Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's About Time

I can hear you chomping at the bit...so here's another little story for ya...
Something by King
Behind her, the noise escalated. She ducked into the doorway of a store and as it passed, the safety glass in the window shattered all around her into little pebble-sized marbles. Like a powerful gust of wind, it crashed down the street, taking newspaper boxes with it, bending light posts and lifting cars from their parked spots or skewing them wildly across the street. She could hear in the distance, the sound of sirens approaching. She heard a dull scream from the next corner and saw a stroller fly up into the air and land on the opposite side of the street, its wheels mangled and bent. But for now, before the sirens, before the screeching tires, before the tragic moaning, she only heard silence. A clean silence as if something had wiped away all sound like a hand wiping away the beaded water from the hood of a freshly washed car. She stood outside on the street and saw a few people straggling by, their clothes ripped and wet, their faces streaked with dirt, sweat and blood. They were all going in the same direction, towards the sound. As if attracted like mosquitoes, they moved forward down the road. Some people had missing arms and legs, newly ripped from their bodies. The ones with missing legs, either hopped on the remaining leg or dragged themselves along the road. There was no sound however, no moaning, no wailing. Just the plodding ahead of body parts. A police car screamed by, it sirens blaring, the rest of it engulfed in flames. She saw it go up onto the sidewalk, flip and crash into a bus stop, exploding violently. Darting from storefront to storefront, she followed the ones who marched ahead, until they all came to a clearing in the center of the city. A small fountain once sprayed in the middle, but now empty except for a growing crowd of people who gathered within it. There was still no sound from anyone, yet they all seemed to be looking in the same direction. All looking towards the east at something unknown.
She thought to herself, “The entire world has gone insane.” She made it to the area where the fountain was. People continued to crowd into it. Some were pushed back, some fell back, but they kept returning until the core of it was a mass of squirming bodies. She wondered how anyone in the middle of the mass could even breathe. It reminded her of a giant can of catfood, turned upside down. The solid, congealed middle barely moving while the edges continued to shift and change. Again, she was struck by the absence of any words spoken. There was no yelling, no screaming, not even any moaning. Just the almost rhythmical thud of bodies shuffling and scraping on the concrete. And then, without warning, a high-pitched squeal punctured the air. It continued steadily and she watched the people inside the fountain grab the sides of their heads as if in pain. There was a roaring sound and suddenly the people in the fountain were glowing as if lit from below. It was a yellowish light which became even brighter as it continued. And then suddenly, they were gone. All the people who had been inside the fountain when the noise had started, were now gone. Disappeared. Vaporized. The noise had stopped and soon people were clamoring to get inside the fountain again, as if to replace those who had left. Soon, the fountain would be full again and this would continue for the next 30 minutes until everyone was gone. She heard cars approaching from the other side of town now, the low rumble of trucks leading the way towards the fountain. A police car, its siren blaring, was first to arrive. The officer got out of his car and approached the fountain. He reached into it and rubbed his hand against the side. A white powdery substance remained on the sides of the fountain and as he removed his hand, he blew on the powder and watched it float into the air. The girl stepped forward. “I have seen them.” she said quietly. “Seen what little lady?” the cop asked her. “I have seen the people who walk.” she said. “Well, that's just fine. Why don't you come with me now?” the cop said as he walked toward her. As he approached, he placed his hand on her arm and began to lead her to his car. “No!” she shrieked, and ripped her arm away from him with a force that surprised him. He instinctively drew his gun, and said slowly, “Ok, now. Let's just take it easy here. No one's going to hurt you.” She ignored him and began to step inside the fountain. “Ma'am! Ma'am! Please come with me now!” he demanded. She turned to look at him, her eyes blank. The cop looked into the fountain at the woman and saw that her eyes were closed and her head was back. An extremely bright light began from the bottom of the fountain, engulfing everyone. Soon, the squealing began. First as if from a distance but then inside his head. He could feel it in his teeth, and a wave of nausea began to overtake him. He tried to fire his gun, but before it would stop, he would vomit on his shoes, by the side of his car. Wiping his mouth, he looked up to see the last person in the fountain disappear.
By now, he had some backup and as they approached, they could see the cop rise to his feet and begin to stumble to the fountain. As before, there was nothing remaining except for some white powder on the sides.
Ok..that's enough for now. I can tell you're scared. Actually, I thought I had finished this story, but, surprise! surprise! I didn't, it just kind of petered out, so you're gonna have to do with this tidbit for now. I will finish soon, or maybe not! Or I might just start another!

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