Friday, August 19, 2005

Code Blue











We walked over to the edge of the cliff and looked down. Down below we could see the strong waves crashing on the rugged rocks. We looked up at the sky and it was a pinky blue almost turquoise.

The sea breeze was blowing the loose fabric on our sleeves like one of those little flags on a speed boat. Even the sea gulls were having trouble negotiating the gale.

We stared off into the horizon and then, as if we were on cue with the director, we looked at each other.

We had looked at each other a thousand times before. But this time, it was different. This time we looked deep into each other's eyes, past that little glint, past the color, past the little familiarity we had grown accustomed to.

The day had started like any other.

We were both running late. I drank my orange juice, and cut up a little apple. Jeanelle couldn't find her self, but that was no new thing. I told her that I loved her and headed out the door.

"Max?"

"What Babe?"

"Come back."

"I'm in a hurry sweetie."

"No really, come back."

I made that little noise I make when I'm frustrated. It's a little release of the breath with a little cymbal noise on the front.

"Whaaat?"

"It's the signal. My communicator is making the signal. Is yours?"

I dug deep in my bag for my communicator which I had placed on mute. And there it was, the green light was glowing while the red light was blinking rapidly.

"Jeezus."

I walked over to the closet where we kept our travel bags. I threw off the dirty laundry and pulled them out. Our two packpacks were there ready to go. Jeanelle's bag was a little smushed, but it didn't matter.

Even though we had trained for this moment all these months and years, and even though we knew this day would surely come, we didn't really believe it would. I loaded the car with the supplies and the extra fuel.

And we were off.

Everything on our block seemed normal. We didn't see any signs of much of anything strange. We drove past the driveways and the parked cars. Many of them had been parked in the same place for some time now since the carbon allowances had kicked into full gear. Even if you could afford to pay for the gas, your allowance just wasn't enough to run the old two car family anymore.

Before we got to the freeway, we noticed that there were a few more patrol cars than normal. And we were stopped both at the neighborhood check point and at the district check point, but everybody was polite, and it was pretty much the same old same old.

Eric, our block Officer did ask where we were going, which was a little weird, and I told him what I had always said before.

"I'm going to run away and start a new life."

He always seemed to like that one.

He did look in as if we had a stowaway on board or something, but then he waved us through.

By the time we did hit the freeway though, things were not right. There were not any trucks. There was this eeriness and it was beginning to settle in my bones.

"OK Babe, here we go."

I drove at the 50 MPH speed limit pushing it just a little. We played that Coldplay album, the one that everybody liked so much that it broke all the sales records.

There were quite a few stops, but our permit on this car was a good one. We had access to all sectors, even in condition red. Of course today, we were still at orange. But, if we were to believe our EFA communicators, that was going to change in a matter of hours.

By the time we got to the designated site, it was early afternoon. The direction for the last few miles were super detailed, and of course we had our EFA satellite guide with us. We drove into this big red barn which stood at the end of this unmarked ungraded road. It had rained the night before, so I concentrated to not get stuck. There were several ruts in the road already. We were obviously behind other EFA members, but not by much.

As we approached the barn, the doors opened and then closed behind us with a precise whurr. We parked in our marked stall, got our things, and hustled downstairs. There, we were so relieved to find our good friends and family members. We hugged and kissed, but we really didn't say much, other than the obvious.

Jeanelle made her way over to the prep room. I punched in the arrival code on the communicator. It responded affirmatively. It knew we were here anyway. It just needed to be sure it was us. Double sure.

We boarded our cruiser about three.

It shot out of the barn like a Kentucky Derby winner.

By five, we could see our new home down below through the small rectangular windows. And by seven we were in our new place. We decided to take a walk to the water. As we were walking, my communicator announced the news of the inevitable.

Martial Law had been declared and all movement was now under the new code color. Apparently some other pretty unsavory things were going on. All potential enemies were being rounded up and placed in detention camps. Dear Leader was apparently going to make his announcement to his trusting minions later in the evening. I imagine that the chocolate allotment would be temporarily increased. All internet had been disrupted for security reasons. The war had finally become what it was supposedly fighting.

Terrorfying.

I don't know who in the administration picked the color,

but it is like the only thing that they got right.

Code Blue.

It was indeed perfect,

Perfect for our new very very imperfect world.

We stared over the edge.

The water, the sky, our mood,

It was all blue.

The world had turned blue.



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5 Comments:

Blogger head lem said...

One would think that flashing orange and red lights of the kind they use at the Fair-and-off-Balance place would be more effective in throwing the sheeple into the spin zone and confusing them. Blue is too bland.

Code Orange.
Definitely Code Orange.
Clockwork Orange.
That's the color.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

In 1973 in the South Atlantic at sunset if you were watching at the precise moment there was an emerald flash. It has gone now, it left for vacation.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a strange and haunting piece.

8:10 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

A friend just called to let me know how depressing this post was.

The Bunny Slopes aren't what they used to be.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is quite good. and very effective, perhaps more effective than the nonfiction stuff.

1:51 PM  

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