~Feed-the-world on deviantART.com
I’ve been gone for half-an-hour and the sun is getting low, best not to be alone in the dark. I found a good place to collect cactus fruit. I collected the biggest of the pairs, to allow the other to grow bigger. Learned it from my Dad… but I can’t dwell on that. I have to go back.
Suddenly I freeze. What was that? A moment passed and a low groan ripples through the scrubland. A coyote? No, they are higher pitched. “heeelllpp…..” Human, could it be? No one comes here. Could be dangerous, humans are dangerous. “Girll…. Hellp me….” Well, what the heck. If it’s an ambush, too late.
I climb over and find a boy, about my age, clad in a ragged top and ripped jeans. One shoe is missing, and…. Oh shoot… His Jacket is covering the blood from a wound on his shoulder. “Oh shoot.” Now it’s out loud.
“My shoulder….” His shaggy brown hair flips over to look at his sleeve.
“I see… Um, can you walk?” I shuffle. I can’t leave him, and it’s not far to home.
“Will you help me?” Hmm… not trusting. Good sign if he’d gonna be here a while.
“Yes. Come.” I help him up. He can walk, and we made it home before darkness engulfed the trail I made. I yell as we reach the bottom. Chris carried the boy up the hill and Jared carried me, asking me questions and being the protective other brother he is. “I’m fine Jared, I just found him by the cactus patch near the dead river. No I just helped him over here. How can he flippin’ hurt me when he can barely walk?! JARED!” I might not have said flippin’….
We made it up and Jared had to check me all over, then let me give Tori the herbs. I walked in the back room, the sick room, and then was sent out to fetch him a glass of water from storage… Then herbs… Then boil the water… Send Josiv and Kat to bed… I was drooping over when I finally was allowed to stay in and watch; finally no more jobs. He was sleeping. He never told about himself, and we gave him little information, mutual agreement. Tori made a salve to plaster his arm with, and everything we could do was done. Now I have to go to bed. Nothing till morning.
Kat, Josiv and I walked to the spring and I rush them home. He’s still not awake. Chris says he gave his name: Jeer. Funny name. Jared tells me to stay away, he thinks there something funky with him. I think something’s funky with Jared. But I stick to my bis’ until he leaves and then sneak a peek. It’s so weird to me having an outsider. I forgot mostly everything before we lived here, my brother said I got hurt real bad when we escaped. But I do remember somethings: dad, mom, a little baby… but that’s it.
But there’s something really different. His hair was patched with black soot, and his injured arm had fresh scars lining it. The way he was sleeping showed a segment of his back, also littered with scars. I reached to pull up his blanket and he jerked, sitting up quickly, braced with his arms until he faltered, his injury catching up with him.
“Sorry. Just fixing your blanket, didn’t mean to wake you.” I cowered away from him.
“Oh… Thanks…” He looked through the walls, into some distant land I know none of.
“So, your Jeer right?”
He looked up confused, then, seeming to remembered replied, “ Yeah, that’s right. I’m Jeer.”