This is the third part of a story, if you haven’t read part one and two, check out these links first:
Winking Existence Part One
Winking Existence Part Two
I was back in the safe room, I could feel cool, fresh air, the white of the walls was swimming into focus. “More power, shouted my assistant.”We almost have him. More fucking power!”
Well, it was nice while it lasted. I hit the pavement again, lay still for a minute, wondering which parts of me didn’t hurt. I lifted my head from the ground, looked around for my homeless friend. There was no trace of him, or the bike. I pulled myself up, blood dripping on the street beneath me. I was tempted to give up, find a nice comfortable place to curl up and wait for my inevitable death, but the stubborn part of me just wouldn’t give up. Stubborn and stupid are usually on the same page of most dictionaries.
Blood dripped from shoes as I shuffled along the street.I watched for something,anything that might help me,another bicycle, a wheelchair, even a scooter, but I saw nothing.
I had walked for at least an hour when I came to the crest of the biggest hill I had ever seen. It was at least half a mile long, and steep, going straight down into a valley, before going back up again. Four lanes of traffic had gone up and down this hill, but now there was as silent as a photograph. Once this had been a busy street, but now it was the pupae stage of a corpse, there would be nothing left here in a little over an hour. It would take me that long to just get down this hill and up the other side. And then I would be dead.
Still a solid yellow glow on my bracelet. I would not be getting home until I could further away from the epicentre. The cars didn’t run, but they could still roll. I traced a path down the hill. There were a few cars stalled, but most of them were pulled off to the side of the road, I would have mostly clear path. The bottom of the hill was a different story, the pile of cars was enormous, the EMP must have gone off as people were fleeing down the hill. Suddenly without electronics, people would have rolled to the bottom, crashing and scraping into each other. I might be able to go around the pile and drift up the other side of the hill, if I was careful.
The biggest car near the top of the hill was an old Jeep. It was solid looking, with a roll bar, probably the safest vehicle around. I took a minute to figure out the controls, popped it in neutral, and slowly, ever so slowly, pushed it over to the top of the hill.
I was agony, my bruised and battered body screamed at me with every exertion. Sweat poured down my neck and back, spots swam in front of my eyes. I gasped for breath, but I made it. The Jeep started rolling.
I jumped into the driver’s seat, and just had enough time to get the seat belt on before the roll really began. I picked up speed quickly, the hill was just that steep. My knuckles where white on the steering wheel.
Faster and faster I went. I had to fight the urge to stomp on the breaks, I couldn’t give up any momentum. I raced down the hill, the landscape blurring in my peripheral vision. The pile of cars rushed up at me, tonnes of deadly twisted metal and glass, prepared to become my tombstone.
I wrenched the steering wheel to the right, pulling into a gas station. The jeep bucked as it hit the curb, I was tossed into the air, but still, I managed to hold on to the steering wheel.
I grazed the side of another car, bumping tit out of my way, giving up precious momentum. I was past the majority of the cars now, back on the road, on the other side, about to head up the hill.
I hit a pothole, the jeep lurched forward and tilted, canting at a sickening angle. The sound of tearing metal filled the air as the axle ripped from the chassis. I was thrown forward, seatbelt just stopping me from crashing into the steering column. However, I would have yet another bruise.
Finally the jeep was still. I clambered down, finding myself only a little way back up on the other side of the hill. I hadn’t made it as far as I had hoped, but still, I had managed to cover a lot of distance, with only some bruises to show for it. I was still alive, so that was a good thing.
The hill stretched before me, going up and up and up. It wasn’t as steep on this side, but it was long. Very long. The sun was beginning to touch the horizon, I knew I had very little time left. I could hear the distant rumble of thunder, and I knew it was beginning.
The bracelet was still yellow. I had to move on.
I forced myself to trot up the hill, I couldn’t run, not in my state, but walking would not get me very far. I could taste metal on my tongue, feel static crawling up and down my skin. I passed under a bridge, and could see the crest of the hill before me.
Still I went on, pausing only to throw up.
At the top of the hill my bracelet started to glow green, a bright, solid green.
I looked back toward downtown. Black clouds spun in an ugly circle, lightening crashed in the sky.
The explosions started then. I fist of fire rose in the sky, engulfing downtown. The explosion roared in my ears.
My bracelet was still green.
I watched as the wall of fire came rushing at me, buildings turned to cinder, trees evaporated in the heat. All of Toronto’s history, destroyed in one freak occurrence. A storm, seeded with chemicals to break a longstanding drought, burst forth with explosive force. Thousands of simultaneous lightening strikes, more powerful than a nuclear bomb, had destroyed the city and surrounding areas.
The wall of fire grew closer.
My bracelet shone green.