I was sitting on top of a grassy hill that stood taller than all the other hills, high enough that it nearly touched the depths of the heavens. I looked out over the city of Fairview. A city that wasn’t what people imagined it to be. No skyscrapers, no busied traffic, no flashy suits or crowded sidewalks. It was a small city that rested between the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
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It was early in the morning. Clouds gathered up behind the mountains at this time and then bled out extraordinary storms in the afternoon. The lightning was the worst, but that was just my opinion, I had a terrible fear of it.
I turned each page of my tattered notebook like a delicate napkin, threatened that it would break apart and fly aloft into the steady wind, floating down onto streets and highways, anonymous to everyone that it used to be something of value to me.
I hate starting new paragraphs with “I”, damn it, I did it again. I ripped out the paper in my notebook and started over. Don’t do it again. don’t be tempted to.
Rain speckled the windshield like snowflakes in October. The clouds darkened off to the right and trailed off over the mountains. My parents didn’t want me getting my permit till I was 16 so they drove me all over the place. I could care less about driving. After all, the gas prices had gone to hell.
The traffic started to slow down and then came to a complete stop. I leaned up to look over the van in front of us. More cars, lots more, all lined up down the road in endless numbers.
“Fuck!” My dad roared.
Rush hour. the worst part of the afternoon besides the lightning. Why can’t all the cars just float away?
My dad turned off the car and lay back in his seat with his eyes closed as I stared at the back bumper of the van in front of us. Off in the distance, cars began to float up into the sky, one after another, bending off over the mountains and fading off over the horizon in all directions until the highway lay completely bare.
My dad opened his eyes, stunned, as if he’d opened his refrigerator and found baby chickens climbing out of egg cartons, “How long was I asleep?” He asked, turning the car back on and slowly succeeding down the road.
This is going no where. I scratched out half of what I had written and started over.
The bomb dropped like Hiroshima on the cars in front of us. The sky lit up brighter than the sun as tiny particles of what use to be cars blasted out past us like a deadly hurricane. I looked over at my dad, who hadn’t witnessed anything. He opened his eyes and looked out onto the gigantic crater that had formed off in the distance, “What the hell?!” he yelled.
What the hell is right.What the hell am I doing? I turned each page in frustration. Faster and faster I peeled through them until one of the pages tore off and twirled off down the hill in troubled elegance.
“Shit!” I yelled, trying to snatch it before it broke away from my grasp. My frustration gathered and I opened to a new page in my notebook.
Elliot Kole was always listening to the blues, the old stuff, before the covers and the cheap imitations, Clapton being an exception. He used to play along to it on his guitar for hours at a time until one of his strings snapped from playing too aggressively.
Wait. no. stop.I ripped the page out completely and started over.
We arrived at the hardware store with no traffic on the way, no bombs, or sudden changes in gravity. My dad and I walked through each hallway looking for tools for his shop. He was planning on building the Ark when the great storm hit. It would come in a couple days over the Rocky Mountains and wash away the entire human race, all because of global warming. Wow, how great is that?
“Can I help you?” One of the store employees asked.
My dad looked over at the man like he was looking at a ghost. He shook his head and walked on down the hall silently.
“We’re fine,” I replied. The man shrugged and walked away. My father was a bit depressed about the future, so he spoke little. He was focused only on getting the right tools, the tools to build the Ark to save our family and maybe thousands of other people from a perilous death. Suddenly, there was a huge explosion that crashed out from above us.
Wait. what was that? My eyes opened up to darkness, pure darkness. I squinted as rain drops dripped down across my eyelashes and through my clothing. The notebooks in my left hand were somewhat scattered out near the tips of my fingers as if I had suddenly fallen asleep and pushed them aside.
Then there was a terrifying flash of lightning that lit up the sky for a brief second. Thunder followed it almost immediately, crackling and echoing out into the expanse like the snapping of burning wood over a large fire. I froze completely, paralyzed in the soaking wet grass that attempted to drown me as it became wetter and wetter. I leaned forward with my notebooks in my hand and looked out onto the other hills in shock. Each hill had become its own island, mine being the largest. I tried to find the remains of Fairview below the depths of the Western sea and saw nothing more than the reflection of black ink sky.
Off in the distance I saw an enormous, wooden ship. I stood up and started waving furiously to catch its attention over the thickening fog. It didn’t take long for it to reach me and when it did, I was amazed to find that it was my father leading it.
“Take that ladder!” He yelled.
I grabbed the rope ladder hanging off the side of the boat and slowly climbed onboard. I kept my head leveled to the ground as waterfalls of water lashed out past my face.
“A-are we going to die?!” I shouted over the storm.
“I don’t know!” Was his reply, which was barely audible as the lions roared out through the heavens.
I shuddered as more lightning scattered through the air. I worried about it striking the boat. I worried about it taking my life. Frying every organ in my body and blowing pieces of my brains all over the place. I’d lay down, lifeless, with smoke dissolving off of my charred body.
I looked over at my father with his buckets, scooping out water that flooded the boat constantly. I felt like helping him but I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know anything at the moment, I was terrified and confused. I looked around the boat at groups of other people, huddled up against the walls of the boat, petrified.
And unexpectedly, everything began to smear. I watched in terror as huge tsunamis cornered us at every direction. I watched as the boat literally melted onto the sea and evaporated into the air. The fingers on my hands began to disintigrate in every way without discharging any pain. I tried to scream but my face curled into a misshapen ball. I could hear everyone around me screaming as their bodies fused together. I could’ve sworn that I had just died at that moment as an awkward silence sounded out around me, followed by the soft sound of spring wind. I could see only white, I could feel nothing, and do absolutely nothing. I could only listen to the strange sounds that seemed to secrete around me.
Ah! I’m doing it again! No more “I”‘s! No more “I”‘s I erased everything I had written and heaved a huge sigh of irritation. And I’m still doing it! There’s no stopping it! I stood up with the notebooks in my hands and stepped down the hill furiously. I decided to stop there and go home. Home was about four miles from here. It would probably take thirty minutes to walk there.
Once I had cleared the hills I peered down across the highway which sat peacefully as cars drove across it this way and that. The lane coming towards me was crowded with traffic that had come to a complete stop. People honked and tried to drive down the side of the road but ended up getting caught by the cops halfway across.
I looked up into the sky at a large ball of light surging towards them at great speeds while cars began to lift off from the ground and float off through the sky, vanishing over mountains and crashing into small towns. The Rocky Mountains erupted with lava that flooded the cities around them. The skies slowly grew darker and darker till everything became pitch black and I could see nothing, feel nothing, and do absolutely nothing. The creases and folds would come next, and I would be ready, as long as it wasn’t lightning, I would be ready.
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