March 21, 2005


"...and the I stands for INTERSTATE, anybody remember that..." The voice faded in from the night and dopplered out back again, underscored with a snarling moan that was unfamiliar. They gathered to listen, drawn from the lawns and televisions, moving slowly up from armchairs and webcliners, away from the screens. A couple stopped JoniDeere(tm)'s and stepped off the silently cheery electrimowers, moving with the crowd as it swayed slightly towards the almost-forgotten chainlink fences down the street where the overpass was. The roar was almost gone, with only the anemic sound of MetroCopper(tm) SirenAlarms wavering by in what must have been pursuit, the eager humming of donuts on crazed concrete thrashed by dozens of rare earth cells rising. A swarm of bees blindly staggering after the interloper who'd fucked their queen and flown on, laughing, dragging her pheromones in a trail of fury-inducing mania. When nothing more happened, and the noises faded, they returned to their homes and weblinks and evening dinoblogs and dinners.

Of course, it returned the next night.

This time, the MewsNews had it first, warning of dangerous transport terrorists, telling all good cits to stay off the Road. A few had figured it out, though, and this time, there were several standing at the chain link, fingers locked through the rusting barrier, when the enigma came. Rising in the distance, a sound that not many knew and all wondered at, overlaid with the warbling fed-back tones of anger and fury:

"WATCH LISTS! What the SHEEP! Any of you ever left the fucking town? ANY? Any of you been on the fucking road? Call yourselves AMERICANS, they kick you off the AIRPLANES, then they kick you off the TRAINS, they kick you off the BUSES, they tell you to stay in your fucking SUBURBS, tell you it's SAFER, LOOK AT YOU, just LOOK AT YOURSELVES..."

...and it was gone again, few futile struggling minions in electric pursuit.

The third time, the last time, the entire block was there, their hands pressed to the fences and their Footballoculars(tm) ready, with SnapCams poised and coolers near their chairs. A few MetroCoppers had their Cushmans set up to block the Road, this night; SirenLarms off, they waited in eager glee while several of their colleagues tried vainly to convince the watching throngs to return to their living rooms and leave the browned-out scrub from the overpass of the Great 405.

The voice wavered into existence again, from off in the heat-hazed gullies of thermocrete and jersey barriers: "...1920s told us all, motherfuckers, told us what it was about, Henry motherfucking Ford and the fucking saints, Saint Packard and Saint Shelby, Archbishop Petty and Rabbi Brabham, boys, where've you fucking been? Where've you gone, and where'd we let you go? It's a precious resource, they say, national fucking crime to not turn it in for scientific research - well fuck that, it's a crime they're not researching how to make more, boys, because there's only one fucking thing it's good for-"

A squawk as the blackened shape shot over the hill to see the MetroCopper carts blocking the Road, but it didn't slow at all, merely upped its snarling shout. The crowd gasped, but before anything could happen before them, there was an explosion of noise-

They turned as one-

A garage door breaking into flinders, a Lawn shredding itself into the sky-

Another shape-

With a screeching bang, the chainlink slammed down. The silver and red demon bowled over the two MetroCarts blocking the two clear lanes of Road, just tore through them from the back side, bowled them over, before sliding to a stop. The oncoming shape spun halfway, screamed at the heavens and stopped as well, door to door, treating the onlookers to the long-forgotten smell of melted rubber. There was a moment of burbling engine noise, then-

"All fucking right."

One after the other, the two free cars shot through the barrier and vanished into the Interstate, leaving behind nothing but long strips of rubber and the wailing outrage of a gasoline dream.

Posted by jbz at March 21, 2005 7:42 PM | TrackBack

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