I was covered in my sonís blood. Even though I continued to apply pressure to his gun-shot wound, the damned thing refused to stop bleeding. I had one of the girls bring me another fresh towel--it was the fifth one since he had been shot. I tried to talk to him, but he stopped replying to me shortly after we headed off to a farm. Renee wanted to take over holding pressure on Michaelís bloody wound, but I refused. If my boy was going to leave this God-forsaken world, I was going to be there by his side.
I yelled over to the man who called himself Vince, asking how much longer it was going to take and he said it was only six miles away. Without looking back at me he told me to have patience, that we would be there soon enough.
I was about to go for my hand axe when Rose stopped me and explained that hacking everyone up was not going to help Michael, which I agreed with and forced myself to settle down. It was fortunate that it only took a few minutes to reach the farm--or compound, for a better choice of a word--or I swore everyone not related to us would have ended up dead!
We finally arrived at the entrance where there was an enormous cast-iron gate with an armed guard on each side. They heaved the bars open after Vince honked the horn a couple of times. I looked back down at my son; my stomach turned as he appeared to be even more pale and felt colder. I held him in my arms like I once did when he was a sick little boy. I pleaded with God to spare my sonís life; to take mine instead as an exchange. I would have gladly met my own mortality so that Michael may live.
I looked up when the bus came to a stop. We were in front of a huge nineteenth century house. Vince opened the doors to allow three others to board the bus. The first man was an older guy, very studious in appearance. The next was a younger woman, possibly in her early twenties and was very scholarly as well. The last one was a well-built man who looked to be Indian or possibly Hispanic, perhaps in his late thirties or early forties.
Vince explained to the older man what had happened. He turned and looked over toward Mike and I. At first he appeared angry, but that look quickly changed to concern. He walked over to us and knelt down to examine my sonís wound and as he did so introduced himself as Doctor Peter Vaughan, Senior. He said that he was the owner of the farm and from the way things looked we arrived not a moment too soon. I asked him if he could help Michael. Doctor Vaughan assessed a bit further telling me that he could, but that we needed to get Mike inside quickly. The Doctor called for Vince and the well-built guy to take my son into the house.
The men picked Michael up and carried him out of the bus. I followed them all the way to the front door of the house before the young woman tried to stop me, telling me it would be better to wait outside. She said that she and her father would take good care of him. I was going to insist that they allow me inside but Rose came up and advised me not to fight with them so they could get in there to help Michael. I told the young woman to go on and help my son. She turned away from me and ran into the house. The door was cracked open, so I watched her go up the stairs to the second floor before I could bring myself to turn away.