Chapter Six (of Ten)
Knowing the streets well helped him decide how to continue, which way to go next. He went several blocks before turning downhill once again, hoping that his pursuers had turned away somewhere in their search for him. He thought about slowing down to attract less attention, but the shiny black limousine was a little too large be pass by unnoticed. Any distance he could gain between himself and the other vehicles could only get him closer to the spaceship. He cringed to think that time was running out for the world.
While travelling at a more cautious speed he looked out of the windows once again, trying to observe the skies. But it wasn’t easy to see anything above the rooftops due to the heavy smoke from the fires and the low hanging clouds still filling up the air. Mostly he could see the orange reflection of the flames, but he thought he might have seen a hint of green as he looked far off, towards the edge of the city. But he wondered if it was something he actually saw, or something he just thought he expected to see. He didn’t know, and it only made a difference if he was calculating when he needed to get his spaceship off of the surface. “One thing at a time.” He told himself, worrying how to get out of the city and to the spaceship first of all.
He was fortunate that most of the vehicles he passed were already being torn apart and burned. Even the looters weren’t bringing their stolen goods anywhere besides out to the sidewalk. They were sitting in huge lounge chairs, dressed in newly found suits or dresses, robes that were fancy enough for kings, and sharing the booze that had been liberated from the liquor store on the corner. It seemed that everyone was extremely drunk, they certainly were rowdy and vicious.
It didn’t occur to him, but he had been driving with his window down. His awareness of it changed as a bottle smashed in the corner of the window and splattered him with alcohol and glass. The end of the bottle continued through the opening and struck him in the side of the head causing him to swerve. He bounced off of a badly dented car that had all of its windows shattered. A fire was just beginning to glow in its interior, or maybe it was finished, black was black in the darkness of the night, especially this one.
While dazed he saw the people beginning to attack him like a bunch of zombies from a bad movie. Only these didn’t walk with stiffened legs and arms, they ran quickly towards him. Their arms were flailing over their heads and they screamed as though being tortured. The high pitched sounds rattled down his spine, shaking him like the cold alcohol had done as it ran down his back. Some people in the mob fell over and had trouble getting back to their feet, obviously too drunk to manage even that much.
Hitting the gas pedal caused him to bounce off the disabled vehicle a couple of times before picking up speed. His eyes were wide with fright as his collar was suddenly pulled by someone being dragged alongside of his car. He hear the cloth rip as the body weight was too much for the stitching. His temporary passenger rolled off to the side with Tim’s collar still in his hand.
As he continued he hoped that the person had rolled away from the car and hadn’t been run over by his tires. The madness didn’t matter to him, nor had if caught up with him. He still had a concern for mankind and refused to injure anyone if he could avoid it. He hadn’t succumbed to it himself yet, but he didn’t know if he was going to be able to be so generous the next time. It seemed like that would happen soon enough. It seemed inevitable, just as the rest of this whole nightmare.
The collisions had pushed some metal into his tire and it was making it difficult to keep moving in a straight line. As he struggled against the wheel he realized that it was also getting harder to gain any speed. He as sure that a front tire had been punctured and was now flat, but he kept driving. He would continue even if it was on the bare metal rims. The angry people running after him had made the decision for him. Stopping would have been suicidal. He only hoped he could make it back to the farm. It was his only chance.
He finally crossed the bridge that signaled the center of the city. People jumped up on the railings of it and shook their arms and bottles at him for disturbing them. Nearly half of them fell over backwards and into the water far below as they tried to climb it, or after they tried to stand up on it when they did make it that far. He drove around several people too slow or unable to get out of his way. It slowed him down considerably and he quickly had a following of people that he would rather not have had.
He outdistanced the running crowd slowly, but even in the distance he could see flashlights and burning torches following him. He was amazed and frightened to see hundreds of them in the street, more of them coming around the corners as well, also holding torches and turning towards his country property. When he stopped at the gate they were barely visible, but coming down the road in a swarm like a distant flow of lava. Why they turned towards him he couldn’t stop to worry about, but they came regardless of reason, that he was sure of. It was something that had gone by the wayside very quickly.