Monday, October 23, 2023

Return to the Wastelands? excerpt

The day he surrendered to Captain Bryan Howard was supposed to be the best day of young Robert Jenkins’ life, and maybe it was, but something never felt quite right to him.

The young Captain, who had also once been a member of the Rose Clan, had taken him back to a mobile unit, and Robert couldn’t believe everything he saw. Wherever he looked, there were soldiers, and these weren’t like the gang members he was used to seeing; these people were heavily armed. Robert had seen a few military style weapons in the Wastelands, but nothing like what these people were carrying, and even though he got a few weird looks, everyone was nice to him once Captain Howard explained his situation.

“Go ahead,” Captain Howard had said, pointing at what he had called a tub that was now filled with steaming water and bubbles. Robert didn’t understand.

“You’ve never had a bath, have you?” the Captain asked.

“I’ve heard of them,” Robert said, “But, I’ve never seen anything like this…what am I supposed to do?”

“You take your clothes off, and you get in and soak. There’s more soap there and a wash cloth. You clean yourself, and then you get out and dry off, and there’s some clean clothes over there that you can put on.”

The idea of a clean body and clean clothes was odd to him. He’d taken numerous showers, but most of them had been very cold, so he’d gotten out as fast as he could, and he’d often washed his clothes in a sink before, but Robert could actually smell a fragrance coming from the clothes that were sitting next to the toilet.

“You can stay in as long as you want,” the Captain said with a smile.

Robert suddenly felt his stomach turn and he started to tremble. “Where will you be?” he cautiously asked.

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