SERIALIZED FICTION: “When We All Went Away” Pt. 4
THIS IS A WORK OF SERIALIZED FICTION BY LOCAL AUTHOR MICHAEL FERRENCE. FOLLOW THESE LINKS FOR PART 1, PART 2 and PART 3.
Time was still but we went on anyway.
My voice, and only my voice, soared through the air, with each new note, each singular sound turning a packed Independence Mall on its head. We didn’t always play it that way, where everything other than my voice cuts out. Normally, it was all of us, every instrument as loud as possible, but for a show like this, it had to be special.
Time was still but we went on when we all went away.
And then, just as we had planned…
A massive explosion severed Chestnut Street.
Black smoke, a rogue wave, disappeared the entire lawn.
The Rhinos poured in from every direction. It was impossible to tell us from them and them from us.
I leapt from the stage and took off toward the center of the field, and waited there, just like I said I would.
Maxwell kept playing the drums as though we were all still there, pounding out a powerful, mid-tempo rock beat atop the deafening feedback we’d left behind. I didn’t expect that from him, though I should have. There’s nothing I can do now, I thought.
Police and other first responders rolled in but held their ground.
Another explosion, this time a smaller one, blew off part of the stage, silenced Maxwell, and incited absolute pandemonium.
Most ran away, some stayed to fight, but with seemingly effortless grace The Rhinos kicked their ass. No more improvised explosives, no more flair, no more pageantry, just a flat-out, lopsided beatdown.
Police started moving in, and now all I could hear were all of our footsteps marching together as one.
Elizabeth tapped me on the shoulder, smiled, and handed me Charlie. I kissed them both, first her and then him.
“Yeah. We’re fine.”
All right. Perfect. Let’s go. We gotta move. Hurry.
I held Charlie in my right arm and led Elizabeth by the hand back toward the stage. Just wait right here, I said. I gave Charlie another kiss on the cheek and said I’d be back soon, and then she took him.
I grabbed the mic, held it up to my mouth, and paused to enjoy the moment.
The Rhinos stood a hundred rows deep, cheering.
Elizabeth and Charlie stood front and center.
Our iconic banner appeared on the backdrop in all its newfound glory.
I raised my hand and waved. Thank you all for coming.
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