Shortly after the rain finally stopped everyone agreed to give Richard a proper burial, even following everything he had done. Although I felt my lowlife brother did not deserve a funeral, they were all hell-bent on giving him one. Michael and I dug the grave. Since it had rained the ground was soft and we were able to have it finished in no time.
After that was done, I volunteered to go retrieve Richardís corpse from the cave. The girls gave me his sleeping bag with some fishing line, along with my shotgun and the self powering flashlight. As I walked through the cave once more, I started to reflect on what had happened with Rich and I. Sadly, I began to regret what I had done to him. We were always at each otherís throats, even back when we were kids; the two of us fought more than we talked. Our parents always chalked it up to the fact that we were brothers and thatís what brothers did. But I crossed that line--I killed my brother. What's more, I realized that I made a mistake by doing so, one I would have to live with for the rest of my life.
By the time I reached Richardís body I was in tears. There he lay, lifeless on the ground, covered in his own dried blood. I laid the sleeping bag fully opened next to him and rolled him over onto it. I folded it in half so that I could zip it closed. That done, I began to stitch up the open part at the top with fishing line to completely enclose him in the bag.
Once I had the top sewn shut, I slowly dragged him back through the cave. By the time I stepped outside into the light, the others were next to the grave waiting for me. Michael ran over and helped me with the makeshift body bag and we carefully lowered it down into the hole while Rose and Renee sang "Amazing Grace." Each of us said something about my brother Richard; I found myself recalling fun times from our childhood. I knew right then that I was truly sorry, and whether he was in heaven or hell, I hoped that one day he would forgive me.
Sometime later, after we decided that the weather was good enough to get back on the road, all of us loaded back into the school bus. I was the last one to get on and as I stepped up toward the front bench I realized there were only the four of us left. We had dropped half our numbers since Palace City.
I patted my son on the shoulder as I walked by. Rose and Renee were sitting behind Mike, they were deep into a conversation but I couldnít make out what those two were talking about, probably because I didnít try that hard to eavesdrop. The bus pulled away and I walked to the very back of the bus and began to look through our supplies; I needed to see what we had left.
As I dug through everything I began to set aside small reusable weapons. I knew we would be completely out of ammo before we got to Haven. Even though it was a nice thought that we wouldnít have any run-ins with more Unluckys, I knew better than that. By the time I pulled out the last can of food, Michael yelled out that we had just crossed the Nevada/ Utah border. I totaled everything and was relieved to find that we still had enough food to last us for a few more days. As far as the weapons were concerned, we didnít have the same luck. I only found a few items: an old hand axe, two swords, and one baseball bat. That gave each of us something to protect ourselves with, but I was hoping for more. We would have to really take care of our equipment, because there was no more to replace it with.
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