Bumper Sticker

Posted: October 25, 2011 in End of Times, Fiction

So we’re sitting there in the cave, and Wil starts talking. He runs his mouth when he’s nervous. Can’t really blame the kid, though. We were basically sitting there waiting for demons from Hell to come find us and rip us apart. Look, do you really want to hear this?

Alright, alright. Gimmie a second to think… This time, I think he started in about bumper stickers.

“Hey, Anders, you remember all those religious stickers people put on their cars?”

“You mean like the Jesus fish?”

“No, man. The ones about being unmanned in case of the Rapture.” I snort. He goes on. “I mean, this is some pretty biblical shit goin’ on.” He’s quiet for a second. Johnny and I don’t speak. “D’ya think all those people really got saved?”

“Not if they all drive like the fuckers who have the Jesus Fish,” Johnny says. He’s not the classiest, and the gag is an old one. I tell him so. Wil keeps going.

“Or those ones about going faster than your guardian angel can fly?” Wil fiddles with his canteen.

“Listen, Wil,” I say. “Those people are no better than any of us. You’re a good kid. If anyone deserved to be beamed off this rock when the shit hit the fan, you did.” I stare into the fire. No one says anything. The fire fills the silence when a wet twig pops. I look back at Wil. “You remember that scary-ass chrome horse out front of the Denver airport?” DIA had this enormous statue of a horse standing rampant with glowing red eyes. It was a glittering chrome monster. They eventually painted it blue, but it still gave everyone the shivers.

“Yeah.”

“That thing stood there like a gatekeeper, you follow?”

“Uh, no.”

“Look at it like this. That thing sat there at the biggest entryway to the state, right? Like it was guarding us from terrorists or something.” Wil stares at me. “So when the end of the world comes, would you rather have some bimbo in a bathrobe with wings in your corner? If there is such thing as a guardian angel, I want mine to be one horrific motherfucker. I want it to be all fangs and claws and ready to tear shit up. You give me a choice between something that goes in Hallmark cards and tries to sell me toilet paper, or a huge steel nightmare that looks like the only way it can live is to drink your blood, I know what I want.” I grin at my own pun. Johnny laughs too. He’s got a pretty dark sense of humor, but it still sounds a little forced. Wil looks back into the fire. I keep going. “Hell, if we’re lucky, that thing really was some sort of guardian and it’s busy tearing up those demons right now.”

“Hadn’t thought about it like that.” He’s quiet for a few minutes. “Anders?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you believe in guardian angels? Or, like, guardian spirits?”

“I don’t know, kid,” I whisper. A far off howl sounds from the mouth of the cave. “If they’re out there, we could use the help.”

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