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 Heat Shield - An AlienLove Community Story

Science FictionAuthors: FrogDaddy (FD), Oskarskids (OK),
Soulgazer (SG), Blue1Moon (B1M)

From AlienLove’s forums, comes this great “community story.” Heat Shield was begun by FrogDaddy and members have been contributing since, so the story is ongoing. I am reprinting the first ten entries, will post more in coming weeks. The story begins:

(FD) Driving in this region was always hot and today was no exception. The equatorial heat was devastating for a northern boy and the humidity drove me insane. Even with the windows open, the breeze that came in made it feel like the exhaust from a jet engine. No relief...

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Even more given off by the reflection of the metallic paint and the fast running engine made it almost unbearable to drive. The sweat just kept pouring out of me until there was more to give.

My clothes were so encrusted with salts processed through my body, and the moisture from the humidity, that they were rotting off of me as I wore them. I'd do almost anything for a pair of clean, dry socks. As I drove, I began to think about ...

(B1M) just how I ended up in this place, and even more importantly where I was going next.

But for the time being, my stomach reminded me of the fact that it had been a long time since I'd seen another vehicle, or even a dwelling of any sort. I was getting hungry and my gas was getting low.

The land was flatter for a bit, and there was now something up ahead that didn't seem to fit with its surroundings. I began to slow...

(SG) and having reached a more acceptible speed, I was able to read the flashing neon sign; "Bob's Air Conditioner Repair". I was intrigued by the smaller lettering, "cold beer while you wait". I put the car almost into a rum-runners turn as I entered the gravel parking lot.

Pausing to retrieve a white hankerchief from my glove box, I proceeded to wipe the sweat drops from the nose pads of my prescription sunglasses. As the faint odor of perfume lifted from the old hankerchief I was almost overcome by old memories of........

(FD) a life so long ago. It'd been so long since I'd seen any family, I wondered if I crossed their minds from time to time. If they even survived. It'd been years since I'd even spoken to my brother. I don't even remember the last time we saw each other. And where was my love? What could've happened to her?

This was such a huge waste land I was in. Everything that had been worked for over the centuries had been lost, and here I am crossing this arrid barren land without any supplies hoping to find someone to help make sense of all this.

I stuffed the hankerchief in my shirt pocket and started to look over the building. It was kind of run down but the sign was still lit. Was it possible they really had cold beer inside? Could it be this place wasn't effected by what seemed like had effected the whole world?

I opened the door and placed one foot on the ground when I heard ...

(B1M) a sound that both filled me with fear and excitement.

The sound became clearer as it moved closer, I remained standing with only one foot in this place and one still connected to the world I knew.

A figure began materializing out of the shadows. It's face was partly covered with long hair that made it difficult to discern any features.

It came forward several more steps, then halted. I was still unable to see much about this being except that it had humanoid form. It raised it's arm and pointed to me. The hair-raised all over my body, but it only crooked it's finger in a motion that meant follow.

It turned and withdrew back into the shadows, leaving me wondering...

(FD) Well, that cold beer would surely be nice right about now, and in the past I'd certainly drank my share with some pretty mysterious people and even some downright ugly ones at that.

As I slid out and off the seat, I reached under for my "widow maker" and stuffed it in my belt.

The figure I had seen was gone but as I approached the building I realized what poor shape it was in. As I stepped up on the creaky wooden porch a puff of dust flew around each step I took.

I could barely make out the sound of some music as my hand touched the door knob. I just stayed there, holding the knob and listening. Could it be? ... was I really hearing an that old Lynard Skynard tune "Gimme Three Steps"?

(SG) A blast of cool air hit my sweat soaked body, making me shiver. I stopped at the bar and motioned to the slightly balding bar tender for a beer. I took a deep swallow, letting the ambrosious brew slide down a welcome dry throat before looking around for the mysterious door greeter.

(OK) As my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the room, I could make out two humaniod forms in the corner, deep in conversation. As I stared at them my mind wandered to another time. To a time before the world had gone insane. To a time when I had sat in a corner table with her.

(B1M) "How odd," I thought as I gazed at my old love, still not quite believing that she could be here. I was not even sure where "here" was, this odd beer joint out in the middle of a wasteland.

She hadn't noticed me, or at least hadn't looked hard enough to recognize me, or so I hoped. Surely, she was not purposely ignoring me. I finished my beer in swallow or two, and ordered another. "God, that tasted good," I mumbled, "don't think I'd ever drank a beer that was quite so needed or appreciated."

After finishing the second glorious glass of brew, I ...

(OK) began to feel strange. Not myself, as if I were floating above my body watching the events unfold all around me . There was a scream from somewhere off to my right . As I turned to see where it was coming from, I saw [the] bartenders face, twisting, changing, parts peeling off , falling on to the bar…


Should you wish to join in the fun, and add your own twist to the story by writing a few paragraphs, visit our forums:

New Story beginning soon!

Or check out our "Word Stories"
Members post 3, 6, or 9 words at a time to an ongoing story; one sentence stories, etc.

Note: Read Part Two here: http://alienlove.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=884&mode=&order=0&thold=0

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