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Static Mayhem Chapter One

Static Mayhem Chapter One

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Published by eaubry
On May 25, nearly everyone in the world disappears.

In a world suddenly and mysteriously depopulated, Harrison Cody braves a bizarre wilderness to seek out the voice on the radio that may belong to the only other human still alive...
On May 25, nearly everyone in the world disappears.

In a world suddenly and mysteriously depopulated, Harrison Cody braves a bizarre wilderness to seek out the voice on the radio that may belong to the only other human still alive...

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Published by: eaubry on Aug 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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08/05/2010

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Chapter One
Harrison
Just around the time his car reached ninety miles an hour, Harrison closed his eyes. He knew theroad curved in front of him, and he steered from memory. Late on a weekday afternoon, I-91might once have been crowded with traffic, but other cars were no longer a hazard. He pushed inthe clutch, and waited for the car to coast to a stop. The sense of motion diminished. By the timethe speedometer dropped to zero, his eyes were open again and surveying the scraps of twistediron and concrete rubble that were the ruins of the Holyoke Mall parking garage.The car had come to rest on the shoulder of an exit ramp now overgrown withsunflowers, about a half-mile shy of the mall. Other than the parking garage, the mall was intact,at least on the outside. Inside, though, he knew from previous expeditions that things fell tochaos. No shops, no merchandise, no restaurants²just empty lot after empty lot. Up near theskylights, local flora ran rampant.Trekking over the embankment and around the bend in the mall parking lot driveway,Harrison made for his destination in one of the satellite buildings, the Barnes & Noble. On hislast visit, he had picked up a copy of 
The Great Gatsby
, for which he had left a ten dollar bill onthe counter. The gesture was pointless, other than to maintain the illusion of normalcy. He planned to leave more money today, in exchange for a copy of 
Tom Sawyer 
.As he made his way to the empty parking lot, he glanced over at the vast field of sunflowers a hundred yards away. Some of the enormous blossoms had risen from their naturaldroopy state, and tracked his movement. The first time, it had been the entire field, an easy fiftythousand, in silent scrutiny of his behavior. Now it was fewer than fifty, evidence of his predictability."Nothing to see here!" he shouted in their direction. Several flopped back down. The restcontinued to watch.Harrison stood just over six feet tall, and in the time since he had lost all concern abouthis personal appearance, his dark brown hair had grown long and unkempt. A good shave was ararity that cycled back once every two weeks, and he was due. Clad in a short sleeve plaid shirt(unbuttoned over a Pink Floyd T-shirt) and a pair of cut-off jeans shorts, he took an oddsatisfaction in the scruffy look, a badge of his having walked away from his day job forever.At the edge of the parking lot, he stopped, his breath catching in his throat. A large, dark lump lay in the dirt before him. "Damn. Another one," he whispered. Closer to it, he could makeout the pebbly skin and the beginnings of that God-awful smell. This was the sixth dead dinosaur he had found in ten weeks. They always fascinated him. While he had yet to see a live one, hefelt neither surprise nor disappointment on that count. It made perfect sense that these displacedcreatures would not live long in such a random environment. If these dinosaurs had all come intothe world at the same time, when everything else changed, they must have been dying off.He reached into his breast pocket and removed a small plastic clamshell case. Inside laya pair of sleek, dark glasses, which he unfolded and put on. The lenses darkened in automaticresponse to the sun, although there was no more than an hour until dusk. Harrison tapped theedge of the glasses with his finger. A three-dimensional display appeared in the air about threefeet in front of his face. It provided him with the date, time, temperature, relative humidity, mean barometric pressure, and wind speed. There was also a readout for wind direction, but for reasonsunknown it had only ever given him error messages. The display was an illusion, a tiny hologram projected onto his retina. He knew from experimenting²he had mounted them on a mannequin

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