She looked at them and finally noticed that one
was shot in the forehead and the other had been shot through his glasses and
into his eye.
stood up, instinctively smoothing out her dress as she did so. The others saw
her, and everyone but Trent followed her lead.
get up," Mi said to him. She tapped him on the shoulder but he kept rocking and
on, Trent. Get up," Yolanda said to him. "Let’s get out of here," she said as
she tried grabbing his arm and pulling him up. Brindin helped her and they
finally got their friend to his feet.
The six
of them slowly started walking towards the exit, moving around spilled food, broken
dinnerware, turned over chairs and tables, other debris, and, of course, dead
bodies. Caitlin tried breathing through her mouth as much as possible, with all
the different smells combining to create a stench.
looked towards the entrance at Adam. He had picked up the glasses
that fell off Josh’s head after he had punched him. Adam held the thick-framed glasses
by the edges with one hand, the lanyard still hanging from them. They’d have to
walk directly past him to leave the building. She pushed her shoulders back
just a bit and felt her heart beat just a bit faster.
They had
to wait in a line at the exit, with their rescuers making sure
everyone who was leaving didn’t need immediate attention. The continued sounds
of crying and distress faded from Caitlin’s ears as she was now close
enough to get a good look at him.
stood well over six feet tall. Caitlin didn’t know exactly how much but Derrick
was six feet and Adam seemed so much bigger than him. He had closely cut
white — not blond and not graying — hair. He was muscular, and she could even see
some of that definition through his all-black uniform. She had expected that
he’d be wearing a long-sleeve shirt but he wore a short-sleeved shirt instead,
with his hairy arms exposed and his hands covered by black, tactical gloves. He
spoke every now and then, giving orders to subordinates and acknowledging the
gratitude of some of the patrons as they left. It was a deep, smooth voice. He
was clean-shaven and the dominant presence in the room.
flushed and she looked away, turning her head so that she caught a glimpse of
Derrick. His excuse for a beard was matted with what she guessed were spittle
and tears. His shirt was untucked and he had his hands in his pockets, leaving
the task of ensuring that Trent remained on his feet solely to Brindin and
Yolanda. They moved forward in the line and each step they got closer to Adam
the more Derrick’s shoulders slumped. Brindin’s did too. All three of the males
looked at the ground.

Caitlin turned her head again and now got an even closer look at the
carnage near the front of the room, including the remains of the formerly
haughty "Josh." She almost looked away immediately but something forced her to
linger on him for a bit longer.

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