Ray and Frank discuss.
Part 3: Sandwiches and Sacrifice
Mikey was awoken by a violent shaking. His eyes jerked open to see Frank standing over him, roughly trying to wake him. The next thing he saw was the sun in the distance.
"We're still here." Mikey pointed out the obvious.
"No one ever came." Frank shrugged, looking slightly deflated. "Would you mind standing watch for a while? I'm falling asleep over here."
Mikey saw that Frank did in fact look extremely tired and worn. He nodded and tried to get up, but then remembered the boy that had been perched on his lap all night. Mikey looked down at Gerard, who still seemed to be knocked out.
Mikey scooped up Gerard's head and had to twist around as he allowed Frank to replace him in his previous position before gently lowering Gerard's head onto Frank's lap. Gerard seemed to stir slightly but fell back into a state of sleep.
"Call me if he wakes up." Mikey said in a low voice before he turned and joined Ray.
Ray was looking not much better than Frank. His head would bob every now and then, but he kept looking around through squinted and bloodshot eyes. Mikey figured that Ray must have allowed Frank to sleep first, as he was just the kind of guy to do such a thing.
Mikey insisted to Ray that he should get some rest, and that he could watch out for help on his own. However Ray shrugged him off, insisting he was fine when that was obviously very far from the truth.
So they sat. And they waited. Still nothing met their ears but silence, and the occasional howl of the wind.
Soon enough, so did the growling of stomachs.
It was around this time that their red headed companion finally stirred. Frank called Mikey over, who gave Ray a quick shoulder squeeze before dashing over to his brother.
"Gerard..." Mikey kneeled over him, "How are you feeling?"
Gerard whined, the pain flooding back to him slowly but gradually as he came into awareness. He gripped at Frank's pants tightly, his hands balled into fists.
"I'll take that as not good." sighed Frank.
"Alright, well, I'm pretty hungry." said Mikey, "Let's try to get some food in all of us. Maybe that'll help Gerard feel better."
"We don't have very much." frowned Frank.
"We'll just have to ration, I guess." Mikey shrugged.
And so, Mikey took the sandwiches from the picnic basket and divided them each into four pieces. It was difficult as some of the sandwiches were already half eaten. He then got a couple of the water bottles and brought them over to Ray. Meanwhile, Frank helped Gerard up and had to practically carry him to where Ray and Mikey were so that they could all be gathered.
They all took their own small sandwich piece and consumed them, drinking them down with a shared water bottle. It quelled hunger for none of them, only making each of them wish they could have more food.
For four people who were used to constant five star restaurant feasts, the small ration they swallowed was almost like a little piece of torture.
"We can't have any more." Mikey sighed voicing everyone's thoughts, "We don't know how much longer we'll be here and we need to stretch out our food supply as much as we can."
They sat in silence for a moment, before the quiet state was broken by a retching noise. Beside Mikey, Gerard suddenly began vomiting on the ground, throwing back up whatever he had just consumed.
"Shit." Ray cursed.
"Why is he vomiting?" Frank wondered. A broken leg did not cause digestive problems as far as he knew.
Ray came closer and inspected Gerard's injury while Mikey rubbed Gerard's back soothingly. Ray had to tear open a part of Gerard's jeans, to reveal the area to its fullest extent.
"Shit." Ray repeated.
"What? What's wrong?" Mikey asked anxiously.
"His wound. Its infected." explained Ray.
Mikey craned his neck to see what Ray was seeing. Gerard's wound did look considerably worse, the area around it seeming reddened and swollen.
"Mikey..." Gerard said in a very frail voice, "I don't feel so good..."
"I know." Mikey consoled him, "It's going to be okay, Gee. Let's just get you back into the shade, shall we?"
Mikey lifted Gerard and carried him back into the inner part of the cavern, returning him to his spot against the wall of the cave. Ray followed.
"Here." he handed Mikey a small piece of sandwich, "Its half of my ration. I didn't eat it. Give it to Gerard, since he threw his up. He needs it more."
"Are you sure?" Mikey asked him uncertainly.
"Yeah, I'm not very hungry anyway." Ray claimed, clearly lying. Yet Mikey would not bother argue with the man.
"Thank you." Mikey said graciously as he took the piece from Ray's hand. He bent over and fed it to Gerard, who ate it quickly.
Frank walked over to them and suggested that Ray get some rest while he and Mikey continued the watch. Ray agreed and cozied up next to Gerard, placing a consoling arm around the boy as he winced and twitched.
By late afternoon, Gerard got considerably worse. The infection affected him greatly, and he developed a mild fever. Ray had called Mikey and Frank back inside to look him over, his nervousness at the singer's condition growing.
With a severely ill Gerard, dead or unserviced cell phones, and no sign of the promised rescue, the question finally arose: What if help never came?
"We can't stay here forever." Frank stated bluntly, "There's not enough supplies to even last us a week."
"We can't leave either." said Ray, "We have no idea where the next town, or any sign of life is. If we go looking for any, Gerard could easily die from overheating before we get anywhere near a place."
"He'll die without any food! So will the rest of us!" Frank argued, "And we don't have a lot of that right now!"
"Why don't we split up?" suggested Mikey, "You guys can go looking for a town, while I can stay here with Gee."
"Nu-uh." Ray shook his head, "Separation is too risky. What if we can't find you guys again? We already might lose one man, we don't want to lose both of you."
"Don't say that." Mikey muttered, seeming angered that Ray would even mention the possibility of losing his big brother.
"If we stay here, Gerard can only get worse." Frank enforced.
"I think he has way more of a fighting chance here, in a nice shaded cavern, than out there, in the blazing hot sun!" Ray snapped. ''..Besides, we don't know yet that the help isn't coming. Maybe they just got delayed or something. If we leave now, and we miss them, then we're fucked for sure!"
That last argument seemed to silence Frank. Both he and Ray then looked to Mikey as though asking for a tie breaker. Mikey thought for a moment before speaking.
"I agree...with Ray."
Frank made somewhat of a grunting noise, although Ray did not seem very happy either. He simply nodded in Mikey's direction. He then finalized his argument by saying, "It isn't a contest, Frank. This is a really serious situation. We'll stay here. We'll ration our food and water as much as we can, and wait -- "
"To rot." Frank interrupted, his arms crossed. Ray shot him a look but ignored him and continued.
" -- to see what develops."
With that, Ray left to go resume his post. Mikey went to go stay with him, despite the fact that this should have been his turn to sleep. He simply presumed that putting Frank and Ray in the same place would not be wise at the moment. And Frank went to sleep, giving a hurting Gerard a small kiss on the forehead beforehand.
Next chapter: Supplies, along with patience, begin to dwindle.