Winking Existence Part 3 – Conclusion

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.

I waited.

Friday Fiction – Winking Existence Part One

Hey people,

I started playing around with the theme of time travel. Here is the first part of my first effort. It’s rough, I’m not heavily editing it right now, but I thought it was worth a read.

I will post part two and three next week!

Winking Existence – Part One

I knew when my head slammed against a brick wall something had gone wrong. I fell to the ground on my hands and knees, broken glass tearing into me. I shouted in pain and pushed myself up, brushing the glass away. When my vision cleared, I could see that I was in a dirty alley, a far cry from the sealed safe room I was supposed to materialize in.

Something had gone very wrong.

I check my status bracelet. Not surprisingly, the thin silver band looped around my right wrist glowed a steady red. Danger.

My hands and knees were sliced up, but they were not life threatening injuries. What I needed to do, and quickly, was to figure out where the hell I was. The alley opened onto a deserted street, filled with abandoned cars, as though strewn there by some petulant god. The air was cold; I could taste it on my tongue, acrid and coppery. I felt an icy chill in my veins when I realized where I was and how much trouble I was in.

I pushed my hands in my pockets, trying to find some warmth, and retrieved a folded piece of paper. I scanned it, reading the message that my partner had left for me.

“If you’re reading this, be grateful you are not dead. I decided that we needed a more dramatic test of the device, so instead of sending you back five minutes, I thought 50 years would be more interesting. Sorry if you are disappointed, but rest assured I will make sure people remember you for your contributions to the project.”

Betrayed by my partner, left to die in the middle of history’s greatest disaster. I always knew that asshole was a fucking cliché, I should have sent him back.

There were two things I needed to do. The first was to get out of Toronto, the epicentre of the disaster. After that I needed to find some way to signal my assistant. As long as she wasn’t involved, she should be at the safe room, wondering where the hell I was. If I could get far enough away, I might be able to get a signal, might be able to get back to my time. If I lived that long.

None of the cars would start, that much I knew. The Canadian government had blanketed the area with electromagnetic pulse bombs, hoping to control the carnage. History would show that it was a terrible idea, but I was in the middle of history now, living through it. I figured I had about two hours left, if I could make it far enough away, I might just survive.

Most of the cars were pointed in the same direction, I assumed that the people who lived here would know which way to go. I ran along empty streets, dodging cars, broken glass from shattered windows underfoot. Even the greatest natural disaster in history did not dissuade looters.

Within a few blocks my knees were screaming, blood ran down my pants. I bent over, hands on my thighs, panting. I would not get very far by running. I had spent too much time in a lab, not enough time in the gym.

I had to keep moving. I had a deadline, and in this case, the word dead would be literal.

Up ahead, on the next block was a sporting goods store. Looters had smashed the windows already, so getting in was not going to be much of a problem.  I scrambled through the shattered glass, careful not to cut myself anymore, and looked for something I could ride.

That’s when I winked out of existence.

To be continued…