Betsy Carter
Chapter 19

Copyright© 2022 by Lazlo Zalezac

Betsy turned on her cell phone, and set it down on the instrument panel. The light, although not very bright, managed to displace the overwhelming and depressing darkness inside the cabin. She looked over at Ben and saw that he was looking a little pale.

“Is that better?” Betsy asked.

“It’s much better,” Ben said.

“Good. I got Sharon’s cell phone next to the two guys who are trapped in the back,” Betsy said.

“How are they?”

“They keep drifting in and out of consciousness. They aren’t awake long enough to tell me just how bad their injuries are,” Betsy said.

“That’s bad.”

“I’m worried about them. I fear that they won’t survive if we don’t get rescued soon,” Betsy said.

She wasn’t all that worried about the injuries that she could see. They were concussed, but she didn’t have anything on hand to help them. It was the ones that she couldn’t see that worried her. Was there internal bleeding? Did they have spinal injuries? Were there fractured bones? Did they have brain injuries? She didn’t know and, even if she had known, there wasn’t much she could do for any of them except minimize additional chances of injuries.

“I’m sure that you’re doing everything you can to help them,” Ben said.

“I wish I could do more,” Betsy said looking worried.

“You’ve done everything you can.”

Betsy said, “I was thinking that if I left here at dawn, I could probably reach town about noon depending on the terrain between here and there. Once there, I’d let everyone know where the plane is. I’d grab a couple of chainsaws and come back here to clear out some space for helicopters to land. We should probably be able to get some help back here by ten tomorrow night.”

“I think you’re being a little overly optimistic,” Ben said.

Betsy laughed. “I don’t. It’s almost like I’ve been in training for this my whole life. I can run faster and further than any human on the planet. I’ve been running parkour for five years. Water won’t stop me. I can swim farther and faster than anyone. I’ll get there and back tomorrow.”

“Why do I believe you?” Ben said.

“Because you’re smart,” Betsy said.

“I appreciate you coming in here and talking to me,” Ben said.

“I’m going to send Jimmy in here for a bit. He needs to be doing something other then sitting around getting worried,” Betsy said.

The air had a bit of nip in it. She took a moment to adjust the two lightweight little aircraft blankets over him. They weren’t much, but hopefully they’d keep him from freezing during the night. Everyone else was going -to be wearing multiple layers of clothes from their luggage, in addition to using the blankets. Ben and the two injured men were at the greatest risk of hypothermia.

“That’s a good idea,” Ben said. “I’d enjoy the company.”

“Hold on. I’ll be right back,” Betsy said.

She returned after a minute with two cans of soda and two packages of peanuts.

Handing the soda and peanuts to him, she said, “I wish we had more food, but the peanuts will stave off your hunger. The sodas will keep you hydrated. The sugar in them won’t hurt.”

“Thanks,” Ben said.

“I’ll send Jimmy in, now,” Betsy said.

She made her way through the darkened body of the plane. The footing was treacherous since debris was scattered all over the place. She’d have to lead Jimmy back into the plane. She paused by where Millie was watching over the two men.

“Any change?” Betsy asked.

“Jake was awake long enough to tell me his name. The guy next to him is his brother John.”

“That’s an improvement, I guess,” Betsy said.

“He was in a lot of pain,” Millie said.

Betsy said, “I’ll sit here for a bit. Why don’t you send Jimmy in? I’d like him to spend a little time talking to the pilot.”

“Sure,” Millie said.

Millie carefully made her way out of the plane. She had to go through the side door. Earlier, Betsy had ripped out a bunch of the seats and piled them across the opening at the rear of the plane. She had ripped out a hundred feet of the wiring and used it to secure the chairs in place. Nothing of any substantial size was going to get through that.

A few minutes later, Jimmy gingerly entered the plane. He stood there to let his eyes get used to the dark.

“Hey, Jimmy.”

“Hi, Betsy.”

“I’d like you to go into the cabin and talk to Ben. He’s the pilot.”

“What do you want me to talk to him about?”

Betsy smiled. “He’s hurt and scared. I think he just needs to see friendly face. You can ask him about how he became a pilot. The more you keep the subject to something light and friendly, the better.”

“I can do that,” Jimmy said.

“I know you can,” Betsy said.

Jimmy made his way to the cabin. Betsy watched him wondering who he would eventually serve. She could feel it in him. She thought it might be the Goddess. He had a lot of interest in natural things. Of course, he could end up serving the God with a pet bear. One never knew.

There was a groan from one of the two men. She leaned over to check him out. His eyes fluttered open.

The man mumbled, “Where am I?”

“You’re in a plane,” Betsy answered.

“What happened?”

“We crashed. How are you feeling?”

“My legs hurt. My arms hurt,” he said so weakly that she could barely hear him.

Relieved, Betsy said, “This is going to sound strange, but that’s good news. It means that your spine isn’t damaged too badly.”

“Sleepy...”

“Get some rest,” Betsy said thinking that she was in for a long night.

She was pleased to learn that he had feeling in his arms and legs. She was still concerned about moving him. She wanted him a little more alert before trying to get some fluids in him. She could just imagine him choking on it. That would get messy, very quickly.

She sat back trying to plan out what she would have to do the next day. She could feel that time was of the essence. She knew that she could make it into town fairly quickly although she had no real idea how rough the terrain was between here and there. With a lot of luck, she’d be able to manage seven or eight miles an hour.

She rummaged around around for a minute before finding the passenger manifest and a pen. She turned it over and wrote down the GPS co-ordinates. She turned it face-up and wrote the condition of each person next to their name. She figured that someone would need that information to organize a rescue.

Melvin came in and said, “Why don’t you go out there and sit by the fire a bit?”

“I’m fine here,” Betsy said.

“It might be a good idea if you went out there,” Melvin said.

The way he said it suggested that his suggestion was motivated by more than generosity. She had a feeling that some trouble was brewing. There was only one likely source of trouble.

“Cal?”

“Yes.”

Betsy said, “Okay.”

Betsy stepped around from the side of the plane in time to hear Cal say, “It’s simple. We leave them behind and walk out of here. They’re gonna die anyway.”

“No they’re not,” Betsy said.

“Yes they are,” Cal said. “We’ve got to worry about ourselves.”

“No. You are going to stay here with Millie, Melvin, Sharon, and Jimmy to take care of them. I’ll get help,” Betsy said starting to pace around.

“No way,” Cal said. “I’m leaving in the morning.”

With a slightly evil smile on her face, she said, “I’ll let you go with me if you can keep up. Otherwise, I’ll just leave you behind. You know ... I’ve got to worry about myself.”

“Bullshit. You’ll be trying to keep up with me,” Cal said.

Betsy was feeling a lot better now than she had in the past few weeks. Her energy had returned and she was ready to go now. She knew that she wouldn’t stand much of a chance running blindly through the dark woods in the middle of the night.

She said, “We’ll see.”

Millie asked, “Are the two men going to be okay?”

“They’ll need medical care as soon as possible, but I think they’ll be fine.”

Cal muttered, “You should put them out of their misery.”

“How’s the back, Cal?” Betsy asked.

“It hurts.”

“Maybe I should put you out of your misery,” Betsy said brightly.

“Bitch.”

Betsy turned to Sharon and asked, “How are you holding up?”

“I’m okay, I guess. I’ve been getting cramps in my stomach,” she said.

“Let me know if it gets worse,” Betsy said looking worried.

Betsy was afraid that the accident had put a lot of stress on the fetus. There was the physical damage of getting tossed around in the plane. Now there was the emotional strain of dealing with being lost in the woods. She put a hand on Sharon’s stomach. The feeling of power was still there, but it was a little weaker.

“You don’t need to worry about me,” Sharon said. “You’ve got enough to worry about already.”

“I’m fine,” Betsy said.

Millie said, “You should take it easy. You’ve been running around nonstop all day.”

“That’s nothing new,” Betsy said.

“You really should get some rest,” Millie said.

“I’ll get some sleep later tonight,” Betsy said. Turning to Sharon, Betsy said, “Tell me a little about Jimmy.”

“He’s a good kid. He’s different than other kids. He’s a little more mature, thoughtful, and introspective than other kids his age,” Sharon said.

“I noticed that.”

“He’s smart as a whip. He takes after his dad more than me.”

“His dad?”

“Jim is an engineer and a pretty good one. He’s in Montreal working on some project. I discovered I was pregnant and wanted to share the news with him. That’s the kind of news that should be delivered in person and not over the telephone,” Sharon said.

“I can understand that.”

“I thought we would fly out and visit with him a little. We’d have a nice dinner out somewhere as a family and, once Jimmy went to bed, Jim and I would have a little time for a romantic time in bed. I was going to tell him then.”

“You really had that all planned out,” Betsy said.

“I remember every time I broke the news to Melvin that he was going to be a father again. I can’t even tell you all of the emotions that I felt. It was so great watching the expression on his face when I’d tell him,” Millie said.

“You should have seen Jim’s face. You’d have thought he won the lottery when I told him I was expecting Jimmy,” Sharon said with a warm glow on her face.

“He did. He won grand prize in the lottery of life,” Millie said.

Betsy continued to pace around listening to the conversation. She didn’t think she’d ever get to experience that. She didn’t say a word.

“We’ve been trying to have another child ever since Jimmy turned two. After six years, I had given up hope,” Sharon said.

“I don’t know how many women have given up and adopted a baby only to discover a month later that she was pregnant,” Millie said.

 
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