General Fiction posted March 7, 2014 Chapters:  ...10 11 -12- 13... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Another intruder and an exploration.

A chapter in the book Yosemite

The Amazon Archers & Recon Johnny

by michaelcahill

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

A catastrophe as thrust a group of campers into a survival situation where they must learn to get along or their lives could easily be in jeopardy.
In the previous installment the group crossed several lines. One of them murdered David Vernon McMahon and the group decided to preserve his meat for later consumption. No one knew who did it and that was the unspoken plan. We rejoing the story with Johnny alone by a tree contemplating the previous days events.

The following morning found me alone with my thoughts. It was company that I enjoyed. I had always been a loner and anything over one other person was usually too many for me. I was leaning up against one of the magnificent giant redwoods and for once, I was admiring it. I knew it to be hundreds of years old. It was massive in girth and height.
"What would you do in this situation?" I inquired of my new shoulder to lean on.
As if in answer, I heard a distinct click. I knew the sound. I knew it from television shows and movies. It was a gun and I could feel it against the back of my head. I had no reaction. I, to my surprise, had no fear, but I was frozen in my tracks. There was no amazing ninja move in my arsenal. I waited for the next move or word from this intruder.
"Don't move or your head is history."
I considered that a decent line, but a little after the fact considering the circumstances. I wasn't moving and any reasonably intelligent individual would consider their head to be in jeopardy with a gun pointed at it. I assumed he wanted a response.
"What is it that you want?"
"Food, dammit. We need food. I've been watching your camp and I know you have plenty of food. I don't want all of it, get it? I want our share is all. You people aren't anymore entitled to it than any of the rest of us, see? We're starving and you're getting fat and laughing your asses off. We want our share of the food. There's no damn game here. It's all dead or runned off, I dunno."
"Well, that's no problem. We are all trying to survive. We are all here to help each…."
I heard a familiar sound in the air. It was arrows, more than one. We had been practicing for days. The pressure of the gun against my head released and I heard a shot go off behind me. I reached for my head and jumped forward for no good reason.

I heard a thump on the ground behind me as though someone had dropped a sack of potatoes on the ground. I turned to see a man with eyes wide open and a very stunned expression on his face lying there. He had three arrows sticking out of him. He wasn't moving. They were all mid-chest as though someone had painted a red X there.

I looked off to the right and saw Christine, Linda and Jen standing there with bows in hand. I have always found women to be the superior sex. I would never have the slightest doubt again for the rest of my life.

They looked like mythical Amazon warriors arrived from some magical island to rescue this little creature that they found charming and amusing. I would gladly do their bidding. If they'd let me, of course.
"I told you not to go out and play by yourself Johnny. You know that you get lost too easy at your age." Dear Christine, always with the jokes at my expense. How like music they sounded at this moment.
Christine grabbed another arrow from her quill and placed it in her bow at the ready. Linda and Jen did likewise and approached. Linda handed me a bow and quiver full of arrows. Jen spoke to me.
"If you don't need to change your diaper, we better patrol the area and see if this fool has any buddies hiding out. Grab that gun and check him for ammo or anything else worthwhile."
"Well, ladies first." I gestured for them to lead the way. I always took the scenic route. Carlos came running up with several weapons in hand.
"I heard a shot. A Glock by the sound of it. What happened? Everyone okay?"
Christine smiled her cure the world smile, "This guy looks a little pale, but we're all fine. Just getting some target practice in."
I wondered if she actually felt things like the rest of us. It seemed like her bravado wasn't false. I have to admit that there was a bit of a front to my bravado. I could feel the adrenaline flowing with that gun to my head.

Fear wasn't the right word to describe it, but calm wasn't either. It was tense and I was certainly anxious and concerned. I was relieved to say the least when the gals bailed me out. I knew I wasn't paralyzed by the situation I was in though. I would have taken action. I could feel that in me before it became a moot point.
We filled Carlos in and searched the area. We found what looked to be the area from which he observed us. There was no evidence that there were any more people there. We set up a watch system on the spot. There would never be a night when someone wouldn't be awake watching and ready to alert the camp. No more wandering off alone.

It was agreed that a line of sight must be maintained at all times with at least one other member. All of this was explained to the rest of the group. Annie, Joe, Lacci and even Russell all seemed to understand. Nathan, Rhonda and Tonnie didn't even pretend to. Rhonda asked about pharmacy delivery and Nathan and Tonnie went out to the bushes to enjoy a little romance. They did manage to follow the line of sight rule much to our dismay.
Christine and I decided to venture a little further out than normal. We informed Carlos and Jen of our plan and we all decided that it would be wise for just the two of us to go. Carlos rattled off some military terms and we became "Recon Team 1" which amused us both greatly. We kept our amusement to ourselves for a change.
"So, Recon Johnny, how far out do you think we should recon?"
"Well, Recon Christine, I've never formerly reconned before unless you consider climbing a tree at Alhambra park to watch the girls put on bathing suits a recon mission."
"No, that would be a search and deploy mission. Did ya pitch a tent right there in the tree? Talk about survival skills."
I could marry her just for laughs. That would cover most of my requirements for a happy life. "I think we need to determine who are neighbors are. If we are willing to venture out then so are they. Hell, they've already ventured."
"Why don't we follow the river. That is a safe bet. We won't get lost that way either. I don't pretend that I'm miss wilderness here. I'm a room service girl. I can't believe I've survived this long without cable T.V. to be honest with you. I haven't seen a lesbian in weeks. Hell, Recon Johnny, you're starting to look good to me. Talk about forest fever!"
She was flirting with me. I knew I was one of the luckiest guys on earth, but was this possible. I realized that I thought it was from the moment I met her. Well, to the task at hand,
"I often get mistaken for a lesbian. It's the beard. It makes me look so butch. I think the river is our best bet."
It wasn't long before everything looked unfamiliar. It occurred to both of us simultaneously to draw our bows and have them at the ready. I taped my back pocket to make sure my box cutter was handy.

We became quiet and moved slowly with eyes and ears open and straining for any sight or sound. I noticed a deer sipping water from the stream and nudged Christine. She already had her bow drawn. Before she could shoot, there was a splash in the water near the deer and it took off running. We couldn't see the source of the arrow that missed, but we could hear them argue.
"Damn, Lester, I told you to let me take the shot. You couldn't hit a bale of hay if you were on a hay ride."
"Christ, Jonesy, if you twernt breathin down my neck maybe I coulda gottin a bead on it. That twer the first deer we's seen in two weeks."



I should've known this would take on a life of its own. The original story is still functioning somewhat as an outline. But, other factors have been brought in and there are ideas that have been suggested that I like and plan to incorporate. So, keep them coming and we'll see what happens. Your input has been amazing. Thank you.
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