(No) Hope, New Mexico

Chronicles the downfall of a small religious town during a catastrophic attack by extraterrestrial parasites. Short story version.

Sunday: October 5th, 2009 
9:08 AM

Just another Sunday morning. The church was at full occupancy and the pastor was well into his sermon. Every so often one could hear a loud "Amen!" or "Hallelujah!" out on the street where all the cars and pickup trucks were parked alongside each other. The people of Hope, New Mexico had something of what a lot of America was lacking. Faith. Sure, they had a new president but things still needed smoothing over from when Bush had the reigns. Hope was one of those fundamentalist Christian communities. Not crazy 'God Hates Fags' fundamental, but these folk were pretty strict adherers to the Good Book. However, this was just the kind of small town that valued core moral ethics and above all else, family. Everybody knows everybody in Hope. That's not to say everyone's a God fearin' Christian though.

Juan looked up at the small JVC television secured in the top corner of Marty's Tavern with awe. 'Meteorite Hits California Coast', the marquee read. Juan and Marty had been watching the TV ever since six in the morning. A car-sized meteorite had smashed into the ocean just off of Long Beach, California which caused a large tidal wave to hit both the Long Beach and Huntington Beach areas. None had died in the ensuing tidal wave, although the TV was now reporting incidents of mass hysteria among those washed away in the wave. People were attacking each other. 'More on this story as it develops.'

Juan looked at Marty.

"Whad'ya think, Mart?"

"Well didn't we see this with Katrina?"

"Yeah, I dunno 'bout that. Lootin' sure, but those people look damn crazy."

"Heh, speakin'a crazy..." Marty nodded up towards the door as the pastor walked in with a few other guys.

Juan turned around in his barstool and rubbed his forehead.

"Aw jeez, Dave, I completely fergot it was Sunday."

The pastor grinned back at Juan, "Yeah, sure, bud. Beer me, Marty."

Marty got up out his barstool and walked back around the bar and got a shiny pint glass and positioned it under the Budweiser tap and pulled the tap. "There ya go, Dave."

"Thanks, Mart."

Juan rotated his foam-bottomed glass with his thumb and middle finger. "You see this on the TV, Dave?"

"Naw, what's new?"

"Meteorite in California. Big tidal wave. Folks'er goin' crazy over there."

Dave the pastor looked up at the TV, the marquee now read: 'Mass Hysteria after ET Tidal Wave'. "Well shoot," the pastor said, "I'd be goin' crazy too if I were runnin' away from a monster wave like that."

Juan glanced over at Marty and shook his glass. Marty sauntered over and took it from him. Refilled it with Santa Fe Pale.

"Thanks Mart." He repositioned himself in his stool and looked the pastor straight in the eye. "Okay, so ya got a little clobbered by a wave. Now yer beatin' people up fer no reason?"

"Is that what they're doin'?", the pastor questioned, surprised. "Well good God almighty, I suppose that ain't right."

Juan and the pastor were interupted by Marty turning up the volume manually. *click-click-click-click*

New footage from a news chopper showed smoke and fire down in the California streets. People were running around, getting hit by cars. Police cruisers and ambulances were speeding all up and down the highways. A new marquee was scrolling along the bottom of the screen. 'Havoc in Los Angeles'.

Juan looked up at Marty and then back at the pastor. "What the hell was in that meteorite?"

The End

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