When trying to help out a moving company owner whose largest labor cost is his employees, Fielder fashions an older workout buff as a lifestyle guru who preaches that moving boxes and furniture will help you stay fit. Fielder hired a random Craigslister to ghostwrite his guru’s life story, and the book is now an Amazon bestseller, ballooned by fake five-star reviews. You can find it featured in the top 10 list for books in the Motivational and Self-Help categories.
Dende has joined the guards when his schooling was deemed over. He was better with a pistol than I was, and had much better survival instincts. I figured that he’d out last all of us, even the students younger than him. I heard the deafening ring that erased all my expectations of his life the same time the entire camp did. We knew instantly what was going down in the brush.
The firing had ended quickly. After the initial panic I felt about the sounds faded away, I was pleased to learn that only about twenty seconds were occupied by the harrowing battle noises. And I thought that was the end of it. It wasn’t.
The guards came running into the village with several bodies, each one was drenched with blood from a deadly, fatal gunshot wound. I didn’t know three of the boys who’s been shot, but the fourth’s cobalt blue eyes were trembling, as if urging him to stay alive. Survive a little longer and then you’ll be taken care of by the doctors already on scene. That’s the look I saw in Dende’s eyes as he was dying.
I kneeled down at his die and gripped his hand. His grip was about as tight, which meant there was still life in him. He could make it. He would make it. He was a 19 year-old, full of life, packed with muscle and intelligence, wits, and a few good other virtuous traits that I adored about him. The doctors tried desperately to staunch the blood flow from the small, but seemingly gaping wide hole in his chest cavity. I was close to vomiting, but I would’ve hated myself if any bile had splashed him right now, so I choked it down.
I couldn’t believe my eyes right now, even though I had on my glasses. We had just had breakfast this morning, joking about the routine of their sweeps, and how it was always peaceful. The baboons cell had all but vanished. In all my time here, they had never once actually bothered us. I don’t know what had changed now, or for whatever reason, but it was not fair to this young man. He had a life to look forward to, a brilliant life. One where he didn’t need to face the threat of baboons, or be done in by them.
All it was ever meant to be was a routine sweep of the camp’s exterior. That’s all. A simple trek through the beautiful scenery the brush provided us those late night we would stare into the starry sky. The brush’s midnight glow was something the two of us would keep for ourselves, and it was now just mine. In the blink of an eye, the baboons had raised their venomous tails and struck at Dende’s heart. He was gasping for air now, but he turned to me, trying so very hard to pass on a message. I leaned in close to ease his attempt efforts.
“One...true,” he gurgled but then regained his breath, “prescription.” Those were his final three words. His death was slow, painful, and agonizing to watch, but that was Dende for you. Pushing through until he could solve problems. I’m not sure which one he was referring to now, but he had solved something, and I was going to find out what, but for now, we had four teenage boys dead at our feet, protecting us from a threat we now knew was very real.
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