Chapter 14

Apocalypse, now

    James woke up, he rubbed his eyes and looked at his watch, it was close to seven-thirty a.m., the sun hadn't even come up yet. He turned to look at the bed, but Amber was gone. He shoved his gun under his belt again, and got up to check the bathroom, still no Amber. He looked everywhere. She had left. He looked in the small closet by the door, his gray coat with his keys inside the right pocket, was missing. "Shit" he said.

    He opened the old motel door and stepped out into the new day, there was a muddy gray in sky, the clouds covered everything, but the temperature had warmed to a balmy comfort, it was probably fifty or sixty degrees. odd for a mid January morning. There were three cars in the long Motel parking lot, an old yellow Volkswagen beetle, a Chevy Cavalier, and the owners Mercedes gun blue Benz SLK-55 convertible. His Suburban was not among the vehicles. Odd that the owner would have such an expensive car, but given the price of the rooms to care of the rooms ratio, it made a bit of sense.

   The streets were quiet, not a single person could be seen. He checked his watch again, it said it was the twelfth of January, a Saturday.  He dug deep inside his pockets and pulled out a crumpled pack of Smokin' Joe's. He lit one up and stood there, waiting. He hadn't had a smoke in almost an entire day, or a cup of coffee. He craved a cup of coffee. He was about to wonder what he was going to do without his truck and gear that was in the back of it, if she had indeed stolen it and did not return.

    His suburban pulled into the lot at about seven forty five, and he sighed a breath of relief when she parked it where it had been and got out. She looked so small in his gray jacket, but it appeared she had left for an innocuous reason. She got out of the truck and shuffled around for a second. She walked up to him, staring up at him with her lovely green eyes. She held a bag in one hand, and two cups in a cardboard holder in the other. "I couldn't sleep anymore, so I decided to get some breakfast."

"You read my mind," said James.
"Odd thing though, there was no one there, so I served myself, and left some money."
"That is odd," a quizzical look emerged upon his face, as he took a cup for himself.

The coffee was horrible, but he sipped at it anyway, then puffed at his smoke. She looked at him.
"What?"
"That's a disgusting habit,"
"One of my many," he replied. She raised an eyebrow, and smirked at him.

"We have to get the fuck out of Dodge, theres something wrong with this city, and it's giving me the creeps, I have a quiet place north of here, it's a good three hour drive, and it's safe, no one knows about it."
"I have to go back to my apartment, see if my roommate is okay, he's a bit of a moron."
"I don't think we should risk it, The Man probably knows you'll go back there,"
"I had no I.D. when he took me, it's impossible for him to know where it is."
"I don't think anything is impossible for him, he just seems to know shit."

"Well, I've still got your keys," she laughed and ran back to the Suburban and pulled herself up into the drivers seat. James ran back inside the room and gathered up all his stuff. He locked the Motel door, and then threw his stuff into the back of his truck. He ran over and got in the passengers side.

"That's really mature," he admonished her. She just threw her million dollar smile at him and jerked the truck into reverse throwing him forward in the seat. She sped out of Motel parking lot.

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        The Man parked his Lincoln in the Motel parking lot at almost eight a.m. the new dawn was peeking over the horizon in the distance, it's luminescence was turning the former dark of night into a purple haze. It was a glorious morning, he thought. He sniffed, he could smell a whore. A few doors down, a dirty looking woman exited and walked down to yet another door, she knocked, and the door opened, a hand emerged with bills, she grabbed them, then the door closed again.

      She stopped, looked around, and saw The Man right behind her before he picked her up by the neck. He kicked open an adjacent door, and threw her inside and slammed the door closed. A sharp, high pitched scream echoed briefly before being cut short. This was James' old room. He could smell it. He had just left. He was too late by just mere minutes, and the girl was with him still. The Man sat on the edge of the motel bed and turned on the old television. The hooker lay sprawled behind him, gutted and bleeding. It was glorious, the news was filled with images of chaos and pandemonium, many of the eastern countries woke up to sight never before seen in the history of the world, and their religious leaders were spouting  visions and prophecies of doom and destruction. The Man bellowed a deep long laugh, everything he had been working for was finally beginning. He exited the room, and went back to his old Lincoln to stare at the gleaming orb of destruction, the sunrise in the West.