hwango: (hermit crab)
[personal profile] hwango

Rick woke up, checked his messages, and found out that he had only one. It was not a particularly long message. It informed him that he was now single. It also informed him that he was a self-absorbed jerk, but Rick had been told this before, so it seemed less immediately relevant.

Rick swore and came close to throwing his phone across the room. At the last second he remembered that his (now ex) girlfriend had often complained about his temper, and he didn't feel like validating that particular grievance. Plus, it was a new phone. As one might have guessed, the old phone had stopped working after being hurled into a wall.

Instead, he decided to call her and argue. When he made the attempt, however, he was met instead with an automated message that told him that due to unusually high call volume all lines were currently busy, and to try again later.

Once again, the phone narrowly escaped the fate of its predecessor.

Rick decided to go get some coffee from his favorite coffee shop to cheer himself up. He went outside to his car and discovered that his driveway was completely blocked by an ambulance and a couple of police cars.

More swearing.

The coffee shop wasn't really that far, so Rick decided to walk. The streets seemed to be jammed full of unmoving cars anyway, so it would probably be quicker. Even the sidewalks seemed busier than usual, and a lot of people seemed to be in an awful rush.

Rick arrived at his favorite coffee shop to discover that it and several adjacent buildings were on fire. Firemen were working desperately to keep the blaze from spreading any further. He tried to ask someone what had happened, but found that they couldn't hear him over the sirens and the wails of a woman who was sitting nearby on the sidewalk clutching an album of photographs and weeping uncontrollably.

Rick cursed some more and decided to look elsewhere for coffee.

He found a place that seemed to be open, but the line was ridiculous. He tried another place and found that it was empty. All of the windows were smashed and the front door was hanging open.

"What the hell is wrong with everyone today?" Rick said. "I just want some damned coffee!"

In the end, Rick fought the press of the crowd and made his way back home. Maybe he had some instant coffee or something.

Indeed, Rick did have some instant coffee, but he was only partway through the process of preparing it when the power went out. Rick cursed some more, loudly enough that he missed the echoes of distant explosions.

He tried to call the electric company to report the power outage, and got the same automated message about call volume. Then even that cut out and was replaced by static and then by silence. Sadly, Rick's phone did not survive this latest development.

Rick headed back outside to try once again for someone else to prepare his coffee, and was almost immediately accosted by someone in a military uniform.

"Sir, you need to evacuate this area immediately!" the man shouted at him. Rick was going to ask why when his attention was diverted by the sound of a nearby explosion, followed quickly by the sight of a tank flying end over end through the air over his neighbor's house. The tank landed on Rick's car. His swearing reached new heights of length and volume.

The soldier left Rick standing on his doorstep and headed in the direction of the explosion. Rick vaguely became aware of the sound of screams and gunfire, and a weirdly metallic roar. A sudden gust of wind blew gritty smoke into his face, and he sneezed. The air smelled like burning meat.

"I'm having the worst day ever," Rick complained.

He was, as you've no doubt already noticed, mistaken.
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