Thursday, February 4, 2010

Apocalypse [about 2 hours from] now

I'm on a public bus, but it's a bit rickety, like one you might find in the movies from the 80's set in South America, full of chickens and racing down narrow dirt roads with cliffs dropping off to either side, bouncing and jolting, making you think that it would crash or plunge to its destruction at any moment. Except, there aren't any chickens and the cliffs aren't well defined. The land is various shades of dark brown and green. There are few trees, no bushes, possibly some buildings off in the distance in any given direction. But for the most part, it's all hills in my view, which is aimed close to the ground. The sky is a not-too-dark gray.

It's racing along a narrow dirt road nonetheless, up and down hills, like a rollercoaster. Sideways death is less of a problem in my mind, than the fact that it's bouncing up and down, and might crash into the ground in front of us due to the hills being so steep. We have somewhere to be.

We get there. I'm in a large, modern in a mid-century, expensive, California hills style house. The rooms are big, and things are in light tones of beige, tan, sand, gray, and so on. Windows line the outer walls of the large rooms, looking out onto a regular seeming world of gray and green hills.

People are bustling around the house. All of the air in the world is going to be gone in two hours and we have to pack up our belongings, horde our food stores, and get to a building that is designed to be airtight. The building, seen only in our minds, and miles away, behind me when I think of it (not west, east, south, or north) looks like a dark black dome structure -- your typical Mars settlement from uninventive science fiction movies. It's made of hundreds of bolted together metal sheets, and has sparing, dark-tinted windows to compensate for the lack of a filtering atmosphere.

I'm packing up my stuff... a few mementos I don't want to lose, clothes, bedding, and other basics. I keep thinking that I need to pack more food, but I get distracted by Playmobil toys. I grab a bunch, thinking that people will probably be bringing kids to the dome, but forgetting toys in the rush to grab essentials. I realize that I haven't packed any toiletries, and grab some of those. I'm near the kitchen and thinking of canned goods. I worry about how much more time there is, but there are still two hours.

Someone sees something out the window, and I go to look. Down a level, in a courtyard between this part of the house and another (looking in the direction of the dome from the house) a scraggily haired, skinny man, dressed in filthy clothes - a t-shirt and ripped jeans is propositioning families running by. In exchange for marrying their youthful daughter, he'll protect them through the Apocalypse. But in truth, he's a cannibal.

I go back to packing my stuff, thinking about how to get to the dome quickly.