CHAPTER ONE OF “GENESIS” BY LARRY SLATTERY
It was surreal… A rush of adrenaline washed over my body as my gaze fixed upon the sky. My skin tingled, palms began to sweat and a knot balled itself deep within my gut. As I began walking to my car, I looked up expecting to see clouds, instead my senses were assaulted by absurdity…and when my eyes met the horizon; they were greeted by a planet, a giant black, orange and red sphere engulfing the sky. There was nowhere to run. Nothing I could do but stand and stare in awe at the impossible.
As the hulking mass approached, the sky went completely opaque. It was already night, but this was a darkness that nobody, save for some deep cave explorers could claim to have experienced. It was so cold and black that it seemed to consume the lighting from the lamps in the street and in the windows all around. The ground shook and a low rumbling began to blur the entire world, causing cars to slowly ride tremors across the pavement. Power lines began cracking from the vibration and soon, the snap of concrete from all directions echoed throughout the streets like twigs crackling under a hiker’s boot.
For what seemed like an eternity, our Earth was pushed to her limits and so were we, but nothing that occurred while the planet passed could prepare us for the events to follow.
After a while, the rumbling stopped and the ambient glow from the streets slowly crept back. Smoke rose from small fires that had broken out. The sound of car alarms, crumbling stone and screams painted the evening air. That is when the real trouble began.
A high pitched whistling sound seemed to be growing louder and closer as I stand still in place, struck catatonic and immobilized by fear and confusion. Like an enraged spirit rushing between buildings, a foul and vicious wind blew through, tearing cars right from the streets and pulling them into the air as though they were paper. I ran as fast as I could back into the hotel parking lot I had been in earlier. The structure was greatly damaged, but the risk of being crushed inside a building seemed at the very least, far more preferable than being torn to shreds by windblown debris. I sprinted as fast as my legs could take me down into the structure, as far as it was possible to go. Finally, I came to an opening in the garage where the roof had partially collapsed in on itself, blocking further progress down. I heard the building around me begin to shift and sway as large chunks of debris fell from the levels above me. I pushed forward, hoping that somewhere in the rubble I would be able to find myself a safe place to wait out the storm.
While crawling through a small opening in the debris, I saw a light that was still functional displaying one of the finest four letter words I had seen. Most certainly the first I had ever openly given praise to; a glorious, incandescent, glow of green that read: EXIT –>
I shimmied my way toward the light and found myself at a steel door partially blocked by debris, but just open enough for me to slide through and make my way inside. Hopefully from here, there would be fewer chunks of concrete competing to crush my skull.
Some time later I found myself at another steel door, and there was barely room enough for me to slide through. Hopefully from here, there would be fewer chunks of concrete competing to crush my skull.
The halls were lit by emergency generators that gave off a whirring, buzzing noise and blocked the sounds of the streets. The crumbling enclosure moaned and groaned around me as the elements began to rip away at its edifice, creating the need for haste in finding a way out. As I walked down the halls of the hotel I heard pleas for help coming from room #172, the voices of a man, woman and small girl trapped in the room. The door was being blocked by a pile of ceiling debris.
I shouted through the rubble, “I’m going to try and get you out. Stay calm!” Though, the quivering of my voice could not have been… TURN PAGE >>