely begun to rise outside, Sandra stood, stretching, looking around, seeing that Alan and Angus were still missing.
Everyone sleepily strolled across the way, then stepped into the saloon, where a few other towners were having breakfast. Sandra sat beside Seamus,
and Maggie asked everyone what they wanted for breakfast. After receiving all of their orders, she shuffled off to the back of the building to cook
"Doesn't she expect us to pay...?" Sandra asked.
"Nah. Everyone here's already payed." Seamus answered.
When Sandra gave him a confused look, he continued.
"See those two men over there." Seamus said, pointing to two burly men at the corner of the saloon. "They both manage that lil' water tower at the
back of the town. They also do as much huntin' as they possibly can, for snakes, lizards... hell... pretty much anythin' a man can eat. This place
couldn't run without those two. Every body here contributes in some way or another, see... we all keep each other goin'."
"Living commune." Sandra said, remembering something her uncle once said to her about such a lifestyle.
"Living commune is wonderful, logically." Dorian had said months ago. "The hippies had a good thing going... apart from the wild sex and
drugs. Okay... excluding the sex and drugs stuff, living commune is a very smart way to live. Utilizing every individual's strengths for tasks that
they all need, and sustaining each other. Plus, numbers are on their side, so they already have a good defense, see?"
"We've got a clock tower in this ol' town too." Seamus spoke through her thoughts. "I betcha' saw it on your way in. Its right in the middle of
town, that ol' hunk of shyte. That old clock tower's been around since the 1800s, it has. Still works, too."
"Who's town is this, anyway?" Sandra asked, having wondered about the origins of Los Oculto ever since she'd heard of the place. "This whole
place looks like it was around during the old western days."
"Ay, it was." Seamus responded. "Los Oculto is a ghost town from the old west... its considered a historical landmark. That's why nobody's dared
ta' tear it down."
"Who owns the land?" Sandra wondered. "This town is a pretty big landmark. Who officially owns it?"
Seamus gave her a peculiar smile.
"The state used to." He said. "Until 'bout seven years ago. Then yer dear old uncle sought to buyin' it. Made it ours. It belongs to our family
now, but its officially in his name, Dorian Clarus."
Sandra couldn't hide her disbelief.
"Holy crap!" She gasped. "He never told me that--this place must've cost him a freakin' fortune!"
"I can't believe he never told ya' that." Seamus said. "He told me he was plannin' on leavin' you the land once he passed. Figured he'd 'ave
told ya' about it."
Sandra gulped, looking awestricken.
"Comes from a rather wealthy family, he does." Seamus told her. "We worked on this place for a while... course I wasn't really helpin' until the
past couple years, but... Dorian put together this little preppin' network about a decade or so back, and we all put money into makin' this little
ghost town livable over all that time. Even had new pipes buried, so we got runnin' faucets of water. Still gotta ration a bit, of course... but its
nice to 'ave some utilities. Got solar panels too. Not very many, but jus' enough for us all to get by. Blasted thing cost an arm an' a leg, they
Sandra nodded, but her attention wasn't on Seamus anymore.
Seamus, noticing her gaze shift, turned around, only to see Alan standing stiffly behind him, staring endlessly at Sandra.
"You look like hell." Sandra said. "Where've you been?"
"Working." Alan told her irritably, claiming a seat next to her and leaning on the bar, exhaling a massive breath. "Angus and I have the
construction of the landmines figured out, mostly... now all that's left is putting them together."
"Well, that's good." Sandra said. She paused, examining him for a moment, then spoke again. "Have you guys both been up all night?"
Alan nodded, staring into the air tiredly.
"Where's Angus?" She asked.
"Still working." He replied.
Alan didn't notice that Sandra was watching him. After sitting in silence for a couple minutes, Alan began to nod off, and finally, he rested his
head on the bar, slipping into a deep sleep. He soon became unresponsive to everything around him.
Sandra and Seamus ate their breakfast rather quickly (Sandra had never eaten snake meat before, and she tried very hard to savor its delicious flaver,
even while eating rapidly), then, Seamus slid out of his seat, standing.
"Time ta' hit the range, kiddos!" Seamus called to Sandra's comrades. "Let's get to shootin' some glass bottles. Follow me."
Sandra stood as well, then glanced back at Alan, who was still sleeping on the table.
"Hey, I'll meet you guys there soon." Sandra told Seamus. "Lemme get him to a bed first, okay?"
"Ay... the shootin' spot is down on the far end of the town. Jus' follow north on yer compass, it'll lead ya' straight to us." Seamus told her,
then marched away, waving at the others and ordering them to rise from their seats.
Sandra gave a couple of blunt slaps to Alan's back.
"Wake up, princess."
Sandra shook him by the shoulders.
Moments later, Alan attempted to move. All the energy had left his body, and it was exhausting just to sit upright. Everything around him was
blurring, and the room began to spin... he tried to stand...
Alan fell, and Sandra barely caught him before he hit the ground. His head was lying motionlessly on her collar, his hair brushing against her jaw.
Sandra was sitting on her knees now, holding him... she looked down, trying to examine him... he was out cold...
"Oh no..." Carol said, approaching them. "Is he okay?"
"He's just tired. Holy sh!t... Alan... how long has it been since you slept, you moron?" Sandra uttered.
"He's been up all night, hasn't he?" Carol asked her. "Oh dear... poor guy didn't sleep at all on the trip here. He must be so exhausted..."
"He didn't sleep?" Sandra said, looking up at her.
"No, sweety... none of us could sleep when we came after you, or we wouldn't have been able to catch up with you. Of course, the rest of us got a
good night's sleep last night... but Alan..." Carol trailed off, staring at Alan worriedly.
"Get up." Sandra ordered him, but he didn't move. A small, muffled groan escaped him, but nothing else.
"For God's sake..." Sandra slid Alan's arm around her shoulders, then wrapped her own around his torso. In one swift movement, she stood, hoisting
him onto his feet and propping him upright. "Come on... bed time..."