Chapter 12

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Chapter 12

Mike rushed up the stairs clutching the axe in a ready position. What could possibly be going on? Were the Scouts being attacked? Had the walking undead caught up with them?

He burst out of the house, ready for anything. Well, almost anything. The door slammed into Kyle who had been reaching for the door knob, knocking him to the ground.

“Kyle! What’s going on?” Mike asked, reaching down to help the boy off the ground.

Kyle, rubbing his hand where the door had first smashed into him, looked at his father. “Dad, Ricky has been hurt! Martin and Todd are looking after him right now.”

“No undead?” Mike asked.

“No, nothing like that, Dad. But Ricky is really hurt! Please hurry.”

Despite the boy’s urgency, Mike felt a small sense of relief to learn that the dead were not the cause of the panic. “Okay, Kyle. Take me to Ricky.”

Kyle ran ahead, looking over his shoulder to ensure that Mike was hurrying after. It wasn’t hard to figure out where the accident had happened. All of the Scouts were clustered in one sport. Mike assumed they surrounded the injured Ricky.

“Guys! Back off and give Ricky some privacy, please!” Mike could hear Martin trying to order the Scouts away from the injured boy. He could also see that the other Scouts were not listening.

“Scouts! Get back to work and give Martin, Todd and Ricky some room!”

The sound of Mike’s voice made the boys turn, almost as a single unit. They looked at him with guilty eyes and started to wander in different directions.

Mike picked the four closest to him. “Guys, I want you four to go into the house and help Scouter Steve and Shaun bring up supplies.”

The boys nodded and changed direction.

“And make sure to announce yourselves before you go downstairs. I don’t want you surprising Steve.” Mike could only guess what might happen with everyone so on edge.

The other boys had stopped moving while Mike gave the first of the orders. Mike looked at them all in turn. “The rest of you, stay out of the buildings but look around for anything useful. I also want you to keep an eye on the road. We don’t want any unexpected company.”

That taken care of, Mike strode over to Martin, Kyle and Todd who knelt around a prone Ricky who lay beside a tall, stone wall. “What happened guys?”

Todd looked up. “Ricky was messing around on this wall, walking back and forth on it. He said he was keeping watch for the dead. He seemed okay, so I let him stay up there.”

“Yes, that sounds like Ricky,” Mike agreed, kneeling down beside the small boy. The three older Scouts had carefully wrapped a white bandage around his head several times, to cover a scalp wound, Mike guessed . “So how did he end up hurt on the ground?” Mike checked the boy’s pulse on his arm. It seemed regular. Then he carefully checked the boy’s pupils. One was dilated and the other remained small.

It had been a while since Mike had taken his First Aid, but that wasn’t good. It could mean that Ricky had a concussion. He realized Todd was talking.

“Sorry Todd. I didn’t catch what you just said. Could you repeat that for me, please?”

“I said, I looked over and Ricky was dancing and clowning around on the wall. I was about to tell him to cut it out when he slipped. I’m pretty sure he banged his head against the wall as he fell. Martin and I rushed over to check him out and found his head bleeding pretty badly. Kyle got the First Aid kit and we dressed the wound, trying to be careful not to move his neck too much.”

“Good work, Fellas,” Mike said. “I think you are right about him banging his head. His pupils aren’t the same size, which I think means he might have a concussion.”

“What can we do, Scouter Mike?” Martin asked.

Mike shook his head. “If he has a concussion, we need to wake him up. Kyle, do we have smelling salts in the First Aid Kit?”

“Let me check, Dad,” Kyle said. He rummaged around in the First Aid Kit for a few moments before he handed a Mike a small package. “Here you go.”

Mike snapped open the package and held it under Ricky’s nose. For a few moments, nothing happened. And then, finally, Ricky jerked his head away from the smelling salts and opened his eyes.

“Where…where am I?” Ricky asked.

“How you doing, Ricky?” Mike asked, kneeling beside the boy.

The boy started to sit up only to be held down by Scouter Mike. “Whoa there, Ricky! Just relax for a moment, okay?”

Ricky strained for only a second before he lay back down. “My head really hurts!”

“I’m sure it does,” Mike said with a reassuring smile. “Can you tell me if your neck hurts too?”

Ricky looked confused. “My neck? No, it feels fine.”

“Good,” Mike said, giving the boy a pat on the shoulder. “Well, you just lay there for a little while and collect your bearings, alright?”

“Sure thing, Scouter Mike,” Ricky said.

Mike stood and walked several steps away from the injured boy. He beckoned for Todd and Kyle to come over. Martin stayed with the boy as his fellows joined Mike.

“Guys, I don’t think Ricky hurt his neck or he would be complaining about it a lot more. However, I want him to lay there and rest for a little while before we move him.”

The boys both nodded.

“Anything else, Dad?” Kyle asked.

Mike nodded. “Maybe you could go into the house and get some blankets, pillows and such? Put them into the back of the truck and make a cozy little nest for Ricky. I think that would be better than him having to sit up and get bounced around.”

“Sure thing, Dad,” Kyle said. He and Todd raced into the house.

Mike watched them for a second. He nodded at Martin who continued to sit vigil beside Ricky, keeping the boy lying on the ground and making him comfortable. Time to get the rest of the troop cracking on the collection activities. Their brief respite from the undead wouldn’t last.

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