Saturday, August 20, 2011
Posted by Jonathan Martin
The trailers door swung open and with a loud crash that rattled the women’s teeth, the door stopped as it reached the limit of its hinges. A small man, flanked by two much larger men, stepped down out of the trailer and bowed before the ladies.
"Greetings, I am the Marquis De Oakvale. Welcome to my Kingdom. I do hope you enjoy your stay." The small man flashed a wicked, gap-toothed grin, a look that was made all the more sinister by the porcelain-white mask he wore over three quarters of his face. He peered at them with his steel-blu left eye, the right one completely covered by the mask.
“H-How do you do? I am Julie, this is Aubrey and that there is Amy,” she said, peering over the short man’s shoulders at the two other man, who both stood at least a foot taller than she did.
“Oh, how rude of me, this is Don and his brother Arnold,” He cast a quick glance over his shoulders. “They are my,” he paused for a moment as if trying to locate the correct word, “associates.” Don and Arnold smiled at this, but remained silent.
“Excuse us,” Amy pulled Julie and Aubrey back.
“Oh, by all means,” said the Marquis, the smile returning to his face.
“Aubrey, I think this is the trouble you spoke of,” Amy said quietly, so that only her companions could hear, not liking the look in the eyes of the three men, who stood unmoving near the back of the truck.
“I know, but what do we do, I think if we run, they will chase us, lets just play this out a little longer, besides, have you seen the Marquis’ face?” the older woman said.
“Not really, he has that mask on.”
“Yeah, look at the flesh around the mask, it looks infected, like he is…”
“Time’s up ladies,” called the Marquis cheerfully. “Now I hope you are not planning on using those,” he indicated the shotguns that still hung from each of the women’s shoulders.
“Of course not, we were just trying to…” Aubrey started.
“Trying to nothing, you came to plunder my Kingdom weren’t you?”
“Uh, we did come looking for clothing, but we did not know anybody ruled over this area. How did you become the Marquis anyways?” Julie asked, showing a flicker of braveness.
“By right of might,” the small man replied, and five other men jumped down out of the back of the truck, joining the brothers behind him.
Julie shot a nervous glance at Aubrey, who stood motionless.
Amy coughed through a gasp, “We're sorry to have intruded, we'll leave now.” Before waiting for a reply, she turned, hoping the others would follow suit.
“You shall do no such thing. At least not without enjoying the hospitality we have to offer.” The Marquis barked, bring some snickering from the group of men behind him. “What have you to trade for the clothing you need?”
Turning around, Amy glanced at Aubrey, and then at Julie, mouthing I got this to the other women. “I am a doctor, let me look at your face, it looks infected from here, and I can’t imagine it feels too good.”
“And how can I trust you?” the small man said before the man named Don leaned down and whispered something in his ear. “Ah, Don, that is a great idea. Amy was it? If you will follow me. No, no, just Amy, unless you two are doctors as well? No, then my associates here will keep you company until we come back.” His gap-toothed smile returned and he turned and walked back toward the open back of the truck, with an almost imperceptible limp, motioning for Don and Amy to follow with a black gloved hand.
Obediently, Amy and Don fell in to step behind the Marquis. He walked past the truck and approached the first house of the Oakvale subdivision, whose red door stood wide open. Once they were inside the house, the Marquis reached into an umbrella stand and grabbed a black cane with a polished steel tip and began to walk to the back of the building, leaning on it heavily. “You are right, it is very painful,” he said, breaking the silence as he pushed open a door, revealing a small bedroom with a youth of about fifteen or sixteen lying on a bed.
Seeing the pallid color of the boy’s skin and the blood soaked rags covering what was left of his right arm, the doctor in her took over and Amy rushed to the side of the bed. “What happened?” she gasped.
“He tried to start a car, luckily it was almost empty, but it still managed to do that. What can you do for him?” The Marquis tone had changed dramatically, and his once commanding voice was now meek and full of sorrow. “You gotta be able to do something, I know it’s bad, but come on.”
“Calm down, when did this happen?”
“About a week ago, we were trying to get another trailer over, and we decided to start small with the car, instead of a full sized rig.”
“Ok, do you have any medical supplies? Anything?”
“Yeah, we hit the hospital about a few weeks ago, and two houses over is an ambulance we pulled here.”
“Ok, tell you what, Don, I need you to go get me whatever tools you can find in that ambulance and if they have any bags of morphine, bring me them too. I am going to take a look at this wound.”
Don sought permission to leave from the Marquis, who gave a curt nod.
“Marquis, I hope you have a fire going?”
“Ok, we need a few of your men, we need to move him down to the fire, or bring the fire up here, either way, I am going to need some help. And my friends, I trust them, no offense, but if you want me to help him, you have to be willing to help him too, I could use there help too.”
“Ok, I will be back in a few minutes.” The Marquis composed himself and strode tall out of the room.
Amy heard him barking orders to his associates as she began to unwrap the bloody bandage on the boy’s right arm. He groaned as she peeled the last layer of fabric off of what remained of his hand. It was bright red and was covered in the foul smelling puss of an infection. She was looking over the rest of the boy’s torso when the Marquis returned.
“Does he have a name?” she asked the masked figure as another man came in and whispered something in his ear.
He dismissed the man, who left the room, “Yeah, it’s David, the same as mine.”
“Well David,” she said in the calm voice she had developed working in New York after the World Trade Center had collapsed, “I can save him, but he is going to lose that arm.”