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Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics die,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

From “Light Breaks Where No Sun Shines” by Dylan Thomas


~ 8 ~

And Then Came the Rain


Kevin was shivering uncontrollably but not only because he was cold, but also because he was scared, in pain and wet. The sounds of the night had fully taken over as he just sat there, by the crushed window in the pitch blackness letting the huge droplets of rain fall on his head but defenseless to do anything about it. He assumed this is what it felt like to be tortured. He wasn’t even wearing a jacket to put over his head; nothing at all was shielding him from the rain as it pelted him steadily for the last thirty minutes.

He had given up trying to get himself into the van. Instead he had crawled on all fours around the vicinity of the crash to see if there was anywhere else he might be able to hide just in case those wolves decided to show up. Rain had never even entered his mind until he saw the lightening off in the distance followed by the crash of thunder. That’s when his search intensified but unfortunately, there was nowhere to go, so once again all that was left was the waiting.

Before the rain came, he would on occasion take out his cell and use it as a flashlight, just to make sure nothing was coming, not that he could do anything about it if wolves did come into the clearing and they were close, he knew that much. The howls getting louder and more frequent as if telling each other “I smell fresh blood, do you smell fresh blood?”

He found a nice big stick that was a little pointy at the end, which he was ready to use as a spear if need be, as well as a few big rocks he could throw to ward off anything that might lurk in the darkness that would catch him unawares. It was one of those rocks he was holding onto now to help control his shaking hands. He even thought about hitting himself in the head with it because anything had to be better than this.

“How you holding up cous?” Brian had been steadily checking in with his older cousin once the rain started.

Kevin was shivering so badly, he had a hard time speaking, “Been….better…” he finally got out.

“Hang in there, Kevin. It has to stop soon; it sounds like it’s letting up a little now.”

Thankfully Brian was right. The pouring rain had finally lessened to a drizzle. The one good thing about all the rain was the fact that he was able to drink some of it in. When it first started he cupped his hands and let the water brim until it was overflowing, and then he gulped it down. At least he wouldn’t die of dehydration anymore. He could knock that one off the list and replace it with being eaten, hypothermia or pneumonia. “Or infection.” He said his last thought out loud as he stared down at his ankle. He didn’t think it was infected yet but he was also sure the longer it was kept unattended and in this wet, dirty environment, the most likely his luck would change on that front.

“How about you guys? How are you holding up?” His voice sounded a little steadier this time.

“I’ll be honest with you; we’re not doing so well. I’m feeling really weak. If we don’t’ get help soon…”

“Don’t’ worry Brian…we’re going to get through this.”

Kevin placed his head against the van, not even caring about the broken glass around him anymore. He wanted to lie down but he knew that sleeping while totally exposed wasn’t a good idea. That is all he wanted to do though, sleep. He had developed a massive sized headache which was the only thing dulling the throbbing of his ankle.

AJ and Brian had been falling in and out of sleep ever since they had been trapped in the van, Kevin making sure to yell his cousin’s name to keep him semi alert and then have him do the same to AJ. He hated that he was unable to help them. And then there was Howie and Nick. Whatever the hell had happened to them was anyone’s guess but one thing was sure, something HAD happened to them and it had to be bad enough to leave their friends trapped and abandoned for this long.

The rain had completely stopped and within a few minutes, so had Kevin’s shivers. He placed his hands on his face and wiped the excess water off. He then squeezed his hair as if it was a mop and watched as rain streamlined off of him. He had placed his rock down on the ground and found himself searching the wet and muddy grass to find it. For whatever reason, holding that rock had become his security blanket. As long as he had it in his hands, he felt safe. He knew it was an irrational thought, but if it was going to help get him through this hellish night, he’d go with it.  

It was unavoidable; he would be spending the night out there. No fire, no protection just the cold, and damp grass around him. He found himself jealous of Brian and AJ. Sure they were trapped, but at least they had shelter. The wolves would be feasting on him long before they would even think to enter the van for seconds. If only Nick was there, he would be eaten first. At least that’s what they always said when it came to that stupid ass “Which one of you would you eat if you were stranded,” question.

He gripped his rock tight to his chest and closed his eyes while exhaling another deep breath. He found himself breathing almost Lamaze style to help him get through the pain.  He was sure it might have been mind over matter but whenever he thought about his ankle a sudden throbbing would appear out of nowhere. He knew that if Kris was there, she’d be calling him a big baby when it came to the pain but he was also quick to shake any thoughts of her out of his head. It’s funny because up until this happened to him, Kevin always assumed it was thoughts of his wife and kids that would get him through a life threatening situation, but in all actuality, the more he thought about them, the worse it was. He was so close to giving up, letting his emotions get the better of him, that if he took the time to think about all he was about to lose, he would never make it.

He placed his empty hand down at his side, quick to move it when he felt a sharp edge of glass. “Shit!” He yelped.

“What?” Brian sounding worried again.

“Nothing, I just nicked myself on a piece of gl…Jesus,” he stopped mid thought and shook his head, “I have no idea why I didn’t think of this sooner.”

“What did you just say?”

He peered into the back window, “I have an idea!”

He felt the ground around him hoping to locate all the rocks he had collected earlier. As he did he loaded them into the bottom of his shirt, swaddling them as if he were holding a baby. He then got on all fours but this time he kept one hand close to his stomach to prevent the rocks from falling out, and made his way to the front of the van.

“What is your idea?” Brian yelled but Kevin was too focused to answer.

Once he got to the front of the van he dumped the rocks out of his shirt and looked up at the windshield. All it would take was a few good throws to shatter it because it was already a little cracked, especially the driver’s side.

“I’m so stupid!” He said to himself. It was funny how simple common sense all but disappeared in times of crisis. He just hoped he had enough energy to do any damage at all. Moving directly in front he peered in to see if he could spot his cousin. The last thing he wanted was for shards of broken glass to hit him out of nowhere, but it was too dark to really see anything. He would have to trust that Brian was out of the danger zone. He knew that AJ would be safe. So he moved to stand on his knees, crying out in pain, but then ignoring it, as he took aim and threw his first rock as hard as he could.

It hit the windshield with a loud thump but it didn’t do much to break anything.

“Kevin what are you doing?” He heard his cousin once again yelling from inside the car.”

“Trying to break through the windshield,” He picked up anther rock and flung it right at the small spidered crack that was already there. This time it did some damage as the glass started to crack a little more inwards. “Yes, come on…” He threw another one in the same spot as once again, the glass gave way just a little. “One more…” He grabbed his lucky rock and kissed it, knowing how ridiculous it looked but not caring, and threw with all his might. This time the windshield completely imploded in, hitting the steering wheel and chair that he had occupied hours ago. “Yes!!!” He shouted!

He heard Brian and AJ cheering inside as he crawled towards the back of the van to retrieve his ‘spear’. Once he made his way back to the broken windshield, he used his stick to finish the job and clear away any pointy shards that remained in his way.

“Bro, that was awesome!” AJ said from his perch. Kevin smiled. It was nice to hear his voice again.

Now that he had successfully broken the glass, the hard part was trying to figure out how he was actually going to get into the van. He hadn’t even tried to stand since shortly after Nick and Howie left to get help. The pain had been so overwhelming that he almost blacked out. There was no getting around having to stand to get into that window though. Not only stand but he’d have to put some weight on his ankle in order to maneuver the dashboard and get behind the front seat to where his friends were.

He braced himself and closed his eyes, “I’m going to try to get in there now, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it.”

“Do your best, Kevin. We have faith in you!” Brian reassured.

He nodded and scooted himself right next to the broken window. Turning himself around so his back was against the hood of the car, he placed one hand on the windshield’s frame and one on the actual hood and slowly hoisted himself off of the ground. A fierce, shooting pain made its way up from his ankle through his entire leg as he cried out in agony.

“Kevin, are you okay?” Once again the voices of Brian and now AJ were ringing in his ears.

He quickly took the weight off his left ankle and hopped on his right, turning himself to face the window. He’d have to go in left foot first, that would be the only way. So, he placed his foot inside the windshield, holding on to the rim as if he was swinging on a stripper pole and once he cleared his left leg he pretty much just threw himself through the windshield. Accident in reverse it probably looked like.

He landed on his ass on the arm rest of his seat but then he fell off of that and landed on top of Brian who let out a moan followed by a “Nice of you to finally drop by.”

He quickly rolled over off of his cousin and gave him a kiss on top of his head. It was too dark inside the car to actually be able to see how bad off he looked, but at least he was inside to help try to free them.

Kevin knew trying to get to AJ was pointless. There was no way he was going to stand anymore until he had crutches and a cast. His best bet was to free his cousin and then Brian could work on getting AJ out of that chair.

“So, how are we going to get you free?”

“If you pull the chair towards you I might be able to jimmy my arm out. I’m pretty sure that’s all it’s going to take.” He sounded hopeful.

“Okay, let’s do it then, on three…one….two…three!” He tugged at the chair with all his might as Brian pulled his arm out in one drastic yelp. It was such a simple thing that needed to be done, but a two man job nonetheless.

Brian was panting as he rubbed at his shoulder and neck, “Thank you so much Kevin!” He sounded like he was going to cry as he crawled away from his prison of the last few hours and continued to massage his arm.

“Okay Rok, my turn!” AJ pleaded from above just as the rain once again began to pour down around them.