This sub was written a while back as part of an entry form to join an art/writing site. I was accepted, didn't know what to do with my new account and really havent been back to mess with it. Thought i would finish out this story here. The Beginning
Jarrik scowled as the radio crackled and popped. He wasn't that far away from the radio station and it shouldn't be cutting out like that. Like anyone would do, he tried to fiddle with the dial to get the station to come in clearer. It wasn't very often that the local stations would play Stratofortress
. Most of the conservative set considered it entirely too graphic and violent. He didn't care, their lyrics really spoke to him. His favorite was that song that he could never remember the name of, the one that started with the heavy bass line and the chick screaming. That was one thing that had the censors howling, some thought that she was screaming in agony, others thought she was screaming in ecstasy. The band wasn't being very helpful in the matter, and refused to quote the source of the sound bite sampled in the song.
"C'mon, change it man. This crap sucks, Rabbit foot!" Goby shouted from the back seat of the Jeep. "I'm sure we could listen to my new mix CD, it's off the chain."
"Shut up, I'm driving so I pick what we listen to. And your mix CD sucks worse than Stratofortress
." Jarrik said. Sammy and Clio, the two girls, both laughed. The sound grated on Jarrik's nerves. Sammy always called shotgun, and Goby had told him before that the cow had something of a crush on him, his response had generally been something along the lines that she would have crushed him. In the back seat Clio, a simpering and insipid doe, was still laughing at his joke, but it wouldn't be long before Goby and her were making out again. He had no doubt of what Goby saw in the doe, but what she saw in his short gopher butt he would never know.
Dumb ass friends, fat chicks, piss-poor job, no respect...just like that old comic who died a few years ago. He had been funny and his grandfather, Gramps, had been upset when it happened. He wondered what it might be like outside of this little town, to drive something other than a 12 year old Jeep that had more mileage on it than Sammy had between her legs. He rolled his eyes at his own poor joke. “No respect,” he said out loud to no one in particular.
“Maybe Goby’s right, the radio is breaking up pretty bad,” Sammy said, reaching for the radio buttons. On the radio, still popping and hissing with white noise the lead guitarist of the band had launched into a guitar battle with the drummer, both of which were unleashing a hell of chords and beats raw enough to make him want to head bang like it was 1985. But the reception was becoming so bad he was getting as frustrated with the radio as he was with his lack of a love life. “Fine, change it to something else,” He said. It was starting to get overcast, so it looked like there might be a storm building. Seemed odd though, most storms that came across the valley came from the north and generally broke along the interstate, but this one seemed to be coming from the south. It was getting really dark in his rearview mirror.
‘All of the other stations are doing it too, even that lame country station that comes in clear no matter what,” Sammy said as she clicked the radio buttons too fast to tell what song was on. He caught the end of a new alert, but it didn’t seem like anything important. Nothing important ever happened up in DeWyrl Valley. “Lets listen to my mix CD!” Goby said, though it wouldn’t take much &^%$@ing to get him to give it up in favor of any of the other CDs in the headliner.
“Fine, plug it in Sammy. It will at least come in clear.” Jarrik said. He looked down and the heat gauge was climbing slowly, again. The mechanic had said that the thermostat might be going out on the engine and it would be only $10 for a new one, but another $70 for the mechanic to put it on, plus he would have to leave his Jeep overnight. Screw that, he had said and had bought the thermostat himself. He had planned on taking it home and putting it on himself. It was later that he had realized that to replace it he had to A: know where the old and supposedly bad thermostat was, and B: had to have tools to replace it. Unfortunately he didn’t know, and the only tools he had were a hammer, a rusty pipe wrench, and half a dozen mixed up screw drivers. The CD player kicked on and started playing the mix CD that started with a remixed version of The Corvettes
song about fast chicks. Every couple of seconds there was a record scratching sound and the chorus was almost twice as long for the words being repeated. Of course Goby jumped around like it was the best work ever on the radio and it looked like Sammy and Clio agreed to some extent. He sighed, but the heat gauge had topped out just below the read marker at 220 degrees. He could keep running without rolling down the windows and turning the vent on to hot. Maybe he could borrow Goby’s video camera and do a video for the MTV show where the rapper took tired old cars and really spiffed them up, Spiff my Ride, or something like that.
“I told you this was a good mix CD,” Goby said.
“It’s even better than Angry Inch
.” Clio said.
“It sure is.’ Jarrik agreed, but he hadn’t told them that had despised those two bands more than he disliked any of them. He scowled inwardly, he hated it when he started getting down on his friends. They might not be much, but they were all he had. It was likely that they were all he would ever have. Gramps gave him a glimpse into the future, with the old goat wandering around the duplex drinking Old Whisker
, watching war movies, and willing to tell old stories to anyone who listened. But then all of Gramps’ old friends were out in the cemetery. Old age was hitting him hard, and Jarrik didn’t want to end up like that.
An object shrieked past the door of the Jeep, trailing smoke and fire behind it. Startled, Jarrik jerked the wheel hard to the side, sending the four wheel drive vehicle onto the shoulder of the interstate. The CD skipped and the passengers all started shouting.
“What the Hell man!” Goby cussed.
“Don’t go @!#$ing emo Jay,” Clio shouted.
“Oh s**t!” Sammy screamed.
The object skipped across the asphalt, moving at least twice as fast as they were until it punched right through the trailer of a semi truck about half a mile ahead. The big truck hopped and ran off the road. The rig buried itself in the soft soil of the median where it began to burn. Jarrik pulled the Jeep back on the road, but he looked in the rearview mirror. His heart lurched up into his throat and his brain refused to process what he saw. Apparently Goby and Clio could as they started screaming incoherently.
It was a mountain, except that it was flying through the air, tumbling slowly like some hundreds of feet wide stone knuckleball. His mind screamed Armageddon
and Deep Impact
, and half a dozen other meteor-end-of-the-world movies. He could see that the surface of the thing was rough and pitted, jagged spikes and prongs the size of office buildings rose from its raw surface like glass in a bloody wound. More of the smaller fragments were all around it, some the size of buildings themselves. He swallowed hard and gunned the engine of the Jeep. He could see an overpass ahead, that might offer cover from the smaller pieces. He tried to not look at it as it grew larger and larger in the rearview mirror. The speedometer crept up as he pushed the Jeep for all it was worth. Part of him flailed at the futility of trying to outrun a giant rock falling from space. Another part of him refused to not try.
The Jeep spun hard out of control, an oncoming little compact had tried to pull a U-turn at 65 miles and hour and ended up clipping his rear quarter panel before launching itself into a long acrobatic tumbling roll off of the road. He pulled hard on the wheel as the silver Jeep began to pitch over on its side. For some absurd reason he remembered an expose on SUV roll-overs just as the Jeep commenced its own tumble. The world exploded in a shower of glass and the alternation of grass and black sky over and over until the vehicle slammed to a stop.
Jarrik panted and pushed his ears out of his face, his hands were bloody as he pulled them away from his face. He coughed, the smell of gasoline was strong in the vehicle, as was the smell of something worse. He looked back into vehicle. Sammy was dead, her head jerked back at a very wrong angle and her eyes covered with the cold glaze of death. The small and deadpan voice of reason said that she probably soiled herself upon the moment of death. He could taste blood in his mouth and he un-clicked his seatbelt. Somehow Goby, unbelted, had ended up in the rear of the vehicle, his back broken. Clio was half out the window, and the voice of reason told him that he didn’t want to see the rest of her.
Coughing again, he spat out blood. His lip felt busted, and he could feel the blood running down his face. Jarrik regretted that the Jeep didn’t have an airbag. The door hinges squealed metal on metal as he tried to open the door, he kicked it once, and it opened on the second try. He staggered out of the busted Jeep and away from it. The smell of gasoline was stronger now, prudence demanded that he move away from the vehicle, as this was the part in the movie when the vehicle exploded in a giant fireball. There was more carnage on the road. Other pieces were coming down and drivers were swerving to miss them, or had gone blank and just hit things, or ran off of the road. The heart of the thing drifted overhead, its mass blacking out the sun and turning a bright Friday afternoon to night. The only light came from burning cars and the roadside lights flickering on as their light sensors noticed the sudden darkness. A billboard for the local Hooters
restaurant flickered on in time to illuminate the big breasted waitress taking a large fragment of stone through the chest. A second stone clipped the metal pole and the sign collapsed.
“So this is the end of world...” Jarrik said as he walked half in a daze away from his wrecked Jeep.
And thus ends the opening chapter