I had only left that barn 2 minutes earlier when an idea hit me. I slammed on the breaks and turned around. It was less than a minute when I returned to the barn. I walked into the shop and grabbed a kart to the left. The man saw me come in and looked at me wondering what I was up to. I rolled straight to the water stack. I grabbed 20 packs with 24 bottles and shelled over the $200 it amounted to. He looked at me. I stated that I heard that provisions aren’t reaching them. They have been working all day. He stopped me. “Wait!” I wondered what he had in mind. He came back with logs, or so they looked. I can only keep them for 2-3 more days. These are black pepper cake logs. Not the worst and they will have a filled stomach. Take them, he grabbed a box and threw in a few knives. These are old, don’t care what happens to them. I started to load up the car with water and cake. Well, we will let them eat cake too I thought. I closed the hatch. Brought the kart back. “Go bring it to them, you are a good man!”
I got into the car and drove off as fast as I could. I had returned the turnaround point in 30 seconds. I turned to the right and got towards the point I needed to go. It was less than an hour later when I saw a patrol car wave me down. He looked at me. I pointed at the back. Food and water for the firemen. He looked at the stack of water and waved me to go on. “Have you seen them? I asked” “Nah, I have only been here for about an hour. They are about 10 miles north of here” I nodded and drove off. It was more like 7 miles on when I saw firemen on a hill, some kind of small tent. I drove up the hill on a rough path towards the tent. I had a great view, it was a good idea. The firemen looked at me, wondering what I was about. “No press, no press” they shouted. I got out and walked to the back. I opened the door and got two trays of water. Food and drinks from the Red barn. You can use it I reckon. They looked like parched toddlers. I reckoned that water was gone and they were decently starving. I got the box of cakes and knives. Here is some food, it is not great, but it should keep in the heat. They lunged for the food. They were indeed starving. They were not complaining. How much? One asked. It’s on the house I stated, I even sounded magnanimous. I glanced at the flames all over the place. It was then that I saw something different, something was off, but it was not here or by the lake, more to the left. The flames were not the same, but only I could see that, my Olympian gaze gave me more, The flames had a green and purple shine and those two shines were outstretching past the flames. “What is that to the left?” He looked and looked into the distance. Another fire, I reckon it is around Glennville a community in Kern County, why? Just curious I said. Anymore troops in the wild down there. I casually pointed in the lowlands towards Glennville. He pointed a little more to the left. There is a team of 5 working, I grabbed a log a knife and put it on the stack of water I still had. From the second pile I grabbed two more packs. And handed them over. I will bring them food and drinks too. Why is provisions so bad? I asked. Something about the truck breaking down. “I think I head that on the radio, but I wasn’t sure. So we decided to not take chances and here is the water and a log or two. Will more people come back here? The firemen nodded. I handed over two more trays and closed the door. The man nodded, the others were still eating like famished vultures nodding and putting their thumbs up. I had to admit, this kind of dedication was well appreciated, and if I could make a difference for them, I would. I drive down the track and turned right, in the general direction. I saw a path branching to the left and I took it. It was 5 minutes later when I saw the group of men, clearly exhausted and they looked weirdly at my car, clearly a car that is not often seen in these places. I opened the backdoor and took out a tray, with the log and knife on top. The man clearly saw the water. They walked towards me. “Can we help you?” I just came from the tent, they told me where you 5 were. Here is a tray of water and a log of black pepper cake. Not the greatest, but if you are hungry, you will not care. They all nodded, but it was clear that the water was what they needed. 24 bottles would go well over these 5 people. I handed over the stuff. Can I get to Glennville this way? The man looked at each other. Yes, it should get you there, just hold left with every branch you see and you should be good. Do not stray off the paths and roads, getting stuck in these places is a death sentence. I nodded and drove off, time to see why the flames around Glennville were different.
To be Continued
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