Red and the Mexicans crossed over into Arkansas with no further difficulty or interruptions. But, when they were about 5 miles into Arkansas, what appeared to be military soldiers confronted and blocked the van from passing any further.
Red stopped the van about a yard from them not knowing who they were, what they wanted and how dangerous they were.
He waited, sweating profusely, while the military started towards him with their weapons. The military and militia men outnumbered Red and the Mexicans so they did not try to do any shooting and waited to see what this meant.
What turned out to be a Marine asked him to open his window and hand over his documents. Red told the Marine he really did not have any except for his driver’s license.
The Marine told him that was fine. Red gave it to him and while he inspected it other Marines and militia men came closer to the van ready for any trouble.
The Marine asked Red what was he doing and where was he headed. Red told the Marine everything that happened and how they were trying to escape to one of the states that had seceded from the Union. The Mexicans told the military men they wanted to go back to Mexico and get out of this mess the States were in.
After inspection, the Marines told Red they have to patrol the perimeter of each seceded state for the enemies of the free Union. He told Red they have debriefing areas for those who escape the government controlled areas of the country. They told the Mexicans they are not allowing anyone to return to Mexico now but they had plenty of work for them if they wanted some.
The Mexicans wanted a safe area of the country and jobs. Red would be going to the debriefing center where doctors tend to emotional and physical wounds suffered while in the states under Mr. No Blame.
The military allowed them to pass through the barricade. The Mexicans felt joy over being free again. God bless those men shouted the Mexicans in pure relief. Red was too tired and in shock to say much of anything.
Once they arrived at the debriefing center, the Mexicans told Red they would look him up once they settled with their new jobs and a place to stay. Red was glad they wanted to see him again. With all they had been through together Red felt like the 4 Mexicans were his best friends now.
Red went through a lot of therapy while at the debriefing center. During that time, his beloved Jeremy went to a quarantine animal hospital. All animals coming into the state needed to be inspected. Red expected to unite with Jeremy in about 2 weeks. But, that never happened. When Red went to pick up Jeremy the vets told him Jeremy had cancer. Red had no money to save Jeremy so he agreed to put Jeremy down so he wouldn’t suffer any longer.
Several months later, the Mexicans settled in with their jobs and a couple of rooms provided by citizens of Arkansas who were helping people who relocated due to Mr. No Blame’s policies. They found the people of Arkansas to be friendly, helpful and full of life.
They visited Red mostly on Friday nights where they played cards.
The Mexicans noticed that Red seemed to be in another world and he rarely spoke about his life. They told him all the stories of what they were up to on their new jobs and the people they met and enjoyed. Red seemed to like hearing their escapades.
One Friday night, the Mexicans showed up at Red’s room for their regular card games but there was no answer when they knocked on the door. They found the door unlocked however and entered into Red’s small, two room apartment.
A letter addressed to them was lying on the card table.
I am so grateful to you for all you did to help me escape Mr. No Blame’s state of tyranny, but I find I cannot go on. What I lost, my wife, my baby, my business, my home, my dog is more than I can handle. I suffer nights of no sleep and nightmares of terror. The dreams are mostly about the FEMA camp and those children being shot down. I cannot look at a child because I feel like I should have done something to save them from their horrible deaths and being thrown in an open grave as if they were trash. I cannot get that vision out of my head. It plagues me night and day. I yearn for my family and the black holes beckon me. I cannot keep myself from being sucked into the blackness.
With that said, I say adios to you, good friends and may we meet on the other side.
The Mexicans were shocked and found Red lying on his bed in the other room. He had shot himself in the head with one of the guns they stole from the black shirts they killed along the way.
The Mexicans cried over Red’s untimely death and wondered after all they had gone through how Red could throw his life away. However, the Mexicans knew all too well what Mr. No Blame’s tyranny and wreckage did to many people who found no reason to live. They saw the things Red had but it was the first time for Red. Apparently Red could not live with those memories and in part they could not blame him. He lost so much, so quickly, had no idea what was going on for so long. They believed the damage done to Red’s mind and his beliefs was so brutal that his mind broke.
They knelt and prayed for Red. The Mexicans crossed their hearts and started out with the sign of the cross: In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
No one knew the torment,
That you were going through;
We only kept on seeing
What we really wanted to.
We saw the outward smile,
But not your inner pain;
We never really dreamt,
That you would never smile again.
Forgive us if we failed to see,
What we could do to aid;
Or if we failed to comprehend,
How much you were afraid.
We pray your mental anguish,
Will now forever cease;
And that your deep anxieties,
Will be replaced by peace.
We know your pain invaded,
Every single thought you had;
It made you cry internally,
And deeply, deeply sad.
Our lives have all been better,
Because you have been there;
So now we leave your memory,
In God’s all-loving care.
The Mexicans reported Red’s death and decided they needed to help other people who may felt the same way as Red. They had a new mission in their lives, realizing now that there are people scarred for the rest of their lives by the Mr. No Blame administration.