Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Driving Through the Apocalypse

We all rage at the Lookie-Lous, even as we take in a little potential gore porn every time we pass a wreck. Like no one else see us doing it. We can hardly blame our hero, though, given the circumstances. Hell, I had to see, too:

I take my time going through the formerly barricaded area. I try, anyway. Even with the windows up the stink makes my eyes water. A greenish-yellow haze of flame flickers like a dank, swampy will-o-the-wisp over the nearer piles of bodies. The flesh is burned black on the bones. The mouths of the skulls hang wide as if screaming, tendrils of the whitest smoke pouring through the eye and nose holes. For blocks on either side it’s a hilly, rolling landscape of ruined humanity. If any are on their feet they stand well behind the haze, and I don’t see how they can get to anyone in this bulldozed path between bodies before all these gassy, superhot fires go out.

The burning in my nose and throat is going beyond merely irritating to painful. I tap the accelerator and push through quickly. It’s not just the bodies, though they’re obviously the most poisonous. The pall of smoke from the east side is merging with the blazes on the west, and the warehouses on either side of this street are catching fire.

Beyond the second barricade I notice a rifle barrel sticking from a third-floor window, the muzzle pointed to the sky. Smoke billows through the open window. This was one of the buildings Gitmo hit with the tear gas from his launcher. But the smoke from the fires across town is also thick at that level. You’d need a good coroner to tell what got him first.

I speed to catch up to the car in front of me. The truck carrying the loot from the liquor store as per his original assignment—it’s the one pickup with a hardtop, while the women and children ride open—closes the distance behind me, as does the snowplow behind it. Can’t blame these guys for not wanting to linger, either. No doubt pissed at me for rubbernecking.

Yeah, but they looked, too. As did you. As did I. As would anyone. 

In this case the smell of charred zombie flesh is a powerful motivator to move on. Perhaps someone should come up with Charred Zombie Flesh-flavored flares to throw around wrecks to speed traffic. Because keeping the flow in the face of tragedy is the hallmark of any great plantation empire. Just putting that out there.

There's plenty more to see in the nightmarishly violent, bug-eyed brutal land of Bleeding Kansas!

Bleeding Kansas Copyright © 2013, 2014, 2017 by Lawrence Roy Aiken