Jared Smith cut the engine and began to unwrap the bandana covering his mouth. He found his hands shaking and fingers fumbling as he tried to undo the knot. He knew it was shock. He knew it was adrenaline. He still couldn’t process what he saw at the grocery store, what he did. The blood…the screams….he realized his hands had stopped moving and he swore at himself angrily and managed to get off the dust caked covering.
It had been about a month since the meteor hit. Each day it was getting worse and worse. The sky was not longer blue but and dusty, almost murky milk-white. Dust, debris, Jared didn’t really give a fuck what it was called. He just knew it meant one thing; doom. The earth was dying, the ship was sinking, and what was humanity’s response? Some nuke fireworks, bathing each other in manmade fire instead of suffocating as the sun’s was blocked out. Civilization already ended elsewhere in the world and now it was starting to end here.
Dierks Santiago stepped out of the passenger side of his Mercedes MMZ smartly, shutting the door behind him. With a few quick hand motions the MMZ pulled out smoothly, driving itself off on a loop until the auction was over. For a brief moment he thought of sending it to a parking garage, to save the world from one more luxury driving itself around but, as in many things in Dierks’ life, his whim overruled any considerations for his fellow man.
He watched with satisfaction as the car signaled its left turn and pulled out and away. Its deep blue paint reflecting the orange-pinkish light of the late afternoon sun. Silent and gliding a few inches off the ground it truly was more a work of art than an automobile and, judging by the heads turning as it coasted down the street, he wasn’t the only one to consider it so.
However, this idle admiration for Federated Germany’s most excellent machine was quickly replaced with deep concentration at the task at hand. Because today was the day Dierks Santiago stepped out from his father’s shadow and into his own. Today, Dierks’ conquest of the world began in earnest.
There once was a man who was worried. He didn’t worry so much about his next meal, or if he had clothes or a roof over his head. No. This worry was a deeper worry. A soulful worry. The man worried he didn’t have enough time. Enough time to spend with those he cared about. That someday all the people he knew and loved would be gone. Consigned to the fate that all things are fated to. He worried that someday would be the last day that he would walk out of his grandparent’s house able to count them amongst the living. And knew someday they would not be counted so. He worried he would never hear his mother’s warm, infections laughter one day. And knew someday it would only be an echo in his memory. He worried about not being able to hug his broad shouldered father. And knew someday there would be no unconditional embrace of love awaiting him. He worried about not being able to see the happy, smiling faces of his two younger, beautiful sisters. And knew someday he would be blinded eternally.
The man was haunted by time’s slow march and, with each tick of the clock, with each fallen grain of sand, with each passing of day into night back into day, the man grew more worried.