Cyclical city sounds blend into a blur at these speeds. Vanity shoppers, midtown diners and metermaids leech their essence into cacophony slurry. Dodge, weave, and cut between the center street parked cars in the evening rush. Rumble. Smoke. Speed. You’re skiing through frozen stares and stagnant cars carving your way to the intersection of Unyielding and Will. Knife. Incise. Two-wheeled, two cycled engine heartbeats drive life into your tight jawed conviction. The screaming, 557lb motor- monster shaking between your legs shreds the placid satisfaction of modern urban living. Quick watch glance, 5:40 p.m., no time. Strain muscles against this war machine’s desire to destroy each oncoming obstacle. Open eyed concentration. Gravity’s siren call from the pavement below you falls on deaf ears.
Ding. Ding. Underneath two iron tracks you see the Pandora of el-trains briskly run towards the intersection of Preparation and Timing. Straight line speed pickup. You’re parallel to the express train’s path. Hunting this bitch’s vector as she cruises up towards the ninety-degree bend in the track. One eye on the road, one eye cocked up to the train. Racing. Open car doors. Bike messengers. Pedestrians. Steel gray cityscapes. Buffed up bistros and open glass boutiques. Spray paint. Faster and faster and faster, you need to get ahead of the 5:45 E train. Quick watch glance, 5:43 p.m., no time. Sidewalkers part in screams, profanity and protests as the path of least resistance is filled with walking bags of meat rather than paralyzed mounds of steel and rubber. You can’t help but noticed the two for one special and file it away in your head as you whip by inches close to startled coffeshop people watchers.
She’s nearly at the bend. Between two screaming hotdog vendors you casually press the button on your remote to detonate the 10lbs of magnesium, thermite and C-4 underneath the tracks at the bend and on the connection between the third car and the rest. Mechanized perfection matched only by Swiss watchmakers or the droll clockworked routine of living. Work.-sleep. Work-sleep. Tick.-tock. Tick-tock. Flash.
Boom. Shock-pulsed jet washes through bone marrow, divider lines, and the bass-mouthed doe-eyed citizen stares. Quaking earth seizes the foundations of adjacent buildings rattling bolts of kinetic energy up their spines. Pylons, rebar, concrete, calculations, civil engineering, and stress analysis shower the streets below with the shards of their former selves. The waterfall of white hot metal and sparks provide a fitting introduction to the 40mph six car el-train falling to the street.
And she’s off with a crash. Momentum and drive push her blindly through motionless cars littering Unexpected Avenue. Barely in front. You can’t hear anything but the banshee cry of metal on metal as the train bulldozes cars out of her way. Thick chunks of pavement hot with friction barely miss you as you ride next to this tardy queen late for her prom. Parry lampposts. Sidestep bankers. Cut beside the metal eel snaking its way towards the row of buildings at the end of the teed street. SUV launched skyward. Sedan thrown aside like an inept lover.
It’s so loud.
Throw. Timed. Your dynamite satchel flies into the broken window of the lead car. Long hard metal train thrusts its way through the folds of vehicles ready to blast into the row of limousines and cop cars parked in front of one of the best restaurants in town. You swear you just heard the train intercom announce an unscheduled stop. Screeching skids leave a black smear on the pavement as two burning wheels pull you off of Imminent Impact Lane and onto the street perpendicular to it.
“Next stop, cataclysmic chemical reaction confined in tasteful art deco dining environment. Watch your step please.”
Boom. Brimstone. Flying glass. Red heat flames. Concussion. The echoing sound of train versus cars and pavement is quickly replaced by the explosion-crash that smites a superstructure’s foundation into train parts, foigras, packed table business ventures, dignitaries, Joint Chiefs of Staff, a green eyed female CEO fresh from her masters program and of course, the second floor.
You shoot past a contact lens ad. Disposable jade lenses. Exotic green glimpses were usually the first thing you’d see when you woke up. Staring into two black holes encompassed with the sparkling emerald glow dusted off early in the morning. She could stare without blinking for eternity.
“Mmm, those eyes could wake the dead,” you would say.
“You’re not dead yet,” Melissa would answer.
Soft kisses. Gliding hands brush against velvet skin. Early morning rituals that break the grind of getting up and starting your day interrupted by nosy roommates. Afterwards it was always the same. Get up, shower and head down stairs for coffee before class or before taking the train to work. Melissa would pound away on her laptop researching stock trends and company management techniques. The clicky-clack of fingers on keys would slowly work their rhythmic pulsing into your head, annoying you to no end. Though those early morning market inquires sure netted her a lot of cash. Paid her share of the rent and kept her appearance leagues above her peers. It changed her perception of the world as well.
Sugar sweet days melting hand in hand into summer fields. Drawing lewd, giggle inciting pictures of her in your bedroom. Moments you could have spent the life of the sun replaying in your head slowly disappeared. Replaced by frivolous purchases, the latest movies and an unwavering love of money. She was cheating on you with Benjamin Franklin. Fellating George Washington while you were in class. Letting Ulysses S. Grant run his bearded mouth all over her naked skin. Enough.
After you moved out you heard she finished her masters and got a job with some high-tech firm on the East Coast. Rumor had it the company was manufacturing more than just control chips, laser guidance systems and pulse jet engines. Company ties to the Middle East that looped into increased profit margins and record growth start to make some suspicious. Especially any organization that may be warring against the influences and advantages such technology would give to a tyrannical government.
It didn’t take the wrong sort of people to figure out that the green-eyed, Arabic speaking women setting up the whole operation would make a fine spearhead for an investigation. The only trick was to bring her and the people she was meeting with into the light, to let the media know that people were exchanging more than just polite chitchat at these fund-raisers in expensive restaurants. To let others know of their resolve and the consequences of greed.
Beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep. Click. You turn off the alarm on your watch
Escaping beyond the littered street and billowing smoke. Drive. Go. Whipping your mechanical beast up into the middle of the road. Everything’s still. Everything’s frozen. You’re pulling away from the smoldering crater and half-collapsed building at the end of a car splattered street. As you rocket your bike up the ramp and into the awaiting hold of the empty cargo truck you shoot one last glance over your shoulder. As the ramp begins to close the view of the carnage left behind you, you begin to laugh. You remember Melissa’s fear of derailments never let her even get close to a train.
You hope she enjoyed her meal.
“Next stop, closure.”
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Much thanks to DejaMorgana.