Tuesday’s Tale, 9/12/2017.

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It’s happening! I’m posting two weeks in a row! It’s a miracle!

Enough of that; five minutes on the clock, and away we go.

His hand crept to his service pistol; an old Beretta, it had been his from his days in the army and rose with him through the ranks. He was glad he’d kept it, now, and glad he’d went to the range on a few days off.

“What are you doing? Stop following me.”

The others milled, wasting precious seconds. he turned to leave, keeping one eye their way in case of attack. There was no time to waste on the dead; he’d done everything he could.

They started again, almost as one, but this time one of the younger men outpaced the others by a few steps – not enough to get close enough to be a threat, but close enough to be heard. He was perhaps twenty-five, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers with an Oakland Raiders cap jammed firmly over his thick brown hair.

“Everyone else fought to get above ground, away from the tremors and possible collapse. You fought to go down; why?”

“Ash. There’s no time for this; try to stop me, and I’ll shoot you.”

He felt some regret saying those words, looking to the earnest young man, watching him fall back with his hands up, clearly afraid.

“Hey man, it’s cool, I won’t try anything. But what do you mean, ash? You know what’s going on?”

…and just like that, five minutes even. Sometimes I hate my time limit; I was just starting to get to the good part!

Oh well, there is always next week. See you then!

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Tuesday’s Tale, 9/5/17.

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I know, I missed a week. Sorry about that, I know it’s becoming a habit. I’ll try to break it. But for now, five minutes on the clock and a disaster to write, so away we go!

He wasn’t proud of how he’d had to knock down or possibly even kill people to fight his way down the stairs, but without a mask of their own they were dead anyway, and he couldn’t let their current live and upright state kill him too.

The ones that recognized his pack and mask for what it was and tried to grab it away he showed no mercy to; desperation lent him the strength to fight them off. Once to the bottom of the stairs he vaulted off to the side and ran full tilt into the pitch black tunnel.

He was counting on all the trains being stopped of course; if even one were still going in this tunnel, for any reason, he was dead. But with the power cut due to massive seismic activity, it wasn’t likely.

Some people were following him; people from the subway itself or people who had followed him outside? Either way, there were around a dozen, and he couldn’t risk it; he whirled to face them.

Alright, this week is in the can; total time is five minutes even. See you next time!

Tuesday’s tale, 8/22/17.

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Alright, another Tuesday and another five minutes. Things are going to heat (heh) up!

The mask was barely on with its charcoal freshly replaced when the cloud billowed forth all at once and all around him, making it impossible to see.

He could still hear though, and most of what he could hear were screams and car wrecks. He hunkered down in a doorway for a five count and then got up and kept going; speed was the only thing that would save him now.

He made it to the subway in time, fighting his way through the crowd of people who were thankfully too blinded to see his mask. He debated trying to tell them not to go up, not to go into that… but there was no way he would be heard over the roar of other throats, and that of the breaking machinery below.

He wanted the others to clear, but there was no time; he set about clearing his path down.

And there we have it, five minuted elapsed. I didn’t do so well this time. Hopefully, next week will be better.

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/15/17.

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Surprise! I’m actually a bit early today, for me and blogging at least. I’ve got my coffee, got my solitude, and got my health for the moment. All that means it is officially writing time. So five minutes on the clock and away we go!

The only correct way to go was down, conversely. This he knew; while the gases would travel down and the ash would settle after, if he was fast enough he could take the subway and outrun both.

He had known, in the back of his mind, that he would fight all along. That’s why he headed for his car first.

The small bag wasn’t much, but under proper circumstances, it could save his life. He really should have taken it with him to the office, but it had spent years in the trunk of his car, gathering dust, out of sight and mind.

He didn’t waste time brushing the dust off.

Leaving the car, he jogged awkwardly toward the subway station, less than a block away.

And that is that. Total time elapsed is the full five minutes. By now I bet all of you have guessed “disaster movie” – but what kind? Anyone know? I assure you, it’s a specific one that could actually happen.

At any rate, see you next week with the next installment!

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/8/2017.

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Alright, another Tuesday; that means another five minutes on the clock.

Away we go:

This far, the Earthquake was minor. He didn’t have to worry about the crust of the Earth simply sliding out from under him or falling. No, he wasn’t like those poor souls still trapped farther West, his killer would likely be the ash, and it would be here in moments.

For a crucial moment, he stopped. Why should he bother? Escape was impossible, why not meet death on his terms?

But something in him said no; that as old and tired as he was, he could not give up. He put his terror-fueled second wind to use.

He had forgotten a killer. He was halfway down the Easternmost stairs, racing the few who had stayed behind as he had and those just now beginning to realize the awful reality when the barest remnants of a shockwave that had traveled thousands of miles knocked them all from their feet.

He managed to grab the guardrail in time but others were not as lucky. The screams began immediately and only gained volume. There was no time to stop, he knew. To stop, even to offer kindness, was to die. The only hope lay seaward.

And there you go, total time is four minutes and fifty-two seconds. See you next week.

Tuesday’s Tale, 8/1/2017.

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Alright, late night, got my coffee, my dog is asleep and I’m not. Time to get some writing in. Five minutes on the clock and away we go.

He was on his third straight pot of coffee and his secretary had long since gone home. He had told her before she left; she was efficient and pleasant to be around and deserved a fighting chance.

She had looked at him, then burst into tears and fled. He wished her well.

It was his second day with no sleep, and the phone numbers were beginning to blur. His cell had long since failed, it;s battery drained. The last call had been to his wife. The mother of his son also deserved a fighting chance, fairness be damned.

He was on the phone, reiterating to some small town local police chief in Texas he hadn’t caught the name of that, yes, the order to evacuate was legitimate and it was time to leave even if he had to lead his entire town across the border into Mexico when it happened.

He felt the shaking through his feet, and even if he hadn’t, the pictures falling from the walls would have given it away. His phone call abruptly cut off.

Can anyone guess yet? If so let me know. Total time spent, four minutes 58 seconds. See you next week!

Tuesday’s Tale, 7/25/2017.

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Well, no one guessed. That’s fine because I have another installment regardless. I’m not sure this one will clear anything up yet, however. Another five minutes on the clock, and away we go!

“Sir, you need to evacuate. It’s a plan Zeta situation.”

At first, he was calm. “Evacuate what, the city?”

“No sir,” Smith answered. “You need to evacuate the country. And you also need to inform Canada to start their Zeta protocol as well.”

“It’s… that? Not just a dirty bomb threat?”

“Yes Mr. President, I’m afraid so.”

“Not a drill or a sick joke?”

“No, Mr. President,” Smith replied. “I’ve been over the data sent to me twice now. I can forward it….”

“But time is wasting. Alright, forward the data and then focus on the western seaboard. I’ll notify our allies and get all the balls rolling.”

“Thank you, Mr. President.”

“If this turns out to be a false alarm, you’re going to be drilling ice cores in Alaska.”

“If this is a false alarm, Mr. President, I’ll be happy to.” The phone went dead and Smith eased it back on the cradle before pulling out his cell and starting to speed dial his list.

There would be death, regardless of what he did, but seconds mattered.

And there we have it! Anyone have an idea of what’s going on now? Let me know if you do, and see you next week!