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~ “The Fall of Light” ~

By
Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.
http://blackauthorsconnect.com/cgi-bin/blog.cgi?blog_id=327765&cid=10

“Another monster boom sounded just around the corner on ‘Walnut Lane.’ The instant flash and boom on the street took out another building. A twin house on the odd numbered side of the street was suddenly and instantaneously gone. Loud noises under the street and greenish glowing lights appeared as the crowds rushed for their homes!”

 

~’When The Light Fell Down’~

 

“What the fuck was that?”

“I dunno…it’s pretty damned dark out there.”

“Shit man, a big ass bump like that had to be felt for a few blocks around!”

“…Feel anything else?”

“Nah…it was probably some big ass truck or something.”

Aw right, turn the radio up, the Halloween shows are about to start.” The doorbell rang. It was
one of those chime-like doorbell ringers. It had a firm but soft tone.

“Damn kids – pain in the ass…where’s the candy?”

“Ho Dude! Listen! It’s Orson Welles! It’s one of his old radio shows – hurry up! Get me a cassette tape, quick!”

Rushing through the house with a cassette tape in hand, Russell fell over the ottoman sitting near the dining room threshold between there and the kitchen. He managed to get the tape into the recording machine just as the announcer introduced Orson Welles’ Halloween play.

Andre picked up his hot cup of java and prepared to drop a bit of whiskey in it. From the corner of his right eye he thought he’d seen a flash of light. He was reassured by another flash of falling light. This one more prominent that the other. The first one seemed to be a little ways down the road – over on ‘Haines Street.’ The second one seemed to fall a bit closer. It fell with an Earth-shattering boom…right smack in the middle of ‘High Street’ and ‘Baynton Street.’ The neighbors were all running around the corner to see what they thought was a terrible car crash. It wasn’t. It was the apartment building which sat on the northwest corner. The building was gone. What took its place was a monstrous sized gaping hole. The hole almost appeared bottomless at first. Then the rush of creek water sprouted from below. Rumor has it that the majority of this ‘Germantown’ area stood over bedrock and heavily flowing creek-water. The water was much deeper than the basements of houses built above.

Andre and Russell ran out of the house on East Walnut Lane. They ran along with many other neighbors, turning the corner at ‘Baynton St.’ They were all joined with other neighbors who came running in from other directions. Not one of them could believe what their eyes beheld. Inside of the gaping hole of approximately 80 ft. deep with a circumference twice that size, rested the engine of an airplane…a ‘747’ class or such.

Someone from the crowd of on-lookers shouted in a panicked voice…”Look At That!”

All heads and eyes turned to see. We all looked up into the night-time sky only to see the smoking, burning jet-liner; the owner of the mechanism residing within the pit that fell from the darkness. Its cabin lights were all aglow as were the flames licking along its fuselage on the port side wing where once an engine was attached.

The nose-diving air-bus assured all who witnessed the impending and tragic doom of all who sat within. However, to the chagrin of its pursuer, the unexpected skillful and heroic effort on the part of the vehicle’s pilots, in escaping a perilous end. Turning and spinning out of a death defying nose-dive, the airplane banked leftward up into the moonless starfilled sky. A Greenish-blue-white light skirted along the edge of the airplane’s tail section. The great and powerfull all consuming brilliance of the strange light lit up the nighttime sky, nearly blinding all who gazed upon it.

From the corner of our eyes, another startling shimer grabbed everyone’s attention. Within a milimeter of a second, the brightened sky returned to its natural state. That same glance captured another burst of greenish-blue-white light eminating from ground to air. This burst of light proved fatal indeed. This powerbeam of light completely engulfed the airbus. It first appeared as if the airplane was surrounded, encircled within the greenish-blue-white ball of light when suddenly, without an explosion or booming sound, the vehicle simply dissapeared in a flash. The aftermath was a puff of smoke and dust trapped within the light trail which fell back onto the plane’s pursuer indeed… The only sound or noise, if you will; it made, was a crackling-lightning-like streak as it flashed about. The deadly light fell back. It’s trail returning to the owner; back to the eye-beam 0f glassened-multi-paned-plastic-like lenses that sat inside a metalic-like globe. This globe was attached at the middle, to a life-like pole that moved not unlike an ‘Ostrich’ or ‘Giraffe’s’ looping rubber-like neck. It was monstrously elongated and yet flexible. The long neck was attached to what appeared to be a floating nuclear sub-marine with the same plastic-looking, glass-like lenses embedded in both ends of the floating vessell.

“Did I say floating?”

“Oh hell yeah I did!”

“I’m talking into the microphone of the same tape recorder in which I kept my old ‘Orson Welles’ tape. I recorded the “War of the Worlds” on this recorder and was going to make another copy with this blank the inside. Since I recorded the show years back, I thought with today’s technology, the broadcast would be upgraded, hence, another copy of the halloween show via the radio. Besides, it was plain ole fun just sittin around the radio with a bunch of hot dogs, sausages, pop-corn, soda, a few brews, a belt of booze to top it all off, and your “homeys” to show off for of course. If we had a little weed, that would work too.

Yo, my name is ‘Russell Creed,’ and my homey is ‘Andre (Stevie) Stevens.’ The halloween show was just about to start when all hell broke loose!

We were just hangin out at my brother’s house, me and Dre., some call him ‘Stevie.’ ‘G’ was out of town for a few and asked me to look in on the crib to make sure everything’s okay. He didn’t know I was with my boys’ when I stopped in to chill-out. That’s when all this shit started… I’d like to be the one who tells you all about what’s happenin…but I think the narrator/interpreter can do a better job. I say this because I don’t think we’re going to survive this invasion. And it ain’t a damned thing me, you, or the damned government can do about it.

Dre., was it something you wanted to add?”

“Damn Man, for some weirdly odd reason, I thought of my diner left to get cold on the kitchen table… I forgot that I was hungry! The dark night had become brighter than the brightest day. It was white-hot, light without heat…but yet, it was hot!”

The enormous shadowy cylinder was fully exposed at the dusk of brilliant light. It stomped and stormed its massive metalic yet glass or plastic-like smooth frame into full view.

The horrifying vessell certainly did float. The military people have determined that these machines were utilizing some sort of magnetic repulsion or anti-gravity devices in order to move along without tracks or wheels…they certainly were not flying.

At this point, we could see only one of them. There were actually three. When it became possible to completely see these murderers…killers of innocence; the thing which first became visible was that of the heart-stopping variety. A shinning, shimmering, clanking, clunking, cluttering, abhorition of metalic horror came clumbering up ‘Walnut Lane’ from ‘Germantown Avenue.’ We could all see this from ‘Baynton St.’ The monster machine stood as tall as ‘Billy Penn’ atop City-Hall in ‘Philly’s Downtown’ area, hat and all!

The top of this alien monster machine appeared to be that of a walking military helicopter without the blades that make it fly. It had a very large basket-like attachment located on its undercarriage. This thing stood and walked upon three crab or spider-like legs. Three tentacles or limbs with six pincer-like grabbers or fingers pertruded. One could easily guess at what they were being used for.

The sidewalk began to crackle and break. The separation caused by the split right down the center of Baynton Street encouraged the crowds to disperse and run for shelter and home. The safety of their families was of extreme paramount.

Another monster boom sounded just around the corner on ‘Walnut Lane.’ The instant flash and boom on the street took out another building. A twin house on the odd numbered side of the street was suddenly and instantaneously gone. Loud noises under the street and greenish glowing lights appeared as the crowds rushed for their homes. The booming became regular. They exploded all around the neighborhood. Parked cars became airborne flying objects of mass destruction. They flew back to Earth as two ton bombs of metal and shrapnel, crushing other cars and several people in the meshing mess. Jet planes flew overhead as police sirens screamed all around. The police cars did not stop in to check on the people, they were fleeing the area enmass.

Immediatly upon seeing the alien machines, to the horror and sadness of all; a father and his three children ran down ‘Germantown Avenue.’ They vanished as one of the flying multi-toned trash collection trucks descended upon them. Overhead clouds formed and caused the night-time blackness to take on the appearance of a day-time sky… The booming thunder, thumping-metal-grinding walking machines, flashing-burning white to blue-green rays, and falling lights burned to ashes anyone and anything it touched…

The towering walking machine was flanked by the three smaller floating ones. Two were positioned to its left-rear, the other its right, while the third served as point. They all moved in a way which complimented one another. They moved almost in a uniformed manner. The movement was a difined and planned march. It played out as if it had been a tried and true manuever.

All four monsters came into full view. Buildings, our homes seemed to disintegrate right before our very eyes as they moved over the dusty rubble toward us.

>

“You have been asking for water for the last hour,” he said.

For a moment we were silent, taking stock of each other. I daresay he found me a strange enough figure, naked, save for my water-soaked trousers and socks, scalded, and my face and shoulders blackened by the smoke. His face was a fair weakness, his chin retreated, and his hair lay in crisp, almost flaxen curls on his low forehead; his eyes were rather large, pale-blue, and blankly staring. He spoke abruptly, looking vacantly away from me.

“This must be the beginning of the end,” he said, interrupting me. “The end! The great and terrible day of the Lord!” When the men shall call upon the mountains and the rocks to fall upon them and hide them – hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne!”

I began to understand the position. I ceased my labored reasoning, struggled to my feet, and standing over him, laid my hand on his shoulder.
“Be a man!” said I, “You are scared out your wits! What good is religion if it collapses under calamity? Think of what earthquakes and floods, wars and volcanoes, have done before to men! Did you think God had exempted Weybridge? He is not an insurance agent.”
For a time he sat in blank silence.
“But how can we escape?” he asked, suddenly. “They are invulnerable, they are pitiless.”
“Neither the one nor, perhaps, the other,” I answered. “And the mightier they are the more sane and wary should we be. One of them was killed yonder not three hours ago.”
“Killed1” he said, staring about him. “How can God’s ministers be killed?”
“I saw it happen.” I proceeded to tell him. “We have chanced to come in for the thick of it,” said I, “and that is all.”
“What is that flicker in the sky?” he asked abruptly.
I told him it was the heliograph signaling – that it was the sign of human help and effort in the sky.
“We are in the midst of it,” I said, “quiet as it is. That flicker in the sky tells of the gathering storm. Yonder, I take it, are the Martians, and Londonward, where those hills rise about Richmond and Kingston and the trees give cover, Earthworks are being thrown up and guns are being placed. Presently the Martians will be coming this way again.”

And even as I spoke he sprang to his feet and stopped me by a gesture.
“Listen!” he said.
From beyond the low hills across the water came the dull resonance of distant guns and a remote weird crying. Then everything was still. A cockchafer came droning over the hedge and past us. High in the west the crescent moon hung faint and pale above the smoke of Weybridge and Shepperton and the hot, still splendor of the sunset.

“We had better follow this path,” I said, “northward.”

Gene Barry was the starring hero from the classic ‘War of The Worlds’ by Herbert George Wells back in the sixties when I was a little boy. The bombs screamed across the big screen at the ‘Lehigh Movie Theatre’ on Lehigh Avenue between twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth Streets in North Philadelphia. My two younger brothers, two of the girls who lived next door on Myrtlewood Street; and me were shuttled off by our mothers that early Saturday evening. The ladies had plans of their own. We were shipped out to the movies. Man what a treat. Albeit we were all scared to death, afraid to leave the theatre on many other monster treated and frightful afternoons. I can remember running home, fearing the crossing of darkened alleyways along the route to the safe haven of the domicile. Vampires, Frankenstein’s Monster, Zombies, and Werewolves threatened to jump out and get us if we doddle and lagged behind.

The story, ‘War of the Worlds’ in the novel format takes the reader on a journey during the turn of the twentieth century in Britain. The Americanized movie version has it placed in Las Angeles with shots and scenes from around the globe.

The visionary Martian vessels were described as in the novel. They glowed the green lights and eerie screwing sounds of a mason jar unscrewing. The laser beam of instantaneous destruction managed to destroy and kill any and every living and non-living thing on the planet and in its path. The shadowy white dusty froth laden forms of human beings lay on the grounds and roadways of the countryside exit trails, hopefully leading to safety, played out in the book did make its ghostly presence on the big screen and in the book as well.

The movie version with Mr. Gene (Bat Masterson) Barry remains a classic; the traverse through the countryside of England uncovers a journey of epic endeavor, adventure, and excitement beyond the movie theatre.
“When Earth comes under siege from extraterrestrial invaders, the best and worst of mankind comes out among those struggling to survive.”

Mr. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent on September 21, 1866. He was called ‘Bertie’ by his family. His father was a shopkeeper who was previously a cricketer. After the business failed, his mother was forced to work as a domestic in the nearby country house of ‘Up-Park.’ She desired to return the family back to the middle-class status it had briefly enjoyed. Wells worked as a schoolteacher and a pharmacist. He also studied biology under Thomas Henry Huxley, a vociferous proponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This gentleman made an extraordinary impression on him so much so that he returned to teaching completing his course studies and earned his degree. Wells went on with his mastery of the imagination and produced more thought provoking science fiction works in novel format and magazine periodicals as well as a couple of biology textbooks while working for the University Correspondence College.

“Herbert G. Wells published his first novel, The Time Machine to critical and popular acclaim in 1895. He became one of the most prolific writers of his generation. Mr. Wells has explored a vast variety of social, philosophical, and political I thoughts and ideas via the medium of what is described as science fiction.”

What happens when you wake up from a dream, a deeply remembered dream? You then realize that it was simply a dream… Time moves forward into your waking day when suddenly, the day is all that has previously transpired in your dream. Your dream has become your reality. So, which is which, the dream or the perceived reality?

 

…Can Anyone Decide Which Is True Or Which Is Not?

>

 

~”They Came In Three’s”~

 

Albeit, the eye-like beams spit forth a deadly white light of destruction. The lights also appeared to be of a green, red, and blue color; a blend of different colors. No one stopped to wonder why the death-dealing machines shined three of four different yet distinct colors. Everyone simply ran.

We all ran in many different directions…away from the approaching invaders. Petty neighborhood squabbles were long forgotten with this new threat, a threat that brought about an eerie uniting of the people. There was little need to call upon the Black Folks for a meeting. There was little need to call for a rally or a boycott…all we wanted to do now was live…”By Any Means Necessary!”

‘Dre’ and I thought we’d have a chance to get back to the house…no way. The machines were nearing the corner of Baynton Street now. The surviving buildings along the block were engulfed in flames and smoke. Hope for them was an impossibility.

The uphill run on Walnut Lane to Morton Street was always a challenging hike on any given day. However, on this night, it was a push over. The reality was that nothing or no one was going to impeed the progress of life-saving escape. The analogy of people turning into savages rang true as every one seemed to run over any one who could not keep up or get out of the way of the stampeding horde.

Any parked cars along the way were very lucky at getting out. It was highly improbable that the escapees would have had time to pack a bag. The thought occured when I noticed the absence of vehicles on the street that would normally be jockying for a parking spot. Thirst crept into my throat, taking away all the aforementioned thoughts that occupied my mind while running away from certain death. I peered briefly back over my right shoulder. To take a longer look could cause one to miss a step and fall down. A half-a-second was all I needed…it was all that it took to see the horrific, spine tingling, and blood curdling events unfolding behind us. It’s been said that the eye works just like a camera. The eye-lid works the same way as that of a lense shutter on any given image capturing device. It only took a split second to see the multi-colored death ray zapping people…first they freeze in their tracks, then the human body glows to a greenish-blue aura, revealing the skeletinal inner frame of the person being zapped…then the body vanishes; disappears! The proverbial description of “Crabs In a Barrell” was the order of the day. One dared not look back too long. We all kept on running.

We ran until we could run no more. We found ourselves walking briskly along with many people near the intersection of ‘Chew Avenue and Washington Lane.’ We didn’t know many of the folks whom who accompanied us on this newly found trek away from the Walnut Lane area. As everyone seemed to be migrating toward the train station just past Chew Avenue, there were hundreds more running from Upsal Street to our location. If people were attempting to board the SEPTA Trains, how many had money to pay, if they bothered to stop at the station? It had to be well past two in the morning by this time. We didn’t think about time with all this madness going on. But with time to stop and think for a moment, things of importance began to factor in. We had no food. We had no water. We had no transportation or communication. Another thought occured to me…remembering a conversation with the fellas at Gerry’s House, our place of catharsis after a long days work. We argued about what would or could happen if our country ever had to deal with an invasion. Remembering what happened with the “911 Tragedy” and the storms and hurricanes which devistated the southern regions, we all agreed on what would probably happen. If an invading force knocked out communication, transportation, and utility services, a country could fall victim to the invading entity. As I looked around, weighing our circumstances, the reality of our thesis has come to pass.

Some one in the crowd loudly stated that the lot across the street is a city emergency center. From my vantage point in the middle of Washington Lane, I could see the big white city trash collection vehicles parked within. The large lot held several other city vehicles as well. This location is a major City Trash Recycling and Transfer Station. It can accommodate a very large amount of people. The only question is, how can this facility take care of all these people who are in need of food, water, waste disposal, and many other needs. I saw women with young children and babies… The elderly were here along with the sick and injured. What could anyone do to take care of all these folks? The void of darkness was momentarily avoided for some with the use of flashlights, LED lights from the nearby train station, the low luster of the overhead city street-lighting, and the dying cell phones of many who had them; mostly the young.

People were sobbing and crying. The heartbreaking sounds of young children and babies crying really got to me. In the distance, you could hear the rumbling of the machines as they grew near. The white-greenish-blue-yellow-red lights glowed over the tops of trees and buildings along the Washington Lane corridor. Some people began to kneel and pray. Others watched with faces of stone-cold fear, eyes wide open; big like saucers. Many had the look of death on their faces. It’s a look that many meat workers have seen on the faces and in the eyes of the doomed cattle and other livestock caught in the shuttled chute of death. It’s the look, some say, of knowing that it’s your time to die.
Some of the so-called hard-core tough guys refused to show their fear because they were the intimidators of many, they packed weapons. They boasted of the ‘9mm’s, Glocks, and other hand-held weapons. These were the guys who could not afford to show fear or any sign of being a punk, reputation is all that mattered. The truth is, they were as afraid as everyone else. They held no power here. They had no one to sell their dope to…there was no one to intimidate. Their eyes gave them away… The machines got closer and closer…there was no where to go, no where to run…all hope is gone.

In the distance…one could almost hear it. A siren! A police siren! was it the siren of a fire-engine? Who cares…as long as they are coming to help them. The flood-lights of the facility were turned on as well. A city worker who lived nearby had access to the lot. It was he who had turned on the power. The people cheered loudly and joyfully. They rushed into the lot in hopes of gaining access to water and toilet accommodations. The sirens of the distance had arrived. They encountered difficulty in getting into the facility due to the masses of people crowding all over. The police car had to slowly nudge its way into the yard because people simply would not move. The space occupied by the masses was limited. The parked trucks and other vehicles needed to be moved in order for all to fit into the sheltered area. More sirens were heard in the distance. They were headed toward the Washington Lane Transfer Station too.

Along with the arrival of more police, the National Guard managed to get there as well. They were stationed at a nearby base located near Broad Street and Olney Avenue, just down the street from ‘Central High School.’ The trucks were loaded with water, milk, and food. They also stocked supplies for the elderly, sick, nursing mothers, and babies. The people were relieved. They praised their rescuers and thanked God. Seeing all this newly arriving help, the people began to gather themselves while regaining their composure.
The second police car turned into the driveway as the people managed to get out of the way. Then the first truck was able to pass into the waiting yard. The people’s cheering grew louder. The second truck began to turn into the drive when suddenly, it appeared as though the truck had set itself on fire…the ear-defeaning explosion sounded a split-second after the vehicle was alighted. Eerie sounding whistling was heard when the night-time became brightened with the brilliance of the alien invader’s killer ray beams. It seemed as if everything began to explode all around us!
The police could do nothing with this surprise attack. The national guard were helpless as well. The ones who escaped the exploded vehicles ducked for cover like everyone else. The problem is, there was no cover to be had. People, young and old, police, and guardsmen alike, died. They were alighted, alluminated til you could see there skeletal bones, and burned into invisibility.
Three floating vessels descended upon us from what seemed like every direction. The death ray beams screamed as they evaporated dozens upon dozens of innocent and the not so innocent into oblivion. I managed to grab ‘Dre’ just as he was about to go down. The man next to him had been zapped into dust just like the one on the other side of him. Another was zapped just as I pulled ‘Dre’ to me. We once again found ourselves running away from certain death.
screaming and crying people dashed all about. People were being trampled to death while trying to escape the death-dealing machines. Me and Dre got down on our hands and knees and began to crawl away, under and over bodies that had not been zapped but killed by the maddened, frightened crowd of “chickens in a barrel!”
Somehow, we managed to crawl our way back out into the middle of Washington Lane and across the street into the parking lot along side the train station. A train zoomed into the station as people attempted to stop the speeding behemoth of shining shimmering mass of metal. Unfortunately, those that attempted could not bring the track dependent vehicle to a stop. They all died in their folly.
The speeding train not only did not stop, it was burning inside. The vehicle was fully engulfed in flames as the riders inside were heard screaming when it passed. A second train followed inside of fifteen minutes after the aforementioned death-ride. It too was fully engulfed in flames as it sped past us on the platform.

The invading death machines drew closer as we rolled over into the tracks after the burning train has passed. I pushed Dre further down the tracks and under the dark dirty muddy platform. I really didn’t expect him to complain when he started to whine and cuss.

“Shut up fool…I’m trying to save both our lives!”

The death machines zapped all and any that it could find and/or see. One could only assume that the machines had annilhilated everyone due to the eerie quiet that followed the zapping noises. We could hear the familiar clanking, clunking, grinding, and stomping noise as the floating marauders floated off in search of new targets.
Miraculously, some of the people did survive the attack just outside of this station. It seems that everyone in the neigborhood didn’t come out of their homes because they weren’t all destroyed.
The sky-scrapper building tall spider-walking machine was still on location. It did something that we, Dre and I, were not aware of. All who were not killed in the attack of the three floating killer machines, were left behind for the walker-machine to pick up. Skullking along, it had these elongated octopuss-like feeler arms that reached out and grabbed people who were reeling from the attack of the floaters. These feeler-arms reached out and grabbed the stragglers, lifting them up high, and placing them in a basket-like recepticle or retainer. We could see this all happening from the cracks and splits under the train platform. We could see all of the activity on the Washington Lane and Chew Avenue intersection. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of people left to be had by the invaders from I don’t know where.

We could hear the captured people screaming from above. The walker-machine rumbled as it moved, gathering up people who ran in any direction that seemed safe. Dre and I stayed put under the platform. When the walker-machine crashed and crumpled its way over and through the surrounding buildings and gas station, it walked over the train station twice, as though it were looking for us. The platform came crashing down on us. We were pinned under the wood, metal, plastic, and other materials of the construction. Somehow, the machine did not find us. It lumbered on through the woodlands surrounding the Washington Lane vacinity. The group of death dealers appeared to be headed for the Stenton Avenue neighborhoods.

Dre and I managed to free ourselves and crawl out from beneath the destroyed platform rubble. We were more thirsty than before. Our throats felt as it we’d swallowed concrete from all of the dust floating in the air. The dusty surroundings were like that of a bombed out war zone…like New York, the day the planes flew into the ‘Twin Towers.’ We looked like the people on television who all looked like walking zombies, covered in concrete, plaster, and dust from all of the destruction. We had no idea of what we were going to do. Upon gazing all about, we decided to go back across the street and see if we could dig up some water from the bombed out trucks.
Fortunately, we were succesful in attaining some unscathed bottles of water and scattered bits and pieces of food packages. We gorged ourselves on our new found delicacy. With cleared thoughts and a real sense of awareness for danger, we decided to make our way back to Walnut Lane in hopes of recovering something we could use to aid in our survival. Obviously, the new found fortune most certainly would not be enough to sustain us for God knows how long, in this vast wilderness. The first thing we had to do, after eating, is to rest up a bit. There’s no way we were going to get any sleep. Sleep? Where would we, could we, go to get a good nights sleep? Sleep would certainly be an impossibility this horrible night.

The Sun was crossing the horizon when we awoke. I haven’t a clue as to how we managed to sleep through all the carnage surrounding us during the night. Opening my eyes to a new day, it seems as though all this was simply a dream, a strange nightmare of sorts. My vision began to focus. Hell no. It was no fucking dream.
Reaching out to my right, I shook Dre awake. He jumped up in one hell of a fright…”What the fuck is going on Russell? Where in the fuck are we Man? Where in the hell is everybody? Why are we lying under all this nasty shit?” “Ouch, shit!”
After bumping his head, Dre’s memory, the reality of it all, returned and made him understand.

We crawled out from under the debris of the train station, and made our way back towards home. We stood and saw it all, a vast and sprawling nothing. Everything had been laid to waste. As far as the eye could see, there was utter and complete nothingness. There were several dead bodies lying about. They were probably the ones who didn’t get or caught by the dangling octopus tenticles of the walking machines. Off in the distance, we could see a few of the walkers over in the direction of ‘Chelten Avenue.’ When we turned to look northward, in the direction of ‘Mt. Airy,’ we saw two of them walking about and continuing to reap in an unwary soul. The gaze east caught the eerie dust cloud of the ones that blew through here last night. We focused our gaze westward, up to the crest of the hill on Washington Lane, at ‘Musgrave Street.’ We saw only dust clouds from the destruction of homes and other buildings. Automobiles burned under the rubble as well. Gas-mains burned continually. Electric wires sparked and danced in every direction while they lay undaunted upon the blacktop roadways covered in ashe, burning wood, and other exposed building materials.

Dre and I walked up the hill on ‘Belfield Avenue’ past ‘Tulpehocken Street’ to the east side of ‘Walnut Lane.’ Pushing onward, up the hill of the lane, we finally arrived at the top, ‘Morton Street.’ Crossing Morton, the hill descended into the ‘Germantown Avenue’ corridor right after ‘Baynton Steet’ and the unit block of Walnut Lane; home.

 

~”Where Is Everybody?”~

 

Every house on Walnut Lane was demolished. Our place was no exception. However, the house didn’t collapse into the cellar. The windows of the basement suggeste that we could get in via that window or the back door. All of the rubble from the collapsed buildings seemed to fall outward into the street and surroundings, not inward onto themselves.
If we could get in and recover as much of the essentials needed, the better. Food and water was at the top of the list. We could see that there was no way to gain entry into the kitchen because the debris piled directly down onto the concrete foundation of the structure. Making our way around back, to the back door of the basement, we were relieved to find the door and frame still intact. We were able to gain entrance into the basement if nowhere else in the premises.
After our entry, we were absolutley correct in our assumption, we could not reach anywhere else, to our dismay. I remembered the meal we planned on the night of the invasion. It was laid out perfectly. A meal made to order…

Knowing that we could not regain the groceries stocked in the refrigerator. We rumbbled around underneath the destroyed house to see what we could gather. A couple of flashlights were still on the shelf from when we worked on the hotwater heater not long ago. There were also flares and buckets of citronila that could be lit at night…as there would probably be no lighting fixtures about. We could shoot a game of pool, the pool-table was still intact. Most of the things in stored in the basement were useless for our survival in this new found frontier, a new wilderness.

While we walked back to the house, Dre had a suggestion to stop in and see what we could get from the bombed-out corner grocery stores. There were a few of them around the neighborhood. There was a “stop-n-go” at the corner of Washington Lane and Chew, another at Tulpehockon and Morton, at Walnut Lane and Baynton, and many more all around the area to be had.

“Dre, don’t you think that I’d thought about that possibility. What about survivors, Bro.?”

“Russell, man, this is a situation that highly suggests that every man is now out for themselves…no one is going to give a damn about me and you.”

“I hear ya Homes, but don’t you remember what we saw on the way back here?”

There were pockets of people who were either completely missed in the attack and/or those who simply crawled out from under piles of destruction debris because they were unaware of what has happened and are now seeking some type of aid, food, water, shelter, and probably live-saving assistance from a medical professional or hospital. The landscape, upon their re-emergence from the pile of train-station rubble, was completely desimated. Survivors who managed to elude or somehow manage to escape death or capture, wandered all about like the zombies we so often laughed at in movies or on television.
I wondered, would we ever see a movie again or be able to watch television shows from our living-rooms, basements,or bed-rooms?

“Dre, the reality is we’ve got to get the hell out of here…and soon. The walking machines will probably be coming back this way and I for one do not want to be here when they do. What about you?”

“Yeah Bro., let’s get the hell out of here…I’ll carry what little we’re taking with us. It’s a damned shame that we can’t get upstairs to the ‘Frige…’ Damn…all that food going to waste.”

Once outside, the two close friends pondered over what direction to take in hopes of locating shelter, sustainance, or other people who could help them. Gazing all around, in every direction, they decided to firts go around to the 14th Police District. Maybe there are some cops there that could offer some sort of guidance. However, from where they were standing, one could see as far as Chelten Avenue without the use of binoculars. The 14th District Headquarters was on the way to that particular location. It, the building, was not there. There were no familiar standing structures to be seen at all. The ‘Town Hall’ building was gone as well as all of the buildings that aligned both sides of Germantown Avenue from the 58th, 59th, 60, and 6100 blocks of the avenue once called the “Great Road.” Everything was laid to waste. Nothing but rubble and debris. Russell and I looked at each other and decided to go and take a look anyway, there might be something there that we could use.

We could see dirt and dust being kicked up by some of the residents who survived the attack. You really had to look closely at thier faces in order to recognize any of the poor wretches who wandered aimlessly about. Several of the neighbors, recognizable and not, were crying and carrying the bodies of dead babies. Others wept over thier elderly and other kin-folk who went missing or had been killed. The hardest thing to witness was the children who now had no one to care for them…thier parents gone and no next of kin to look after them. Russell and I had to keep moving.

We combed meticulously through the rubble at the once standing 14th District building and found a few things…one of the most important items was a radio…a “police ban walkie-talkie!”

The bombed out building of the 14th yeilded a few other goodies as well. One of the first things that caught our attention was the fact that, in spite of just about evrey room of the structure was utterly and completely destroyed, the only room that was still intact was the men’s restroom. This room sat right next to the radio central control room just inside of the main reception area of the building.

“Impressive…the shit-house is the only thing standing in this whole heap of shit!” said Dre.

“I hear ya Homes, when was the last time you took a dump?” asked Russell.

“Yesterday before all this crap came about.”

“Well I’m here to tell ya man, I’m heading for the dump-room right now!”

“Russell, you know that your shit probably won’t go anywhere, the toilets most likely will not flow without water pressure.” Dre warned.

The toilet did flush and the water system supplied enough water for them to fill up bottles and three canteens recovered from the basement of thier house. Albeit, the water system was flowing, the piping was busted at several ends of the building. Water flowed freely from the broken and twisted metal tubing that seemed to stick out from everwhere. This would help many of the straglers who happened to cross this way in search of water.

“Okay Bro., lets do this…” Dre said to Russell.

Russell turned on one of the three ‘walkie-talkies’ and got instant results. The damned thing squelched and squacked until they were able to get a clear enough signal. The voices were all screaming at one another. They held warnings and orders as well. Commanders shouted orders to subordinants while reports of continuing attacks and destruction from the floating machines and that of the walkers.
It seemed that the current attacks were taking place in the North-Central areas of the city. Evacuations were under way for all the areas that haven’t yet been invaded. Directions were given for displaced persons to gather at ‘Philadelphia’s City Hall Courtyard, downtown; and those further south, to make thier way to the sports arenas on “Patterson Avenue.”
The voices were heard to say to responding officers to remain calm and to aid in the calming every person contacted, help is on the way.
The voices continued speaking. They were telling responding officers that the National Guard, and othe major military forces were being deployed and are on the way, if they hadn’t arrived already. The voices said for them to remain calm and in control…”Help Is On The Way!”

 

~”All Points Due South”~

 

All around the place, there was nothing but building debris and the occassional strangely shaped ashe. The ashen forms, me and Dre did see before. We didn’t really pay it any real attention because we were quite busy trying to keep our asses from being zapped and or captured. But the reality of it all was that it was time to face the reality… We became alarmingly aware that those forms of strange shaped dust patterns were the remains of human bodies. We’d seen these forms on the streets and roadways, all the way here and throughout this location as well.
The white ashen forms didn’t portray whether being male or female, ordinary citizen or members of the law enforcement community. They were simply yet horribly the remains of the dead, zapped into powdered forms of dust.
We only saw two or three bodies in blue uniforms, peeking through the cracks and crevices of the rubble that entombed them.
Russell and I ventured outside of the fallen building into the area that was once its’ parking lot. We’d hope to recover a vehicle or two that might provide us transportation. As luck would have it, several vehicles were spared the collapse of the building. However, how were we to get them out from all the other wood, brick, and mortar that was spread far and wide inside and outside of this parking lot and the streets beyond from the other buildings?

Death and dead things were everywhere. The helpless zombified victims walked and milled about, clueless as to what it is they are supposed to do. The voices on the walkie-talkie became more clear once we were outside of the implodded structure. The voices of police and military command barked forth instruction for eveyone in the city to converge on the center city area… It reiterated its’ instructions for those in the far south and west of the city to head toward the sports arena areas. We began to tred southward as we listened in on the radio transmissions.

Dre and I attempted to speak to the voices over the hand-held devices.

“Breaker, Breaker! This is a civilian citizen attempting rescue for folks in the north-west region and close point thereabout… Can you read me? …Over!”

Me and Dre waited for a response to out radio request. The damned thing spit and squawked back an answer.

“No citizens are allowed to transmit over police and military radio bans…get off the airway and contact a designated official at once!” barked the voice.

“Well I’ll be damned…did you hear that shit Dre? Do you believe this asshole? Is he fuckin crazy or what?”

I barked sternly into the mic of the radio device.

“Now you listen here you asshole son of a bitch…we are stranded civilians in need of assistance and immediate evacuation…there aren’t any fuckin officials, they’re all fuckin dead! If you’d like to talk to one of them who happens to be a pile of white dust, I’ll hold the God-damned radio to it so that it can hear you – STUPID! …Over!”

The voice replied, “Sorry son, we’re really all fucked up out here…sorry for your situation. As far as we know, sevreral battalions have been deployed throughout the cities on both sides of the river, Philly and Jersey. We haven’t heard a word from anywhere else at present…if you can, I’d advise you and your party to make your way southward toward center city…that’s were there will be supplies, medical aid, and possible evacuation available. We don’t know anything about what’s going on beyong the Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill Regions. No news has been received from them at this point. Do the best you can to travel…we’ve been informed that all power, communication, and transportation has been halted and/or destroyed by these unidentified invaders. …See ya when you get here, Son. …Over and Out!”

Walking and stepping over the dead and the walking dead, Dre and I had made it as far as ‘Wister Street and Germantown Avenue,’ while listening to the communication and its’ instructions. We’d somehow seemed to have formed a bit of a gathering, a following horde of lost souls. These poor individuals assumed that we knew where to go and how to get there. Yeah, we were making an attempt to follow the instructions of the radio voice, but reluctantly. The hairs on the back of my neck began to stand up…I suddenly got a sense of the ‘willies.’ Dre could tell that I was feeling a bit uneasy with the trek south and the horde of wayward, wandering followers who have made chosen to make them point guards for the homeless. We continued to lead the way southward, straight down the avenue.

Nearing ‘Hunting Park Avenue,’ just beyond ‘Wayne-Junction Train Station,’ the air was suddenly filled with the scream of fighter jets and Blackhawk Helicopters. They appeared to be converging on the ‘Broad Street and Erie Avenue’ vacinity. We could here sirens in the distance as well. How the cops were getting around was a mystery within itself, we were lead to believe all the roadways throughout the region were covered and blocked with collapsed buildings and other material. Suddenly an alarm sounded. It was like an alarm that we haven’t heard in years… It was one of those civil defense alarms, like the ones we used to hear in grade school…like the ones our parents used to talk about durin a black-out during the war.
We could hear explosions and gunfire in the distance too. A greenish-blue-white haze appeared on the horizon heading south. Visibility wasn’t all that bad when an occassional clearing happened as the wind blew. We could see straight across the hilly region from where we were standing, near what used to be the post office on the south side of Hunting Park Avenue. A rather large Baptist Church used to stand on the other side of the street also.

Hunting Park Avenue at Germantown Avenue was suddenly filled with the sound of warfare. From somewhere over the crest of the hill, one of the floating machines appeared. It seemed to come from right out of the ground…from the bigh hole in the street that used to be occupied by the “Simon Gratz High School!” It was of course, gone. Then another one appeared right behind the first one. It seemed to be riding on its coat-tail, in a tandem sort of fashion. A third one appeared right after the second vessel. It too was floating in tandem as the yellowish-green glow of its center eye; atop the long-necked attachment to a boomeranged-shaped floating body of shiny chromed metal with two greenish-blue death ray beams at either end; began to shoot forth its zapping light-rays. The target was anything moving…anything and anything in sight!

 

~’Farmland, A Skippack Retreat?’~

 

…Washington’s retreat to “Skippack Farms!”

I remember reading about that in a book or story written by a Philadelphia writer originally from “Germantown.” Then I thought of a TV-Show, a series, about a bunch of zombies on the attack for fresh human flesh to eat. And then I thought to myself, why the fuck am I thinking about that shit when my life, our lives are in deep jeopardy in the present? In one of the bags we took from the police station, was a pair of binoculars. I took a closer look towards the Broad and Erie area, to my fright, I gathered up our supplies and grabbed Dre by the arm and shouted, “Come on Man, we’ve got to get the hell out of here…all of you people need to run and run fast…GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW! GO BACK THE OTHER WAY!”

Now I knew why I remembered that television show about the zombies; the call was to make your way to a so-called central zone to be safe and rescued from danger. Bullshit…I wasn’t about to go to one “Hot-LZ” for another because some friendly voice was telling me too. We were turning around and heading back north…to hell with the going south.

The floating machines rose up out of that hole like demons from hell. The first one floated up and its’ yellow-glowing eye attached to an elongated neck scanned the area. The fiendish noise yeilded an echoish sound effect that reverberated throughout the immediate listening area. It actaully had the ability to drive one utterly mad…to a level of pure fright and insanity. The thing floated and scanned. It floated and scanned…and then began firing its’ death rays. The beastly metalic thing fired on any and everything in sight. It didn’t need to see its victims. It seemed to be able to sense their presence within the structures being fired upon. It’s also quite possible that the damned things were firing on the buildings simply because they existed.
As the invader continued its firing, another rose up out that hole from hell, right behind the first one. It too began firing at random. And then, a third joined thier ranks and began firing all about. The three of them were at first floating in tandom. They floated out from behind one another and seemed to touch or join the tips of their vessels, three in a row. Then they changed positions again with one in the lead as the remaining two floated just behind on either flank.

We didn’t wait for them to catch up with us. We ran straight back up Germantown Avenue. While we hustled along, the damned thought occured once again. The story from our local author, regarding “George Washington’s Retreat” from Philly to the “Skippack Farms” area in Montgomery County. The neighborhood was already desimated, so why would the machines want to return to our neck of the woods?
Running and jumping over dead bodies and dusty remains of human beings that have been zapped, we were making good time heading up “The Great Road.” The people who began to follow us to the south, followed us again toward regions north. Behind us, the war was fully engulfed. America’s War Machines were pitted against theirs in what appeared to be hosting a campaign of futile endeavor. They were quite simply getting their bloody asses kicked!
The cannons, tanks, and other fire-power of the local ‘National Guard’ and the cops, were not hitting their targets. The explosives seemed to be exploding all around them…a dome, a blister, a bubble, if you will, appeared at almost every blast or explosion surrounding the floating machines. They simply returned fire at just about every defender in sight. The death rays melted the metal war machines while evaporating all souls inside.
One could hear the battle from miles around. The waging battles ensuing ferociously at these two known locations. Suddenly we could hear more of the reverberating effects of floating machines coming in our direction from the west. In hopes of not being seen by the monsters, we ducked into and under the remains of destroyed buildings and other large objects along the way. The rays were blasted in our direction. We moved quite a bit faster as the mahines seemed to take thier sweet-ole time in chasing us, if that were the case. None of the machines appeared to move at a fast pace. They moved slowly and methodically. They moved as it they didn’t give a damn…arrogantly; as if nothing could hurt them. They moved as if they were invincible.

By the time we reached The Chelten Avenue area, there were dozens of people behind us and all around us as well. The survivors of the first wave of death and destruction were busy scavenging the remains of neighborhood stores and partially standing homes. Many of them didn’t even bother to notice us as we passed. However, when that eerie noise from the machines reached their ears, they froze in fright. More machines were seen traveling west to east on Chelten Avenue. Survivors immediately stopped what they were doing and began to ‘haul-ass’ away from the death-dealing metal assasins. A group of machines were again spotted approaching from east to west along the ‘Armat Street’ corridor. I don’t think one has to be a “rocket-scientist” to figure out that we have been spotted and were being encircled in a vicious snare, a trap!

 

~’Starvation’ – “My Brother’s Keeper”~

 

“It’s not possible that this is happening to us…we the people of the United States of America!” Who is looking out for us? Where oh where are our governmental leaders? Where are they?

Seeing and experiencing this catastrophe, reminded me of footage I’v seen on television broadcasts of people; survivors of earthquakes, twisters, and hurricanes…bombeb-out war zones! Footage of this sort was broadcast on a regualar basis via the news media, PBS, and many information venues.

Veterans often reminded those of us within ear-shot, of the tragedies witnessed and created by participants, voluntary or not, of war campaigns. The conversation often surrounded current events that have befallen us. Hurricanes have desimated the southern regions of the country as well as the surrounding Carribean and Latino Islands.
We’ve found it interesting how the southern regions, damned near simultaneously received disaster funds and relief while the Puerto Rican Islands and those inhabited by people of color, got a “foot-dragging” and explanations of how and why aid couldn’t get to them.

Headlines from newspapers found floating on the wind, along the war-torn streets of ‘Germantown’ as we trod along; was seen to read:

“Donald Trump Refuses to Send More Aid to Puerto Rico, Citing Business Interests”
https://www.yahoo.com/news/donald-trump-refuses-send-more-195456324.html
Chris Riotta, Newsweek

“Donald Trump has made it clear his administration isn’t planning to allow any additional outside aid to get into Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Speaking with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, the president cited business interests as the reason for refusing calls from lawmakers and activists to allow international organizations and governments to ship aid to the island.

Trump said he was initially considering whether to implement a temporary waiver of the Jones Act to allow it, but decided against doing so as “a lot of people that work in the shipping industry…don’t want the Jones Act lifted.”

Also called the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, the Jones Act requires all goods shipped between American ports to be on ships built, owned and operated in the United States.

The refusal to work with intergovernmental networks eager to supply aid to the devastated island was then echoed by Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. “Based on consultation with other federal agencies,” spokesman David Lapan said Wednesday, “DHS’s current assessment is that there is sufficient numbers of U.S.-flagged vessels to move commodities to Puerto Rico.”

The department did waive the Jones Act to aid Houston and parts of Florida that were ravaged by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Senator John McCain, who has repeatedly fought to repeal the act, slammed the Department of Homeland Security for failing to extend the same relief efforts to Puerto Rico that it provided to parts of the mainland United States.

“It is unacceptable to force the people of Puerto Rico to pay at least twice as much for food, clean drinking water, supplies and infrastructure due to Jones Act requirements as they work to recover from this disaster,” the Republican McCain wrote in a letter to the department on Tuesday. “Now, more than ever, it is time to realize the devastating effect of this policy and implement a full repeal of this archaic and burdensome Act.”

Proponents of the Jones Act say that without it, the country would be forced to rely on cheaper international ships operated by foreign workers and put American vessels in a more crowded and less efficient shipping environment.

Temporarily waiving the Jones Act for Puerto Rico “would take American first responders out of the loop and replace them with Filipino or Russian or Chinese crews,” Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. “Doing that at a time when many U.S. mariners in this region have had their homes damaged, their lives uprooted and now they need to work, to take that away is not something you want to do.”

Proponents of the Jones Act say that without it, the country would be forced to rely on cheaper international ships operated by foreign workers and put American vessels in a more crowded and less efficient shipping environment.

Temporarily waiving the Jones Act for Puerto Rico “would take American first responders out of the loop and replace them with Filipino or Russian or Chinese crews,” Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, told The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. “Doing that at a time when many U.S. mariners in this region have had their homes damaged, their lives uprooted and now they need to work, to take that away is not something you want to do.””

It’s amazing how we can remember things that were taken for granted…it could never happen to me was the order and mind-set of the times. War is the order of the day…’North Korea’ will not back down; ‘Iran’ and ‘Iraq’ are both anxious witeh unexpected anticipation as to what this new regime will do next in upsetting “World Peace” and causing an end to us all via a ‘Nuclear Holocaust!’

People from ‘New Orleans’ were and have continued to suffer homelessness and displacement for more than five or six years after their hurricane disaster. The folks who were damaged by the “911 Attack” are still realing from continued turmoil and false promises from the ‘powers that be.’ And yet, again, “it couldn’t happen to us!”

 

Prologue:

“No one would have believed that in the middle of the (twentieth/twenty-first) century that human affairs are being watched keenly and closely by intelligences’ greater than man.
Yet, across the gulf of space on the planet ‘Mars,’ intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our ‘Earth’ with envious eyes…slowly and surely drawing their plans against us.
‘Mars’ is more than one hundred and forty million miles fron the ‘Sun‘…and for centuries has been in the last stages of exhaustion.
At night, temperatures drop far below zero even at its’ equator. The inhabitants of this dying planet, looked across space with instruments and intelligence of which we have scarcely dreamed; searching for another world which they could migrate…

They could not go to “Pluto;” outer most of the small planets and so cold, its’ atmosphere lies frozen upon its’ surface. They couldn’t go to “Neptune” or “Uranus,” twin worlds in eternal night and perpetual cold, both surrounded by un-breathable gas and ammonia vapors.

The “Martians” considered “Saturn,” an attractive world with its many moons and beautiful rings of cosmic dust – but its’ temperatures are close to two hundred and seventy degrees below zero and ice lies fifteen thousand miles deep on its’ surface

Their nearest world was giant “Jupiter,” where volcanic-titanic tips of molten lava, laced with hydrogen rises flaming to the top where atmospheric pressure is terrible; thousands of pounds per square inch…they couldn’t go there. Nor could they go to “Mercury,” the nearest planet to the “Sun”…it has no air; the temperature at it equator is that of molten lead.

Of all the worlds that the intelligences on “Mars” could see and study, only our own warm “Earth,” green with vegetation, ripe with water and possessed a kindly atmosphere eloquent of fertility.
It did not occur to ‘Mankind’ that a swift fate might be hanging over us or that from the firmness of ‘black-space’ that we might be scrutinized and studied until the time of our nearest approach to the orbit of “Mars” during the pleasant summer season…”

…AS Narrated By:
~ Sir H. G. Wells, Mr. Orson Welles, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Mr. Morgan Freeman ~

 

Thank you for joining the trip…enjoying the read…

 

Til Next Time…

 

‘G’

 

Epilogue (The Ending?):

Next…

Chapter 7: “Desolation”

 

Stay Tuned For The Release Of This Adventure, In Its’ Entirety!

In The Soon To Be Released, In The New Upcoming Volume of “HALLOW III”

 

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