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The Airborne Gift

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The movie was fucking horrible. Sadly, the best part about it was the overpriced Dr. Pepper I bought. I wish I could say that the worst parts were the sappy Christmas scenes and the theater bathroom. But no, the whole thing reeked of cheesiness and empty-headed romance.

It happened around the point that I realized that the movie was going nowhere but downhill. Looking around me, I could see several girls with glazed-over eyes, their entire being infiltrated by this horrendous Christmas romantic-comedy. A few of them had some boyfriends with them, who were all either checking their watches or snoozing heavily.

The only reason I was even at this stupid shit-fest was because my friend had given me a ticket, and described it to me as a witty comedy. I suppose that was her idea of a joke, because to my misfortune is was a bad rom-com, and I’ve never been one for those.

As I was saying, it happened around the point that I deduced that the movie was progressively getting worse. I stood up to leave when suddenly the movie was cut short and the lights turned on. For a split-second, I had thought that somehow I’d done it, but that would, of course, be absurd. Confused, much like everyone else, I just stood there waiting for something to happen. After much complaining from the girls and “Thank the Lord”s from their boyfriends, a greasy teenager stumbled in with a look of pure terror on his face. I recognized him as the kid who sold me the Dr. Pepper.

“Out! Out!” he screamed frantically. “Everybody get out, and just go home! I’ve no time to explain, just go!” He was clearly terrified of something.

There was a bit of baffled murmuring before an extremely obese woman heaved herself up and demanded a refund. I was amazed that she could actually fit in one of those seats.

“But Ah paid fifty fer me an’ mah young ‘uns!” she hollered amidst a swarm of children.

The terrified soda vendor took out a wad of cash and hurled it in the woman’s general direction, telling us even more fervently to go, pointing a trembling finger fixated on the emergency exit.

When I was finally outside, I was completely blown away by the chaos that met my eyes. It was as if a massive escape from an insane asylum had taken place. Police were beating people senselessly; cars were ramming into everything within reach; people were slaughtering each other right in the parking lot; children screamed for their mothers. I found a man who looked safe enough to approach.

“Sir? Sir? Excuse me, sir? Can you tell me what in the holy fuck is going on out here?” He just stared at me hopelessly with tears welled up in his eyes.

“You don’t know?” He was barely audible over the cacophony of madness. I shook my head.

“We’re gonna die…. They’re gonna kill us all…. We’re gonna burn….”

“Who’s going to kill us? What’s going to make us burn?” He blinked at me, fresh tears rolling down his face.

“The nukes…. They’re gonna drop…. Right here…. In this city….”

“Who? Who is doing this?” He shrugged his shoulders sadly and shuffled away, seemingly in a daze. I simply stood there, dumbfounded. I was hardly aware of the hordes of people scrambling around me. I just kept thinking: Who? Who’s dropping the bombs? It couldn’t be true, it just couldn’t. It was less than a week before Christmas, this couldn’t be happening. I tried telling myself that Wal-Mart had closed down, or that the Apple store ran out of iPhones, but I knew that some horrible catastrophe was nigh.

It occurred to me to try and verify what the man had said, so I went from person to person, but either they didn’t know anything, or it was the same story the man had told me of an inevitable burning death. But nobody seemed to know where the nukes were coming from. It wasn’t until a police officer bashed me across the face and told me to get out of there that it even occurred to me to go home.

I began to walk towards my car, but soon realized that it was probably busted up by then, and even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere through all the pandemonium. Luckily, I only lived a few blocks away from the Winston Cinema, so it wouldn’t take all that long to get home.

The way home wasn’t much better than the parking lot. All traffic and civil laws seemed to have been abandoned. Vehicles lay stranded in the road and in ditches. People lay injured or dead on the streets…. Gunshots and explosions were incessantly sounding in the near distance, mostly from the police, who had brought out riot shields and tear gas but I avoided those areas.

I was nearly home when I first heard the sirens blaring ominously in the distance, for they were mostly drowned out through all the riotous sounds of the present anarchy. God, what cold, chilling, ghastly echoes of death they were! It didn’t matter one bit if you plugged your ears, because after hearing the sirens once, they stayed with you, shackling your soul to the dungeons of dread. They have long since been silenced, but I can still hear them, droning on, and on, and on….

I finally made it home. After locking and bolting all of the doors and windows, I immediately put my cat Greens into his carrier and brought him downstairs to the basement. Likewise followed suit his food and all of my non-frozen and canned foods. I scoured my kitchen for any jars and containers and filled them with water, placing them with the food in the basement. It was as I was going back upstairs for pillows and blankets that I first heard the distant buzzing of planes. The buzzing grew steadily louder, like some monstrous swarm of insects.

I’m not really sure what I did then, for the next thing I knew I crying in the basement, holding Greens close to my chest, listening to his last purrs. Then the most Godless, blasphemous noise I have ever heard met my ears, soon replaced by a loud ringing. Then came the Hellish blast, and all went black. I woke up later on the ground in complete darkness, and the basement felt like an industrial furnace.

At first, I’d thought that I died and was in Hell. Shit, in a sense, I am in Hell. Hell on Earth. But no, I wasn’t dead. Though, I can feel it coming soon. My death, along with everything around me. No house, no friends, no family…. All of it is gone. I came out of the basement, because of the unbearable heat. I buried Greens in the baked earth. There’s no hope. No hope left. All I can do is sit in this burning world and wait for that Dark Angel to finally take me.



But something pushes me onward in my meager and panful existence. I still drink my irradiated water and still eat my irradiated food. I still keep on living after I crawled out of my basement into the charred ruins of the world. I still kept going after I held Greens in my arms as he died, and I snapped his neck to end his pain and suffering. I still breathe despite the air burning my lungs. I still keep going.

Looking around, all I see is decay and ruin, grief and despair. The sun never shines anymore. The snow isn’t water. It burns when it pricks my raw flesh. I can barely breathe, and I cough up blood every few seconds. I literally feel as if my organs are rotting alive, which they probably are.

I wrote this in the hopes that maybe somebody, someday, will read this. I want the children of tomorrow to know just what took place here this winter. Maybe, just maybe, humanity will learn from its mistakes. But my hopes aren’t high, because we obviously didn’t learn from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We still wage war and destruction, even though all it does is tear us apart. But at least now I can rest with the knowledge that I made some attempt to impact the future. All I can do is hope.


Phillip White

Written by Banned In CP
Content is available under CC BY-SA

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