Deadly

040411

  We all look nervously to the east, where the horizon is brightening at the prospect of the second suns ascent. The first is already high in the sky and we’re all huddled in the shadow of an overturned escort van to stay out of its deadly rays. Even in the shade its murderously hot, the heat bleeding through our pores and cooking us from the inside out.

  “We’ve got to move, Samuel” Erica says, the terror all too evident – and understandable – on her voice. The rest of our small group look to me.

  “We have no where to go,” I say. When the hell did I become leader? “We touch that ground and we’re dead in seconds.”

  “Bullshit,” Jaden says loudly. His eyes are on the bunker to the north. It’s tantalizingly close and there’s no doubt within it’s walls lie sanctuary from the twin suns, but it may as well be a mile away for all the golden earth between us and it.

  “You won’t make it,” I say to him quietly, trying to calm him down. He’s been pissed off at me ever since the van flipped. It wasn’t my fault but he needed someone to blame, I guess, and I was there. I don’t hold it against him, and I certainly don’t want him to throw his life away for the sake of a damn grudge, and a meaningless one at that.

  “Like hell I won’t, it’s a five second sprint.”

  “Your blood will boil in your veins.”

  “Second sun-up is in less than ten minutes, we’re going to fry if we don’t try for it.”

  “Don’t do this Jaden – there’s another way. I’ll think of it. I promise.”

  “Fuck you, Sam, these idiots may listen to you but I’m not going to.”

  He gets up and I make a grab to catch his arm and hold him back but it’s too late, he’s already making a run for it. The sound of his skin melting is instantaneous, the dry crackle and pop of it the only sound on the hushed wind. I’m face down in the dirt from my feeble attempt at saving him when it happens, two seconds into his sprint, the explosion of gore like an overcooked microwave meal. I feel pieces of him come down on us, thick chunks of Jaden raining from the sky.

  “God damnit,” I say as the rest of our ever-thinning group sob and moan, and I sit up. I try not to focus on the red mess halfway between us and the bunker. Through their terror-stricken eyes they all look at me, expectant.

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~ by Joseph Blame on April 4, 2011.

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