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End of the Trump Era: Chapter Seven

Copyright J. S. Raynor 2017

Chapter Seven: The awful truth

Jason and Rebecca had checked some of the other hotel rooms, finding several frightened children, yet there was still no sign of any adults. Many of the children were between six and ten years old and all asked where their parents could be. By now, Rebecca felt certain that her brother’s deathly wish had really come true and, somehow, they now had to live with the consequences. She was sensible enough not to reveal this fact and tried to console the terrified children.

Jason’s guilt had changed him and he genuinely seemed concerned for the mass of orphans they had discovered. Rebecca was still carrying the baby, while Kelly’s brother, Peter, stayed close by. It was nearly ten o’clock and Rebecca, feeling tired, decided she needed sleep and returned to their room. “Can you bring Kelly’s carry-cot into our room, please, Jason?  I think we all need to get some sleep.”  Her brother meekly complied, saying that he would sleep in the bed in his parents’ room. After tucking Peter into Jason’s bed, she climbed into the other, leaving the carry-cot between the beds. It took a while, but, eventually, she fell into a troubled sleep.

When she awoke, the next morning, Rebecca wondered if it had all been a bad dream, but, when she saw the baby and Peter still asleep, the awful truth came back to her. If only she could hug her mum and dad, everything would be alright, but she knew that there would never be another chance for such comfort. Kelly had woken during the night, but Rebecca had brought her feeding bottle and powdered milk into her room and was, thankfully, able to feed the baby. The responsibility of acting as “mother” to Kelly and Peter weighed heavily on her and, in those few, short hours, she had matured noticeably. Rebecca lay there quietly for a while and then heard Peter stirring.

He sat up in bed, looked around and promptly burst into tears. “I want my mummy and daddy!” he wailed.

“Listen, Peter. I am also missing my parents, but we don’t know where they have gone. All we can do is look after ourselves.”

“I’m hungry!”  Peter, frustrated by this situation, seemed inconsolable. Rebecca managed to find a few biscuits in an attempt to keep him quiet. Kelly was asleep and Rebecca decided to lie in her bed for a bit longer. She thought about the smiling, helpful catering staff in the restaurant and knew that, today, there would be nobody to greet them or prepare food. She just hoped that they would find enough food to satisfy their hunger, but, for how long?  Tears filled the young girl’s eyes as she pondered the possibilities of what could be a very uncertain future. With a heavy heart, she climbed out of bed, went to the bathroom and washed her face. She nearly had a shower and then thought, “What’s the point?”

Returning to the bedroom, she asked, “Peter, do you have a pushchair for Kelly?”

“Yes, in our room.”  The boy looked excited. “Are we going to look for mummy and daddy?”

She felt bad as she lied, “I think we should go to the restaurant, but we will keep looking. Okay?”

The boy looked happier at the possible prospect of finding his parents. “Okay.”

Rebecca pushed the door open to the adjoining room. “Jason!  Wake up!”  Her brother stirred and turned to face her.

“What is it?  Are mum and dad back?”

“What do you think?”  Her sarcastic reply reflected the blame she placed on her brother. “They are never going to come back, thanks to you!  We should go to the restaurant and see what we can find to eat.”

“Oh, shit!”  He pulled the untidy covers back and jumped out of bed. “I was hoping that it was all a bad dream.”

“Careful with your language. We now have the responsibility of looking after a small boy and his baby sister. Come on, hurry up. I’m hungry.”

He quickly pulled on his clothes and followed, somewhat meekly.

They found Kelly’s pushchair, placed the baby inside and Rebecca took the responsibility to push the infant. They could have looked in the Club lounge, but, instead, decided to take the lift down to the ground floor and head for one of the large restaurants.

As they walked, many children seemed to be wandering aimlessly, all seemingly in a state of confusion. The sight which met them on entering the restaurant shocked them even more. Many tables had part-eaten food, cutlery lying where the adults had been holding them at the point when they had disappeared. Trays with left-over food, broken plates and dishes littered the floor. The grilling hobs were blackened by the over-cooked meats left by the missing chefs. Fires had broken out in some cooking areas, but sprinklers had extinguished the flames, leaving a sodden, blackened mess.

Piles of clothes lay abandoned where the adults had either been sitting or standing as their bodies had vanished into thin air.

Jason looked with dismay at this scene of devastation, feeling that he was responsible for what was happening. “Let’s look in the kitchens to see what we can find to eat.”  As they pushed the doors open, a similar scene met their eyes. Part-prepared foods lay on the worktops, while water was pouring from a tap, presumably because somebody had turned it on just before they had disappeared. Jason turned it off and looked around for something salvageable.

The newly-responsible Rebecca had a suggestion. “Fruit, bread and cakes are going to be the safest things to eat. See what you can find, Jason.”  The pushchair came in handy as it had a zip-up bag attached to it. The two of them found apples, bananas, oranges, many wrapped cakes and biscuits which they greedily plundered to fill the bag. Rebecca gave some cake to Peter, who hungrily devoured it. There was still masses of food left which, no doubt, other children would soon find and plunder. The nagging question was, “What happens when the food runs out?”

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