from Dagney Dent
Felicity Dawn had been hitch-hiking since before the bombs, when fuel was cheap and plentiful, so of course, she had seen quite a bit, but this she had never seen before. At first, it looked like just one car, but now, she realized it was one car being chased by three motorbikes and two cars. Her stomach tightened with anticipation. This would either be her lucky day or her last. She had to think fast because they were all going over 120 mph.
Should she save the one car and risk the possibility of a hostile owner, or should she destroy all six? She had carefully placed the road boobytrap for an event such as this. It had the ability to release a gas at just the right moment, in just the right place, and at just the right strength to kill the owners of any vehicle.
All Felicity had to do was salvage the wreckage and the fuel. With this many vehicles, she may be able to finish building the vehicle she had been building since a year after the bombs fell. Think, think, think! She had to decide. All the cars, or spare the victim? All six vehicles viciously flew closer to the trap.
The first one definitely is not with the other five. It is being chased, but that doesn't mean the owner is a hero. That doesn't mean the owner won't come back to kill me and steal my store of fuel, but he's being chased. He'll probably be so thankful that his ass is clear that he won't think to question how it came to be so. Think!
The time for thinking was gone. She let the first car pass, and the last five became victims to the powerful burst of the lethal gas that had killed so many others before them. Five distinct wrecks followed. The motorbikes went first, then the cars. Don't explode...don't explode. Felicity begged the cars not to self destruct.
When they seemed safe, she moved her gaze to the road ahead. The car that she had so graciously had saved had stopped. "So, the owner did notice me. Well, he won't find a pleasant end if he hunts me down."
Arthur dent raced down the isolated stretch of road in his 1988 Saab 900 Turbo. He had kept it in a garage with 2-footthick lead walls, just in case the bombs fell, and now he was the only person in the country with a decent set of wheels.
As he sped by at 180 mph, he saw quite a mess. He slowed down to 140 to survey the problem. All six vehicles appeared to have stopped abruptly, and only the front one showed any sign of life. A lone figure emerged from it, haggard from too much travel.
A strange, mysterious woman was standing by the road, looking strange and mysterious.
This looked entirely too serious for arthur, so he sped up to 200 and continued on his way. When he got back to Salt Lake City, he had a great idea for an anti-litter campaign. He made millions.
"Damn damn damn damn damn damn damn!!!!" thought Felicity Dawn. "If only I hadn't been distracted by the six cars, I could have had a SAAB! A SAAB in perfect condition with the ability to go 200 mph!"
With the rage and indignation that had built itself within her tiny frame, she glared at the Roadwarrior, "Don't even think for a second that you can salvage any of this! Just get back into your car that I have so graciously saved, and go your merry way!"
The scruffy man looked at his weather worn shoes, "I can't."
It was then that Felicity noticed the dog that had accompanied the desperate traveler. To the surprise of both of the salvagers, the Malamute gingerly pounced over to Felicity licking her hands and trying to cuddle as only happy dogs do. "My dog doesn't take too kindly to strangers."
"I can tell."
"No, what I mean is, he usually eats them."
"Must not be hungry today." The face of Felicity softened to the once feminine beauty that earned her so many rides from strangers, and Roadwarrior became another victim to her ethereal essence.
*sigh* She is so gorgeous! <dreamy smile>
I am mesmerized by the beautiful woman who stands before me. God, to see a woman so luscious out here in the wastes of Moab is a miracle!!! Is she an angel? Did death finally catch up to me and this is the angel come to take me home??? No, it can't be. Not after all the stuff I've seen, heard and done in my life. This couldn't be an angel.
I suddenly realized I had sunk to my knees and the shotgun lay on the roadway behind me. Damn!!! I let my guard down!!
I leaped to my feet and snatched up the double-barrel, sawed-off from the asphalt in a flash. I then whirled around and pointed the weapon at her.
"Who the Hell are you?!" I yelled.
Her eyes cooled and she replied "Felicity Dawn. Now put that thing away, dammit, before you hurt yourself."
I was temporarily struck with the urge to laugh. I didn't know whether she meant the shotgun or the bulge in my pants her gorgeous body had caused. I smiled and kept the gun leveled at her firm, perfect chest. "OK," I said with a grin. "What the Hell do you want?!"
She just continued staring and tapping one spiked-heel on the roadway. We stood there eye to eye for minutes, neither doing anything more than breath. I finally broke from her gaze and quickly surveyed the area. The 6 vehicles who had been chasing me were in wreckage. An occasional pool of blood leaked from a shattered window or twisted chunk of metal. I needed fuel badly, and this offered the perfect opportunity.
One car was still fairly intact and lay about 15 feet behind my Interceptor. The sweet, intoxicating smell of gasoline filled the air as a small puddle formed beneath the wrecked car. I turned back to Felicity and sized her up. No weapons (her incredible body not included. It was definitely lethal). She appeared harmless. But this was too weird, and my hackles were on end. This was all wrong. Suddenly a faint growling from the distance alerted me.
I flashed a look at the horizon. Far out on the twisting highway I could see 4 more vehicles approaching. "Damn" I muttered. I looked at my Interceptor and grimaced. I must be running on vapor by now. I flashed another peek at the apparition called Felicity Dawn and gritted my teeth. How do I get into these bizarre situations??? The rumbling got closer and the instinct to run grew stronger by the second. Felicity kept staring silently. I was gripped with apprehension and fear. What should I do?? Another loud roar from the horizon decided for me.
"Keep her from messin' around, dog" I said sharply. My Malamute, who up to this point had been adoring her mindlessly, suddenly skipped away and growled wildly at her, his teeth bared. His hackles were up and he looked as fierce as any wolf. Felicity was startled but only her expression changed. My Malamute barked evilly and Felicity was forced back a step. She suddenly jumped for my car but was blindsided with a flying tackle. Felicity screamed as my dog pinned her to the Earth and held his jaws millimeters from her throat. She wasn't moving after that. I grinned and chuckled inwardly. Good old mutt, he was.
I ran to my car and snagged one of many empty Jerry cans off the back and ran to the wreck not 15 feet away. The Juice was like water to me. I could almost taste it as it flowed across the highway. I scanned for the source of the leak and spotted the ruptured fuel hose.
I popped the Jerry can with my left thumb and drew a knife from my boot with the right. The hose was slashed cleanly with a wrist swipe and the Gas poured freely. I immediately fed the hose into the can and set it down. The wonderful liquid splashed and gurgled with glee as it emptied into the metal container. I dashed back to the Interceptor and snagged a second can, peaked to make sure Felicity was still pinned, and flew back to the wreck. The previous can was half full, and I tore the hose out and stuck it into the second can, and ran back to the Interceptor.
The roar was getting louder and the gangs were less than a minute away. This would be too close. I popped one of the two main tanks and emptied about a gallon of Life into the dry vessel. I then threw the empty can in the back and ran for the second one.
"Get her ass in the car!!" I yelled while I grabbed the second can and hurried back. My Malamute barked excitedly and flipped Felicity over on her back, she screamed again, and he chomped down on the collar of her shirt. While I emptied another gallon of High-Octane into the tank, the dog dragged Felicity over and into the back seat of the Interceptor, his victim screeching and kicking the whole time. "Keep her there!!! I yelled" 30 seconds now...
I sealed the tank and threw the second can in the back, the thinbettle smacking Felicity in the head! "OUCH!!" She screeched! "You bastard!!"
I laughed out loud and jumped for the drivers' seat. 20 seconds... I reached over and slammed the passenger door, sneaking a peek as my dog had Felicity glued to the left side of the car with fear. I slammed the drivers door and reached for the ignition. 10 seconds....
The roar of their engines was loud in the air now, as well as their bloodthirsty cries of bloodlust. The old hatred swelled and I cranked the engine. It sputtered once and then roared with a fresh life of its own. "Hang on!!" I yelled and stamped on the accelerator. My Malamute howled with the squeal of the tires and the roar of the V8, and we were all thrown around as the car bucked and screamed across the blacktop.
They were right on me now, cackling and hollering with delight. I watched the needle move upward... 30, 40, 50 it climbed. a quick check out the window and in the mirrors did nothing to ease me. "Too damned slow..." I cursed. Two cars were less than 3 feet from the back bumper and two bikes were flying up along the passenger side. 60 Miles per hour
The road was hurtling along now, but it was too late. I looked out at the two bikers and glared. Each was covered in bones and paint and plate and pain, howling madly at me. One eased in closer and screamed "You die now, eh???" He pointed a wrist bow at me and a thin bolt flew at me.
I ducked and the arrow buried itself in the passenger door. They both laughed and the biker brought his other arm around for another shot.
That did it. The anger took over. I grabbed the shotgun out of the bucket seat and directed it out the window. "FUCK YOU!!" I yelled savagely. The biker had a sudden look of animalistic fear and then I triggered the left barrel.
There was a loud BOOM! and the biker seemed to explode. The buckshot tore him nearly in half and the recoil crushed into my wrist and arm. What was left of the biker swerved wildly as was gone. GOD!! That had felt soooooo good!!! I grinned with sadistic satisfaction and gazed at the speedometer. 75 MPH.... The other cars were still keeping speed as well as the bike. But not for long. I held very still and let the maniacs close in.
The second bike was only a few feet away now. I held my breath and then stamped the brake. Rubber squealed and the biker over shot me. The two cars behind swerved wildly and I heard a satisfying *CRUNCH* as one plowed into the other. The bike was now directly ahead of me. I let up off the brake and down on the gas. The Interceptor lunged like a bloodthirsty beast after the biker. He matched speed. 90 MPH....
I looked in the mirror and watched as the two cars carried off the road and tumbled wildly, metal and rubber and junk and flesh flying everywhere. My dog and I both howled with glee and I stood on the gas with renewed fervor.
I gazed evilly at the desperate biker ahead as his engine whined highly, trying to stay ahead. "Now its your turn you bloody Sod!!" I yelled, and toggled the superchargers.
All three of us were pressed back into the dusty vinyl seats of the Interceptor and the needle climbed rapidly, engine screaming like a demon from Hell. 90, 100, 115, 130, 145, and onward. The biker was desperate! He was barely in control. 150.... Finally, he lost it. A bump in the blacktop flung him wildly and he went down in a tumble of tearing metal and spilling blood. 20 feet, 10 feet, 1 foot...
The Interceptor bucked as two, slushy, *THUMPS* rolled beneath the left tires, the remains of the biker being ground into the pavement beneath my Goodyears. I let out a ravaged cry of vengeance and anger and, satisfied, continued on past the carnage I had caused.
The tires rolled eagerly and I kept the gas on in exhilaration. Now what do I do with this woman? I wondered. No matter, that was a matter for later consideration. All that mattered now was speed, the road, and the beautiful red-rock that flew past my eyes. The interceptor rolled on from Dagney Dent
"You stupid imbecile!!!" Felicity Dawn was writhing with anger, "You wasted four perfectly good vehicles!!!"
Roadwarrior was quick with a retort, "I just saved our butts!"
"I could have saved our butts and got the vehicles!! That motorbike was the best I've seen in years, but now it's a crumbled mess on the freeway! Not to mention what the body of the rider has done to this baby! If you had let me go, I could have gassed them, like I did your friends. In fact, they would have slowed down to observe the carnage of the first wreckage, so their machines would have hardly crashed at all!! We could have had four perfectly good machines with the remains of the others to spare. NOT TO MENTION THE FUEL YOU WASTED SHOWING OFF!!!"
A firm but fairly unharming slap found its way to Felicity's face, and she was quieted, "Take me back. I can salvage what's left, and you can go on your way."
Y'know, she had a good point. In fear and rage I had wasted some good opportunities. I suddenly felt a touch of shame for slapping her. The adrenaline was running down again and I started to rethink my actions. I had acted rashly. But no time to go back, for behind me the Madness always followed. Never ceasing and ever growing.
I looked and watched as a sign whipped past. I could only make out the word "-imits... 5 miles" Aha! perfect! A town up ahead! There I could find some Juice and drop Felicity off. "Hang on..." I said as I quickened the pace.
"Just turn AROUND!" Felicity yelled in my ear. She raised a hand to slap the back of my head but decided against the maneuver at a loud bark from my Malamute.
The road and rock flowed past me and I enjoyed the freedom a couple gallons of juice could give me. Soon, things would hopefully take turns for the better.
15 minutes later we rolled to the outskirts of a desolate, burnt-out little burg that looked like it hadn't seen life in a while. I rolled cautiously down main street and checked the buildings. All had been partially or totally burnt and a few were nothing but blackened foundations. Nobody was in sight.
I spied the remnants of a service station and cruised the Interceptor over towards it, still keeping my eyes peeled. I stopped the car at the kirb and shut the V8 down.
"OK, everybody out" I announced. I opened the passenger door and both my dog and Felicity tumbled out. I then eased out the drivers door and stood, always checking out the corners of my eyes for trouble.
"Why didn't you just turn around??" Felicity demanded.
"Look, I've NEVER looked back in my life. Death is just a breath away, and if I go back to smell the roses, I'm finished. You saw how they hounded me."
That seemed to satisfy her a little. "C'mon, boy, we've got scroungin' to do" I said my Malamute. He wuffled at me happily and skipped to my side. "You can come with me if you want," I said over my shoulder. "I'm not really that rotten a person. And it seems you have little other choice."
No answer. I stopped and faced around. She was gone. Damn! Where did she get off to? She couldn't touch the Interceptor or we'd all be dead; I set the dynamite before I left the drivers seat. "HEY!!" I yelled.
"Stop yellin" came the reply as she walked out from behind the station pushing a battered, barely working Harley-Davidson Springer Softail.
"Where the Hell did you find that??" I asked her.
She smiled, "A resourceful girl can find anything she needs, hotshot". The Harley squeaked and groaned as wheeled it over to a rusted out pump.
"Hey, don't let me keep you" She said, still smiling. "I can take care of myself.
This is getting weirder by the minute... But what the Hell, I thought. "Hands off the car, babe" I said. "Nasty things come in pretty packages..." Then I turned and walked out into the street.
One hour later I had circuited the town and scrounged what I could. As I walked back to the Interceptor I was amazed to hear the roar of a bike engine. No way, she couldn't... Not in an hour... Where did she get the juice?? I approached the station and found Felicity sitting astride the Harley and testing the throttle. "What the?!" I started.
She smiled again and repeated herself. "I told you, resourceful girls..."
I just started laughing then. This was bizarre. Screw it, though..... I had a sack slung over my shoulder with the stuff I'd scrounged up, which I set besides my car. "Where did you get the juice??" I asked.
Felicity just pointed to a clear, plastic hose that she had fed into the rusty pump. "Amazingly enough, there is some fuel in there after all. Enough to last quite a while." She said.
I looked and saw two, plastic Jerry cans strapped onto either side of the Harley and a rumpled roll of scrounged stuff tied to the Harley's high-back seat. She pointed at the pump and said, "Fill up while you can!"
The gas was like fire in my nostrils. "Lady, I don't know who you are, but I love you!!" I grabbed her around the waist and planted a kiss full on her luscious, red lips. She was surprised, but didn't pull away. Her arms wrapped around me and I felt her lithesome body against my own. It was heaven.
The kiss ended and we pulled away. A small red spot was on her cheek where I had slapped her. I ran my hand lightly over it and whispered, "I'm sorry".
She just smiled and jokingly punched my gut. "I ought to deck you for that, tough guy, but I'm too tired" We both laughed at that and looked into each other's eyes. She so beautiful. I was saddened to have to part with her.
She turned and hopped on the Harley. "Well stranger, see you later maybe". She jumped and cranked the Harley to life, revving the engine and grinning.
"HEY!" I yelled. I fished into the breast pocket of my leather jacket and retrieved a small rabbits foot. "Good luck to you..." I said with a smile and tossed her the foot.
She snatched it and looked at me strangely. She Tucked it down and front of her shirt and between her breasts and laughed humorously. "I'll try and keep it warm for you.
Before I could reply, she floored the gas and was gone in a burst of dust. I watched her ride out of town and sighed. Well, back to the grind. I emptied the sack by my car and sorted the contents. I put three paperback books into a chest I kept on the rear floor of the car. Knowledge was priceless, and I was building a safekeep of books for the future ahead. Next I emptied some spare auto-parts into a second chest. Then some blankets and other articles and things in their various places. Then I pulled the hose from the pump and proceeded to fill my car with as much Juice as I could carry. The tanks, the cans, everything was filled to the rim.
I threw the hose in the back. "In ya' go, my friend" I said the the Malamute who had been asleep in a burned out crate this whole time. He wuffled and happily scrambled into the back seat. I checked to make sure I had everything, and got in. I made sure the doors were tight and everything secure against the approaching night. Lastly, I examined the only remaining loose articles. 5 shotgun shells rattled in my hand. They all looked to be in good shape, and I needed the ammo. I tucked three of them into my rest pocket and then unholstered my double-barrel, sawed-off. It split nicely and I slid the last two rounds into the twin barrels with relish. Firepower again. I snapped the barrels closed and set the safety, then laid the gun in the passenger seat. Handy if I needed it.
I sat back and thought for a moment. I wondered about my future. I wondered about the gas I was now loaded with. And I wondered about HER. I had this feeling we would meet again, and this made me very happy. Life is what we make of it, and she would certainly make a fine companion with which to build a new future. Maybe even kids... I laughed at the idea. it was tempting, but hardly more than the wistful dream of a man who has seen too much and shed to many bitter tears. It was time to get back to reality.
The V8 roared with vitality and the car seemed eager for speed. I smiled back at my Malamute. "Lets get going, old chap." He barked happily with a grin. I set the gears and let up off the clutch and down on the gas. The Interceptor rolled easily onto the road and out into the evening air.
Then out of the town and down the long road of destiny. The engine hummed reassuringly, he tires rolled easily, and the Juice, the *precious* juice, flowed like blood in my veins. I breathed the night air and pressed on the accelerator..........
from Dagney Dent
Felicity Dawn sped eagerly toward home and her precious booby trap. Night was falling quickly and she had quite a bit of salvaging to do, and not enough light to do it in. At nighttime, she couldn't risk being unprotected, and by morning, the best parts would be taken. Not to mention the fact that travelers would be mighty curious about the carnage on the road and may look for her house or dismantle her trap.
Felicity gently rubbed her bottom, "That damn Interceptor was in dire need of shocks. If only..." Felicity cut herself short. There were no more "if onlies." The bombs had stolen her livelihood, her children, and most of all, her husband. Stay alone. Stay lonely, because loneliness doesn't hurt quite as much if you live with it continually. It's the shock of loneliness that hurts the most. The shock of losing the one you love hurts worse than staying alone.
Just as she decided that she would be alone forever, the familiar outline of an Interceptor made its way into her rear view mirror. Felicity's mind raced as quickly as the Harley she was driving, "He wouldn't come back for me. There must have been someone there, and now they've come for me." She tried to push the motorbike a little harder, but remembered what happened to the last guy who tried to outrun that car, so she braked as safely as she could, ditched the bike, and hid.
The roar of the Interceptor came closer. "Damn thing needs a muffler too." When the roar was as loud as it could be, the car stopped. Felicity wasn't worried, because she was a master at finding the best hiding spot in Southern Utah, out of which she peeked at her assailant.
To her surprise and delight, the Interceptor was driven by its original owner and his Malamute companion. Felicity Dawn's hiding place was easily found by the keen nose of the fairly friendly mutt.
"Come with me. I could use a mechanic."
"Come with me. You could use a tuneup and I can use the manpower. By the way, what's your name? I can't go on thinking of you as the owner of the Interceptor whose butt I spared."
He chuckled and the dog eagerly wagged his tail, "Most people don't even get that, but I call myself Roadwarrior."
"Well, I used to be called Felicity Dawn before everyone that I knew was killed, so I guess I'll stick with that. Follow me." Felicity straddled the motorbike and motioned for Roadwarrior to go with her to her home.
When they reached the smoking remains of the first five, it was nearly dark. "Hurry!" Felicity ran about fifty yards from the road, and the ground mysteriously lifted. A door the size of a van opened to the underground, while Roadwarrior stood open-mouthed. "I'm good with hydraulics, too. Now help me push these cars into my garage before the evening scavengers take over."
With much sweat and strained muscles on the part of both, the remains of all five vehicles were hastily scooted into the garage. Finally, Roadwarrior gently eased his own car into the haven, and the door was shut.
Felicity looked at her humble abode. The walls were covered with tools neatly placed on hooks. There was a sink, a bed and a computer in the corner, and all the rest of the room was filled with car parts neatly labeled and put into boxes.
"I get bored."
The Roadwarrior looked around with greed and admiration, "You sure are organized."
"Not really, I'm a slob who is interested in organization. Plus, what else am I to do when the road is desolate for weeks?"
Roadwarrior gasped, "You're not telling me that all these parts are from that trap of yours, are you?"
"Not all, but most of them. You see, that road was called I-15. It was a main thoroughfare through Utah. I ran a gas station and truck stop with my husband and children. We rescued cars in trouble and charged a pretty penny for it too. Then on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago,"
Roadwarrior cringed. That was the night the bombs fell.
"We all were supposed to go to Salt Lake to visit my husband's family, but a girl called in sick on me at the last minute, so I stayed to watch the store. And then..." Felicity's eyes stared at the computer. She didn't say anything else, but he knew. She didn't have to say that she never heard of them again. She didn't have to say that somehow, she was able to alter her garage to be the haven of safety and death that it now was.
"So why save all those parts, and kill people to do it?"
"I need a car."
"They still may be alive."
Felicity stared at the computer for a bit longer, then went over to the Interceptor and started to raise it on a jack.
Roadwarrior quickly stopped what she was doing, "Hey! You're not going to cannibalize my baby!"
"Of course not! But that car is not going to leave here without new brakes, shocks and a muffler. Did you ever think that if the attackers could barely hear your car, that they would think that you were very far away, and not be ready when you do overtake them?"
Roadwarrior smiled at her and left her to her work. He went to cuddle his Malamute, which Felicity thought was the most odd sight: a tough and strong man cuddling a ferocious dog.
They were both deep in sleep before Felicity got the first tire off. She worked on throughout the evening, and when she finished her original projects, she went on to others.
Roadwarrior found her asleep on a table with the remains of what used to be a transmission on the table. She smelled of grease and gasoline, and he imagined her firm body pressed against his. Then the thought of the hundreds of people she had killed replaced the more pleasant previous thought. This was a woman who had mercilessly sacrificed many, just for their cars and fuel. She would do anything to build this dream car of hers. She was a girl of his own heart, but her heart was placed on finding another man. A man and a few children were all she really wanted. But not just any man, her husband.
Yes, this woman was quite a piece of work. Beautiful, intelligent, tough, everything. The more I was around her, the more I was drawn to her. And also repelled. She could easily add me to her list of conquests. I could become just another corpse, and my stuff just another treasure for her post-apocalyptic coffers. And this worried me deeply.
I looked down at her sleeping, soiled body and smiled. I recalled my own words with bitter irony: "Nasty things come in pretty packages." Yes, that fit this woman precisely.
I looked down at her soiled, crumpled form and brewed. Why was life always so complex, so hard?? But then again, I should have learned not to question fate.
I gently bent and picked up Felicity's sleeping body and carried her to a mattress in the corner. There I left her under a blanket and then went to my Interceptor. My Malamute was asleep in the back and I checked my car carefully in order not to ruin his slumber. Sleep was a rare escape to greener fields and happier times, even for the beasts of this Earth. I did not wish to rob my faithful companion of that escape. I checked the car over and smiled.
Felicity had done a damn fine job on the car. Those repairs and replacements were worth his car's weight in gold. (When gold mattered, that is. Now, fuel is the highest commodity.) No matter Felicity's disposition, I was certainly in her debt. But how could I repay her?? She seemed to have everything she needed and more, while I was lacking in everything. This concerned me. Of all the things I have been called, one of them is not dishonorable. I have helped others in my past, and I was determined to help Felicity in our present, even if she was dangerous.
But it was late and that was a job for another day. I cra wled into the drivers side of the interceptor and leaned the bucket, leather seat to full horizontal. Draping a rough wool blanket across my legs and torso, hand on the stock of my sawed-off, I drifted to sleep.
I dozed for who knows how long, and then was assaulted by images. I saw murkiness and clouds at first, but then my vision seemed to sharpen. I saw the feral kid, the one I gave the music to, the one who spoke the language of the dogs. I saw Papagalo, with his brave plans and speeches, and also with a blade in his back from the Lord Humangus. I saw Aunty, with her wild beauty and ferocious cunning. I saw the Walker children with their religious fervor and dead dreams, kept alive in that canyon in the center of the great sands. I saw the Gyrocaptain, with his gangly form and quick wit. I saw them all. But then my visions turned darker.
I saw the minions of Lord Humangus tearing away at each other and me over the tanker of gas. I saw Humangus himself as he addressed us of our doom at the compound. I saw the inhabitants of Barter Town all gathered to watch as I was banished to die among the dunes of the desert. I felt the horse go down under the hot sun, and I felt the burn of thirst in my throat. I felt the hopeless resignation of the damned. I lay there on the sand, bound and tied, barely able to breath. Then I saw Wez. The ruthless, mad Wez. I saw him chase me across the roads, feathers flying and voice howling. I saw him rape and pillage with the worst of the hunters. I saw him again as I saw him then. I remembered the threat:
"YOU!" he screamed, "You can run, but 'cha can't hide!!!" I saw his face as he smashed my old Interceptor. I felt the pain and rage. I watched as my old dog was slain, I revelled as the gas they sought eventually became their doom. Then I saw HER. My wife!!! Her beauty and luxuriance before me again. I reached to touch her. MY wife was alive again! We wept together and laughed together once again. For the first time since she left me, we made love. Heated, passionate love. But then she was running. Not from me, but from someone else. My child was in her arms. Both were screaming. She was running desperately. I looked and saw the Toecutter, with mad eyes and mad disciples. They rode down on my wife and child like a pack of demons from Hell. I screamed her name and tried to run after her, but could not move. I screamed her name again and watched in horror as my family, my life, my *soul* was cut down and CRUSHED. No, Sweet Jesus, not again. I had seen her alive again. She WAS alive. But she was gone, just like before. I screamed her name till my throat was sore and my eyes ran with tears. Great God almighty, my wife, my child. No... No.. Jesus no.....
I suddenly leaped to a sitting position. My throat felt raw and I was drenched with sweat. My hands and arms trembled violently. I was moaning my wife's name in hoarse whispers. Somebody was gripping my arm tightly. I slowly looked and saw the frightened face of Felicity Dawn peering in at me. It was morning once again........
from Dagney Dent
His face was one that I recognized from months of tears and sobbing. It was my own face that I watched in agony as he slept in his precious car. I came because he had called out. It was a woman's name that he desperately screamed in the dark dungeon I call my home.
I grabbed his arm in an effort to awaken him from the all too familiar torture that survivors suffer. He bolted up in the seat of the Interceptor, still whispering the name. A wife, a lover? It didn't matter, because she was gone, and it was only in his dreams that he had to deal with her absence.
I tried to comfort him in the only way I knew how, "Do you want something to eat?" He nodded, and I left him to ponder his dream.
I felt ashamed that I had nothing to offer but potatoes. I had tried to grow other things on the surface, but the scavengers always recognized my neat rows and pillaged my carrots, corn, and tomatoes. But potatoes could be grown without any rows. I carefully watered them and preened the weeds, but it looked like a patch of foliage instead of a garden, so they remained safe. I had a goat until after the first starving winter when my supplies ran out and I had to sacrifice her for myself. Potatoes are better than starving, and that just might be what has happened to my new friend more than once since the bombs dropped.
from Dagney Dent
Wiping his brow, he wandered into her kitchen, "Got any red meat for my pooch on the floor of my car?"
"I don't, but I don't think he is too hungry."
Confused Roadwarrior returned to look at his content Malamute. His belly was definitely bulging.
Felicity called from the other room, "I've never seen a dog hungry enough to do that."
Perplexed, Roadwarrior thought to himself, "Do what?" Then he noticed the other cars. They were void of gasoline, but they had a lot of parts to offer. The dog forgotten, he headed toward the nearest vehicle, then the stench of rot caught his nose.
Felicity brought the potatoes into the main room, "I could never bring myself to eat humans, but I know many do. You and your dog wouldn't happen to be one of those, would you?"
Disgusted, Roadwarrior tried to wretch, but his long empty stomach had nothing to emit.
While watching him endure dry heaves, Felicity sighed a breath of relief. To think that she actually fell asleep without even knowing if he were a cannibal or not. She wasn't watching herself well enough. She had been so desperate for company of any kind that she had trusted him with her secret home, her life story and her life. Plus, she was fixing his car so he could tell others where she was.
My dog ATE somebody? Who?
from Dagney Dent
For those of you not paying attention, Roadwarrior's Malamute ate one of the victims of my gas trap. Since the two of them were in such a hurry to get the vehicles into the haven, they didn't have time for a proper burial. His dog got a little overexcited at all that dead flesh lying around.
Gross. My pooch ate somebody? Aww man, I've taught him not to do that! He never would have done it. Maybe he found a dead animal among the wreckage? I thought I saw a dead farm animal or three laying around.
from Dagney Dent
"I think we need to talk." Felicity Dawn, observing that Roadwarrior had finished retching, decided to strike a deal with him, "Your Interceptor is going to be mighty fuel efficient when I get done with it, so how about taking me along?"
"Taking you along? Oh no, lady. It's just me and my mutt. I can't trust anyone else."
"You can't trust me? Wasn't it me who spared your life on that freeway?"
"For ulterior motives, maybe."
Felicity was fuming. Standing up from the table, she left him to his potatoes, "Eat. I have to get rid of these bodies."
Roadwarrior tried to ignore the activities in the other portion of the room while he ate his potatoes. No salt, no butter, no sour cream, but somehow, they were delicious. This woman wanted to join his rag tag team, but would she feel as safe away from her trap as she did here? "You know, you can't grow potatoes out on the road."
Felicity, still mad, refused to reply.
"There aren't any conveniences like food and water either. That's why we were heading north. It's summer, and we don't want to be stuck in a desert during the summer."
"If you want to leave without me, you can put your transmission back together yourself."
And there the story ended.
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