Wiping the last residual vomit from the corner of my mouth, I turned back to my friend- The muddy mixture of blood and dirt sliding and slipping out from under my booted feet.
I'd never thought I'd have to do something like this. The ugly burn covered most of Harry's left arm, a sickening, blistering red in the dark of the barn. He was out cold, but his pulse was still there- faint, but existent.
Fumbling and clumsy, my fingers managed to open the cap off of one of the large water bottles I'd fetched from the vehicle earlier, I emptied half the bottle onto his arm before realizing I would never have enough water. Instead, I set about emptying the water onto the crisp white bandages, soaking them to the core.
Once his burn was wrapped firmly in a soaked bandage I felt a weight come off my shoulders, not that I was totally worry-free mind- just somewhat less stressed.
After a brief struggle, I managed to get him up into the back of my large 4WD. It seemed as if everything were against me- the spite of the whole world pinpointing me, not releasing me into a merciful death but instead torturing me with life and with the responsibility I'd once craved.
Teeth clenched and knuckles white I climbed my way around the impossibly large car to the drivers seat. Up, in and on. In a hasty sprint, I fired up the engine and drove the metal stallion beneath my fingers out into the battlefield courtyard.
Things, remarkably, seemed to have quietened, whether from exhaustion or death or a lack of ammunition I had no idea. We gathered, as quickly as we could, and piled into the car. John was beside me, and my had more passengers than seats. The others from our group caught on quickly, and within the minute a second pair of lights came from the gaping jaw of the barn. They'd commandeered the old farmers vehicle.
In the awful quiet that seemed to only ever be born of chaotic crescendos, a glimmer of pale yellow-white caught my eye, under the tree tucked under a tuft of grass was the old skull Harry had been working on- but before we hadn't the time to recover it, we were moving again.
-- Three Days Later --
The red dawn woke me from my uneasy sleep. The cold glass of the window had not become any more comfortable over the last three nights. I was glad to see the dawn, it meant we would move again- and it wouldn't be long now.
It seemed impossible that our journey to the coastline had taken us this long, nearly a fortnight to my count- with this morning. But we were here now. We'd come to the outskirts of Bermagui late last afternoon, and we'd decided to forgo entering the town that night. Instead, we'd retraced our tracks for awhile, until we felt we were at a safe distance from the town.
The last three days had been slow, quiet and uncomfortable. We'd seen a few of them, but never more than three at a time. The majority of our time on road was spent dodging traffic pile-ups. Several of our own had fallen during the fight at the farm, but no-one still breathing was left behind. We'd been travelling only by day, with armed sentries all night.
I turned and looked to John- the morning after we'd left the farm, we agreed he should learn to drive; as there was hardly any traffic and no road rules, he'd picked it up quickly. He was gazing down the road back towards the town.
"Ready to get us our boat?" a voice I recognized as my own croaked.
He nodded slowly, "To the Navy base, right?"
"To the Navy base." I agreed.