Sequel: Their Rebellion

When the Sun Goes Down


I sat at the wheel of the boat, making sure that we were still heading in the right direction. Connor and Murphy sat below with their father, just waiting for his time to come. Even though my vision was blurred through tears, I managed to keep the boat on course. I cleared my throat slightly, still feeling the urge to break down and sob. A large sniper rifle sat beside me, waiting to hold the wheel in place.

I was waiting for Abby to come up and get me, telling me that Noah was on his way out. I couldn’t believe that one simple act of pure kindness had resulted in Noah’s infection. One simple act to save another had proven foolish. I wiped at my eyes and looked down at the compass. The twins had been down below all night. The sun was slowly rising, making it known that no one had slept in twenty four hours.

I heard the patter of quick foot steps on the stairs, but I refused to turn around. Maybe if I prolonged going downstairs, it would slow Noah’s passing. I heard quick breaths being made as Abby came to my side. Quickly, and in a shaky voice, she said, “It’s time, Adrienne.”

I bit down on my lower lip, feeling the metallic taste of blood crawl along my tongue. Slowly, I grabbed hold of the rifle and shoved it securely under the wheel. When I was sure it wouldn’t slip and allow us to float freely, I followed Abby back down below the deck. I took my time, as I was afraid to see Noah’s status. I had seen up close what this disease could do to someone.

I didn’t want to see it again. When I had reached Noah’s side, he was lying down in one of the cots. I cupped a hand over my mouth, forcefully biting back a loud sob. Connor and Murphy were at his sides, holding onto his hands as he faught for his next breath of air. Their heads were bowed in respect as Noah coughed up what was stuck in his lungs. He groaned loudly, letting us know he was in pain.

I slowly stepped forward and looked down at the old man. His skin had paled severely within the last few hours and sweat seemed to pour from him. His hands twitched around the twins, as if trying to grip their hands more. I knelt down in between the brothers and hugged Abby into my side. She was whimpering quietly through the dark and silent event. Noah opened his mouth to speak, but what came out was only silence.

After a few moments of struggling, I said, “Go on, Noah. Say it.”

“S - Such a bea - beautiful light. Don’t ya see it, boys?”He whimpered.

“Aye, Da.”Connor nodded his head.

“Beautiful light.”Murphy choked out.

They tightened their grip on his hands as Noah let out a long, loud cry of pain. Low gurgles erupted from within his throat as he tried to clear it. He turned his head in our direction and gave us all a genuinely happy smile. Through his whispers, he said, “I’ll see ya boys when ya get home.”

“We’ll be home soon, Da.”Connor whispered sweetly.

I watched as Noah’s chest rose and fell through a long period of time. After a few moments after he had told us he’d be heading home, his chest fell one last time. I held my breath as I waited for it to rise for a fresh breath of air, but it never did. Connor and Murphy broke down in tears, shoving Noah’s hand up against their foreheads. Abby began to cry as well, leaving me to comfort three people.

I choked out a sob before pulling Abby’s head into my chest. I pressed a kiss to her head before resting my forehead on hers. I began to let go, allowing myself to cry and feel the sorrow I had been for the last twenty four hours. A low, sad howl began to filter through the room, which took me by surprise. I took in a deep breath and realized after a few moments that the loud wails were in fact coming from me.