The Geico gecko once said “Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” I have to say, I agree. I have a day job, sure, and THAT’S work (long, hard, menial, thankless work), but writing? Writing is like recess. The worst nine hours I’ve ever spent writing are still better than nine hours anywhere else. Writing is…well, writing is just tops, and I’m saying this twelve years in; though my first story wasn’t published until 2010, I’ve been at it, in one form or another, since 2002. That’s a long time. But you know what? Time flies when you’re having fun.
This is my latest short story, written just this morning. I haven’t even edited it yet. Tell me what you think!
By Joseph Rubas
I don’t know when it started. Months ago, maybe, possibly even years. Time quickly loses all meaning in the sun bleached Mojave. Suffice it to say, I’ve been here a long time, living in the caves overlooking the slow, placid river and the distant interstate, typically lost in the shimmering desert heat like a mirage on the horizon. Sometimes at night I see headlights.
I don’t remember how it all began, the first time, but our people overran theirs long ago, enslaved them, used them, pushed them underground. Then one day, as we slept, they rose up, coming out of the woodwork like cockroaches, burning our cities, chopping our heads off, melting us with great blasts of water. I was in Los Angeles when the uprising began, asleep in my bungalow on the beach. I was awakened not long after drifting off to the sound of running feet, yelling, and gunfire. For hours I laid in darkness, listening. When day turned to night, I rose and went to the window. Most of my block had been burned, but a thunderstorm doused the flames before they reached me. Now the streets were quiet, deserted. They were hiding.
Over the next several weeks their marauding march continued. Cities fell. Governments collapsed. Chaos reigned in the streets. Some of us got out in time. Others boarded themselves in their homes and died.
I left L.A. On the last day of June, bound for Utah. By the time I was entering the Mojave, the radio, which was on a station out of Vegas, went dead.
Minutes later, a man came on, one of them. “The resistance triumphs! Vegas has fallen! The White House burns! Death to the vampires!”
In terror, I abandoned my car and fled into the desert, where I’ve been ever since.