The Ranch (Part 9)
Updated: Sep 24
In the still air of their sarcophagus, neither Sherman nor Don dared speak above a whisper. Their phones were dead, and they quickly learned so was every other electronic within the trailer. In the dark, Sherman shifted, his knees groaning from the squat position he had taken near the window. Sherman risked viewing out the window. His eyes panned the landscape. It was still dark outside, but a purple haze was growing in the distance. Morning was coming. A light wind howled across the desolate clearing. Sherman had to force his eyes from the morbid slumps left on the ground from the wake of the night’s terror.
“You see anything?” Don’s whisper pierced the frigid air.
Sherman continued to pan his sight across the dark landscape. All seemed still, and that sent cold, bony fingers grasping his spine. Sherman scanned one last time, from left to right. Then caught a fleeting trailing motion off to the right. He leaned forward more to see around the edge. Whatever it was, was now gone, and on the side of the trailer.
A hiss of worry spewed from Don. “What was it?”
“I don’t know. I thought I saw something running.”
“Shhh.” Don shushed. “You hear that?”
Sherman went deathly quiet. His ears pricked up at a muted familiar sound. Outside, something stirred, something moved with careful precise steps. Something was trying to avoid making too much noise. The men both strained trying to seek the source. But each time they tried, the noise would disappear.
“The door, it’s by the door.” Don hissed.
The window by the door exploded. Glass rained throughout the room. Something hard clattered across the floor. An odd cylinder rolled through the center of the room. Then, their world was a blaze. Sherman felt an intense heat. His eyes went to a bright white that burned with the intensity of the sun. Sherman knew he was screaming, but he could not hear himself. He could not hear anything but the high-pitched screech.
Sherman tried to stand, but the discombobulation stumbled him. Then something grasped him. He tried to thrash, only to be forced to the floor. Cold ceramic squashed his face. Something heavy was pressing into his back. He tried to press up, then something yanked his arms from under him. His arms were being finessed. As his hearing returned, he caught muffled voices. The loud zipping sound of plastic being tightened. He felt his wrists suddenly go tight, hard edges cut into his wrists. He was being bound behind his back. The bright white burning light had begun to fade. He saw boots, and Don with his own face pressed hard to the floor. A large gloved hand held Don’s face down as a heavily armed man above began to strip through Don’s pockets. Sherman then began to feel thick fingers doing the same to him. He felt his back pockets get rifled through, his belt line traced, his legs ran down. The men wasted no time; they rolled both captives over and searched the men through their fronts as well.
“Who the fuck-” Sherman growled out, but the men did not wait. He was yanked up to his knees. A sack was placed over his head. Before he could adjust to his new darkness, he was up on his feet and being dragged out of the trailer. Sherman could hear the groans and complaints from Don. Multiple heavy footsteps. Distantly, he could hear rifle shots. Before he could focus on any of the sounds, his head was being forced down, and his body was shoved forward into a vehicle.
Sherman waited. The vehicle was cool, and the seat was soft. There was a heavy presence next to him. He waited until he heard the vehicle start before he would risk a comment. As the vehicle lurched, Sherman leaned over, hoping the heavy presence next to him was his scientist counterpart.
“Shut up!” A shove shocked him back as he bumped back into his seat.
Sherman was trapped, bound, and shrouded in darkness as he felt the vehicle bumping down the road. The distant sound of rifle fire was no longer distant. They were driving closer and closer to the loud pops. Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom a large caliber machinegun responded. It was louder and heavier than the other shots. The entire vehicle vibrated with the burst. Something shrieked outside, something inhuman screamed. More rifle shots rang out. Sherman felt the vehicle accelerate. The rifle shots were now behind him as the vehicle sped down the road. The shots slowly turned into distant pops as more and more space was put between them and the ranch.
In the dark hood, time was not traceable. Sherman had tried to focus on some indication that would tell him where he was on the road as his captors continued to fly down the road, and it was as futile as trying to see through his sack. The shove earlier dissuaded any contemplation of speaking further, and he had a feeling that being gagged would not be out of the realm of possible outcomes if he did so again. Instead, he was left to just feel the heat coming through the window as the morning sun coated him in light. West, if the sun is on my right back side, they are taking me west.