The James John Daniels Stories, Story Six: Smyth Farm and 1960s Actresses
Jimmy and Jenny went back to back as the deer surrounded them. While on their way to Atlanta, four of the men traveling with them turn on their team, hoping to take the armored car and weapons back to their militia. They killed the others, but the gunfire acted like a signal to the deer who struck killing the fake marines. Jimmy said, “we aren’t alone…...we have each other.” Jenny replied, “do you want your last words to be so corny?” One of the deer looked to the sky, then another. The ground shook. A thunder-like cracking sound came from the east. The ground shook again, and the booming sound came closer. Jenny took Jimmy by the hand and yelled. “run.”
All hell broke loose as the sky seemed to catch fire, and the ground shook. The deer scattered as trees exploded, and the very air seemed to burn. Jenny took hold of Jimmy’s hand and led him out of the fire. Something about how Jimmy reacted to the bombing felt wrong to Jenny. They made it about a quarter of a mile when Jimmy collapsed. She checked him, and he was burned on his back with something metallic sticking out. She knew she shouldn’t move whatever it was, but the flames were moving in, and it was either move the shard or die in fires. She knew she would never leave him to die alone. She pulled a bandage from her first aid kit. The kit had a small bottle of alcohol as well as a onetime use syringe of some pain medication. She injected him with the pain meds, dumped the alcohol on the wound, and pulled the metal from his back.
She was able to carry him out of the immediate danger and into what looked like a small community out in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. They passed bodies of both deer and people. Jimmy woke up with a scream of pain. Jenny helped him down, making sure he stayed off his back. Jimmy started to shake and was incoherent. She tried to calm him, but he was just past the ability to deal with the pain. He lay there and shook for ten minutes until he just stopped as quickly as he started. Off in the distance, Jenny saw something move. A deer stepped out of the woods, then a few more. She knew as soon as she opened fire, the deer would be on them, but either way, this was the end.
The lead deer turned just as an arrow struck it in the head. The remaining deer scattered. Two figures came out of a house; Jenny couldn’t make out any details. From behind her, she felt something hard press into her neck. A voice said, “you seem smart, you knew not to shoot at the deer. Now keep acting smart and keep that gun down.” The voice seemed deep but feminine, like a woman trying to sound like a man. Jenny put her hands up. She didn’t want to give any more information than was necessary. The person from behind her took in a breath and said, “oh my god, you two are just kids.” When Annette spoke again, she had dropped her attempts to sound male. Jenny told her they were on their way to Atlanta to her family. Instead of saying anything to Jenny, Annette waved the others over, and together they moved Jimmy as gently as possible.
The Smyth Farm
Annette was the oldest of five sisters, and together they were the remaining residents of the village of Hamm, Ohio near the border with West Virginia. She was thirty-two and had worked as a nurse with a traveling nurse service when the world ended. Together the women put Jimmy on a table, stripped his burned clothes away, and treated his burns. Annette removed some more of the metal fragments from his back, but she was worried he had more internal injuries. She checked Jenny and found she had also had first-degree burns as well as a nasty burn on her shoulder. Jenny didn’t feel the burn until it was pointed out to her. She tried to see the burn only to pass out.
Jenny woke to find herself in a bed with bandages on her arms. She was in intense pain coming from her shoulder. She turned her head slowly as she could. In a bed next to her was Jimmy. He was face down with his back exposed. The burn didn’t look as bad in the daylight, but he had several stitched wounds. She tried to search her memory, but she couldn’t remember how they got to this place or any of the people that helped them. Jenny realized they were both naked. She was without a top, and Jimmy’s bare butt was hanging out. A door opened, and Anette came in. She walked over to Jimmy and checked his wounds. Anette looked over at Jenny, seeing she was awake. In an almost funny move, Anette covered Jimmy’s butt with a towel while never breaking eye contact with Jenny.
Anette introduced herself and told Jenny about how they found them on the outskirts of their farm. She told her about her burns and how her shoulder was dislocated. Jenny checked for the key, noticing how she didn’t feel its weight on her neck. Anette held up the chain with the key and asked, “are you looking for this?” She gave the key back to Jenny, saying, “I don’t know what that is for, but you fought us when we tried to take it from you.” Jenny asked, “we?” Anette told her they were on her family’s farm, and she had four other sisters ranging in ages from twenty-two to twelve. A girl of about fourteen came into the room. Anette pointed to her, saying her name was Julie. Their parents named them for actors from the 1960s. She was Anette Funicello Smyth, Julie was Julie Newmar Smyth, and their other sisters were named for Sandra Dee, Elizabeth Montgomery with the youngest being named for Tina Louise. Julie’s first act was to go over and pull the towel off Jimmy’s butt.
Anette asked what Jenny and her brother’s names were. Jenny didn’t like how Julie was staring at Jimmy’s ass. Jenny said, “my name is Jenny, and that’s Jimmy, my boyfriend.” Until that point, she had never said boyfriend to anyone, but it felt right. The two sisters looked at each other as Julie covered Jimmy’s ass back up with the towel. Jenny told them they were on a mission for her father and had to be in Atlanta as soon as they could. Anette sat on the bed next to Jenny. She put her hand on Jenny’s shoulder, making Jenny feel self-conscience about her being bare-chested. Anette told her they wouldn’t know until he was awake, but Jimmy could have some internal injuries, and his back might be broke. She said, “we won’t know the extent of the damage until he wakes up, but if he wakes up too soon, he will be in a lot of pain.”
She told Jenny there was a clinic nearby with a portable ultrasound. They also had an MRI in a truck, but she wasn’t sure if they could use it with the possibility of more metal fragments in his back. Jenny asked if they used the ultrasound could they remove the metal so they could use the MRI. Anette said, “I know somethings, but I’m no doctor.” Jenny said, “my mom is a nurse, most nurses know just as much as any doctor.” Her mother was a doctor, but she wanted to instill confidence in her hoping she would help. Anette told her she thought she could, but the truck was in town. Jenny said, “you just get ready and let me worry about that truck.”
- The James John Daniels Stories, Story Five: I Guess ...
The Trip to Atlanta is cut short as an unknown problem arrises.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron