“Winter Morning”

Cold air smashes into his face like a frigid brick as he rushes out the front door. Already late and no time to warm up the old truck or let the windows defrost he quickly scrapes a small area on the driver side window. Opening the door and turning the key the truck mockingly laughs as it tries to start. Again, he turns the key and curses. More laughs. One more turn and the engine coughs and runs.

Hunched over the steering wheel and viewing the road through the small space of scraped ice he accelerates towards work. Mumbling curses at the miserable weather and the useless defrosters.

If only he were more disciplined, he thinks. Instead of hitting the snooze on his phone for a pitiful ten extra minutes of sleep there would have been plenty of time to get the rickety old truck started and clear the windshield properly. But now he’s in a rush in a refrigerator on wheels with a porthole to see the road.

As he slowly weaves out of his neighborhood and onto the busier roads the ice on the bottom half of the window slowly begins to melt away. Vision is still poor but at least it’s a start. As he comes up to the entrance ramp to the expressway, he swipes the window wipers to clear away some of the water and ice. The truck slowly beginning to warm along with his mood.

And now traffic.

Not even merged onto the highway and already bumper to bumper. Clouds of fumes billowing out of exhaust pipes and quickly dissipating into the air. Turn signals lit up and horns honking while the working ants try to fight their way into the right line. The line that will get them to their destination faster. Even if only by a single car length. Edging in and braking and gassing the grind to work continues on.

Traffic usually isn’t this bad at this exit, he thinks. A few exits up is where the congestion typically starts so there must be an accident or road work. He spins the dial on the FM radio to try to find a traffic report like it matters. He’s stuck regardless. Soon he will have to consider calling the office to let them know he is running late. Again.

Strangely the radio stations are nothing but static. Nothing coming in. He eyes up his antenna to make sure it didn’t freeze up and fall off but it’s still standing. Reaching into his pocket he pulls out his cell phone and opens up the internet application. No service. No internet and it looks like he has no bars to make a phone call too. Must be a tower down or something, he thinks.

Peripherally he catches a darting dark green car race past the passenger side in the shoulder. He watches as it zips past traffic but then quickly the taillights turn red as another truck cuts into the lane with the same idea.

Everyone in a rush to go nowhere.

A glance to his left and notices some vehicles driving on the grassy island that divides the highway.

A deep chill runs up his spine and crawls into his brain.

Everyone is in a rush to go somewhere, he thinks.

Looking around he notices the expressions on the surrounding drivers faces. Anxious. Panic. Fear. White knuckles gripped firmly to steering wheels while free hands press repeatedly at their phones. He checks his phone again with no avail.

As his skin prickles and stomach unsettles and eyes flicker and breaths become heavy and uneven and his mind thinks and races and…

Piercing his thoughts and his entire soul, a blinding sound strikes and immobilizes the entire traffic jam. Hands cupped to his ears and jaws clenched so hard he could crack his teeth he endures the full blast of the sound. After what feels like an eternity the unbearable noise abruptly ceases. Removing his cupped hands, he discovers blood on his palms. A dull sensation, a throbbing. Tight unforgiving pain behind the eyes. A fuzzy blurry world about him.

Drivers screaming. But no sounds.

He screams. But no sound.

Reaching for the door lever he pulls and shoulders his way out of the truck. Stumbling into traffic. Amidst the sea of vehicles and fumes puffing into the air he sees the people wiggling like fish out of water. Some in their vehicles. Some in the road. Pain and confusion.

Although numb he attempts to gather his bearings.

This is fucked, he thinks.

Looking ahead there is nothing but multicolors of vehicles and multicolors of people in peril. He starts to swing around to see what is behind but trips and falls violently into a car’s sideview mirror shoulder first. Catching the hood of the car with his other hand he steadies and starts to raise his head.

The deafening sounds returns.

Ripping and splitting his skull he squeezes his eyes shut and he thinks why what how why and the shock of the sound finally jolts his body awake.

Lying flat on the bed and breathing heavily he silences the alarm.




I'm only in it for the entropy.

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