April 02, 2010

Sunday Afternoon - Sci-fi, Comic Style

Since I haven't done much writing for this blog lately, I thought I'd use it for random samples of fiction that pop into my head. Here's one now:

A bright, sunny, beautiful Sunday afternoon spreads out across the massive, rolling foothills. The state park, a gorgeous, untouched piece of God's creation seems pristine, the kind of place that you're supposed to go on a Sunday afternoon following the morning service at church. My three kids are pouring out of the back seat before I even turn the engine off. Justin and Michael flop into the long, green grass and the wrestling match begins. Miranda, my oldest child and only daughter, rolls her eyes and shakes her head. My wife, Julie, frowns and quickly exits the car to get after them.

"Sheesh, Dad, who'd you let raise those two?" Miranda asks sarcastically.

"Between you, me, and your mother," I say, "I wouldn't give them much of a chance. Total monkeys, those two."

She just rolls her eyes again. I guess fathers aren't funny to thirteen-year-old daughters. I'll live, though. My wife still appreciates the humor. Sometimes, anyway.

We load everything out of the car, trek up the nearest hill, and set everything down on the gentle slope. The boys immediately dive back into nature and let their momentum carry them down to the bottom of the hill. Without hesitation, they rush back up only to roll down again. Miranda pulls out her iPod and tunes the rest of us out while swinging her foot to the sounds of some music group I'd never listen to. Julie grabs her book, lays back, gives me one last smile, and then begins to read.

I take a moment, gazing out at the contrasting colors. Baby blue sky. Green hills. White clouds. Some yellow and purple flowers mixed in on the hillsides. It's the perfect beginning to the week, and nothing like the rush-hour traffic I'll be in tomorrow morning. I take one last deep breath and savor every second.

"Did you feel that?" Julie asks suddenly.

"Feel what?"

Her face bears a puzzled look. "I don't know. Felt like something was moving underneath me."

"You're probably just laying on an anthill," I say and offer a smile.

She shakes her head before burying it back in her book. Maybe she doesn't think I'm funny after all. I guess I can live with that, too. At least I think I'm funny.

"Hey, Dad!" shouts Justin. Michael mimics his brother seconds later. "Hey, Dad!"

"What is it, boys?"

"Look!" They're pointing up at the sky with their little heads tilted back in wonder. My gaze follows their outstretched fingers. Above us, a wide trail of smoke billows across the sky like the massive wake of an airplane, only twenty times as thick. Whatever's leaving the trail can't be seen, as if it's too far out of sight or invisible.

Before I say anything Julie tosses the book aside and turns over onto all fours. This time Miranda also notices what her mother does. "What was that?"

"I don't know!" says Julie. "It's like there's something below us. Something under the surface here!"

I'm about to scoff when the rumble they felt becomes a shuddering tremble. Justin and Michael cry out in terror and take off at full run back to where we are.

"Nothing to worry about!" I yell. "It's just an earthquake!"

But it isn't just an earthquake. The huge column of smoke overhead changes course. It's earthbound now, and coming fast.

I take off at a run in order to get to my boys. As a take my first few strides, all hell breaks lose. The ground between myself and my boys separates. A huge rectangle of grass-covered earth begins to rise into the air. I skid to a stop and fall back. My kids, now terrified, scream in terror and run the other direction.

I notice that the ground is still shaking as I push myself back up onto my feet. I look back up and realize that some massive door is opening right in front of me. I try to circular arch around it to reach my boys. As I pass by the entrance I stop short. I'm not expecting to see what's standing right in front of me.

A gigantic robot, easily three to four times my own size, stands on a platform that's rising up out of the earth. It's eyes change from dull gray to bright red. A tremor runs through its frame as though it's moving for the first time in many years. The enormous steel frame looks like something out of a science fiction movie. I stumble backwards as it roars to life. My boys are running wildly away from it, but another doorway is opening not far from them. In fact, the entire set of foothills is opening up. Over thousands of hatches are opening up. Some of the huge, mechanical beings are already making their way into the sunlight.

I take off at a full run. Above me, the smoke gets closer and closer. The robots that are already out of their chambers are staring up into the sky.

I reach Michael first. My arm wraps around him and lifts him off the ground. Justin is just a little farther ahead, but another hatch, a smaller one, opens up right in front of him. It's not a robot coming out of this hatch, though, it's a missile array. I dive and grab Justin's foot. We hit the ground as the first missiles launch out of the array right in front of us. The heat from the missiles sears my back as they arch into the sky. I gather my boys to me and glance back up at the sky.

The thickset, armored robots also launch into the sky. Giant jet packs attached to their backs propel them into the graying atmosphere where the pillar of smoke is close enough for me to finally see what has created it. A muscled man wearing a brightly colored outfit and cape appears out of the cloud.

The missiles explode on the superhero first. He waves off the damage as if the missiles are just pesky flies. When the robots reach him, the real battle begins. The sky collapses into orange, red, and gray.


Nathan said...

Heh, nice.

Then, of course, the real twist comes when you reveal it to be Batman.

J Sherer said...

Yep. Flying Batman with a smoke screen behind him.

It's a work in progress. LOL. And by "in progress" I mean, it ends here although I probably could write a ton more.