View Full Version : The Winnowing.
08-19-2006, 11:55 AM
Four people encircled him as he stood focussing on their every movement, paying acute attention to the sound of their white cotton ghi’s as their movement came closer from all directions.
Suddenly one assailant sprang forward, his arm reaching out to grab the black sleeve of the encircled man.
In a quick motion he shifted to the side, grasping the wrist of his assailant and pulling hard in the same direction of his movement, letting inertia do the rest of the work for him. As he guided him to the ground a second and third student came forward with great speed. He spun quickly, locking his arm underneath the shoulder of the nearest one and crouching down as he pulled him over, launching him into the air for a short moment to come crashing down onto the bamboo matt. As he turned again to face the third student he noticed that he seemed pleased to see his sensei already in a low position. The sensai quickly slapped away at the students prying hands and grabbed hold of his ghi at the collar, rolling hindward on to his back, his foot firmly placed on the students hip as he kicked him into the air. Quickly he returned to his feet with the rest of the momentum. “Come on Ailesha, your turn.” He said to the last student who stood there somewhat stunned at the quickness of the ordeal.
Her face was oval and smooth, she peered at him with brilliant green eyes, and her brow furrowed as she mustered the courage to go ahead. She ran toward him, slapping away his first attempt at grabbing a hold of her sleeve. She quickly wrapped an arm around his shoulder, and slid behind his frame. She kicked out one knee yet as he fell she was plucked from the ground, rotating over his shoulder and sent flying into the matt.
The sensei rose to his feet. “Good job guys, very well done.”
“What do you mean well done?” Said one of the three men on the matt. “We’re all on our ~~~~~.”
“Yes, true, but you actually made me think a little harder this time.” Replied the sensei. “Look, you guys are doing really well. All of you are great nage’s with the other students, but I see that there are some aspects of the art that you haven’t yet received, that’s why I’m having these extra sessions with you guys.”
Another trainee stood up “We weren’t all trained from birth by some Japanese master Steve. Don’t expect us to get it the way you do.”
“That’s absurd. First of all I was five when my dad met the guy, and he wasn’t a master.”
Ailesha lay on her back still. “I think the funniest part is that you’re atheist and you’re teaching Aikido.”
Steve knelt down, peering at her from above. “Just because I don’t believe in Ki doesn’t mean I can’t grasp the concept of the skill little lady.” He got up again. “Alright, I want Ailesha with Stan, Mark with Andrew. Andrew and Ailesha, you’re the uke’s, get to it.”
The evening sun dropped beneath the horizon as the pink sky began its shift into red. The grunts of the students could be heard through the windows of the dojo throughout the twilight.
A few hours later they were all changed and putting their shoes on at the doorway of the dojo. Andrew turned about from the bottom of the stairs. “Hey Stan, you wanna go for a beer? I owe you one for that hip toss.”
“Yeah sounds good to me, Ailesha, you coming?”
She turned to the two of them as they gathered at the bottom of the stairs. “No that’s alright, I’m expected somewhere else, but thanks for the offer. I hope you two have a good time.”
“Yeah, talk to you later.” Stan said, jogging a bit to catch up to Andrew as he made his way to the car.
“ Well, I’m out. See you next week Steve” Said mark.
“Sure thing, be careful on that crotch rocket, I swear I’ve seen more people get mutilated on one of those than any other mode of transportation.”
“You're full of ~~~~, you love the speed when I give you rides.”
Ailesha laughed, “He's such a hypocrite isn't he?” she said to Mark while he started the bike and gave them a salute goodbye.
She turned to Steve, “So it’s just us now.”
“I want to watch a movie.”
“Sounds good, my place or yours?”
Steve smiled and took her by the hand. They made their way to her car and were off within minutes.
The alarm blared at him as he groggily swapped at it, his face buried in the pillow. Finally his hand smacked it and it fell from the night stand, crashing onto the tiles.
“Great” He said, muffled into the pillow.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door that made him look up from the pillow into the mirror above the bed. Again the knocking came, so he quickly jumped to his feet and slipped into a pair of jeans that were laying on the ground from the day before. “Yes?” he said to the door as he made his way to it.
“Steve open up, It’s Mark.” came a voice from the other side.
“Oh, come in man, what’s up?”
The door opened and Mark made his way in hastily. “Have you seen the news man?” You gotta check this out.” He walked quickly through the living room, still in his leather biking gear. Flipping the television on he snatched the remote and sat down in a chair.
“I don’t think so Mojo.”
“Wha?” replied Mark.
“Out of the chair.”
“Oh, yeah sorry.”
“That’s my throne man, you don’t just slap your greasy leather wrapped ~~~ on it.”
Mark laughed. “Don’t worry man, I’m clean.”
“I’m sure.” Replied Steve mockingly as he sat into the La-Z-boy. “And no, I haven’t seen the news, I don’t watch the news, it’s depressing. So what’s the fuss?”
Mark peered down at the remote, searching for the right button as he spoke. “Some crazy stuff happening overseas.” He said, looking up at the T.V. as he tried one more button.
Steve shook his head. “Give it here.” He said.
“Nah, it’s alright I’ll get it.”
“Yeah but I want to be living by the time you do.”
“Don’t worry about it, it’s under control.”
Steve stood up.
“Ok here you go.” Mark said, giving the remote over to him.
“Thank you.” Steve said as he sat back down and flipped a few channels. “Which channel?”
“Ugh, twenty three.”
In a moment the news was on.
*”.. As you can see below, the riots have become much greater since this morning. I’m here on the rooftop of the Harare International Airport in Zimbabwe. The citizens of Harare have been coming in all modes of transportation but since about three hours ago great mobs of people have been coming to the airport only on foot, which is about a ten kilometre walk from the city centre. There is still no explanation for the riots, our translator is missing and so we can only get bits information from those bilingual citizens who are fortunately in great number. We’ve heard reports from the city that several of the road blocks that were erected this morning have been deserted by the local authorities for unexplained reasons. It is truly mass hysteria here. Hopefully we will have answers as the day goes on.” “That was John Fostworth -
“Holy ~~~~ did you see that?” Exclaimed mark. As he pointed to the tv.
Steve turned to him. “See what?”
“You have PVR right?”
“Rewind it to just before they cut his feed.”
Steve rewound to the moments before John Fostworth’s report finished and hit play.
“Right there!” Mark exclaimed again, getting up from the chair and pointing at the tv. “You missed it again. Put it in slow motion.
Steve rewound again and played it back in slow motion. From the corner of the camera’s field of view a man burst into the scene in the background from a rooftop doorway and frantically ran toward the lip of another section of the building which was about six feet high and began jumping to get up. Suddenly, only a few seconds before the shot returned to the anchorman, a series of figures bolted out of the doorway and toward the struggling man. He was ripped from his attempt at climbing the wall and pulled violently to the ground as more people poured forth from the doorway as small dark figures in the background of the shot.
“What was that?” Steve said, rewinding it again as he got out of his chair and got up close to the television just beside Mark. He played it over again.
“Oh my god.” He said lowly, as from this close he could distinctly make out that the figures were biting into the struggling man. “What the hell is going on?”
“I don’t know man, but it’s really freaking me out.”
“I’m so glad I’m Canadian.”
“Get back to the news.”
They both sat back down as Steve put the PVR back onto regular broadcasting.
*... ever was the reason for the crash still isn’t known” Said a reporter as she stood in a field somewhere in Britain, while the carcass of a jumbo jet smashed into hundreds of pieces lay ablaze behind her. “This is Samantha Kingsbury, CBC news England”. The screen switched back to Peter Mansbridge, “In other news...*
Steve shut the tv.
“Hey?” Baked Mark. “What gives?”
“I don’t watch the news, it’s depressing. Besides I have a busy day today, I have to go to the bank and get some stuff done there before heading to work. Did you bike here or did you take the car?”
“Think you can give me a ride?”
“Yeah sure, my extra helmet’s always around.”
“Alright, let me take a shower and we’ll get going.” Steve said as he got up. “And thanks.” he said. “For the ride and all.”
“No problem” Mark said as he unsuccessfully groped the remote control. “How the hell does this freaking thing work?”
: To be continued :
08-20-2006, 12:38 PM
Very misleading at the beginning. I was almost sure the people encircling him were zombies. lol. Nice work, I like the amount of dialog and descriptions of the actions
08-20-2006, 01:45 PM
Pretty good man, I enjoyed reading it. Keep it comming!
08-20-2006, 10:55 PM
Thank you for the comments, and yes Cholo you're right; after re-reading it is misleading as to who exactly the assailants are until further description in the following lines. That's why critics are so important ;).
And there's more comming up shortly, as a matter of fact I think I'll add some right now.
08-21-2006, 12:41 AM
Steve sat at his desk, on the drawing board lay a blank canvas. Pensively he observed the void, peering into the emptiness. He picked up a black marker and made a few quick strokes, a semi circle and several more slashes on the canvas that became a skillfully accurate rendition of the human eye. As if infected with a vicious inspiration he attacked the canvas with enthusiasm, swiping with the marker with quick sharp strokes. His eyes focused, his brow furrowed, his head cocked to the side in contemplation as his arm continued its assault on the canvas. Strokes populated it with great speed and soon he cast aside the black marker and searched momentarily on his desk before retrieving a blue one. A few quick strokes later he pulled up a red one, then a yellow one and onto purple and green. A knock at the door severed his gaze from his work.
“Yes?” He hollered as the door opened.
“Hey Parker, how’s that exhibit going?”
“It’s just about done, but it’s a quick one. If you want me to do something better you have to give me more than half an hours notice. I have two more to do for Lindsey before we go to the pub.”
“Sounds good, can I see?” Said the man as he peered from behind the door.
“Sure Shawn, come on in.”
Shawn entered the room excitedly, closing the door behind him with juvenile glee. He made his way to the desk quietly as if he were sneaking out of bed at the age of nine. “Let’s see what our Michelangelo has for us.” He said as he came around the desk. “Wow...” he hushed, as he beheld the artwork before him. “She’s beautiful, did you just pull that right out of your head?”
“Sure did, and thanks for not asking me who she is. I hate that question.”
“Good to know. Man you didn’t need more time this is perfect!”
“To you maybe, but to the potential buyers of the advertisement it may be lacking.”
“I doubt that, I’ve got a great pitch for them. We’ll have that contract in no time.” Shawn turned to him with a questioning expression. “Did that intern stop by at all?”
“No the new one, um... Christa or something.”
“No why was she supposed to?”
“Not really, I mentioned who you were when she noticed some of your work in my office from the Chrysler campaign and she told me she’d probably stop by to meet you.”
Steve cocked an eyebrow. “Really, is she pretty?”
“She’s about as stunning as your lady in ink here.”
“Did you tell her about Ailesha?”
“Of course not.”
“You scoundrel, are you trying to get me in trouble?”
“Absolutely not.” He said with a wink.
“Is she coming to the pub with us tonight?”
“Not if Ailesha is.”
“You’re ridiculous, I wouldn’t cheat on her.”
Shawn laughed, “It’s not cheating, you’re not going steady, you guys are still feeling each other out, no rules state that you can’t feel others out at the same time.”
“No, true. But past experience proves that doing so is about as dangerous as playing Russian Roulet.”
“Good point. So is Ailesha coming?”
“No, she can’t she has a night shift at the hospital.”
“Great, I’ll see you at nine.” Shawn said with a smirk. “Keep up the good work, and I’ll be back in ten minutes to get that from you.”
“Do you want me to add on it?” Steve remarked as Shawn grabbed the door handle.
“Um... yeah sure I trust you.” He said almost mockingly. “ I’ll be right back.”
“Yeah yeah, get going already.” replied Steve as he focused once again on the woman before him. The door closed, its sound was followed by a silence broken only by Steve’s breathing. “Steve, why do you put yourself into these situations.” He said to himself, picking up another colored marker and swiping away at the canvas once more.
08-21-2006, 12:42 AM
Later that evening he was grabbing his coat from the hanger beside his office door. He looked back at the room, its rich wooden furniture and its modern steel and glass furniture somehow creating an enticing symbiosis. The mess of papers on the desk couldn’t be avoided, but wasn’t an eyesore enough to break the alluring sense of class that the decor swelled with. He closed the light and made his way through the mostly empty cubicles of the fourteenth floor office building, waving to the janitor on his way to the front office. The transition from grey carpet to black marble flooring always put a smile on his face. He always loved marble, it would be laid out throughout his home if he had the money for it. The sleek shine and smooth finish of it intoxicated his senses. He often passed his hands over the walls near the elevator, for they were also covered in the black marble, up to the chest anyway. After that it was dark redwood paneling, something else that was quite romantic to him. Once inside the elevator he descended to the fourth basement level where Shawn parked his Porsche. As he exited the elevator that stench of oil and filth hit him harder than usual. The drab grey walls and smut covered ceilings surrounded him quite uncomfortably. He saw Shawn at his parking lot, crowded in by a few more co-workers that were eager to head off to their Friday night watering holes.
“Hey.” Steve said as they turned to him. “When are we going?”
Shawn looked at him somewhat angrily. “Took you a while didn’t it.”
Steve shrugged, “Well I had some things to finish.”
The sound of a bike came roaring up the ramp as Mark pulled into the parking garage. He pulled up beside the small group of people and quickly hopped off the bike, removing his helmet and pulling the spare from its place on the back of the seat before throwing it to Steve.
“We’ve got to go.” Said Mark in a hurried, almost panicking voice.
Steve looked at him confusedly. “Why what do you mean?”
“It’s here.” He said, “Put it on, we’re leaving.”
Shawn turned to him. “Who the hell are you, and what’s here?”
Steve looked at Shawn, then back to Mark, “Yeah, what’s here.”
“Remember the news this morning? Well they just reported similar activity in New York.
“So, that’s New York, we’re in Toronto.” Steve replied.
“Steve..” He said, pausing obviously to fight an urge to blare out the thoughts of his mind. “While you were at work I kept an eye on the news and it spread from Zimbabwe in South Africa to France in only twelve hours. If it’s in New York now it’ll be here within the next few hours if it isn't here already.”
Shawn stood before a small group of completely confused followers as he interjected once more. “What the hell are you talking about?”
Steve and Mark ignored him, continuing the conversation as if he weren’t there.
“What are we supposed to do?” said Steve.
“First of all we have to get Ailesha, she’s at the hospital, which in this case will probably be the worst place to be. Everyone’s like this posh business man here...” he said, pointing at Shawn, “... clueless and ignorant. They’ll dismiss this as some ordinary thing until the ~~~~ hit the fan so much it isn’t even turning anymore.”
“Who’re you calling clueless here chump?” Shawn said, pushing out his chest instinctively.
Steve put his hand on Shawn’s shoulder. “Don’t even bother Shawn, you’d be on your ~~~ before your first punch was swung. Trust me.”
“Who the hell are you to judge me?” Shawn said to Steve.
Steve looked at him seriously. “Shawn, you don’t know what you’re getting into if you pull your smart ~~~ ~~~~ with this guy. You’re quick yeah. You can take care of yourself at the bar, yes. But don’t try to strut your stuff at this moment, because Mark here is neither drunk, nor mindless. Put your temper aside or it’ll cause you a lot of shame and a lot of pain.”
“Who the ~~~~ do you think you are?” Shawn said, his face now crumpled in anger.
Steve stepped between them. “I’m saving you trouble, I’m not trying to insult you. Don’t try to impress your little posse.”
Mark shook his head. “Steve we don’t have time for this ~~~~, we have to get ready. It’ll be just as bad here as it is in Europe now, and we don’t have a lot of time.”
“No, you’re not going anywhere you punk. I’m not going to just sit here and take your ~~~~.” Shawn said, walking around Steve.
Steve looked at Mark, shaking his head yet harboring a smirk.
Mark rolled his eyes. “Look pal, I’m sorry, don’t do something irrational because I’m certainly not in the mood. I’m sure you’d rather not dirty your nice suit either.”
Shawn’s eyes flared with anger. “Who do you think you are eh? Some kind of ~~~~ing joker? Some punk who thinks he can be king ~~~~?”
The small crowd seemed amused by the confrontation, they looked on with excited gazes. They’d seen Shawn fight a few times before. He was a boxer in college, and he was better than the average at the time. His skill had dwindled since then, but not before he became famous around the office for a few memorable bar brawls.
Steve seemed eager as well. He was interested in how Mark would perform under pressure, in a true combat situation. He had trained him well, and Mark had been involved with the dojo when Steve’s father was still alive, which meant he had trained under him for a short time before the cancer took him. Roger, Steve’s father, was a believer in the spiritual aspect of their art, and so they often meditated in their youth; an aspect of Aikido which Steve no longer tought. This was a choice he sometimes still criticized because Mark excelled beyond other students in situations where Roger had been adamant about understanding and practicing meditation. This caused him to ponder if Mark’s knowledge of Ki actually improved his physical abilities. A supposition that Steve’s atheism could not accept.
Shawn was now yelling, his face red, his neck swelling with plump arteries. And finally it happened. It was in slow motion for Steve, and perhaps also for Mark because they had trained their reflexes precisely for this purpose. Shawn’s arm came out, it was a sloppy jab. One that a boxer would barely react to. But Mark was no boxer.
As Shawn’s arm came out Steve noticed Mark’s eyes quicken. As Mark dropped his helmet he snatched Shawn’s wrist and pulled it with such speed that Shawn hit the ground nearly at the same time as the helmet.
The technique was flawless, Mark had barely moved and he had managed to multiply the small amount of energy from Shawn’s jab to launch him to the ground. Steve couldn’t help but smile at the small group of people who undoubtedly missed the beauty of it in their ingorance and sloth.
“Come on we have no time to waste here.” Said Mark as he picked up his helmet and left Shawn on the ground, struggling frantically in his shame to get upright.
“I’m not done with you ~~~~er!” Shawn screamed.
Mark put on his helmet and was tying it as he replied. “Yeah, well I’m done with you.”
Steve intercepted Shawn on his way to the bike. “Drop it.” He said. “And get out of town as fast as you can, get to your cottage. A lot of trouble is coming, you won’t want to be in the city much longer.
Shawn looked at him in disgust. “~~~~ you.”
Steve simply ignored him, putting the helmet on and jumping on to the back of the bike. He tapped Mark on the back of the helmet to signal that he was ready to go. With a plume of smoke and the stench of burning rubber Mark spun the tire, spinning the bike around on the spot. Their turn made Shawn step back. Mark released the throttle to a torque that gripped the pavement and sent them into a short catwalk before they raced down the ramp and made their way out of the parking garage and into the night.
: To Be Continued :
08-21-2006, 02:17 AM
Really, really, really, really, *2 days later* really, really - really good.
08-21-2006, 11:20 AM
Thank you very much :D. Nice to know someone other than myself is enjoying it.
08-23-2006, 10:26 PM
The hospital was as busy as any Friday night would be. Most of the patience being admitted were of the inebriated variety. Ailesha was helping with triage in the emergency room when one of the doctors asked her to be an aid to a mild surgery. A woman had a growth that had ruptured and was causing a lot of pain to her right arm. She agreed right away and entered the small room just a few meters from the emergency waiting room. A large woman in her middle age sat waiting for her.
“Hello Mrs. Donavon?” She said, reading off the name from the chart.
“Yes.” The woman replied in a complaintive tone. “It’s very painful miss.” She remarked as she held her right arm at the shoulder. “I’ve had it for years, this bump on my arm, and it never bothered me. Just about three hours ago it started to really hurt, I noticed it was much larger too.”
“Ok ma’am.” Ailesha remarked, going over her checklist. “Can you please remove your blouse?”
Ailesha took a look at the bump, she could tell from her repertoire of knowledge that the growth had held a liquid within it. This liquid must have been under pressure as it gained in volume within the tissue until finally it burst through the weakest point. “Ok ma’am, the doctor will be here shortly, we’ll be removing the tissue and that should release the pressure. Are you alright with needles?” She asked.
“Why?” The woman answered in a worried tone.
“If you’re afraid of needles or find them uncomfortable we have a variety of local anesthetics that can work for this type of procedure. I can either use a needle which would ensure that there’s absolutely no pain other than the short sting of the needle itself. Or I can use a surface anesthetic cream or spray that will only freeze the surface of your skin which could still allow you to feel some pain during the surgery.”
“Surgery?” She exclaimed questioiningly.
“Yes ma’am, we’re going to have to remove the growth and the fluid, we’re going to freeze your arm and then make a very small incision that I can assure you won’t scar, and we’ll remove the tissue and any fluids that shouldn’t be there. Do you understand?”
The woman nodded. “Yes, I think I do. I’m sorry I’m being unreasonable.”
“It’s ok ma’am, these things can be frightening.” Said Ailesha as she turned to one of the counters in the small room. “So which would you rather?”
“Oh I’ll do the needle.”
“Ok, here we go. They say it helps not to look.”
“Young miss, I gave birth to three children and watched them all come out. I can handle a needle.”
Ailesha brushed off the frustration as she always did, skillfully she applied the anesthetic with the syringe and wiped at the spot with a cotton swab out of habit, for there was no blood. She put the syringe into the biohazard garbage and got up.
“The doctor will be here shortly ok Mrs. Donavon?”
“Ok dear, thank you, you’ve been kind and I appreciate that.”
“You’re very welcome, I hope you have a good night.”
Ailesha left the room, turning over to the one a few doors down.
“John, she’s ready to go.”
“Alright.” Said the doctor as he leaned over some paperwork. He reluctantly got up, putting down the pen and walking over to her, smiling. “Thanks again Ailesha, you can go back to the rat race now, I’m sure they need your help.”
“I’m sure.” She said smiling back at him. “See you later.”
On her way to the reception desks of the emergency room she noticed that someone there was arguing. She made her way quickly in curiosity to what the yelling was all about. To her amazement she recognized Mark who was standing just on the inside of the reception area, a nurse holding him back and pleading for him to return to the waiting room.
“Look lady...” He said, holding his index finger in her face. “You have no idea what’s about to happen, I don’t even know what the hell it is but I’d suggest you get out of here like we’re doing. Now where is she?” As if having said that cued him to notice her, his head shot up from the argument.
“Ailesha!” He said as he walked around the nurse
“Sir! Vanessa, call security now would you?” Said the nurse as she walked after him.
Mark took Ailesha by the shoulder softy yet firmly. “We’ve got to get out of here something really bad is coming this way and I don’t know if I can explain it properly but it could be catastrophic. We have to -”
She quickly interrupted him “What in gods name are you talking about?”
He stopped and turned to her. “We really have to leave.”
“I’m here ‘till three in the morning Mark, I can’t leave.”
“Ailesha, by three in the morning this place will be a warzone.”
“For christ sake will you explain to me what’s going on?” Just then she saw Steve standing near the automatic doors in the emergency room. “What’s Steve doing here?”
“He’s with me, we’re getting out of here now get changed we have to go.”
“I want to talk to Steve.”
“Fine, come with me.” He said as he turned toward the door.
“Hey you!” said a security guard who just turned the corner brandishing a baton. “ Don’t move.”
Mark turned to him “Don’t worry I’m leaving.”
“I know you’re leaving, I’m about to help you.”
“Not necessary.” replied Ailesha, “He’s with me.”
Mark noticed the guard back down reluctantly, as if he had been hoping for some action. “Don’t worry, keep yourself pumped up, you’ll have all the action you’ll ever want.”
The guard cocked his head in confusion and turned about, leaving them as they entered the emergency room.
“Steve, what the hell is going on?” Ailesha said as she made her way to him near the door.
Steve stood up from leaning against the wall as the room moaned in discontent with its myriad of wounded and sick. “We’re leaving town.” He said, “Just as soon as we can find Stan and Andrew.”
Ailesha turned red, she rolled her eyes and grunted before yelling at them both. “Why aren’t you giving me a ~~~~ing answer? All you two are doing is telling me what we’re doing, I want to know what’s going on not what we’re doing about it. For ~~~~ sakes!”
Steve started. “We saw something on the news this morning.”
Mark interjected. “It’s like mass rioting, something’s really wrong and it’s spreading all over the world. When we started watching it at like six thirty in the morning it was in South Africa and by seven tonight it was in France and other parts of Europe and then they mentioned something about New York and that’s when I jumped on my bike and got to Steve’s office pronto. We’re hightailing it out of here before whatever it is gets here.”
“So you watched the news, saw some crazy thing that happens every day in every city across the world and you’re skipping town? Are you crazy?”
“No, he’s not.” Steve said. “I saw it on the news, it wasn’t normal. There were thousands of people, millions rioting all over in the streets.”
Mark turned to her. “And it was the same in France, and now in New York. At that rate of spread if it’s not here already it’ll be here very shortly.”
“Then wouldn’t you say I should stay here and help?”
“Ailesha” Mark said, grabbing her shoulders. “They said on the news that the hospitals were the first places that became literally demolished. That’s why we’re here, to get you out.”
Ailesha stood there for a moment, dumbstruck with the unbelievable tale that her friends had just woven for her. There was an awkward silence that was penetrated only by the lamentation of the would be patience. “Alright.” she finally said. “I’ll get my stuff. But if this is nothing I swear to god I’m going to kill you.”
“Fine fine, if it’s nothing I’ll give you your wages worth for the night I promise.” Mark said pushing her toward the office doorway hurriedly. “Now go get changed and be right back.”
“Yeah yeah.” she replied making her way into the back offices once more.
“My god.” Steve said shaking his head. “That took a lot of time. I hope Andrew and Stan are more reasonable.”
“Same here.” replied Mark as they both stared blankly in the direction she had gone.
Steve turned to Mark. “What’ll we do?”
“What do you mean?”
“Where are we supposed to go?”
Mark stood silent for a moment and then started. “North. Try to outrun it if we can. Maybe it’ll never get here, but I doubt that.”
“I’d rather be safe than sorry, if it was as bad as what I saw this morning in France and New York I’d want to be as far away as possible.”
“Steve you have no idea.” Mark said. “It was a lot worse than what you saw this morning. People were burning in the streets, running around on fire. People were being shot on the spot in huge groups by police, tear gas was flying all over the place it was insane.”
“And they showed all that on the news?”
“It was live, and I guess the producers weren’t quick enough to flip it back to something else or were just too stunned to do anything.”
Finally Ailesha came out from behind the doors once more in ordinary civilian clothing and came up to the two men. “Alright I’m ready to go.”
Steve crossed his arms and frowned in contemplation. “ Now how are we going to find Stan and Andrew?”
Ailesha chuckled. “Easy.”
08-23-2006, 10:27 PM
The trio entered a noisy club. Strobe lights pierced the eyes and laser light cut across the thin layer of blue haze as the crowd danced to the live rock band on the stage.
Steve stood near the entrance before the other two. He turned behind him and put his mouth beside Ailesha’s ear. “You sure this is the place?”
Ailesha smiled. “One hundred percent.” she said as she went forward.
Mark’s head started bobbing to the tune as they made their way through the crowd. “Yeah, I like this.” He said to himself as no one near him could have heard anything over the blare of the music.
The trio made their way to the far back corner where it was slightly cooler and somewhat quieter than the bar section which was directly across from the dance floor and the stage. They found a table where four men were sitting in a booth and Steve noticed that Ailesha had brought them to exactly the right place.
“Hey Andrew.” Steve yelled, easily overpowering the less violent volume of the band.
“Steve? What’re you doing here? And Mark! My god I’d never expect him to be here. What’s up?”
Mark was turned about, looking at the female lead singer of the band and enjoying the music as much as his weariness would let him. He had a smile on his face as he continued to bob to the music.
Steve continued his conversation with Andrew. “We have to go.” He said. “Now.”
“What? What’s wrong?” Andrew replied, leaning closer in the booth and looking at both of them as if to make sure he heard correctly.
“Don’t look at me” Ailesha said, putting her hands up.
“There’s something coming that we want to avoid, we’re not sure how bad it is but we know that it’s already affected most of Europe and is now in the Americas. We want to go north to either outrun it’s spread or just miss it altogether.”
“What is it some kind of weather phenomenon?” replied Stan who just came back from the washroom and overheard the conversation.
“No.” Steve said, still slightly struggling to speak over the music for Stan to hear. “It’s something else, rioting and violence.”
Mark’s back was still facing the group as he watched the band. From the corner of his eye he noticed two women sitting at the bare. They were blond and definitely bombshells. He was sizing them up when suddenly they started kissing. “Whoa, hey Steve, check that out.”
Steve turned around to see what Mark had tapped his shoulder for. He gave a quick glance and shrugged, turning back to the conversation.
Mark continued to watch, his gaze traveled shortly to the right were he noticed two men holding hands. “Hey... wait a minute.” He said.
“So there’s rioting spreading through the world?” said Stan.
Ailesha nodded. “Yeah that’s pretty much the way they said it. I don’t know I didn’t see the news.”
Unexpectedly Mark turned around and faced the group, as strange expression on his face. “This is a gay bar!” He said loudly, as if it were some revelation beyond all measure. Several of the patrons turned to him with stern gases. His face fell. “Sorry.” He said. Turning back around.
Steve turned back to the table as the conversation continued as before. “We have to leave now. We’re going to stop off at all of our homes and pick up any supplies we need and then we’ll get on the road as quickly as possible.”
Mark once again turned around quickly, leaning over Ailesha and Steve’s shoulders. He looked at Stan and Andrew. “Are you guys gay?”
Stan laughed. “You never noticed?”
Mark stayed silent, with a contemplative gaze. “No. I didn’t.”
Stan put his hand on Ailesha’s shoulder. “You never told him?”
“No, as far as I’m concerned it’s up to him to figure it out on his own.”
Steve put his hand out. “Look guys we really have to get ready, we still have to stop by at everyone’s place and pick up Stan’s van, because I’d rather we have only one vehicle.”
“Hell no. I’m bringing my bike.”
Steve turned to Mark and didn’t say anything for a short while. “Alright, you can bring the bike but that means you drive ahead of us and make sure everything is good and dandy, we’ll use the radios.
“Sounds fair to me.”
Stan nodded and turned to Andrew “Ok, let’s get going.”
Awww....Why it always stops when the most exciting parts is just gonna start?
Can't wait for the rest to come, keep up the good work!
08-24-2006, 08:48 PM
After Stan payed the tab at the bar the group made their way outside. As they gathered on the sidewalk before the pub, two police cruisers raced by toward the city with their sirens ablaze and their lights flashing.
“Not a moment too soon.” Said Mark as he grabbed his helmet. “Steve you jumping on with me or getting in with Ailesha?”
“As if you even have to ask that question.” He said as he followed Ailesha to her car which was parked across the street. “Ok.” Steve hollered from the other side of the street. “We all meet up at my place in half an hour, get what you need and get to my apartment. Got it?”
Stan and Andrew nodded as they went for their vehicles.
Mark was already pulling a short catwalk as his black and stainless Suzuki Hayabusa roared down the street.
Steve and Ailesha were making their way to her home in her Toyota Matrix. They had to cross part of the city center to get there and Steve was somewhat weary about that fact. Ailesha on the other hand was still considering this to be a false alarm.
“Why do you believe what he’s saying? I mean don’t you think we’re jumping the gun a bit.” She said as she shifted into fourth between two sets of lights in the city center.
Steve was keeping an eye out for strange behavior. He only saw fleeting glimpses of Emergency Response vehicles in the adjacent streets. “I trust Mark. Besides he’s always been right on his worries. He started training in Aikido because he feared getting jumped, and he got jumped. He went through the lengthy process of getting a license for a restricted firearm and bought a freaking pistol because he was worried about having his house broken into, and his house was broken into. Now he’s paranoid about the end of the world, and so I’m figuring we might as well humor him.”
“You’re joking right?” She said, looking at him briefly as they crossed an intersection.
They gasped in horror for the split second before the impact gripped both of them and shook them about the vehicle like rag dolls. A truck ran the red light and T-boned the rear of her Matrix. The air bags exploded into their faces as the car spun perhaps twice before snagging a fire hydrant, causing the vehicle to flip. The car rolled over the sidewalk, smashing through the window of a ground level building. Ailesha’s Matrix came to a rest on its back. Water from the hydrant was directed through the broken window by its mangled lip. It shot up against the ceiling and dripped back down onto the car like a hard rain. The sound of the fire hydrant pissing away its reserve was barely audible over the Matrix’s horn which droned constantly as if the vehicle were writhing in pain.
Steve regained consciousness as he hung upside down, held to the seat by the safety belt. He turned and noticed that Ailesha was conscious, and may have been for some time. She was already out of her seatbelt and on her hands and knees on the roof of the car.
Shards of glass from the broken window lay strewn across the roof of the car. She came to him and held her hand to his forehead, pulling back an eyelid with her thumb. “Steve can you hear me?” She said.
“Yeah, I can hear you.” He replied, now trying to free himself from the seatbelt.
“Are you hurt?” She asked, as she helped him unbuckle.
Steve grunted as the crash of broken glass and the sound of warping aluminum rang out from his fall onto the roof of the car. The palms of his hands suddenly stung from the many lacerations caused by the fragments of glass. Steve turned to the door beside him, attempting to open in awkwardly from the angle he was at. It was jammed. “My door doesn’t open.” he said to Ailesha who was trying hers.
Steve rolled his eyes and sat on the roof of the car, kicking at the windshield until it was hesitantly pulled from its grooves in the frame. He motioned to Ailesha. “You first, I’ll hold it with my foot.”
She crawled under his legs as he held the shattered yet intact windshield up. After crawling through he dropped it so that he could turn around.
As he pushed it aside and slid out, a piece of ruber from the seal flipped about in his face. In frustration he grunted and slapped it aside, sliding out of the vehicle in a painful tug.
Ailesha got up and looked around. She saw that out on the street, the passenger of the truck had gotten out and was standing in the intersection. She was looking about herself frantically in the middle of the street. Her face was covered in blood and from where Ailesha was standing it appeared as if her left eye had been ripped out by some violent head trauma.
Ailesha turned back to Steve. “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“Yeah I’m fine.”
“Ok, I’ll be right back I’m just going to check on the people who hit us.”
Steve was leaning on his knees. He got up and his back cracked as he stretched. He tossed his head from side to side as popping sounds came from it. “I’ll go with you."
08-24-2006, 08:49 PM
They made their way out of the building and through the broken window. The truck had bounced off from their impact and slid near the sidewalk of the same building they went into.
“I’ll get the person in the truck.” said Steve.
“Ok, I’ll take a look at this one.”
They went their separate ways.
Steve came up to the driver side of the Ford pickup. He stood on the door step and grabbed the window to pull himself up. “Hey you alright?” He said before even being able to see inside the cab. As it came into view he felt the urge to go limp but fought it. The driver was convulsing on the seat, his arm had been badly mangled and his neck as well and the cab was filled with blood. The convulsions stopped and Steve could see now that the wounds were deep and oval shaped. Just as he realized they were bite wounds the man’s eyes opened and he sat up quickly. His glance shifted frantically about for a moment before his gaze shot toward Steve in a flash. The part of his face that had been hidden was nearly entirely missing. A gaping cave of blood and bone with one eye and a crooked mouth stared at him for a short moment before gargling a blood spattering scream and lunging toward him.
“Dugh!” gasped Steve as he fell back from the truck, striking the pavement with only his back.
Meanwhile Ailesha had been making her way slowly toward the person in the street who was still looking about in quick unnatural motions. “Ma’am, are you ok?”
The woman turned to her and shouted in a high pitch.
Ailesha could see that her face was covered in what appeared to be scratch marks, her eye hanging from its socket.
The woman continued to scream, her mouth open wide, the remainder of her face forced into a grimace of hatred. She crouched and shot her head forward, opening her arms to the point where they were behind her. Her movements were fast and unnatural, accompanied by the sound of cracking joints. Her bloody fingers curled into claws and she continued to hiss as if her lungs had no end.
Ailesha heard Steve scream and turned about to see him fall from the side of the truck. Before she could turn around she heard the woman’s quick and heavy footsteps racing toward her. Ailesha dove to her right and noticed, only as she rolled on the pavement, how far the woman had traveled in the short time that she had looked away. As she rolled to her feet the woman was sliding to a stop and redirecting. Ailesha assumed a defensive stance, her mind cleared and her gaze became seriously blank.
Steve struggled frantically to regain his breath for the fall had knocked it out of him. As he rose to his feet the man in the truck wildly struggled through the driver window. Steve’s eyes flashed around him, assessing the situation and attempting to formulate a response. In a more reasonable scenario he would have been able to quickly find the best action for the problem. However the strangeness of this situation slowed the cogs of his logic long enough for him to once again be put in a compromising position. The man had gotten out of the truck faster than he had anticipated and was now rising from his fall to the pavement.
Steve acted on impulse for the first time in a long time. He ran toward the man who was now on one knee. He leapt a short distance to wind up and then torqued his body as hard as his abdominal muscles would allow to propel a powerful kick that smashed into the man’s face. The man flew backward, his head smashing against the bottom of the truck’s door.
Steve himself was pulled by the force of his kick and slammed against the door of the truck. He grabbed the handle and pulled the door but it would not move. He propped his foot up against the truck as the man began to get up. The door flung open, smashing against the back of the drivers head and launching Steve rearward. He performed a rising handspring and quickly ran toward the truck once again, leaping into the air and kicking the door for it to slam onto the mans face as he attempted to rise. Steve’s kick forced him to land on his side, sliding a short way on the pavement so that his legs were now underneath the truck. He brought his legs around, the force of this movement spun him sideways and on to his back. As the door swung back from its impact with the drivers head Steve kicked it again with both feet. He watched the body shake from the blow. Blood sprayed out onto the drivers chest and chunks of flesh and bone fell from behind the door. Steve continued to push the door every time it came back until finally it closed, the decapitated drivers mangled throat spewing blood as it fell back and underneath the truck. Steve crawled backward on his elbows in a slight panic as his mind finally caught up to what had happened. A noise alerted him to the intersection and there he saw Ailesha evading the swinging arms of a deranged and mangled woman.
Ailesha dodged a swipe and slapped away another as she backed away from the woman. She realized by now that this woman was crazed and would not stop no matter how she attempted to calm her down. She also noticed from the corner of her eyes the crowd that had gathered at all four corners of the intersection. As she pulled away from another swipe she heard Steve from behind the woman.
“Move to the right!” He screamed as she heard his quick footsteps.
In a violent motion the woman’s head snapped back as her chest was thrown forward by Steve’s two feet slamming into her back. The woman went hurtling to the floor, rolling in rag doll as her spine had snapped somewhere at the shoulders.
Steve lay on his back from the kick and looked up at Ailesha. “You alright?” He said.
“Yeah.” She replied, her arms still up in a defensive stance.
Steve got up slowly, wiping his bleeding elbows to remove the dirt. “It’s here.” He said. “This is what happened everywhere else, I never thought it would be this bad.”
“What’s going on? That woman should have been dead, half her face was pulled right out.”
“You think that’s bad? You should have seen the driver.”
Ailesha turned to see the headless body of the man laying beneath the truck. “What did you do?”
Steve turned as well. “I’m not sure, I kind of lost my cool.”
She turned to him, “We’re in trouble. If this is what’s spreading around town how are we supposed to get out of the city now that we’re on foot?”
“I don’t know.” Steve said as he turned to the crowd of people who were now slowly making their way toward them.
“Are you ok?” said the closest man.
Steve’s eyes opened wide and his face fell as he looked down the street. The crowd of people in the street was thick and a domino effect was rippling toward them. The crowd was beginning to run.
“Go.” Steve said, pulling Ailesha toward him and away from the crowded street that was slowly starting to race toward them. “Go go go!”.
They ran the other direction, breaking into the crowd that was on that side, sliding by people who were standing outside their vehicles and watching them go by in dumbfound confusion. From a birds eye view the street began to crawl as the crowd spurred on. It welled forward like the blood through a vein.
08-27-2006, 09:36 AM
I wonder what will happen next : D
08-30-2006, 09:25 AM
That post looks, really corny Ion...
09-01-2006, 08:35 AM
I wonder what will happen next : D
09-02-2006, 04:16 PM
It.... It just does ok!?
09-03-2006, 06:12 AM
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