A story about a dark outcome. A story hopefully never real.
A story called:
We drive because an airplane would be too slow. The takeoff would not happen in time, and that wasn’t an option when we knew what was coming.
And we did know, but no one else did. We would sound like maniacs on the street if we tried to tell them.
For you see I had a dream, and when I woke up I knew I needed to pack. Condense my life down to just a bag of things. Two books–a bible and a photo album–and as many articles of clothing as would fit. Also my computer, but only as an afterthought.
My parents saw me stumble out of the room, and they didn’t even stop to confirm. The stove still on, an egg never cooked, they started to run.
They asked only one question: “How long?”
I didn’t tell them how many would land. It wasn’t important. We didn’t want to be in the same country when it hit. That was not an option though.
I was in the car while my parents dressed, and they came outside only a few moments later. My mother didn’t bother with shoes, and just revved the motor and broke every speed limit she could.
Out the gated community, past the suburban areas. We were going through school zones at about ninety miles per hour. A cop car caught up to us after a few near-fatalities.
And now to where I began the story. As the world jumps to the present. Which means even less time until it happens.
I’m still in the car. And we don’t even slow down when we see the lights. I look out the back window–as I’m not buckled in–and stare past the mounting group of cops behind us, towards the cityscape. The towering glass.
The people. Oh God. I don’t think about the people. It’s not possible. I have friends in that city. I didn’t even bother to tell them. They wouldn’t believe, they wouldn’t survive.
No one in that city is going to make it. And neither will we if we don’t push it harder. “Go faster!” I yell to my mother, and I see the car’s speedometer go up into the three digits.
Her foot shakes from the strain of pushing down with that much force–perhaps more than necessary–and the cityscape grows dimmer, but as we go up the hill I can still see it. It turns from a full place full of people with full lives to only the highest buildings.
Through the car window I catch the concerned face of a female cop, and I nod to her. She mouths “It will be okay.”
“No, it won’t be,” I mouth back.
I look down at my watch and hold on to something as my mother swerves around the traffic that mostly just tries to get out of our way. We are the bringer of car accidents, but I don’t care. As long as someone survives then it won’t be all gone.
“How much time?” my father asks, looking back at me with these wide eyes.
“Any second now. We’re not far enough away.”
“And we’re out of gas,” my mother informs us. “Hold on to something.”
I strap myself into the seat, and place my hands over my head. The odds of me getting whiplash are immense, but it almost doesn’t matter, we’re all dead anyway.
She deaccelerates and swerves towards an exit ramp. The police stream in behind us and we all end up at the nearest gas station, with the patrons of it already running.
I step out and my feet are wobbling. I can see the tip of the tallest skyscraper, and the air smells of gas and burned rubber.
“Hands on your heads!” the first police officer out of a car screams and holds up a non-lethal weapon.
I check my watch. It’s over, it’s done. It’s a dot in the distance and then a rumble.
It shakes the ground to the core, and more come afterwards. The gods punching the dirt, and with it the fire. We have a few seconds before it catches up, and I see what is not fireworks, but something even brighter blossoming on the horizon.
The fireball eats the world in front of us. The air whistles with too much force. The clouds part, and the smoke rises through it all.
Cars tumble off the ramp, and the police officers turn to look. The air takes on a new taste. And it moves down through the lungs and into the brain and invades every cell.
It is the shock of cold water, and the immenseness of falling. We are blind from the light and ash from the heat. We are flung backwards as the world melts. As the world burns.
For there is no last strike. There is only the first bomb and the death of the Earth.