Matt pulled up in front of Shelly’s house and couldn’t get over the fact that it had been a year since they had become seriously involved. They had started dating at the end of their junior year, and now, as graduation approached, it was hard to believe all that happened and how it had changed their lives forever.

Watching the latest war unfold on television, was part of the series of events that made them grow emotionally closer very quickly. Luckily it had all taken place far from their front door, making it feel safe, but still so strange to watch. Wars were things that happened elsewhere in the world; they didn’t result in the destruction of American cities. It had been that way for so long that nothing but black and white photos still existed of the last war to happen on American soil. It was considered unthinkable until those attacks, but at least there had been no follow-on invasion.

Everyone could remember the terrorist attacks that marked the start of an active war on terror, but this had been different. Those attacks had tragically destroyed some massive office buildings and killed thousands of people, but that was considered small by comparison to this new madness.

Nukes going off on U.S. soil had always been a threat, but the threat had always seemed empty. It was the kind of thing petty dictators would say they were going to do when trying to get attention, but it never happened, no one even considered it a possibility since the issue with Cuba in the 1960s.

Watching the television news coverage of the affected areas, with all the dead civilians, changed their young world forever. It made it all that much worse considering Matt had lost his brother in one of those hellish fireballs. That had made him angry in ways he had never experienced.

Now they were getting ready to go to college. Matt and Shelly had agreed that because of all they had watched unfold, all that the world had been through; this love they shared was the one and only love they wanted for the rest of their lives. They would use this past year of loss, danger, and recovery, as the basis for a lifetime they would spend together, but that plan was their secret for the moment.

After the loss of Matt’s brother, Chad, in the attack on Detroit, Shelly had helped him as he mourned. That support meant a lot to him. He would miss his brother for the rest of his life, but the thought of Shelly now in his life made it easier to cope with Chad’s loss. Matt had been on the verge of trying some very foolish things to dull the pain.

They were both glad that the United States had fought back and won the War. The other side had suffered staggering military casualties while sparing the civilian populations and had unconditionally surrendered. Matt, like so many Americans, had thrown a party to celebrate. It was like he could finally say his brother had died for a reason. Now perhaps there could be decades of peace in the world, and terrorist attacks could become a problem of the past.

He got out of the car and headed for the door. Shelly came bounding out before he was halfway up the walk, and threw her arms around his neck, “A year, can you believe it?” she asked.

Matt took a step back to look at the young woman he loved. The look of her blonde hair shining in the evening light, her athletic build, and tonight of all nights, wearing her “comfy jeans” as she always called the threadbare cutoffs, accompanied by a bare midriff t-shirt.

“It seems like so much has happened; like I have known you my whole life. You have kept me sane through it all. I have a surprise planned. You ready to go?” he asked with a devilish grin.

“Oh, I like surprises, let’s go,” she said with a flirtatious smile.

While out hiking with some friends Matt found an excellent spot where you could park, take a walk in the woods and watch the airplanes take off out of Bangor airport on their way to someplace better than the middle of nowhere Maine. Seasonal tourists might love this place for the view, and he enjoyed that as much as anyone, but growing up here it didn’t seem that special. However, all of that leaf covered scenery would offer some privacy for a romantic night.

Matt always loved it when his dad let him borrow the convertible. There weren’t a lot of months it was useful in Maine, but he still enjoyed it. He had the top down, and Shelly’s long hair was blowing in the wind. It made her look even sexier than normal. The way she looked was causing a rush of hormones as they parked the car and headed into the woods for their walk.

As they finished their walk, the sun was about to disappear for the day. They had no interest in such things as they sat in the backseat; they consumed one another. It had started side by side talking about graduation while holding hands. Slowly their talking stopped, and the kissing began. Matt didn’t know when and didn’t care how, but Shelly wound up straddling his waist as he felt like he was about to explode. The hormones were now raging, and he wasn’t sure he could control things long enough to get to the finish line they were both hoping to reach.

Shelly stopped abruptly. She eagerly looked down at him and slowly removed her shirt, then her bra, exposing herself. The sight of her is what he had been hoping to see all day.

He had been too distracted by the sight of her bare breasts to notice the man in jeans and a t-shirt with military gear strapped to his body. The man grabbed Shelly by the hair and dragged her from the car as she screamed wildly as much from pain as shock and fear. Matt watched in disbelief as the man threw her to the ground and kicked her in the stomach as he shouted in guttural tones.

The man had two partners who grabbed Matt by the arms and brutally dragged him from the car. He landed hard on his back with a huge rock digging into his spine as three men started to kick him in the face, back, chest, in any exposed area until his head was spinning from pain. He could feel bones crack in his chest; the favorite target of the savage assaults.

Matt was on the ground half naked and bleeding from more places than he could count. Blood had run into his eyes and mouth. Every time he tried to move there was a searing pain in his chest, left arm and right leg.

He made a huge mistake by looking at his arm. It seemed like a white stick was poking out of his forearm. Blood was dripping down his fingertips. It took him a minute to realize that was his bone sticking through the skin. At first, he couldn’t believe it, then he panicked and was certain he was going to die.

He watched helplessly as the largest of them stalked back to Shelly who was trying to crawl away, screaming hysterically. The men laughed as one of them grabbed a handful of her hair and pulled her as she kicked and screamed around to the front of the car.

The largest of the assholes threw her onto the hood of the car hard enough to dent the thing into the shape of her body. One man pulled out a huge knife and cut her pants until he could easily rip them from her body. Her screams grew louder and more desperate as the metallic blade slid along her skin. Matt wanted to help, but he couldn’t move. Every time he moved the pain would make his vision go fuzzy.

The largest of them loosened his pants as the other two moved to the sides to hold her down. Knowing what was about to happen Shelly bucked wildly trying to break free. She did not want him to be able to put that thing sticking out towards her from a massive mound of bushy black hair into her, at least not without a fight.

They were too strong for her. She was exhausted from the struggle, but she continued to kick, getting weaker and weaker with each attempted strike. Finally, with a little luck, she managed to connect with some soft part of one of the men, and he let out a surprised scream. She had no idea where she hit him, but it gave her hope. She doubled her efforts, lashing out with renewed energy. The injured man stumbled back and fell to the ground. One of the others laughed and grabbed her by the hair then beat her head against the hood of the car until blood ran into her eyes. Two of the men held her left arm out as the third, who had finally recovered somewhat, kicked it at the elbow shattering it and leaving her arm useless in her fight.

Matt could only watch in horror as blood sprayed from her mouth in all directions while she let out an inhuman scream.

The man who had fallen to the ground after Shelly kicked him, picked up a large rock and returned to the struggling young woman. He bashed her in the leg with a rock making her leg snap as the knee bent backward.

Shelly lay barely conscious across the hood of the car after the beatings and having her arm and leg broken, as the men took turns raping her. With each violent thrust, they would punch her in some new spot; stomach, kidneys, face, chest, it didn’t matter where. They were on a mission to inflict pain and humiliation.

The largest of the men flipped her over, so she was face down. With no consideration, he stuck his dick out and shoved it in a body part that was designed for an entirely different function.

Shelly could no longer offer resistance. She could barely manage painful groans as she tried to cling to consciousness. It seemed as though every inch of her body was throbbing in pain. Blood seeped out of cuts as she sobbed uncontrollably. She finally managed a look at Matt and could see that even with his leg was bent the wrong way and, his arm evidently broken, he was trying to make his way to her.

She saw him vomit blood then collapse to the ground. She wasn’t sure if he was alive or dead.

It was at that moment she knew she was going to die. She also knew she didn’t want to go down without a fight.

The largest man picked her up and threw her back down on her back on the hood of the car. She let out a primal scream. With the little strength she had in her left she spat blood into his eye and yelled, “Fuck you pig!”

In a fit of violent lust, he stuck his dick into her then bashed her face with the rock. All three men laugh as her skull was crushed and dark, spilling out thick fluid in every direction. Strange pieces of tissue littered the area as her body went into death spasms. Matt had to watch in horror as this unfolded, unable to move. He saw what he thought was rice on the ground, but then realized they were her teeth.

He vomited more blood. Matt could still not move. He was in too much pain. He had to lay there and watch as all three raped her lifeless body. She was dead and would feel no pain, but Matt’s rage boiled. He was 20 feet away and could do nothing. His ribs felt like they were going to break through his chest.

He could only watch as they violated her dead body over and over.

The men, having finished with the girl, walked back towards Matt’s prone body. They decided one last blow to the head was in order and Matt lost consciousness.

 

***

 

Matt faded in and out. He was only half aware he was being sodomized. His mind had shut down after what happened to Shelly.

The men were finally finished and dumped Matt to the ground like a bag of trash. It was only then that Matt became aware of the sounds of large truck engines starting. Then he noticed the noise of scads of people moving around somewhere down below. Apparently, this was not a couple of random guys out for kicks. He guessed that the war wasn’t as over as people thought.

 

***

 

Matt wasn’t sure of the exact time he passed out, or what time it was when he woke up, but he knew that he had to stand up. As he looked around the area, he saw his dad’s car was gone. He was on his own, with a broken body and no transportation. Slowly the memory of what happened came back, scene by scene. He searched the area for Shelly, hoping it had all been a dream. He found where her body had been. There were some large paw prints and a blood trail. Some animal must of have taken her body off as a meal.

Matt couldn’t believe any of this.

Was he dreaming?

No, this was real.

He got to his feet, slowly. He had to get out of the area. He had to let someone know what happened.

Who would believe him?

This sort of thing just didn’t happen here, not in the United States, and certainly not in Maine.

Three guys come out of nowhere and brutally attack two teenagers, killing one of them and leaving the other for dead?

How could this happen?

Why would this happen?

Matt started moving as fast as he could. By remote control, he slowly pulled up his jeans from where they landed during the attack. His shoes were missing. He was still bleeding from multiple wounds but had to find someone and tell them what happened. No matter how much as he wanted to lay down on the ground and sleep, he knew he could not. His injuries could wait; someone had to know what was going on out here before someone else suffered like Shelly did.

Barefoot and bleeding, with stunted unsteady steps, he started off down the dirt road. He took no notice of the sharp pricks of rocks and broken glass cutting into his already abused feet.

An hour later Matt was slowly walking up a country road. He was near exhaustion. He hoped someone would stop, and then he hoped it was the right person.

 

***

 

Sgt. Greg Spoker and Specialist Aaron Little had received their calls to mount up into an armored Hummer and head off to a remote part of the country to report anything unusual happening. As they drove along the country road, they talked about how they were at least glad it was not another trip to Afghanistan or Iraq. Both had done several tours over there and did not relish the idea of going back.

Little had just popped open a soda can and lit up smoke when something caught his attention.

“Hey, Sgt Spoker,” Little said, “slow down and load up. I see something about 500 meters up on the right.”

The Sgt. slowed the vehicle to a crawl 250 meters out from what looked like a “zombie” slowly shuffling along the road. Both men raised their weapons to the ready, with their fingers off the trigger, but not far away, and scanned for threats, sarcastically hoping to each other that the “zombie” wasn’t a real one.

As they neared the person one arm began to wave them down, “Stop where you are,” Little yelled wondering the hell was going on.

Sgt. Spokers got on the radio to call in the “unusual activity.”

Specialist Little looked through his rifle scope to see the frightening image of Matt, “GET THE MED KIT AND CALL A DAMN AMBULANCE!” he screamed.

“Aaron,” Greg said, “What the fuck is it?”

“It’s some kid. He is seriously messed up; someone worked him over just like the Iraqis used to do to uncooperative local prisoners.”

Little grabbed the medical kit and ran to Matt. Sgt. Spoker was frantically talking on the radio looking for help, “Headhunter Base, this is Ghostrider 3 Alpha Over.”

“Ghostrider 3 Alpha, this is Headhunter Base, go ahead, over.”

“Base, 3 Alpha, we need casualty evac at,” looking over at the GPS on the dash he read the coordinates.

“Casualty is a teenage male, severe blunt trauma. First Aid initiated, but we will need higher care before we can move him back, over.”

“3 Alpha, this is Headhunter 6, say again your last. Do I understand you have a casualty, over?”

“6, this is 3 Alpha. Roger on last. One civilian casualty, priority evacuation is needed. First Aid started, but the kid has blunt force trauma, open fractures, and looks like he may lose a leg if you don’t get that evac here now, over.”

“Evac being called. Secure the area, treat casualty to the best of your ability. Keep whoever it is alive, we need to know what the hell is going on. Intelligence coming our way is confused, at best, and contradictory at worst, over.”

“6, 3, roger, out.”

Specialist Little slid to a stop as he ripped open a medical kit. Sgt. Spoker was moving the truck forward to shine more light on so they could work on the injuries.

“Shit, where is Doc when you need him? 0This kid is messed up. I can stop most of the bleeding, but he has so many broken bones I don’t know where to start,” Little said to no one in particular. He had already bandaged some of the head wounds and was working his way down the body trying to prioritize the worst injuries first. Looking at the open fracture, he just immobilized the arm and moved on.

Sgt. Spoker was moving around with his weapon at the ready, looking for trouble when he saw footprints along the road. Kneeling down, he flipped on his tactical light and noticed the bloody prints.

“Aaron,” he called out, “check the kid’s feet and tell me if he is bleeding.”

Little moved to the feet and recoiled in horror. He had seen people, friends as well as enemies, blown up; but never in his life had he seen as much damage done to a human body part as there was on the kid’s feet. At least not while the person was still alive. The only thing his mind could see was ground up beef, ready to be made into burgers on the weekend.

There were bits of twigs sticking out of Matt’s feet. His heels were down to the bone in multiple places. There was torn flesh just dangling off in multiple directions. One toe was missing from what appeared to be the result of Matt dragging that foot behind him.

He put tight bandages over both feet as fast as he could and said, “Just save your energy man, stop trying to talk. We have an ambulance on the way. You are massively dehydrated on top of everything else. I am going to start an IV and start getting your blood levels back up.”

Sgt. Spoker kept patrolling the area while Specialist Little worked on Matt as fast as he could. They could hear sirens in the distance and a large helicopter thumping its way towards their position.

They both knew this was not the training exercise they initially thought.

What the hell had happened?

The War was supposed to be over, but something about the situation said it had come home…again.

 

 

AP NEWS FLASH: There are unconfirmed reports of a foreign military invasion in the state of Maine. These reports are scattered and varied. There is no video, photographic, or audio evidence of these claims. The Governor has activated the National Guard, who is currently patrolling the regions of these reports. <STORY DEVELOPING>

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