The year is 2056, in western San Diego, California. Something is going to happen to seventeen year old Eric Wilson, something that is going to change his life forever, as well as many other people who happen to get caught up in his strange, but amazing story.
“Eric!” my mom called, “you forgot you keys.”
Ugh, it’s my seventeenth birthday and I’ve already left the keys to my birthday present lying on the kitchen counter. Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t be complaining, considering I’ve been itching at every little chance to drive my mom’s car. (Even if it is only to get groceries or cleaning supplies.)
I haven’t seen the car yet, all I know is that my uncle, who mysteriously disappeared ten years ago, showed up two days before my birthday to tell my mom and I he’d gotten me a vehicle for my seventeenth birthday present. I mean seriously, if this car is a piece of crap, I’m not exactly going to be jumping for joy, but at least I’ll have some source of transportation.
I struggled, once again, trying to get our cheap garage doors to open. The remote wasn’t working so I had to push with brute force until the two wide wooden blocks creaked open. I warily walked into our small garage jammed full with junk, and flipped on the lights. Sitting in front of me was a big, lumpy mass covered with what looked like a couple of my old bed sheets. And sitting on top of the sheet-covered mass was one of those really big red bows that you see on one of those corny reality shows celebrating a teen girl’s sixteenth birthday. I took a firm grip on the sheet and pulled, not exactly getting my hopes up. As the sheet was slowly fluttering to the ground behind me I gasped at what I was looking at in front of me, mouth agape.
Holy Crap! Standing in front of me was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It was sleek, candy apple red, and had two white racing stripes going up the hood and continuing onto the top of and roof and ending at the trunk. I blinked twice, as to let my brain reprocess what I seen sitting in front of me, and screamed, “Oh my god, it’s a freakin’ Ferrari!”
The first thing I did was pull the keys out of my pocket, and push the “unlock” button on the little remote dangling from the key chain holding my keys to the little metallic ring in the palm of my hand. “Click” the doors unlocked…this really is my car!
I opened the driver’s side door and jumped inside onto the soft black leather seats with a “thump,” gripped the steering wheel with my left hand and stuck the key into the ignition. I shuttered at the sound of the soft purr of the engine as the car started, and thought to myself, “Here we go!”
I pushed the pedal, soft at first as I exited the driveway. I looked over at my house and standing in the doorway was my mom, mouth agape, at what just pulled out of her garage. I couldn’t exactly tell what was going through her mind, all I remember was the unforgettable expression on her face. It was a combination of surprise, envy, and dread of the safety of her only son’s life. I slowly drove safely out of the driveway with a big grin on my face, waiting for my house to finally drift out of view. When I was out of viewing distance of my house, I slowly pushed the pedal a little harder, now reaching about forty-five as I left out road going onto the highway.
Driving down the highway gazing at all of the surprised faces of the passing pedestrians, as I exited out onto the interstate was definitely something I was never going to forget.
Now reaching seventy-five miles per hour and still growing, I smoothly passed anyone who was in the way of my vehicle, not to mention the many vulgar words and hand gestured threw at me in the process.
I guess the gas tank had not been full when the car had arrived, because I looked at the gas gauge and it was already pushing empty. I watched the passing road signs, and finally seen one with a gas sign emblem on it, and decided to fuel up at the next exit, not that I had any other choice.
As I pulled off the ramp leaving the interstate, and entering a small town, I heard what sounded like a muffled scream. Ignoring the sound, I continued down the road and pulled into the station.
I got out of my car, afraid to leave it alone, even if it was only for a few minutes, filled up my tank and paid at the pump with my debit card. I decided to get something to eat and a drink, since I hadn’t eaten all morning, and walked inside of the gas station.
When I walked inside, the place was empty, reassuring myself the store was open I looked over my shoulder and sure enough the neon sign, said “open.” I walked up to the counter and noticed the small bell that had a sign underneath it stating, “ring me, someone will be with you shortly.” I rung the bell. Still no answer. Ahhhh! There was that scream again, but this time it was much louder and sounded like more than just one person.
Now, apparently worried, I ran outside to assess the situation. Sure enough it hadn’t been just one person, it was two teens about my age, running towards my car, frantically trying to get inside. I ran over to them and asked what the problem was, but they were both talking so fast I couldn’t understand a word that exited either one of their lips.
I said, “Slow down and explain yourself one at a time,” maybe a little harsher than initially intended.
The girl with the blonde hair, she looked about sixteen, spoke first in a frantic voice, “Hurry, we have to get outta’ here, well if you want to survive we do at least.”
The boy with red hair and freckles, maybe fifteen, pushed the girl out of his way and yelled in my face, “Bombs…explosions…death…bad!”
Clearly confused I started to ask what was going on, when I barely seen something out of my peripheral vision.
“Smoke,” I thought, “where in the world could that be coming...”
Before I could finish my thought, all I heard was the sound of wheels screeching against pavement and people screaming. Then it happened. A huge earsplitting explosion. After that, before everything went black, all I remember was the feeling as if I was being threw through the air, by a really strong force.
I woke up not yet feeling pain probably due to the adrenaline still rushing through my veins. I felt something wet…something like warm running water oozing from the left side of my body. Horrified as to what I was about to see, I looked over to my left. That’s when the pain hit, it was if someone had tried to run me over with an oversized lawnmower and succeeded. The entire left side of my body was gone, all that was left was a huge ragged hole pulsating blood at an alarming rate. Just before I passed out, I looked over what was left of my left shoulder, and to my horror and surprise, it was my car…my Ferrari, lying on the pavement in a big heap of smoldering metal, burning in what was left of the destroyed gas station parking lot.
After that I had dreams, no nightmares, of explosions and people screaming and running for their lives, due to the massive nukes being dropped overhead.
The dreams went on for what seemed like days, they were indescribable, they felt as if I was actually feeling pain. The dreams reoccurred, not once, not twice, but multiple times. Each dream seemed to weaken me more and more, as they repeated their self, to the point where I started dreaming of how peaceful death would actually be compared to this.
I woke up, lying in what felt like a large bed. Slowly opening my eyes I realized it actually was a large bed, not just any large bed, it was queen-sized and had a wooden frame. “It had all been just a dream,” I thought to myself, “all just a horrible dream.”
As I started to slide out from underneath the covers, I noticed that the left side of my body felt as if it had gained about two hundred pounds. Clearly afraid, I yanked the covers off of me and to my surprise and disbelief, starting from my left shoulder reaching all the way down to the toes on my foot was made of metal, stainless steel!
“Metal, bolts, screws.” That’s all that ran through my head as I lie there motionless by shock, trying to understand what exactly was going on.
Once again everything went fuzzy, and just like before, darkness.