Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The End and After (Working Title) - Chapter 1

this is the first chapter of something I'm working on. It was originally meant to be a short story. It has kind of grown from there, but I will be working on a series of short stories dealing with the same character but before the series of events that bring us to this "book," The End and After. Let me know what you think so far...negatives appreciated just as much as positives.

I had been riding freights for days. Waking up screaming to a box car filled with empty pill bottles and various garbage, from dreams of the way life was before the shit hit the fan. I could feel the train slowing down now, so I packed up my bag quietly in the dark, pill bottles rattling and rolling all around me as the brakes hissed and squealed. The train still slowing. I grabbed my bag and slid the door open. The night wind rushed in and I could smell pine and smoke. I was somewhere in the Northwestern Territory. Below me, a nice grassy hill. "Thank You for the little things," I said looking up at the sky and leaped off. There's no such thing as a soft landing in train hopping, but this was as good as it could get.

The grass was wet and my feet gave out beneath me. I slid for a few feet on my ass before rolling to a full stop. I stood up and brushed off.
"Coulda' been worse, McDell."

After months of riding freights and hiking the territories alone, I was completely comfortable having conversations with myself.

"Just remember ol' Willy Burnaski. Son of bitch never looked where he was leapin' and ended up half stuck in a tree. 'Course the other half kept on fallin' to the ground!"

I had a good laugh at my own sick joke. Of course, Willy had been a good friend of mine, but you just gotta' laugh at life sometimes. Keeps you from going insane after you've seen a thing or three. And I had seen my share just over the last five or so years.

Back in 2012, everyone was talking about the Mayan calendar and the world ending. And on December 24, 2012 some of those people were dead on. Only, it wasn't Wormwood or Planet-X or anything alien. Just our own dog world shaking fleas off its back. A massive earthquake sent a piece of Africa plunging into the sea, which created a tidal wave that completely wiped out what was once the eastern seaboard of the United States. Mass panic erupted all over the world, starting huge riots and total Anarchy. Governments were overturned or just given up on. I guess everyone just figured they were already dead. Millions died and mass suicide became very popular for the following few weeks. Luckily, I had been living in what was California at the time. After everything happened, I got in my car and headed east to see if I could help survivors. But there were no survivors; You were driving down a road that was once sprawling farm land, far from water, and all of a sudden there was the ocean. It was very sobering.
No survivors.


Mac said...

almost makes me want to get the fuck outa Jersey. Don't even kid. Tidal waves scare the fuck out of me.

Anonymous said...

Ya. Me too. Everytime I go to the beach at night, I stare out at the dark and get ready for it to start swallowing the beach. Tidal waves suck. I fucking hate water and all it's illusions of soft, wet fun. Water is a killer. Water is a silent killer.