Free Writing

You should do a totally incoherent rant on the very first thing that you think of after you read the following absurdity. Just go off on some crazy, freewriting extravaganza, and post that to your blog. Ready?

Alabaster robot rodeo.

GO!

We were in the back of dad’s ’48 pickup truck when we got the news – the rodeo was going to be cancelled. Disappointment flooded through me like a wave of nausea, and I could taste its bitterness in the back of my throat like an orange rind I just couldn’t get down. I turned to my brother and could see his eyes behind the micropore mask welling up with tears. I turned away so I wouldn’t embarass him.

The Broadcast Aircraft ( a Boeing 9000, from the looks of it ) circled back around, repeating the news, bouncing its signal off of every window and steel body in the area. You could feel the words in your teeth if you thought about it at all, but no one did – everyone remembered the riots of ’04, when they had pumped up the sonic juice and shattered the bones of the anarchists down-town. I could see cars ahead of us on the LA Superway pulling over to the shoulder. We passed three neo-cowboys standing by the side of their Dusters, hurling insults at the passing aircraft, their Mexi-cali words lost in the roar of the quad engines.

I opened up the window that separated the cab from the bed. I could see from my parents’ posture that they had been fighting, and the announcement was nothing more than a laquer that was sealing in their hatred, tamping it down tight. I opened my mouth to speak, but thought better of it: what was there to say, really? I closed the window as quietly as I could.

Dad slowed down the truck and pulled up alongside the Hernandez family. I jumped out and waved solemnly to Mr. Hernandez, standing beside his car, while dad slowly opened his door, adjusting his mask. The Hernandez kids were in the back, staring out from the greasy window. They were too upset to even speak.

“This is some bullshit!” Hernandez said, by way of greeting, his accent rattling strangely off the amplification chip inside his mask. “We’ve been waiting 4 months for this.”

Dad nodded quietly and stared at the tops of his boots. I could see he was upset and trying not to show it.

“Any idea what happened?”

“Alabaster Corp, says there’s some kind of food riot outside of Tehuacan City. They’re cancelling all traffic coming in and out.”

“What? How can that be? Tehuacan has been deserted since ’49!”

Hernandez shrugged, his big shoulders rumpling his tattered jean jacket.

“You know they’re full of shit. Probably more robotics testing for the War. They don’t care about us out here.”

Dad just turned and gazed off into the horizon, towards Tehuacan City. I could see him clentch and unclentch his fists, thinking. Hernandez followed his gaze, and, suddenly, the two men turned toward each other.

Dad whipped around and walked toward the driver’s side of the truck.

“You and your brother get down under the blanket in the back, you hear? And don’t show your head until I tell you its OK. No matter what.”

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