The year is 2020, President Trump has closed the borders and nearly completed a wall across our entire southern border. Americans have turned completely xenophobic as domestic terrorism is surging. President Trump is running for re-election on a precipice of building a sea wall and creating “citizen checkpoints” on all major highways. Meanwhile Russia and China have begun conquering man-made islands, terrorizing the South China sea. Planet X, or Nibiru, with its unimaginably long 27-million-year orbit, is bearing down on earth, causing the Yellowstone Caldera to violently rumble throughout the hemisphere.
In a state of chaos, everyone is caught unprepared, as the largest burst from our Sun, ever recorded, sends a solar flare directly into our atmosphere. Communication is lost. No electricity. No internet. Cell phone, radio and television all silent. You are stuck, everyone is stuck, at home, on the highway, in traffic, everything has stopped. Stranded, when the solar flare sent an electromagnetic pulse (E.M.P) and shut the world down. Mass hysteria unfolds as that night satellites and debris burn through our atmosphere in celestial dance of technicolor.
Your car won’t start, you don’t dare walk as pandemonium has taken the country, no police, no protection, a state of imminent doom. You’ve been held up in the highway weigh station, near where your car shut down, but the snack vending machine is now empty and you are the last one left behind. An errant misstep resulted in twisted ankle that kept you from attempting to walk anywhere, ‘They know I’m still here, someone will come,’ you think to yourself.
Early morning, the 18th or 19th day since the blast, you wake up to an unfamiliar sound. In the distance, you can hear a faint buzzing, everything has been silent for weeks since the blast, quiet enough you’ve grown accustomed to the beat of your own heart. The wind is still, sweat dripping from the tip of your nose. Even the birds have gone silent. But there it is, the buzzing sound, so familiar, yet so foreign. You hear it growing louder and louder, then it hits you, lyrics to a song from your childhood. An engine! It’s the unmistakable sound of an engine. In the distance, weaving through a graveyard of abandoned vehicles on the highway, you can make out the silhouette. “That’s a car,” you say to no one in particular, then exclaim as you run towards the road “IT’S A CAR!”
As you approach the road, arms waving, the vehicle slows down. You freeze, second guessing the exposure of yourself, and initial assessment. It definitely has four tires, so car it is. It’s a familiar body, you take a second look and almost chuckle, it’s a Fiero. A purple Fiero. It looks like the front end of a Jeep and a completely custom tail, with a truck bed full of spare parts and extra wheels. As you admire the custom, fully functional roll-cage, you almost balk “What possessed you to build this?” As the car slows and the window rolls down, you see me, and bite your tongue. As hard as you want to laugh, you hold back, knowing this Purple Fiero is your last hope.
“Can I get a ride, I messed up my leg pretty bad.”
“Where you goin’?” I respond
“Anywhere but here”
“There’s some people all banded together at the Walmart about 6 miles from here, they told me you’d be here. Hop in.”
As I push the clutch in and tear around the broken down Dodge Challenger, I think about my 2.5 Iron Duke, and how this car will run forever. Luckily the United States Postal Service decided to use this engine in its delivery fleet, the Grumman LLV. I have already acquired multiple parts vehicles and spare engines.
‘Good thing that Petroleyum made me write that article, about this car, otherwise I’d still be at home twiddling my thumbs, watching the world die.’ I think.
I’ve never felt more alive, as I watch you take in the feeling of speed again, waving your hand, palm cupped riding the slipstream, and I wonder what you are thinking about as I shift into fifth gear.
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