General Fiction posted March 13, 2014 Chapters:  ...16 17 -18- 19... 

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Christine and Johnny find their camp over-run.

A chapter in the book Yosemite

Lost and Found

by michaelcahill

Campers stranded by an unknown disaster in Yosemite attempt to survive. Relationships form.
In the previous installment Johnny and Christine said their goodbyes to the hillbillies and made their way towards camp. All was not well. None of their friends were there. The campsite was over-run with strangers and only the dog, Sprinkles, remained in sight. They sought shelter and decided to come up with a plan. Step one would be to find out what happened. We join the story now as they sneak up on the storage sheds which appear to be undiscovered yet.

Night wasn't far off. It seemed to fall quicker than normal. Or, maybe it responded to our sense of urgency. A man and a woman were stationed outside the mercantile. I didn't see weapons on them, but it was dark and I couldn't be sure.

About a hundred yards away were the storage sheds and in one of them was a large cache of weapons. I held my breath as we came up behind them. They were unattended. The weapons shed looked undisturbed for the most part. It wasn't raided, that was for sure. It was fully stocked.

That could be for one of two reasons. These people hadn't found it or they had and didn't see the need to arm themselves. Maybe they already had better weapons. There was a drawing on the door. It was three female archers. They had there bows drawn and were ready to fire. That wasn't there before.
"Christine, what do you make of this?" I thought she might have some insight into the other girls. 

Christine took a long look and studied the drawing. "I think it's a message of some kind. It must be the three of us: Me, Jen and Linda. I just have to think of what they're trying to tell us. Hmm, drawn bows…maybe it's directions. The arrows are all pointing north towards those trees there." She looked towards the trees as though she could see behind them. "Check em out?"
"Yeah, lets." Seemed like the logical thing to do.
We headed in that direction. Once we crossed into the stand of trees Linda came out from behind a large redwood. Lacci was by her side. I looked around quickly, but saw no one else.
"We weren't sure if you were coming back or if you were attacked somewhere down the road. It's good to see you two. What have you found out?" She had that same cat-like feel to her that Christine had adopted. Lacci was more the deer in the headlights posture. She stuck close to Linda.
Christine spoke for us. "We know little. Strangers in our camp. No sign of anyone until we found the two of you. That stupid traitor dog happy as a clam with the enemy. What's up with that? What do you know? I hope it's more than that."
Linda continued, "We were too lax, it's that simple. What the hell were we, campers on a weekend outing? We were all sound asleep. Jen was supposed to be up on guard. She was curled up by the fireplace, passed out drunk. They just came in and took over. Some of us tried to escape. Some made it and some didn't. Annie turned on a dime. It was her group. I don't blame her, switch to the winning side. Lacci and I managed to escape. Carlos and Jen stayed and fought, but were easily taken down. We thought about returning to help, but there were at least a dozen of them."
I could see that she felt some guilt over that. "It's the smart move, Linda. Retreat to fight another day. No sense in your capture. Now there's four of us. What weapons do they have? How many are there? Looks like eight that we could see walking around. What else do you know?"
"They've got Carlos, Jen, Joe and Russell tied up and just sitting by some trees. We've been planning to rescue them. Tonnie, Rhonda and Nathan we don't know. Annie, we told you is with them like one of the crowd along with the damn dog. I don't know what her loyalties are. I wouldn't trust her. I never did anyway. Joe was with us all the way. Russell too. The other patients just sat there like they were watching T.V. Too damn much, man. They didn't move a muscle."
Christine looked ready for action. "They didn't come after you?"
"No. They didn't even look to see what direction we were headed. They haven't looked around much either. They found the mercantile, but not the storage sheds, tents or vehicles. They don't seem very organized. They have guards posted, but it isn't organized. Rescue is no problem. But, hell, it's our camp. Screw them and Annie too. I'm not down for a war, but they started this."
I had to agree with her. What were we supposed to do, sit out in the forest and starve? It amounted to survival. We had to take our camp back. It wasn't a choice. It had to be done. I could see Linda and Christine were already committed. Lacci would go along with it, but she was not the warrior type. Maybe there was another way to use her. She had alluring and gorgeous going for her. Maybe a decoy of some kind.
As if reading my mind, Christine seemed to have a plan. "We need a distraction. I don't know if you're up for this, Lacci, but you could really help us out here. It's dangerous, but we would be right there behind you. We'd have your back no matter what. Know that. If you could distract those idiots then we could sneak in and take them out."
Lacci shuffled her feet nervously, "You mean, kill them? There's so many of them though. It seems like suicide. Maybe we could just talk to them, make an alliance or something.  Why don't we just get the hell out of here. I don't want to die down there."
If I had touched Christine at that moment, I'm sure that my fingertips would've frozen solid. I could almost see the frost form from her mouth as she spoke.
"Okay, no problem. You run along then. We are going to do whatever it takes to rescue our friends and take our camp back. If you aren't down for that, there's no hard feelings and you are free to go. We wish you the best of luck."
She turned and faced me and continued, "I still think a diversion is a good idea. Either Linda or myself wanders into camp looking helpless and vulnerable while the other two free Carlos and the others. Then we attack and take back our camp. We need to get in and let the others know that we are out here and what the plan is. We can't be seen or we're screwed. Any thoughts?"
Lacci looked like she was going to cry. But, the reality of the situation hit home. "I didn't say I wouldn't do it. I was just throwing out some options to discuss. Of course, I'm not abandoning anybody. I'm the decoy. I'm not the fighter that Linda or you are, Christine. I'm the obvious choice."
Christine didn't offer any mercy or apology. She simply moved ahead with the plans. She knew what she knew about Lacci. Now she had to rely on her. "You have everything you need. You're young and beautiful. You just need to realize that. I don't think you do. You walk into that camp like you're the hottest thing to walk the earth. To tell you the truth, girl, it isn't far from the truth." She looked over at Linda. "You can doll this up, right?" She nodded towards Lacci. "I want her lookin' so good that it would bring Johnny here back to life!"
"Hey, that's not what your daddy said!" I whispered sounding offended.
As we were laughing, Linda and Lacci stared at us and shook their heads. We topped it off with a big kiss that stimulated parts of their brains that they were previously unaware of. I suspect we may have done that with or without being in love. I was always prepared to make any sacrifice for a laugh.



Camp has been taken over by strangers. Christine and Johnny have decided to try and mount a rescue. Their dreams while interesting haven't proven to be of much value to them yet. Seeking any and all ideas and input. Flying blind. Far past the original story line. Thank you for your support and help! Mikey
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