It won’t be long now; I can see it coming, just over the hill.
It’s been five hours since it started. Five long hours. But this here deck chair is comfortable. And I’ve got a dozen beer. Well, had; three left now. It’ll be enough, judging by how fast it’s moving. And it’s a nice day, all told. The sun is shining, and the birds are singing. They were, at least. I think they flew off a couple of hours ago. They’re smart, could sense it coming.
I should’ve filled the tank on the truck. My dad always told me to keep it topped up. “You never know what’s coming,” he’d say. “You might need to get somewhere quick. Hard to do that with the tank on empty.” And Christ if he wasn’t right.
But maybe it wouldn’t have done any good. I can see the highway from where I am on my back deck. It’s backed up solid, bumper to bumper, all the way from the city to the horizon. Poor bastards. I’d rather sit here in peace until it comes.
I don’t know what it is even; the damned radio stopped working when it first arrived, appeared or what have you. Never did have an Internet connection, not in the house and never bothered with one of those smart phones. I doubt those are working either. That stuff never does when it counts.
And, like the gas, it probably wouldn’t make any difference. It’s coming. I can see it coming; there’s a little orange glow on the hill now. Not orange like a sunset, no. There’s a sinister edge to it. I don’t know. It’s just not right. And I can feel it too, you know? There’s an electricity in the air; static maybe?
Yep, I should have listened to my dad.
Every other day I would’ve filled up that damned tank. I would’ve left this morning, first thing. Went fishing maybe, out off Route 69. Ha, that name always makes me smirk. Anyway, I’ve done that before, gone fishing. On days when I woke up and there was something off with the world. Like the day Maureen left. I didn’t cry. I got in my truck and just drove. The tank was full that day. There was no stopping, no second thinking. Just me and the road.
So, yeah, maybe the highway would’ve been blocked. But at least I would’ve had a chance. Now I’m just waiting. Even at the end we like to try, to feel like we’re doing something. Rage, rage, against… something. I don’t know. I read that somewhere, once, a long time ago. In school most likely.
The beer is good. The expensive local microbrewery stuff. Maureen thought it wasn’t worth the price, not when there’s cheaper stuff to be had. Well, guess what baby? It doesn’t matter what you think anymore. Soon it won’t matter what anyone thinks. If anyone still does.
Jesus, that’s bright. What the hell is it? Some kind of spaceship? No. A mushroom cloud?
Whatever it is it’s getting warmer here now. Not like a nice summer day either. No, this is the kind of heat you feel inside, under your skin. I don’t know if it’s radiation but probably. Guess it won’t be long now.
I would’ve thought it’d be louder. It’s actually pretty quiet. Though I do miss the birds.
Time enough for one more brew I’d say. All things considered, there are worse ways to go. But then again, it’d be better to be driving. At least then I’d feel like I was doing something.
I should have listened to my daddy.