Read Will of Man - Part Four Online

Authors: William Scanlan

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Will of Man - Part Four

BOOK: Will of Man - Part Four
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WILL OF MAN

PART FOUR

By

William Scanlan

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FOR WILLIAM SCANLAN

This publication is property of William Scanlan. All rights reserved for William Scanlan. Copyright 2013.

No part of this book shall be copied, reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without permission.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
 

Other books by William Scanlan
  found at Amazon.com

 

To purchase WILL OF MAN - PART ONE (click here)

To purchase WILL OF MAN - PART TWO (click here)

To purchase WILL OF MAN – PART THREE (click here)

 

 

 

WILL OF MAN – PART FOUR

 

Tyler's Journal Entry: 389

Date: August 8

Day: Thursday

Weather: Hazy and warm

Miles to go: 580

 

My leap from the steamboat landed me in the control of the pirates. I escaped the raging river, crawled myself to the top of the river bank, and was quickly grabbed by a pirate.

 

The bank was steep and slick, and I was able to squirm out of the pirates grip. The pirate fell and slid face first down the muddy bank into the fast moving river. I watched as he slipped from site down the raging river.

Even though I escaped that particular pirate, I had to avoid the numerous other pirates who littered the river bank. Despite the hurricane like storm, the pirates still had the ambition to stalk the steamboat until its final demise.

I watched them snagging any survivors, and anything valuable left over from the destroyed steamboat. Like the poor women I witnessed get captured from the train derailment, survivors from the boat wreck were being snagged, collared, and hauled away. In the swirling wind and flying debris, I could see a tall priest saying a prayer in the direction of the sinking steamboat.

I decided to put my triathlon skills to use and run. I knew I couldn’t out wrestle any pirate, but I was confident I could out-run most of them. As I started to run, I sensed pirates running behind me, trying to catch me. I jumped logs, ran around trees, and sprinted up hills. Sprinting up hills was my “great divider” in any races with steep hills. Where most racers slow down going up hills, I took pride in speeding up. So when I hit those hills, the pirates didn’t stand a chance.

However, my victory was short lived when I went to jump a fallen tree. I snagged my foot on a branch, and twisted my ankle. The pain was horrible, and I’ve been injured enough to know when the race is over.

But I wasn’t giving up. I had a decent lead on my pirate friends, and I thought I could hobble into the thick woods and lose them. I struggled through the woods for a good amount of time, thinking I was in the clear, when I came across an old rustic cabin.

I only wanted to stop for a moment to catch my breath and stabilize my ankle with some medical tape my dad put in my backpack. As I took off my wetsuit and packed it in my backpack, a man came running in looking very scared and out of breath. I recognized him as one of the guards from the boat.

He barged in the front door, slammed the door behind him, and collapsed on the floor in front of me gasping for air. Before he could say anything, we both noticed torches outside the windows.

I watched as one torch turned into many, and then I knew I was surrounded. With my hurt ankle, and being surrounded, I decide to quickly hide my backpack inside the cabin. There was a loose step in the stairs leading to the second floor, and I quickly pride it up and shoved my backpack under the board and into the stairway.

My backpack is my only chance of finding my family again. It has the maps and all my survival gear. If the pirates find it, they will take it, and then I am lost.

The pirates followed protocol and snagged me, collared me, and then haul me away. As I was being pulled through the woods, I took note of recognizable features so I could find my way back to the cabin.

Part of me was waiting for Balow to come storming in to rescue me, however he never came. I wondered if he was safe. I feel guilty for not trying harder to find him before I jumped overboard.

We didn’t travel long till we reached a dock on the bank facing an island with an old prison on it. The river had widened to a fairly large lake. We boarded a boat which shipped us to the island where the prison was. Judging by how old it was, I assumed it was more of a museum than an operable prison (kind of like Alcatraz is today). I heard one of the captured say it was an old Civil War military prison. The pirates have made it their fortress and I predict this will be my home until I escape. Because I will escape.

Judging from previous races I’ve done in large lakes, I guesstimated the distance to shore to be about eight-hundred meters. If I were to swim that distance (in calm conditions), I could make it in roughly thirteen minutes. I don’t have my wetsuit to keep me afloat, so I would have to pace myself. It’s mid August so the water is warm. If I am to escape by swimming, I will need to do it within a month. September water temps will be too cold without a wetsuit.

We arrived to the island and were shuffled down a gravel road to the entrance of the prison. The prison seems mid-evil, with a high brick perimeter wall and a huge rusty gate at the entrance. Guards line the walls and occupy the watch towers. They’re armed with crossbows and spears (remember guns are useless now).

There are torches and lanterns all around lighting the perimeter. The guards not only seem to be looking for people escaping, but also people trying to attack from the outside.

All of the pirates are TAKERS since I get the instinctual feeling of disgust by all of them. They are pushy and seem to enjoy being jerks.

When I arrived at the mid-evil prison, they ran me and five others they captured through a processing line. One-by-one, we were marched through a gauntlet of guards. Each guard had a different job to do. They mostly checked us for weapons, stripped us of our shoes, and put locking metal collars on us.

Once I was done being processed, they escorted each of us to a waiting cell. One-by-one we were taken and placed in a cell with a cellmate. I tried asking what was going to happen to me, but the guard only told me to shut-up and that my cellmate would fill me in. He then jabbed my new cellmate and said, “Fill em in.”

My cellmate’s name was Jeff. He was an older man, shorter than me, with a kind face. He looked wore down and tired, but did his best to make me feel welcome.  He was on my side. He was a GIVER.

Jeff introduced himself and gave me a blanket to warm up with since I was still damp from the rain and river. He said he was a middle school councilor before the LAST DAY, and had a family of five – one wife and four adopted kids.

He had been separated when the pirates caught him foraging for supplies too far into the pirate’s domain. He asked me a lot of questions about myself and I could tell he was trying to help me forget that I had just become a prisoner.

He told me to call him Jeff, but it was awkward since he was an adult and former councilor for a school. I wanted to be polite and call him by his last name with a Mr. in front.

Jeff had supplies in our cell that he’d been gathering and the guards let him keep. Among those supplies, was a notepad with a pen. I asked if I could use it. He let me have them.

I asked Jeff what was going to happen to me. He said that I am now a slave to the pirates. He said, most likely I will work in the fields with him mending to the crops. Jeff’s job was to make sure the crops were growing well and will be ready for harvest.

He said, things will go smooth for me as long as I comply and don’t cause trouble. He said trouble makers are dealt with harshly and repeat offenders are taken away, never to be seen again. I don’t want to be a trouble maker. But I will break out of here. I will make it back to my family.

Tyler's Journal Entry: 389

Date: August 16

Day: Friday

Weather: Hazy and warm

Miles to go: 580

My first week here as been filled with confusion, minor beatings from the guards, and hard work in the fields. But I can take it. Jeff is easy to talk to and I am thankful for being put with him. He’s done a good job of keeping me out of trouble and seems to really want to help me. He is a good man. I think my dad would like him.

My journal has been keeping my mind occupied. I write in it as much as I can. I keep it hidden though, since I write about escaping. I don’t want anyone to know I am a triathlete and can swim the distance to the shore in my sleep. I haven’t even told Jeff. Since swimming to shore will be my way to shore, I will keep it a secret. Most people here are not in the best shape and I think escape by swimming is not an option.

However, I feel stronger here than I did on the road. We get two square meals, a dry place to sleep, and even toothpaste to brush our teeth, and soap to wash our bodies. It’s the first time, in a long time, that I’ve slept in a bed. It may be filled with sand, but it’s still a bed. We’re still treated like prisoners, but more like valued work horses. I guess a healthy slave, is a productive slave.

There are different jobs here on the island. Mine is working in the fields, keeping the food growing. Others work with livestock, some make weapons, some do the cleaning and cooking, some do washing, etc.

Jeff said the pirates have a nearby enemy and they sometimes fight. Our job is to keep the army functioning. The guards are tough on us verbally, but they never harm us to the point where we can’t work. I guess we are too valuable.

I asked Jeff who runs all this. He said there is one man, and his name is Father Patrick. Father Patrick claims to be a former priest. He portrays himself as the savior of man. That we are suffering due to our sins and through him and his guidance, we can find salvation. He must have been the one standing and praying when the steamboat went down.

Father Patrick holds sermons twice a day for two hours and once on Sunday for four hours. Jeff divulged to me that he is a devote Christian, and knows when he sees a true shepherd.

“Father Patrick is no shepherd.” Jeff said under his breath while looking over his shoulder. “He’s the wolf, herding the sheep to the oven.”

Jeff stepped in close and whispered, “Be careful around him, he’s very charismatic, and knows how to manipulate. He has a way about him that get’s people to believe in him. Careful what you tell him, he’ll find a way to use it against you.”

I listened to Jeff’s warning, but to be honest, I don’t plan on being here long enough to get acquainted with Father Patrick.

Tyler's Journal Entry: 398

Date: August 24

Day: Saturday

Weather: Rainy and cool

Miles to go: 580

Jeff and I actually had a day off today - sort of. It was raining outside and it was decided to keep us inside out of harm’s way since there was constant lightning. Jeff said, Father Patrick recently ordered all prisoners inside during lightning storms. Not too long ago, a dozen prisoners were out mending fences in a storm when lightning struck the ground near them. Eight died, and four were seriously brain damaged, leaving them mentally and physically challenged. They were taken away, never to be seen again. Father Patrick said they were taken to a neighboring town where they were to be cared for. Jeff doesn’t believe it.

Since Jeff and I weren’t allowed to work outside, we had to work inside cleaning an old storage shed near the back of the island. Jeff and I were mostly left unsupervised to do the job. The island is enclosed by a twenty-foot brick wall. If I was going to swim to shore, I would first have to get over the wall (or under it).

As we were cleaning the shed, I noticed the concrete floor in the back corner of the shed was cracked and lifting up a good couple inches above the rest.

I walked over to the broken cement, while pretending to sweep the floor, and bent over to examine the raised floor. I ran my finger around the broken edge and found a spot where the cement lifted.

Jeff said, “Planning something Tyler?”

He walked over, flipped his broom around, and used the end of the handle to pry the cement up. It rose up, exposing dark-loose soil beneath. Jeff scooped a handful of the soil and said, “This soil is really loose. I expected it to be rocky and clayish. If someone wanted to dig a tunnel, this would be the soil to do it in.”

Jeff looked at me and raised his eyebrows. I knew what he was implying. I gave him a look back that showed I understood. Jeff walked over to a window that looked out to the back of the shed. I could see his wheels turning. He turned to me and said in a low voice, “It’s perfect.”

BOOK: Will of Man - Part Four
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