Red Dawn

20 May

cunt pic

(Previously)

The new bomb punched a hole in the sky. Over the fireball the black cloud ceiling of seething H. R. Giger demon intestines broke open. You could see blue. The blast was up high. Miles and miles East. The sound came half a minute later with heat like a blow dryer too close to your neck. Then quiet. They’d come out of the tent barefoot in the mud, lower halves naked in the cool wet air, peering over the cinder block fence and squinting. Is it safe to look, she said.

If it wasn’t, we’re already fucked.

Will there be radiation?

I don’t think we can do anything. If we’re gonna die we’re gonna die. How do you feel?

I feel OK.

Me too.

Did you cum in me?

I did.

What if I get pregnant?

We’ll eat it.

She laughed.

**

Since the last strike was East they went West. Neither knew the roads. Their phones used to tell them. His had still been in his pocket. She played Garage Band while they drove past caved in houses and cars, wet slumped and coal black. She made a song with the vibraphone until the phone asking for money from a server it could no longer reach made it die. Filthy coyotes pulled at the tendons of dead children in the front yards. Scattered when the car came. He kept the revolver in his lap but it felt like it was alive and might shoot his nuts off. He held it out to her. Do you know how to use this, he said.

Do you?

Don’t be an asshole.

I used to go the gun range with Chad.

So you had cool dates together.

Are you jealous?

Fuck… kind of.

How?

I don’t know how to feel.

Me neither.

Can you just shoot any adult males you see, please. I don’t trust anybody.

OK. If I miss, run them over.

I’m serious. Everyone we’ve seen is rapists.

I was surprised you weren’t.

Well the day is young.

You’re not like that, she said.

When they found the freeway it was just heaps of black metal. Thermonuclear war had occurred during business hours. But a minor economic uptick meant one per cent more cars on the roads, which doubled all drive times. Everything had burned and exploded. Right past the on ramp was a huge ashen hole filled with charred skeletons reaching desperately for the ledge. We have to walk, she said.

Not yet.

What are we gonna do? It will all be like this.

There are fire roads in the mountains, he said. No idea if it was true. He’d spent a thousand hours in the hills seeking woodpeckers. Never seen a fire road. But he aimed the car toward the hills at random and had a piece of good luck. The houses stopped. The pavement stopped. On the leeward side from the city there was sage and green grass from the rain. Dirt that hadn’t been on fire.

Oh my God, she said. Pull over.

A dirty creek ran down a slash in the hillside and green vines grew with white and purple flowers. Bees and hummingbirds floated over them. He cut the engine in the old black Benz and it rattled for half a minute more sucking diesel out. He’d have to start using the canola oil soon. He hoped it worked. It did on Mythbusters. Wild peas, she said.

She climbed out of the car and squatted by the bank where the water ran into a pipe under the road. Picked some and brought them back to him, with one little flower. A fabaceous herb, she said. Look- five petals. The banner, the wings and the keel.

This is amazing- you know about plants?

Yeah, I love botany.

Is there anything else we can eat in these hills?

No.

Well shit.

I’m shocked this is even here. They’re poisonous. If you eat too many they’ll paralyze you.

Jesus Christ–

It’s OK. There’s not enough to hurt us.

He took one. It was stringy and made his teeth hurt but it tasted like fresh cut grass smelled. Everything tasted like life itself now. Like the Earth. A rattlesnake looked on from the mud. He could swear it blinked. When he went for the rifle it was gone.

**

They came around a bend and there it was. A water tank high up in tall grass. Sides aluminum colored instead of black. Hills high enough and far enough outside town that things were sheltered. You could still read the signs. One of them said FIRE ROAD. I told you, he thought. A pipe ran down from it and it had leaked and tall black mustard weeds sprouted yellow flowers.

I can’t believe it, she said.

It’s the best thing I’ve ever seen.

They parked the car and he took the Evian bottles to fill. I’m going to look for more peas, she said.

Don’t go too far. She shot him a look like you’re not my boss.

Take a gun.

It will be fine.

I don’t want to lose you.

You barely know me, she said. But she took the revolver. Walked off into the ravines.

He took a long cool drink straight from the leaky pipe before starting on the bottles. Maybe twenty minutes before he heard six loud fast cracks echoing. Ran to the car. Guns half spilling out the black duffle bag and he grabbed the one close to his hands, the rifle with the scope and the black stock and the pointy .308 bullets long as his thumb. Tried to slam the bolt home while he was running and couldn’t. Had to stop. It was sticky, fucking up somehow– finally after what felt like a ten episode miniseries he got it. Checked the safety. Red means dead. Fucking remember this time. Ran again until her head popped up over the grass and the chaparral and she was laughing. GET ON THE GROUND, GET ON THE FUCKING GROUND, he was screaming, and she was laughing and saying it’s OK, it’s OK. A man stood in blue track pants and white sneakers and a hoodie that said WHARTON.

It’s OK, she said. He had the gun at his shoulder but the scope just looked like opening your eyes underwater. The tiny bright dot with crosshairs seemed to appear and disappear at random. He couldn’t make WHARTON appear in it. You’re gonna miss, said the man. And you’re gonna scope yourself. You’ll lose an eye. It’s OK, said Marcy.

What happened.

I startled her. Honest mistake.

Is it true?

Yes, she said. He’s nice–

Don’t feel bad. She missed too.

He lowered the gun. Are you OK, he said to Marcy, and she said yes I’ve been telling you. My name’s Kent, said the man. And he pronounced the T too hard as he reached out a hand from his hoodie pouch pocket.

Kent was white. Maybe 45. Maybe five foot ten. His hair was black with a stately amount of gray at the temples. His face was like a senator from Utah. He sounded like a commercial for paying to make sure your loved ones were taken care of after the unthinkable.

You came up from LA? Said Kent.

Yes, Sherman Oaks—sorry, I didn’t mean to–

Not looking too good down there I bet.

They’re raping people.

How’s the infrastructure.

What?

The roads–

They weren’t great to begin with. Where did you come from–

Calabasas. We got hit hard too, and they keep coming. But if you came up here for the bunker I’m in it.

He looked at Marcy, then at Kent, then at Marcy.

You don’t know about the bunker, said Kent.

Is there food?

Enough for me to wait it out for a while, said Kent. But not too long.

Anyone else with you?

Just me, said Kent. Would you like to take a look?

I should lock the car.

We’ll wait, said Kent.

**

He came back with the .45 in his belt. Red means dead. Kent and Marcy had started walking and he had to jog to catch up. Over the ridgeline was a barbed wire fence on a concrete slab with a heart that said CUNT painted on it. A path through a hole in it. Nestled in the hills old blown out cement buildings. City buses picked clean. Everything spraypainted with Fuck Piss Cunt. Down a staircase cut in the hillside a giant concrete platform. Thick looking steel double doors in it, maybe forty feet long. For the missile crew, said Kent. Steel, dirt and concrete. We’ve had air blasts so far but if we get a ground hit there’ll be fallout. This was made to take it. Do you know what this place was?

No–

This was a Nike site. Military installation for missile defense. They built fifteen or so of these around the city, to intercept atomic weapons and aircraft–

Fucking great job–

Well it’s been defunct since the 70’s. But it wasn’t to protect people. They protected military assets. Ultimately it was more efficient to just move them away from population centers where the nukes would hit. I was an Air Force man myself.

By the missile doors was a small square hatch and Kent crouched down and opened it. The hinges screamed and the sound bounced around a tunnel underneath and startled sparrows out of the creosote bushes. A tiny steel ladder dropped down a chute into blackness.

Kent brushed the rust off his hands. I’m glad you’re here, he said. I don’t know when they’re coming but they will be. The Russians, the Chinese– the Arabs. We’re going to resist. They want to take this country, they can pry it from my cold, dead hands. Come take a look and we’ll talk, said Kent. He gestured at the ladder. You go ahead.

There was something about the air. Not a smell but something cold he could feel in his lungs. He hesitated. Then held his breath and climbed down into the dark.

5 Responses to “Red Dawn”

  1. Jesus Aaron Acosta May 21, 2018 at 7:19 am #

    Chingon!

  2. Anony-fucking-mous May 23, 2018 at 7:00 pm #

    This has been one of my favorite things these past few years. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. BlogCommentsRUs May 26, 2018 at 12:09 am #

    Finally some good shit. Keep it up.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Sticky: Finally, Some Good News | delicioustacos - May 20, 2018

    […] Red Dawn […]

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