Four HoursMature

It was December fourth and freezing outside. The Chicago area had been under a severe winter weather warning since last night. The truck was newer, a Chevy, and a present to himself for landing his job at the Tribune. You needed something like this for the winter in the Midwest, and so far it had been reliable. It roared to life blowing cold air from the vents. He rubbed his hands together attempting to generate heat, while steadily revving the engine.

Four thirty, the trip to Joey’s Coney would take over thirty minutes with little to no traffic. Meeting’s at five. Shit.

Darkness draped the sky and snow fell from all directions. He pulled out onto Brainard Avenue expecting to face bumper to bumper traffic as the world went to work, but only a handful of slowly moving cars were even on the roads. He counted more tow trucks than anything else. Did everyone take a snow day? Making it to the meeting, on time, now seemed realistic. He pressed the dial, turning on the radio.
A frantically talking woman was on air.

"The live video feed shows thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, on foot heading towards the border at the town of Sumy in Ukraine. The military personnel were barking orders over loud speakers, directing them to turn around. People just started running toward the gates."

What’s going on?

This more so than driving had Ziv’s full attention now. He changed the station to the CNN radio broadcast, and was unprepared for what he heard. Gun shots were ringing out, hundreds, repeatedly.

"Oh my god!"

"They’ve started shooting people! They are attempting to rush the gates." The situation began to take its toll on the woman; her speaking became erratic and paused by long periods of sobbing. Finally her voice became undistinguishable in sea of gunshots and yelling. That’s when the broadcast was interrupted by another anchor, who was presumably safe in some studio stateside.

"W-we 've just lost contact with," he started. Unending silence filled the car as the broadcaster's mind and words failed him.

The End

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