Portal – Chapter 24

Michael did not know what time it was but the sun was shining. He was outside on a hill, a white building behind him with three domes on it, an old observatory he remembered. A large city of steel and concrete stretched out below him as far as the ocean. He was here on a date to a laser light show and he was holding a girl’s, no, a woman’s hand. Her head was resting on his back

Before he could turn around, he heard the sounds of sirens, hundreds of them, from the base of the hill. They were quickly moving away from the hill to somewhere important. Michael could see police, fire trucks, and ambulances racing down every street to somewhere in the distance.

“What do you think is going on?” she asked, leaning on his shoulder.

“I don’t know,” Michael answered. “Look’s serious, though.”

Did he ask Kim or Mariposa on a date? He was still alive so he knew it was not Alaina. Whoever it was, she smelled like the beach.

His thoughts were broken by the new deafening sound. A single loud siren howled over the entire city, something out of one of the old movies.

“What did you do?” she asked sadly.

“Nothing. They just started going off,” Michael replied. Why was she blaming him?

Suddenly a bright flash appeared in the direction the emergency vehicles were headed. Michael covered his eyes with his arm, the light too intense to watch. Although he could not see anyone else, he could hear screaming coming from everywhere. Something horrible had just happened.

“Oh my God,” he gasped, bringing his arm down, noticing a mushroom cloud forming. “What was that?”

Michael turned to look at the woman but her face was like wax, now melted and deformed beyond recognition. Her hair was smoldering. She had stared directly at the blast.

“Why? Why?” she rasped as her skin peeled from her skull and blackened.

Michael tried to answer, to tell her he was not responsible, but the entire hill disintegrated from the intense heat and pressure of the blast wave.