Sunlight wouldn’t pierce the darkness smothering the decaying buildings that made the heart of Motor City for hours, making the cold streets desolate. An early season dusting of snow had left the roads slick, dangerous, and as vicious as Death himself. A pale yellow Datsun B-210 flew through a broken blinking red light at a dangerous speed. If anyone were out to see the old car blaze through the street they would have heard screaming coming from the belly of the small metal beast, screaming and the talk radio running ads for men’s health. The car and its fleshy passengers swerved in and out of the opposite lane as the driver did all he could to keep control of the little beater.
“AHH,” the woman lying on the worn fabric back seat screeched, “Are we close?”
“Ten minutes baby,” he said, “Just try to relax; breathe.”
“I am breathing!” she spat.
“You’re doing great,” the man said straining to pull a hard right to compensate for the Datsun’s sliding tires. The thin rubber tires of the old car grabbed the pavement just as the man really began to think that they were going to crash into a mailbox on the curve. He breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed slightly.
“…it is an act of pure terrorism on the level that this country has never seen. The incidents of Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers pale in comparison,” the radio announcer continued, “But the collective United States citizens breathed a small sigh of relief today as it has been reported that an attack on New Appleton has missed, or possibly been thwarted. Here’s what the president had to say on the issue:
“We as Americans have endured a lot over the past three days. Wednesday saw an unbelievable amount of death as this country has never seen with the decimation of the City of Angels. Atomic weapons have never been fired at the US, not until this tragedy that swept our great nation. Today, we dodged a bullet that would have seen another 10 billion lives ended or ruined. That’s not going to happen on my watch, or ever again.”
“As far as we know the president has been on the move or in hiding since the catastrophe in the City of Angels that took the lives of 6 billion people-“
The radio went silent as the woman let out another cry of agony.
“Almost there,” he said.
The man glanced at the speedometer. It read somewhere between 75 and 80 mph. He wore an ancient dingy white tee that had seen its share of grease stains. The man himself was relatively young, no older than twenty-seven, and was clearly strained with the stress of the situation. His black hair was partially slicked back; his face shaven, and thickly built. He turned looking over his shoulder into the back of the automobile where his wife was cradling her midsection.
She reached a hand up lightly tugging on his shirt adding a new fresh stain of blood to go with the old greasy ones.
Her voice was low, breathy, “I don’t think,” she huffed, “something’s not right, I’m not gonna make it.” The last words were barely audible over the strain of the four cylinders underneath the hood of the aging economy car.
The driver glanced over his shoulder temporarily forgetting about the dangerous snowy road. He saw the blood on the right shoulder of his shirt and his wife’s pale face beyond that in the back seat.
“Like hell you’re not,” he said to himself pushing the pedal to the floor which put the needle well over eighty-five.