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Beast 2

2.1

With it being just a little after 8 am on a warm, bright morning, Daniel Allen emerged from the house that he had inherited along with the name that he had been given. Eight months had passed and still he was finding it difficult to get used to his new name, his new home, his new old cheap blue car, the low paying office job he acquired and basically his new life in general. This new life he has, it just wasn’t him.

Wearing a cheap light blue suit that came with his new name and new life etc Daniel got into his cheap light blue car and was not at all surprised that he could not get it to start. The car was also far too small for a man of his size. The fact that it wouldn’t start made it a frustrating start to his day.

Daniel took several deep breaths to keep himself calm. The anger management classes his job forced him to take were actually working. Upon exiting his automobile Daniel was greeted by his next door neighbour.

‘Good morning Roland’

‘Good morning Mrs. Dempsey, you do know my name is Daniel Allen now Right?’

‘Daniel spaniel, just because your mail comes with a different name on the envelope doesn’t mean that your actual and real name is no longer Roland’.

‘You are right Mrs. Dempsey, but Daniel is the name I must go by now, ok?’

‘Have a nice day Roland’ Mrs. Dempsey went back inside her house, ‘by the way, call me Sandra’.

‘I will but only if you call me Daniel’. Mrs. Dempsey had closed her door before Daniel had managed to get his last sentence out.

Daniel paused for a moment before he began to repeat the same sentence three times over ‘my name is Roland’. Before he could say it a fourth time he was interrupted by the delivery of the morning post. If things could not seem any worse the fact that his mail was coming in the name of Daniel Allen just made him feel that tad bit worse. However his spirits would soon be lifted for among his bills was an envelope which was a little different from all the other envelopes. It was a kind of envelope that he had not only seen once before, but had also received once before.

The only difference between the first and second time of receiving such an envelope was the name on the front. Roland or Daniel, whatever name he wants to go by was set to go back to the island. The ‘Beast’ was set to return, with only one thing on his mind, to seek and destroy one Claude Raymonde. The one thing Roland would be sure of is that one way or another Claude would indeed be on the island.

Roland would have four months before he would be due to arrive at a pre determined location prior to being shipped out the island so every spare moment, every spare second Roland would spend getting himself ready, getting himself in shape or as much into shape as he possibly could.

Having joined a gym under the name Daniel Allen would only fuel his anger. When the time would come for him to make his return there will be no need to remember any of his anger management breathing exercises. He would be free to unleash all of his anger and all of his rage. This time the ‘beast’ would be stronger and angrier than he had ever been before.

The time came when Roland would have to make his own way to a remote location. He was told where this location is and he was to go there alone at a pacific time and ordered to not inform anyone of where he was going or as to why he was going there. As always, the location of the ‘animal’ island remains known to only those behind organising the online broadcast, as to who these people are has also remained unknown. So when Roland or Daniel Allen as it said on his invite, arrived to the remote location, he waited and waited.

A large silver canister came flying through the air towards Roland and landed ten feet in front of him. Roland took a step back not knowing what to make of what just happened. A moment passed then three more large silver canisters came at him in a similar fashion in quick succession, each coming to a halt at a similar distance away from him, one landing to his left, one to his right and another right behind him.

Five seconds passed after the moment the fourth canister had landed behind Roland, a gaseous substance began to pour out the first canister on front of him. Them the same occurred with the other canisters. Roland stood his ground and smiled. It was time to go back to the place he had been longing to get back to. A year had passed since he was last there. He knew the gas would make him pass out but he also knew that when he awakes, he will be back in the one place in the world where he feels most at home.

It was not necessary for Roland to endure a task, an initiation or anything of the sort as he had been expected to the year before. The scars on his left arm had for those previous twelve months served to remind him of the beast he is, was and forever will be, so when Roland awoke back on the island so too did the beast within him. When he did awake he felt good, strong and he was more than ready to deal with whatever would come at him.

Roland would not hang around at all like he did when he had first arrived twelve months earlier. He would not be caught off guard. If anything he was going to have a much more destructive first day back on the island than what he had the first time round. Only moments after beginning his walk, Roland came across a much smaller man than himself. This smaller man had only just woke and stood from where he awoke from.

‘Oh crap’ spoke this man knowing only too well who it was that was about to come right at him.

Roland’s walking pace soon became a slow run. As the smaller man turned away from Roland in an attempt to make an escape Roland picked up speed. His recent physical training was already paying off. With ease Roland caught up to the smaller man and clobbered him on the back of his head. Roland really liked this knockout punch of his and was certain that he would get to use it again.

Even though the little guy before him was completely out cold Roland was not done. Roland picked up the what was to him a sack of skin and bones and brought him to a nearby tree and rammed the little guy back first into the thick tree trunk. Not only could he hear the sound of a spine break but Roland could also feel that the body he was holding had just lost all stability. This was not the first time he had heard or caused a spine to snap. Having dropped what he had Roland began to admire his handy work. What felt like an all too easy beginning to a second stint in a place where few leave with their lives, was about to become a lot more difficult.

‘Hey big man’ came a loud deep voice from a little off in the distance behind Roland.

‘I would like to see you try that with me’ continued the voice.

Roland turned and smile upon seeing a man as big as himself looking back at him.

‘I don’t have any weapons’ spoke Roland’s newest adversary raising his arms.

‘I do’ responded Roland raising his fists, ‘I have two of them’.

Roland was getting used to this smiling thing that he was getting to do. It was something he learned how to do on his previous excursion to the island. Roland was in for a fight and from the moment his set his eyes upon this monster that faced him, he began to relish the thought of being in for a fight, a fight he may just have as much a chance of losing as much as he does have of winning.

‘I know you. I watched you a year ago. You were good, tough while also being soft at times. You destroyed your competition but you do know you really didn’t have any competition at all right? There was no one on this island this time last year who was in any way like me. I am tough with no soft side. I will not let any woman affect me like you were affected...’

Roland stood one spot and watched this other big man move about as he spoke and Roland was happy to let him move about and talk. It was only when the man began to speak indirectly about Rachel that Roland began to get annoyed and annoying a big angry beast is never a good thing to do even if you are a big angry beast yourself.

‘That woman was your weak spot. If she had not of been killed for you, would you have been able to kill her if it had come down to just the two of you?’

The man kept his distance as he spoke, circling Roland who at this point had begun to pace from side to side over a distance of about ten feet or so.

‘You do not like any of this do you? You do not like me talking about a woman you met here on this very island. Rachel I believe her name is or should I say was’.

That was it. Roland had listened to enough of what his counterpart had to say and before anything else could be said Roland began to make a charge which would culminate with a dive towards the other man’s torso. The dive had been sidestepped and Roland was left looking at tiny black ants running around in the dirt only inches away from his face.

‘I see you have picked up a bit of speed and agility. Having lost a little flab from around that massive gut of yours would have helped with that but unfortunately for you, you are still just a little slow’.

Roland made it up onto his hands and knees and spoke for the first time since coming back to the island.

‘What is your name?’

‘Why do you want to know that?’

Roland received a kick to his gut knocking him onto his back. After a moment or two and a bit of coughing he would respond.

‘So I could give less of a shit about you when I kill you’.

‘Ha that is a good one. I must remember that one’.

When Roland moved to sit up he looked around. There was no sign of that other man. He was gone for the time being. Roland would look forward to their next encounter. Before Roland could make it to his feet it began to rain, lightly at first but before long it was coming down heavy.

Making his way to seek shelter from the rain, Roland was taken back, back in time to when he was last on the island with the rain coming down so heavily. For he would have this sense, a feeling, an out of body feeling where he would helplessly standby and watch, watch the moment that Rachel dies in his own arms. It was as if he stood no more than twenty feet from another version of himself. The version of himself that removed an arrow out of Rachel and could do nothing other than hold her as she struggled to breathe.

It is tough. Not just being on the island but Roland’s whole life in general. If anything Roland feels more at home on the island than he does anywhere else either in the world or in time. This Daniel Allen persona with the cheap car, cheap suit and crappy job, it’s not him. He does not like that, if anything he despises it. At least on the island he can be himself, his real self whether his life is or has been tough. No having to restrain his anger. No wishing he could knock his boss out and not being actually able to do so, and also having had been able to have fallen in love.

All this only poses the what if questions. What if Roland makes it off the island for a second time? Does he just accept another new identity that might come with an even worse car and an even worse suit? Suppress his anger, thoughts and emotions? Of course if he does not make it off then he has no need to worry about what the future holds. There is the one matter however that Roland wants so badly to resolve before anything else can even be considered or dealt with and that is to seek revenge. Seek out Claude Raymonde and take his life, anything after that, well that is all at this point an unknown. Something else that is an unknown is whether or not Claude Raymonde is actually on the island. That however was something Roland never doubted.

2.2

Roland awoke at dawn on his second day back on the island. Laying only feet away from him and to his right was something which confirmed what he already knew. Claude Raymonde was indeed on the island and he knew that Roland had returned. For what it was that was laying next to Roland was a bow and a satchel of arrows. Thing was now that should Roland be happy with the confirmation that Raymonde was indeed on the island and the fact that he is in possession of a weapon? Or be angered by the fact that someone got so close to him while he slept, close enough to kill him? Leaving behind something too which could be seen as an item which is as good as sticking one to Roland. Almost like saying ‘I killed your lady friend with these’.

However which way Roland would deal with the moment in which he awoke, he now had a weapon other than his fists to carry around and use as how he sees fit. Though he would first reacquaint himself with the bow and arrows in a manner in which he get to feed, and feed he would. Catching himself a meal now was something which already was proving that much easier than it had twelve months earlier. Roland would be cautious too in cooking his food. He had no problem taking on all comers but he would rather not do so while he was feeding.

Feeding time, for the time being was done so for not being one to stay still very long Roland moved on fully aware that camera’s were watching his every move. There was a wide open space up ahead and Roland did not like the looks of this for two reasons. One, of course being the fact that he would be moving through a wide open space leaving himself open to attack, especially if there were others out there who would also be wielding weapons. And two, being that this was a part of the island he had not seen or been to before, so where he was going and why he was going there had no meaning in particular, other than to progress along the path of his two missions. Those being to destroy anyone and everyone who is part of this ‘animal’ show, and seek and destroy the one man he so badly wanted to seek revenge on.

The one thing that Roland had completely forgotten about was the fact that there was actual animals on the island such as the wolves he had encountered the year before. Just because he presumed that those particular wolves were all dead did not mean that there could not be any other wolves on the island.

One such wolf came running toward him from some way off in the distance up ahead of him. It did not particularly look in any way menacing but Roland did not want to take any chances and aimed an arrow along the bow. The wolf came to a halt. Roland eased off on the arrow after which the wolf continued to move toward Roland. The wolf let out a quiet howl and circled Roland. Roland did not particularly want to kill it. Besides, wolf for his next meal did not sound in any way appetising, but if he needed to he would have no problem eating whatever comes his way.

It seemed friendly enough for the moment anyway so Roland let it be. It also seemed that this wolf was looking for a companion more than anything else. For this moment anyway Roland had found himself a new friend, an ally. How long this would last and if it could last was another thing. This ally would need a name and the first one that came to Roland’s mind was Wolfie.

Roland carried with him a back pack, a small light weight ruck sack on his back. He had some meat in it from the animal he had cooked a little while earlier so he took some and fed it to Wolfie. Wolfie devoured what he had been fed and began to run up ahead of Roland. Before he got too far Wolfie stopped, turned back toward Roland and whimpered. Wolfie stayed and waited for Roland to get closer.

‘What have you got there boy? What have you found?’

Roland had to stop, turn and move away when he discovered what Wolfie had come across. A decaying corpse lay in the foot high grass. Who knows how long it has been there? It was spotted with flesh and worn clothing. The stench was unbearable and even made the big man sick to his stomach. He did manage to keep down the food he had recently eaten and needed to down some water which he had in his ruck sack to rid his mouth of the taste of vomit he could nearly feel coming up. Roland continued on his way. Wolfie began clawing at the dirt next to the body.

‘Come on boy, leave it be’.

From off in the distance an oriental man came running at great speed towards Roland before coming to a halt about thirty feet away from him. To Roland, this man on front of him could be not taller than five foot seven or five foot eight and no more than one hundred and seventy pounds.

The man ripped off his own shirt to reveal his slim but somewhat muscular physique and began to prance around and make noises as if he was Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan or the like. Roland placed his ruck sack on the ground next to Wolfie who just lay down making a slight whimper sound as if to say this new visitor is going to get his ass whipped.

Roland flinched when the oriental man darted toward him before retreating. If he knew anything at all about his opponent then the man may not have even considered doing what he just had. It only served to anger and to awaken the beast. However the oriental man did manage to run, jump and jump so high that he was able to push himself of off Roland’s chest with his right foot then kick Roland in the face with his left foot. A pretty impressive manoeuvre it was, and it brought Roland down to one knee.

The attack continued with another kick to Roland’s head. Still not having been totally knocked to the ground, Roland got back to his feet and was close enough to grab his new acquaintance by the throat. He squirmed and squirmed and Roland raised him up off the ground with one hand. Once again the oriental man used his feet. The right foot of push off and away from Roland and the left connecting with the right side of Roland’s face.

Roland managed to stay standing but lost the grip he had on his opponent who fell and only struggled a little to get back to his feet. Roland was bleeding from the right side of his face, right up from beside his eye. Fuming Roland went straight at the other man and swung wildly looking for that one knockout punch which was elusive on that attempt. With his other fist Roland threw another punch which also missed.

The injury to the eye was becoming a hindrance, making it difficult for Roland to see anything at all let alone see the guy who he was aiming to destroy. Roland began swinging even more wildly and was becoming further and further away from hitting his intended target. He himself becoming open game, an easy target to hit. Wolfie barked. It sounded like to Roland that Wolfie was to his left. Roland took a punch to his left side. Wolfie barked again and this time it came from Roland’s right, this was followed but a hit to the right side of Roland’s head.

When Wolfie barked again Roland was ready. The bark came from behind him so Roland turned quickly and threw a heavy right handed punch. It connected full on, and completely knocked out the oriental man.

With the kicks to the head and the injury to his eye, Roland could not see very much at all. He had no vision coming out of his right eye and from his left eye there was no more than a blur. Though it was obvious whether he could see or not that his adversary was indeed out cold. So when Roland could hear movement he did not need Wolfie to inform him that someone was indeed approaching.

‘Steady boy’ spoke Roland sensing Wolfie’s unease. ‘Who is it? Who is there?’

‘Now take it easy there my friend. I am only here to help’.

Roland recognised the voice. He backed up slightly and reached out toward Wolfie to pat him on his head.

‘Help? Why would you want to help me?’

‘Oh I have my reasons’ spoke the big man who Roland had met a day earlier. ‘Now let me help you. You need to grab on to me. I am going to take you somewhere so I can treat your wound’.

This other big man handed Roland a towel to apply pressure to his eye.

‘So what do I call you?’

‘You can call me Al’.

‘Yeah? As long as you do not call me Betty. My name is Roland’.

‘I know. By the way do you still want to kill me?’

‘I will get back to you on that one’.

Roland may be in pain and unable to see but he still found reason to laugh. Al had a medical station, a medical station that he had created himself. He treated Roland’s eye managing to keep the swelling down. Concussion along with his injury caused Roland’s temporary blindness. His left eye would return to normality but for his right eye, well that would need some time to recover, time that Roland did not have.

Five hours passed since Al had come to Roland. Al had treated Roland and the two had eaten, and Wolfie too. He was happy to take whatever came his way. As far as Roland was concerned Wolfie had earned a good feed.

‘If you like...’ Al began to wonder out loud, ‘we could work together. The two of us together could easily take out the competition on this island’.

If it wasn’t for his current condition and for how he and Al had met the day before, Roland would straight away decline such an offer. He however still wanted to decline but wanted to question it first.

‘What about what you told me yesterday? All your talk about me and Rachel being here on the island last year’.

‘I wanted to anger you and see if you still have what you had, just that one year ago. I would say you still have but you were not at all injured last year. Well apart from that you gave yourself. Infection was your main enemy then and injury may just be that same or equivalent enemy this time round, so not to be smart I may suggest that you need me more than I need you’.

‘Fair enough. Though if I were to join with you, there would be a major trust issue, how would I know that you would not kill me the first opportunity you get? Or the reverse? That I may just use you to my advantage then be done with you?’

‘Oh I do not think so’ spoke Al. ‘Sure if I really had wanted to I could have killed you a few times over by now and besides have you not used me already? What would you have done if I had not come to your aid after your last physical encounter? And sure your primary goal here is to seek revenge here, right? Wouldn’t you like the help?’

‘Presuming we do not kill each other and that we do find who I am looking for then he is mine, ok?’

‘Sssccchhh we are not alone’ Al quietly spoke. ‘Get your bow and arrow’s quickly’.

Wolfie had been laying but he got up and got up quickly as if he too had just noticed something. Roland lifted the bow and pulled back on an arrow. He looked around for something to aim at but could not see anything. He stood no further than twenty five feet away from Al.

Roland was jumped on from behind and this caused him to turn and release an arrow. This arrow took off and went right into Al’s left thigh. A group of six had turned up seemingly out of nowhere to the attack the enormous pairing of Roland and Al.

Reaching behind, Roland grabbed with ease the man who had jumped on him and threw this man to the ground with so much force than one would hardly even notice that it was a man at all who had been slammed to the ground. The force with which he had been thrown to the ground was more than enough to ensure that there would be little or no further movement from him.

Al, with an arrow sticking in his thigh threw punches at anything that came near him. The group of six collectively, by the looks of them, would not equal the joint mass of the two big men that they had attacked. So even with the fact that Al had an arrow stuck in his leg and that Roland had a serious enough eye injury this battle became that of one-ups-manship. What one could do the other could do better.

With two smaller men remaining both Roland and Al grabbed themselves a man, with one hand each at first wrapped around the neck of their respective victim. Each raised their one hand in the air, lifting up and choking out the smaller men. It was as if each man challenged the other to finish off their victim or leave their man be. Neither gave in.

Having disposed of the six pack of wolf wannabe human men there was still remaining a small fact that big Al had an arrow in his upper leg.

‘Man, that looks painful’ spoke Roland.

‘It is painful; I don’t think it has hit a major artery though’.

‘You don’t think?’

‘I am going to need you to take care of this for me. Can you do that? Will you do that for me?’

‘Sure. I owe you one as it is’.

2.3

Roland’s second night on the island would be a difficult one. His eye injury caused him great pain and it prevented him from getting to sleep for any decent length of time at all however he did manage to get himself a few moments of rest. His thoughts also only served to further deprive his chances of sleep and those thoughts mainly dealt with Al.

With Al’s pure size and strength Roland had no reason to doubt that he was part of the islands competition but there were moments that had Roland thinking such as Al’s apparent knowledge of the island, Roland had been on the island before but Al seemed to know it better than Roland did, and then there was also the fact that Al had his own medical base. How did he come to acquire such a thing? Not only that but Al seemed to have quite a bit of medical knowledge but then medicine could just be something he has a background in.

However his eye hurt or mind wandered Roland did have those few moments of sleep, though when he did awake to daylight the first thing that Roland noticed was that he was no longer in Al’s company. Al was gone. Wolfie however was still there, awake and awaiting Roland to himself wake. To Roland’s surprise his bow and arrows were still where he had left them. His eye hurt like hell but at least he could see out of both eyes.

For Roland it was now time to move, not only because of his dislike for staying in one place for any length of time but also for peace of mind. Al knows where Roland is so moving changes that, though the camera’s still follow his every move. So who is to say that Al won’t know where Roland will move to?

With Wolfie at his side Roland travelled for a little over an hour without encountering any hassle, before deciding it was time to feed. Wolfie so it seemed, had hunting instincts, aiding Roland to catch his next meal, a meal he would of course share with Wolfie.

Wolfie barked before making a darting run up ahead of Roland. Roland had not spent much time with Wolfie but he could already tell from his canine friend’s behaviour that something was not right. Something indeed was not right. Roland followed his companion. In the distance two men were fighting. Not just any two men, Roland knew them both. Al had come across Claude Raymonde. Whether Al had set out to find Claude or if the two men had come across each other by coincidence was something Roland could debate with himself until he was blue in the face but debate was something he had not got the time for.

Roland moved towards the fight as quickly as he could. From what Roland could see, Al was giving as good as he got despite the injury he had to his leg. Before Roland could get close enough, Al was knocked to the ground. Al appeared to be too weak to get back up and continue fighting and it seemed that Claude was about to finish Al off but instead Claude stood over Al and waited for Roland to join the action, and join it he would.

When he got close enough Roland immediately went straight for Claude and managed to strike first hitting Claude with a right fisted punch to the gut. Claude reacted moving forward and Roland caught him clear on the chin with a left hander uppercut. That uppercut lifted Claude right off his feet and it ensured that he would end up on his back.

Roland had his moment and he wanted to take full advantage of it. He moved to follow up on his attack on Claude but would receive a kick to the head for his troubles; this reopened his wound and gave him a moment of dizziness. Claude got back to his feet. Roland now only seeing double took another blow to the head. Once again Roland began to swing wildly. His third throw of a punch caught Claude on the chest. Al had made it up onto his hands and knees. The power in Roland’s punch knocked Claude backwards and he would trip over Al and come down hard on his back.

Wolfie got involved, pouncing onto Claude’s bare chest. Claude was able to reach for and grab a hunting knife which lay close by on the ground within a pile of dirt. Claude thrust this knife into Wolfie’s belly and pulled on the knife to cause as much damage as he could. Wolfie howled and fell onto his side with the knife remaining within him. Al used Roland to pull himself up. Roland staggered and looked completely dazed to Al.

‘How many fingers am I holding up?’ asked Al sticking three fingers right in front of Roland’s face.

‘I am OK, leave me be’ was Roland’s response.

‘You are anything but ok man’.

‘I said that I am ok, now leave me be, please’.

Roland pushed Al over to one side almost falling over himself. His injury and troubled vision prevented him from seeing over any sort of distance at all.

‘Where is he? Where is he?’ roared Roland. Claude was gone.

Al attempted to calm Roland down and received another shove for his efforts.

‘Where is he?’ roared Roland once more with every ounce of anger exploding from within him.

It was only at this moment that Roland noticed Wolfie laying on the ground and still breathing. Roland fell to his knees and began to cry. Once again he was hit by a vision of the moment Rachel died. Wolfie may not be human but when he died soon after Roland pulled out the knife, it hurt all the same.

‘Which way did he go?’ Roland asked Al.

‘You are in no condition to go after anyone, let alone someone like Claude Raymonde’.

‘If I wanted you opinion of my physical condition I’d ask for it’.

‘Alright if that is how you want it, then go right ahead, go for it. There were two of us and a wolf, we hardly put a dent on him and the wolf is dead so if you want to go after him then go right ahead’.

Al turned his back and began to limp away. Roland paused a moment, took one last look at Wolfie, stood and turned toward Al.

‘Hey come back for a minute will you?’

Al stopped.

‘What where you doing out here anyway?’ continued Roland.

Al smiled and turned around.

‘I will tell you at some other time my friend’.

‘Oh so we are friends now are we?’

‘You could say that’.

‘Well I will continue to call you Al but as I told you before if you call me Betty I will kick your ass’.

Al smiled once again. He and Roland looked like they both had survived a car wreck.

‘Right we need to get you sorted and change the dressing on my leg, we should get going’.

‘We may be down but we are not out and we are not done yet, at least I’m not, I still want to go after him’.

‘Come on, will you? We will deal with that when the time comes’.

Before he did go anywhere Roland took the time to bury Wolfie. The memory of the body Wolfie had come across stuck in his mind. At least being buried, then nature’s wildlife had no access to Wolfie’s remains.

Both Roland and Al struggled to sleep, fighting against their own physical pain. Exhaustion along with the pain led Roland to drift into unconsciousness rather than fall asleep although this sleep would not last any decent length at all for at dawn the two men awoke to the extremely loud sound of an old time war siren sounding off.

The siren seemed to be coming from not so far away and to one side of the two men. Roland awoke and immediately put his hands over his ears. Every muscle in his body was feeling the effects of the exhaustion. Al shouted while also signalling to Roland that the two of them should head towards where the sound was coming from. Roland didn’t particularly want to head closer to the sound of the siren but he did agree with Al that it possibly would be the best move to make.

As it would seem, the loud migraine giving war siren was having a similar effect with the remaining ‘contestants’ on the island for it appeared that close to fifty people had gathered in a wide open space. This would be it, an end which would beat all previous ends. Kill or be killed.

There were a few things that Roland and Al would have as either an equaliser or as an advantage. Looking around it was clear that they were not the only walking wounded in this gathering. There was also the fact that there are two of them, another thing was or is, is that Roland still had the bow and arrows.

The siren’s sound came to an end and there was a moment where everyone in this large gathering took time to suss out what they were surrounded by. Al looked at Roland and smiled.

‘Whatever you do, do not aim an arrow my way’.

‘I could always even things up and stick one in your other leg’.

It was Roland’s turn to smile. He reached for an arrow from the satchel on his back, took aim, pulled back on his bow and launched the arrow right through the neck of a man who could do nothing to get out of the way. A few seconds passed and the biggest, the largest battle the island had ever witnessed took off.

Roland and Al stayed close by each other for Al’s movement was limited and Roland’s visibility was hindered by his own injury and the concussions he had suffered. Al managed to catch a much smaller guy with a clothesline taking him out.

‘Oh yes, this is the life. I could do this all day long’. Al called over to Roland who stood battling about twenty feet away. ‘Incoming three o’clock’.

Roland threw his fist out directly to his right and it soon met with the nose of a man who looked like he was about to go all kung fu on Roland, but instead the damage from the heavy punch was enough to end another life. Roland would also get to use all of his arrows and even get to use some of them more than once. Al had the knife that had been used to kill Wolfie and in the name of Wolfie Al ended more than his fair share of lives with that knife.

Al soon had his hands full with someone on his back attempting to choke him out while someone else on front of him threw punches to his gut. Roland came to his aid taking out the man behind Al with the last arrow Roland had. Al picked up the man on front of him and threw him at some on comers. Roland took a knock to the back of his head. He fell to one knee but quickly got back up turned ran and mowed down anyone in his way.

A little over fifteen minutes of battle and the mass carnage left just three men standing. Roland and Al, who were still standing close by each other, they were bloodied and battered but were still standing all the same, and then there was Claude Raymonde. Claude stood a couple hundred meters away. Claude, shirtless as usual looked to have no more than a couple of small flesh wounds. The look on his face suggested a ‘if we are going to do this let’s do this now’ look.

Al watched Roland’s legs move as he walked without moving forward.

‘I am going to end it now. He is mine. I am taking him out’.

‘Roland, no. You are in no condition to take him on alone’.

Al’s words most likely were not even heard by Roland, for he just took off after Claude who made off on a run of his own away from the two men. It wasn’t that Claude was afraid of these two big men, far from it. Claude would want to take both of them out, his way and on his terms. With his leg being the way it was, Al could only hobble in the general direction that Roland and Claude gone off in.

Claude stopped running, turned and waited for Roland. Roland too came to a halt. Facing each other over only a short distance of a few feet, Claude gestured for Roland to come at him and that was something which did not need to be done twice, for Roland would make his move.

The first blow came Claude’s way, kicking Roland to the left side of his abdomen. This done little to faze the big man, however when Claude kicked the same area again Roland would feel it. A third kick to the same place only served to anger the beast and Roland would throw a right fisted punch that glanced off Claude’s chin. Claude darted away and then back towards Roland and caught him with a punch to the left side of his face. This took Roland back a step or two.

Roland needed a moment to settle his vision from having taking another blow to the head, though he did not have a moment for anything at all. Everything was spinning and dizziness took Roland down to one knee.

‘Hey it is ok. You have done enough’ spoke a voice that Roland had so longed to hear again.

It only took a second or two before he could also see who the voice belonged to. It was Rachel. He could see her clearly while everything else around her was nothing more than a blur. Roland could even feel Rachel’s touch as she knelt beside him and placed her hand on his face.

‘I am so sorry’ spoke Roland, ‘I should have protected you better’.

‘I was not something which needed protection. We both know where we are, where we were. This island, we both know that only the last man standing survives. You know I was so proud of you’.

‘You were?’ Roland looked Rachel in the eyes

‘Yes. For Roland, you were that last man standing. You survived and you came back here because of me. I love you for that. I love you for you, for who you are and what you have become. It is ok now though. You can let go. It is ok to let go’.

A tear rolled down Roland’s cheek as he watched Rachel fade away. She softly spoke ‘I love you’ and blew Roland a kiss, and then she was gone.

Claude had backed up and he began a run. He was about to introduce his boot to Roland’s face. He got closer and closer and pulled back his leg ready to deliver Roland’s end to him on a silver plate but before he could do so an arrow cut him off. In fact the arrow had done more than just cut Claude off. It went right threw his neck from left to right and stayed there. It had been Al who had sent the arrow flying Claude’s way. He also threw the knife he had to the ground right on front of Roland. Roland picked up the knife and spoke while Claude was still struggling to breathe.

‘I always knew I would get you one way or another’.

With that Roland thrust the knife into Claude’s chest. Claude dropped to his knees and fell to one side.

Roland attempted to move but just fell over. Al came to his aid.

‘Rachel was just here, a moment ago’ spoke Roland in a seemingly delirious state.

‘Really? And how was your dead girlfriend?’

‘She looked great’.

‘I bet she did, right I do not care what the organisers of this thing we are a part of think, I am getting us, both of us off this island’.

‘I would like that’.

Roland woke up in a hospital room.

‘Good to see you awake’ spoke a nurse, ‘and how are we feeling today?’

‘Where am I? What is going on?’

‘A doctor will be into see you in a moment and he will fill you in’.

‘Nurse, can you do me a favour?’

‘Sure’.

‘I know that this may sound strange but can you tell me what my name is?’

The nurse picked up the chart attached to the end of his bed.

‘Your name it is, now let me see, eerrr, your name is Roland ...’

‘That is perfect nurse. Thank you’ interrupted Roland; he had just heard exactly what he needed to know.

The nurse went about her business and Roland soon would hear whistling. It was coming from the bed next to him. He pulled back the curtain the divided the two beds.

‘Al is that really you?’

‘It is indeed and out here you still get to call me Al but do not worry my friend, I will not be calling you Betty anytime soon’.

‘I should hope not’.

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