Saturday, August 29, 2015

Short Story - Homerun and Nails in A Smashing Good Time

Homerun and Nails in A Smashing Good Time
words: 1280




Glass exploded, impacting the interior of the car and driver. The woman screamed struggling to simultaneously scramble away and undo the seat belt. Dots of blood began forming on her arms and face from the glass. Homerun used the aluminum baseball bat to remove the remaining jagged pieces of glass left in the window channel. He reached inside the car, snapping the handle off as he jerked open the door. He pulled the woman, now free of the seat belt, out of the car, throwing her to the ground. He sat in the driver’s seat, fiddling with the knobs and buttons on the dashboard. The turn signal began blinking, and sound escaped the speakers. Homerun marveled at the sound, but was unable to control it. He punched the dashboard before he stood back up.

Nails had taken his nail punctured two-by-four, scratching the car’s paint from front to back, smashing the tail lights for good measure. He raised the weapon above his head, embedding it in the hood of the next car. He violently pulled back, ripping the metal in jagged streaks.

Traffic had screeched to a halt, drivers and passengers immobilized by shock and fear. Finally a man hopped out of truck, walking right up to Homerun. Homerun grabbed the bat at each end, lining up a shot as if playing billiards. The end of his bat hit the man’s forehead, a misshapen cue ball. A blue and purple knot began to form instantly as the man fell to his knees. Unwilling spectators scrambled out of their cars, running the opposite way. Nails smashed side view mirrors and windows as he walked down the row of cars.

“They always wanted us to entertain them, now that we are, they’re scared.” Nails leaned on his two-by-four like a third leg as it rested on the asphalt. Homerun sat inside another car, the door hanging open. He punched the steering wheel, the horn’s honk surprising him. He pushed buttons, but was unable to will the car into motion. “How do they work? How do humans do it?” He leapt out of the car and began smashing it. The metal dented and began to crumple as decades of fury transferred from Homerun to the car. Years of being caged, mocked, peanuts and food thrown at him, pictures, and taunts. “Now it was time.”

Nails and Homerun had left a trail of destruction from the zoo to the highway. Chaos wasn’t about to end. The two knew little more than to fulfill their basic needs. They didn’t understand the ramifications caused by a nuclear energy leak from a plant located next to their zoo.

When an explosion happened inside the plant, only the humans were evacuated from the zoo. The true magnitude of the breach would be obscured for days to come. While years of slow contamination had produced no discernible change, the magnitude of this breach had killed many animals, but distorted Homerun and Nails into anthropomorphic forms. Their increased strength and intelligence had allowed them to escape, freeing what other animals were left. The power plant attempted to trick people to think it wasn’t harmful but Homerun and Nails were proof that nuclear waste causes change quicker than a campaign promise.

Sirens wailed from a faraway street. It wasn’t an alert to the pair of impending danger, it was merely an annoying noise they wished to escape. Homerun let out a roar so loud windows nearly burst. He grabbed the closest car at the frame rails and strained to pull it up. Slowly the car tipped on to two wheels before a final push caused it to rock onto it’s roof, glass crunching.

Nails produced a muffled sound that could have been a laugh. Homerun picked up his bat, a new smell directing his attention.  This smell led them further into the city, pedestrians and cars gasping and fleeing upon seeing the two destroy storefronts and property. Shrieks filled the air, humans acting like animals trampling over each other. Target on Black Friday wasn’t that bad.
Nails ripped a trash can from the sidewalk, shearing the bolts at ground level. He hurled the trash can high. It bounced off the side of the building before falling and crushing the roof of a car. The resulting car siren forced the animals away.

Homerun, followed by Nails, tracked a scent. The smell seduced his stomach and he began to run. “Hey, wait up!” Nails called, his legs not made for running and his wings not made for his new size. Nails saw Homerun smash another storefront and bound into the shop. When Nails finally caught up, even he could smell it. The pet store clerk shrieked and ran toward the back of the store. Homerun and Nails gorged themselves on pet food, their hunger overwhelming. They ripped packages and stuffed their mouths. With the aisle of food cleared, the two began freeing the animals locked in the cages. Humans had wanted animals in cages, but no longer. Nails toppled shelving, like a giant set of dominoes. Homerun threw a cage through the glass entrance. “I’m going to smash any place like this I find.” Nails called. Homerun strained to separate a fire hydrant from the sidewalk, failing to remove it.

Enraged at the fire hydrant, Homerun roared. A glint from across the street caught his eye. In the window were small shiny stones. Homerun use his bat to make an opening and clumsily picked up the stones. They glittered in the sunlight, all kinds of different colors. Homerun entered the already abandoned jewelry store. He clumsily pawed at the shining stones on the wall. The way the light danced on the jewelry was mesmerizing. Homerun saw a display case with bright blue stones. Using his bat he smashed the top of the case and a siren filled the room. The noise crippled Homerun. He dropped his bat, sinking to his knees. Nails had heard the siren but stayed well away.  Homerun struggled to crawl out of the store and escape the noise. His ears rang, the sound had reached a resonance frequency. Homerun clawed at the floor, slowly pulling himself to safety. He tried to block out the siren. He could see the sunlight in the street. It beckoned him, but he wasn’t sure if he could make it. He summoned his strength, rose to all fours, and made a desperate leap out of the store. His front paws crumpled upon landing, sending him rolling to his back. The sound still attacked his ears, but the decreased intensity left him feeling that at least he could breathe.

Nails grabbed him, trying to pull him further from the sirens, but was unable to shift him. Nails resorted to grabbing items from the pet store and throwing them in the direction of the siren. Homerun slowly rose, his legs unsteady. “Alright?” Nails asked. Homerun grunted and stumbled away from the sounds.

Nails squinted at the figure ambling down the street. He nudged Homerun, who proceeded to sniff the air. The animals approached the new figure, a very odd looking jaguar.

“Hi guys. Don’t worry I’m one of you.” The jaguar said. Something wasn’t right but Homerun and Nails couldn’t figure it out. “You’ve made a great escape and I respect that. I, uh, think your voices need to be heard. I’m thinking maybe a blog or maybe a vlog. We could try a podcast, but I think people will want to see you. If you will follow me I’ve got a safe place.” The jaguar started walking, motioning for them to follow. Neither Homerun nor Nails noticed the zipper running down the Jaguar’s back.
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