Wednesday, January 02, 2013

"Sal?". I say, with a curious mind.

    The walls are crumbling, and the floorboards are about to give way. The house shakes violently throwing me from the bed, and onto the floor. I get up and make my way to the window outside in the hall. It looks over the backyard, and the backyards of the endless houses that surround us, like an army of men that has taken over and we are but the final survivors of the resistance. The lines of fences that zigzag throughout stand like trenches, that eventually fall under the pressures of warfare. The streets start to crack and swallow up the sidewalks, cars and whatever else it can get its proverbial hands on.
  Out in the distance I can see the waters rise up over the horizon, people run off away from it like a school of fish. Cars attack other cars as they try to get away, and the people claw there way in like rats trying to get to food. I can see the house give way to gravity behind me, so I climb out the window to the lattice work covered in the dead remnants of the once so pristine roses.
   On the ground there is a swirling vortex of destruction, the trees surround like fallen soldiers, and the bodies of the few unfortunate lay about. I run through the backyards jumping over crevasses and broken objects. Up ahead a few blocks the heads of a few people pop out of the ground from what must be some kind of bomb shelter. "Hey john, over here! We haven't much time". I look over a bit confused as to who it might be, but as I get a bit closer I find its my neighbor from a few doors down.  I run over and get inside, closing the door just as the water make its way just a few houses over.
  He has always had a creepy look to him, reminds me of the guy Tom cruise meets in the basement of the war of the worlds. Seems a little off his rocker. But there is no worries, he is a really nice person. His wife is actually really beautiful, one of those woman that seems as if she could do better. If I remember correctly I do believe her name is Jane, his is Sal(in case you were wondering).
   Always been somewhat jealous of him, I have never had a life like his, a wife, people that love him. I have always been basically solo. "Man, thanks, I thought I was done for Sal, I owe you my life". He puts his arm around me, patting me on the shoulder." No worries my friend, no worries". The place is nice, kinda reminds me of the shelter from that Brendan Fraser movie. We go to the living room, the kitchen is too the left and behind us(from which we came) is the family room and the stairs to the outside world. We must be fairly deep down, as there is a ladder that takes some time to get here, than it abruptly turns to a staircase. The floors are cement with eastern style rugs throughout. The walls are mostly papered with the kitchen painted a Retro blue.
   "Do you know what the hell is going on up there, its crazy, everything is going to shit. Its like a scene from a movie". Everyone looks exhausted, tired and out of sorts. Well... can you blame 'em." I don't know, I don't know. Everything we have ever known, loved, is gone".  We can still feel the shaking from the outside, the walls move back and forth and the sound is as if bombs are being dropped, albeit muffled. The day goes by in slow motion, trying to forget what is happening just above our heads. At about six o'clock me an Sal find ourselves at this small makeshift bar with enough alcohol to last at least a month or so. They have really done there preparations, Sal has always been like that. A old war man from back in the day. "So john, what are ya thinking?". He asks as we sip our Brandy's. "Well Sal, I can't help but think that I really didn't lose anything up there, yeah maybe I had some friends, mainly you though. But nothing really to blink an eye at". He looks at me for a second or two, that continues on with a bout of silence." You always have us John,you'll always have us".
  The day goes by much the same way. Doing whatever we must to forget the perils of the outside world, at least for a little while.  We all end up falling asleep in varying spots an positions throughout the place. There are a couple beds in the back but our nerves had other plans, so we stayed up most the night talking about all the small talk people normally talk about.
  In the morning I get up to the smell of coffee and cereal. I go sit at the kitchen table(as small as it is) with the few others in silence. At about 9:30 the phone rings, which gives me a bit of confusion. Apparently Sal has some satellite phone from the military or something, I could never understand these things. Sal stands leaning up against the counter, never talking, just listening intently. As the conversation progresses he gets more and more tense, almost agitated. Eventually putting down the phone he walks over to the living room and sits on the couch, without very much a peep.
   "Sal? Is everything okay?". I ask sitting across from him. Jane sits beside him, consoling him with her arm around his shoulders." Honey? What's wrong? What did they say?". Sal sits there rubbing his head, like you would see in the movies when the hero is at his wits end(and possibly doesn't want to go on)." Well you know that project I was working on?".
"Yeah, with those other fellas, your friends from the base". She asks noticeably concerned." Sal? I thought you were done with all that, retired". He looks over with a forced smile, his eyes are as if they're about to permanently shut." I was John, I was. They called me in quite some time ago, to look over this classified project. Project Rosen it was called. They said this could be the greatest thing since the evolution of man". Jane now covers her mouth, seeming as she is hearing something she doesn't want to hear. I guess she didn't know the full story." What does this have to do with anything now?".
   He tries to console her with a warming hand against the thigh, and a kiss to the cheek." Well.... it worked, at least at first anyways"." What worked honey, what?". Jane says in a apparent hurry." Have you ever heard of a Einstein-Rosen bridge?".
"You mean a wormhole Sal? Seriously". He smiles, a kind of smirk really." I am nothing but Sal, nothing but...". 
  "You gotta realize, this is very top secret, but seeing what is happening, I guess there's no problem". We all sit there sipping our coffees, listening keenly like children gathered around their teacher in kindergarten." There was this scientist that worked there, came up with this idea on how it might work. Even made a kind of prototype that could transfer stuff, through thin air in a sense, from one place to another. But only in short distances. It was wild, like we were folding up space itself to make a shortcut. Between space, really. Wild! Just wild". While saying this Sal grabs a small piece of paper rolling it up showing us how it might work, visual guidance is always better he says.
   "Sal?". I say, with a curious mind." What exactly do you mean by, used to work their". Well, when the higher ups found out exactly what he was up to, they tried to take it over. Obviously he wanted nothing to do with what they had in mind, even fought it for awhile. But seeing it was the militaries to begin with, there was nothing he could do". At this point all our eyes are tied to him, ears perked up waiting for the end of this story. But there is one thing that I now don't understand." So". I say with a sigh." If you know what happened to this man, why did you end up working on the project?". He sits back on the couch, with Jane still clutching his leg in suspense. He lights a cigarette and says." Well my dear, sometimes you don't have much choice. Not to say I didn't want to do it, I mean, just think of the possibilities. The possibilities are endless, who knows where this might take us. So as you see, you now know why I didn't have much choice". As he says this he swings his cigarette around like he is conducting a orchestra. All the while Jane sits their, almost in tears, barely holding them back.
   "Dear, how.. Do you mean.  I mean, are you saying, that you, you!.... Did this?". He looks down, mournfully, as the smoke rises up against his face, disappearing in the air up above his head." Obviously, as you can hopefully see, I didn't want this to happen. Didn't see that it could". 
"But it could happen, it did. Right above our heads, in our backyards. Who knows how far this thing goes. Our city, this town, the country.... the world. Everything, destroyed, and you helped destroy it". As Jane says this her eyes light up, as if flames might rise up and burn her face. She eventually walks out, in a fit of rage.
  "I am sorry Sal, I know you didn't mean this to happen.. but is she going to be okay?". He looks over, messing up his already messy hair, finally managing a smile." Yeah, she will be fine. She just needs some time".

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