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On the dark road running in front of the turn off to the power station, a red SUV cruised silently through the darkness, its wheels slipping dangerously on the wet roads as the driver leaned close to the windshield in a futile attempt to see. He was driving home from his brother in law's house, where he and five other people had taken shelter when a long, black tornado began to swirl down from the sky and kick up dust from the field behind their house. Lightning flashed inside the car, illuminating the five passengers' worried faces. The windshield wipers tore from side to side violently as the truck slid loosely around a hair pin curve.

"Where are you going, Jake?" asked one of the passengers from the back seat. Jake squinted out the windows, his hands in a death grip on the wheel. His hands were white and sweaty.

"I'm thinkin about drivin up to the power company and checkin things out. You know, try to figure somethin out," said Jake. He reached down and flipped on the radio. A stern voice warned of tornadoes in the area, mass power outages all across the state, and the rising threat of more storms. Jake saw the large billboard of the HULK with a milk mustache, and above his head it said MILK MAKE BONES STRONG. It marked the point about twenty feet before the turn off onto the road that led up to the power station, but he would not be able to get in if they had the gates locked. He was almost certain they wouldn't be closed, though, on a night that was chaotic and without power. What would they do, go to their darkened, powerless homes to sleep?

He clicked on his signal and cut the wheel hard to the right, the SUV sliding on the road and struggling to right itself. He glanced over at his girlfriend Sasha in the passenger's seat. She was chewing her lip and gripping her seat belt tightly, her big, worried eyes twinkling. She smiled, and casually glanced out the window. Suddenly, she gasped, her face opening in a scream, and she pointed. By the time Jake saw it, it was too late.

The SUV slammed into the fallen tree at sixty five miles an hour, the axle folding and snapping like a toothpick and the wheels soaring through the air. The truck went airborne, the nose turning downward into the road, before smashing into the pavement and folding up like someone stomping a pop can. Bodies were crushed as the truck rolled and rolled, end over end, top over bottom, each impact with the road wadding the truck into an even smaller chunk of red and gray metal. Huge metallic crashes and booms and thuds and smashes echoed all around the silent back road. Sparks exploded into the night, glass tinkling, bones crunching. The truck tumbled down the road for more than a hundred feet before rolling off the road and smashing into a tree, leaving Jake, Sasha, and the rest of the passengers dead and broken in their seats, a few ravaged body parts hanging out windows, arms, legs, Jake's upper body lying limply out the windshield and folded in an angle no one could achieve in life. The wreck was silent, the only thing moving was a small puff of smoke from the remnants of the car's guts wafting up the short distance to the gates of the power company's entrance, where two headlights were flicking to life.

David Hamilton's dark eyes contracted in a cheeky smile as they watched in the rearview mirror of the black Sedan, the tires squelching on the slippery, winding road leading down the side of the hill from the power plant. Suddenly, near the end of the yard, he heard a shrill but ear shattering POP and a bluish yellow, mushroom shaped cloud erupted into the sky. A tiny figure, barely visible from the front entrance, somersaulted through the air and smacked into the fence hard. He grinned and cut the wheel hard to make the final sharp turn that curved in to the fence, but his foot stomped heavily into the brake pedal when he saw an enourmous wall of white rushing at him.

He closed his eyes and screamed loudly as it tore through the car. The tsunami of energy crackled and fizzled in his hair, on his clothes. The saliva in his mouth crackled and popped as if he were eating carbonated candy. He spat and his nose wrinkled at the fishy burning smell of flesh and hair. His hair stood on end, everything metal he touched emitting a small but painful shock. He shook it off, and the energy thing was gone as abruptly as it had come. He even questioned if he had somehow dozed off and dreamt it, but the smell of his own burning materials and the static shocks zapping his fingers from everything he touched reminded him. He pressed the gas but nothing hapened. He realized that the car was off for some reason, most likely from that huge surge that had undoubtedly come from the explosion back at the plant, and as lightning flickered in the sky and small bits of ice clattered on the windshield, he tried the key. The engine whirred and didn't hum to life. Thunder rumbled across the sky and lightning made him jump. He looked back at the plant and saw a dull orange glow from the hill, a steady ribbon of twisting smoke curling into the sky. That was enough to restore his triumphant feelings, and he pulled out his small cell phone and flipped the plastic mouthpiece open.

He dialed in a number and waited for the reciever to click open, his eyes glancing all about the dark car in the inky darkness. Occasionally lightning would flash and reveal the tall, rusty gates towering above the vehicle. Gnarled trees clutched horridly at the sky above him as the rain and ice pattered harder. Thunder warned him to get back inside where it was safe. The wind howled chilling agreements.

"You got Carl Gonns here," came a deep voice from over the line. It jolted David from his trance and he smiled.

"Gonns. Hamilton here. Everything has gone good so far. I sent my dumbest repair man out and the generator just went up. There was some kind of energy rush that came from it, but it wasn't anything too severe. Just a little static." There was a hushed whisper of a YES from the other end. Gonns shook a fist in the air from his desk at the Gonns Freedmann insurance agency.

His partner, George Freedmann, had died in an unfortunate accident involving a shotgun and an itchy trigger finger a few weeks before this night. He couldn't afford anyone finding about about the plans he and David had conjured up, and even though George's family and his had been great friends for many years before, if the fat bastard found out about the arson plans, he'd turn them both in a good citizen. So Gonns had pulled a dark ski mask over his boyish features and crouched in an alley beside where Freedmann always parked his car, and when he slid the key into the door to unlock it, Gonns had lined the shotgun's barrel up with George's chubby, popcorn haired head and had pulled the trigger.

Half of George's head disconnected and splattered against the trunk of the car in one direction, and the rest of his body had stumbled, smacked heavily into the car, and slumped like a sack of potatoes in the street, the keys still jingling from the handle.

David's half of the plan was to disarm and sabotage the main generator at the power plant, rig it to blow. He knew jack shit about generators, but he knew David did, so he had not bothered to worry about it. David had told him if one generator went, the remainder of energy would be taken into the other generators which would overload them and cause them to explode as well. One of which was extremely close to the plant, and everything would go up in flames, including evidence. Some dumb janitor type person had set the first off. Now they only had to wait, and when they shockingly discovered the accident, they could draw every coin of insurance money.

The shrill whirring of a power drill hummed in his ears and he was shook out of a trance of his own.

"Anyways, whatever that thing was it messed my car up. It's not starting just yet, so I might be a little late tonight. Everything is working fine, and in a matter of hours we will be two very rich men," said David, wielding the small gray drill like a gun and habitually pressing the trigger in. The large triangular bit spun crazily and stopped abruptly. Something smacked the gates. When lightning flashed, he saw a figure standing there.

The...man? Woman? was hunched over, the limbs hanging loosely from the body like a sleep walker. Behind it, five more of the people slowly lumbered up the road to the gates, their sillhouetted heads rolling on their concealed bodies. Their lax, rubber arms flopped in the air and smacked the gates, making them rock and rattle. They groaned as if they were in pain. David could not see their disfigurements in the darkness: Ribs exposed, hollowed intestines, missing eyes, shrapnel buried in faces, huge pieces missing from necks, limbs stripped of flesh, flies crawling across lazily swiveling eyes, life ending injuries on moving people.

"Gonns, there are a few people here who saw the explosion. They seem kind of dumb or something, I don't know. Probably in shock or something. I have a gun in the back. I'll drop them all and meet you as soon as my truck gets started," said David. He did not wait for Gonns to respond, simply flipped the phone closed and tossed it into the passenger's seat. He stepped out into the darkness, peering at the fence as he jogged around to the back of the truck. He lifted the glass casing and felt around for the cool steel of his gun. He pulled the hammer back, held the weapon close to his face and walked hastily to the fence where the group of people were gathering, tumbling over each other, grasping at the bars, growling, and moaning. Arms slipped through the fence and fingers grasped at the air. He pointed the weapon at the group of people, his mouth opening and closing. One large, rapid flash of lightning revealed to him what he was facing. He screamed, a shrill scream of pure terror that echoed across the dark power plant yard. Fred's eye snapped open, burnt and blood shot, lightning flashing in the pupil as it lazily looked in all directions. He growled and began to move.

To be continued...






------
Fear was Here



Comments

The following comments are for "Dead in the Dark pt 2: The Culprits"
by Fear


This is a little too prosaic for my tastes.
Perhaps "haiku" would have been a better category ;)

( Posted by: Enforced Bliss [Member] On: August 30, 2003 )





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