Sounds like a hoot.
Jared knelt down before his girlfriend. Reaching out, he took her left hand in his. Her right hand still clutched tightly to the television remote, as
though to let go of it would be to capitulate – to surrender to the reality that had burst upon them. Jared noticed that her knuckles were white and
knew that she must be hurting herself as her fingernails dug and twisted into the soft flesh of her palm, but he could not allow himself to focus on
such trivialities any longer. Stroking her hand gently, Jared spoke to her soothingly and evenly, as one would speak to a tiny child to comfort them
after a particularly awful nightmare.
“Jessica, baby, we can’t stay here. We have to go, we … we have to get away. Sweetheart? Can you hear me?”
Jessica stared blankly at the muted snow of static that danced across the television screen. Her lips slightly apart, Jessica made no effort to
“Jess, we have to leave now, angel, okay? It’s too dangerous for us to stay here. We have to get as far away as we can, someplace up north, where
we can be safe”.
Outside, the bright sun and gentle warbling of songbirds belied the horror that was being played out in cities across the globe, a horror spun of the
shattered essence of reality and the dark, fiery power that coiled within all matter and which had been unleashed through folly and pride to spew its
flame upon the Earth. Jared could dimly hear his neighbours as they raced for their own cars in an effort to escape a madness that had long been held
in check. He knew he was out of time.
“Baby, please”, he pleaded, as tears began to well at the corners of his eyes. “Please … we have to go now. You have to come with me, Jess, so
that … so that we can be safe and so that we can be together”.
Jessica said nothing and still did not respond. Jared shut his eyes and ran his fingers through his hair. After an eternal instant of deep sadness, he
resigned himself and began to reach for the remote control.
“Can we take Mr Bear?”
Jared exhaled deeply, although he had not been aware that he was holding his breath, and smiled for the first time in many days.
“Yeah baby, we can take Mr Bear. But only Mr Bear, okay sweety. We don’t have time to take anything else. You go out to the car and I’ll go to
the bedroom and get Mr Bear, okay baby?”
“Okay”, Jessica replied, as she mercifully lay the television remote down on the couch and moved with small but ordered steps towards the front
Racing into the bedroom, Jared saw Mr Bear in his usual resting place on Jessica’s pillow, where he had slept with Jessica since Jared had given the
plush toy to her as a birthday gift seven years ago. The old bear was no longer the deep, rich shade of brown he had been and he had begun to lose
stitching around his face. But Jared knew that Jessica loved the old stuffed animal more than any other possession. He hoped it would grant her some
measure of comfort in the tribulations which he knew lay ahead in their flight from incandescent death.
When Jared got to the car, he was pleased to see that Jessica was already sitting in the passenger seat. Her face lit up when she saw Mr Bear and when
Jared gave her the old worn bear she hugged it to her chest as though it were an infant. She sniffled once and then turned to Jared and asked
“So where are we going?”
“We have to go someplace that isn’t going to be a target. Someplace far away from …”.
His words trailed off, not out of fear, but out of a realisation that the thing which had been unleashed upon the coasts was a concept monstrous and
alien that remained beyond his ability to translate into speech. In the end Jared merely said
“We’re going to Canada”.
[edit on 10/9/05 by Jeremiah25]