Rain shower moved past
Sun descends into the West
Heavy curtain of clouds parting
Fluffy undersides tinted peach
The rest glowing pleasant gray
Glimpses of deepening blue sky
A breathing painting revealed
As beautiful as beauty itself
Designed by God’s own hands
Completely changed from morning
Completely changed every night
As identical as snowflakes
Full circle sun spreads warmth
Bathing land in orange and pink
Sky remaining momentarily blue
Intense cotton candy from fairs
Equally delicious to the eyes
My daily driver is a 2006 Jeep Wrangler Golden Eagle. For those who don’t know, the Golden Eagle package was produced only for half the 2006 year. It’s also a dark metallic green with eagle logos and gold accents. But my Jeep isn’t the only reason I’m writing this post for this Freebie Friday because I drive nine miles to get to my morning job. Even though I’m a part timer, I have a set schedule, so I leave my house around the same time every morning.
That being said, I also take the same path to work. No matter if I leave a few minutes early or even a few minutes late, I almost always past an early 2000s Wrangler that’s red, has some diamond plating accents, and silver rims versus my gold ones. But that’s not where the irony ends.
The man who drives the red Jeep is bald with a big, thick beard. I, on the other hand, am bald on my chin and have thick, semi-long hair I keep in a ponytail. Even still, there’s more to my amusement about this situation. I drive nine miles to work at a Home Depot, when there’s one literally down the street from my house. The man drives nine miles to work at Lowe’s, when there’s one closer to the apartment complex I’ve seen him pull out of many times.
Perhaps, I’m just easily entertained (well, let’s face it, I am easily entertained. I flipped out today at work after finding a super miniature padlock I didn’t know existed as product), but this tickles me every single morning I drive and pass the bearded man who drives the red Jeep.
I keep wanting to make some kind of short story out of this. However, I haven’t come up with anything good. I’ve been thinking some type of alternate reality circumstance for the plot? We’ll see if anything comes to fruition. Hmm, I’m not sure. But I’m hoping now that I’ve written this out, I’ll be able to think of something worthwhile.
The morning begins in midnight blue
A fresh day barely waking
Then light glitters on the horizon
A new color palette making
The sun peeks onto the sky
Bringing forth deserved life
Then filling the world with warmth
Chasing away night’s strife
The midnight blue fades away
Revealing pastels of dawn
Then the floodgates open
The morning in full blossom
It was a summer morning like any other; except the metropolitan area was covered in fog. But that was to be expected. It had rained the night before, and the temperature dropped nearly ten degrees. Nobody’s routines were deterred because of the natural phenomenon.
Alex woke up at five that morning. Just like every weekday morning. Went through her ritual of being ready in ten minutes. It took twenty minutes for her to get to work, and she planned her morning so she could get as much sleep as possible. Traffic never bothered her. There weren’t many who traveled along the same road that early.
She pulled her double-knotted laces tight, grabbed her water bottle and morning snack, plucked her keys off the table, and pecked her husband on the cheek. Trotted down the stairs of her split level and into the garage. She was running two minutes late in a schedule accounting for every minute.
The Wrangler roared to life, the straight six engine awoken from slumber. Alex maneuvered out of her subdivision with ease. Despite the fog. Thanking Jeeps for fog lamps.
On the main stretch of road that took her straight to her job, she had to pay more attention. There were dips in the landscape where the fog gathered thickly. She looked up at the sky. No sun could be seen. Sure, it was early, but the sun should’ve been peeking over the horizon line by now. The fog and clouded over sky blended into one.
Alex shrugged it off and continued. Further ahead, the sky did decide to clear, revealing multiple cloud patterns against a pastel sky. She loved nature. Admiring the skyscape until a particular vapor trail snagged her attention. It went straight up into the atmosphere until she couldn’t see it anymore.
Again, she shrugged it off. Just her perception messing with her from the airport about forty miles east. The sky disappeared again. Her thumbs tapped the steering wheel as a random tune played in her mind. Vision going out of focus momentarily.
Red lights appeared in front of her, and she hit the brakes, slowing at a stoplight. She blinked and looked around. The fog had engulfed everything. She could barely make out the rival gas stations occupying opposite corners. Barely made out the stoplight itself. When the light turned green, she continued at the speed limit. Versus the ten miles an hour over she normally did.
After two minutes of silence, the ground lurched beneath her, and a loud bang followed. Causing her to mount the curb in a mad dash for safety. White fingers gripped the steering wheel. Her wide eyes checked the rear view mirrors. The road was still there.
A distant roar thundered toward her. She ducked and covered her head as a shock wave exploded the glass from her Jeep. Ears ringing, she slowly sat back up. Shards falling from her. She swallowed. Eyes examining the area. What on Earth?
She searched the Wrangler. Eased it back on the road. The fog had been replaced with equally dense smoke. Crawling at a snail’s pace, she moved further down the road. A few cars were deserted. Abandoned in precarious places. Some people stood in groups while others sat on the side of the road in despair.
A fire truck flew by her. Then another. Cop cars, ambulances. All from separate jurisdictions. Alex remained pulled over on the shoulder now. Studying the horizon. It glowed. Faintly. But enough.
Her wonder was startled by a man throwing himself against the front of her Jeep. His clothes were tattered, burned, dusty. His eyes almost popped out from his skull. He waved an arm. “Get out of here! Go! Don’t you know what this is? It’s the end times! A missile has struck! Leave or die!” He disappeared back into the curtain of smoke.
Alex watched him run off. A missile? She sat in disbelief for a few moments. Threw the shifter in drive and forced the Wrangler around. Flying down the forty miles per hour road at eighty. Work was out of the question. Her jaw set. She needed to get back to her husband.
It hadn’t even been twenty minutes, and everything changed. She glanced at the rear view mirror again. Who knew what would be revealed when the smoke and fog cleared.
An airhorn blasted through the apartment. Damien then took the noise-maker into the sole bedroom, blaring it again. “Rise and shine.”
Sadie pulled the blankets over her head with a loud moan. “It’s Saturday! I don’t work. Let me sleep.”
“I made pancakes!” He let off the airhorn again.
“This is cruel and unusual punishment.”
His face dropped. “Well. I am who I am.”
With another groan, she pulled herself out of bed. Shuffled into the kitchen. Her guardian close behind. Sadie plopped into a chair, glaring at Damien. “These better be the best pancakes, or I swear, I’ll–”
“You’ll do what?” He patted her head when he set a plate in front of her. “You can’t hurt me. But I can hurt you.” He winked.
She eyed him as he sat across from her. “How did I get stuck with the likes of you, anyway? I thought supernatural guardians were supposed to be angels.”
Damien frowned. “Hey, some demons, like me, are angels. Fallen ones but still angels. I got tired of Lucifer constantly complaining about you humans. The guy never stops. Am I not allowed to work towards what I once was?”
“Like I’d know. You think I’m an encyclopedia on supernatural knowledge? Think again.” Sadie took a bite of her pancakes. Eyes brightening when she tasted them. “Wow. These are good.” She pointed her fork at him. “Not good enough to wake me up at six A.M., though.”
Placing his chin in a hand, he smiled. “I’m glad you like them. I spent all night finding the perfect recipe. It’s a good thing I don’t need sleep.”
“But I do. How many times have we gone over this? And stop writing reminders on the bathroom mirror. I’m pretty sure you use blood, and I don’t need the FBI in here.”
His hands went up. “It’s animal blood, I swear.”
She spat out her pancake. “Are you insane?”
“Don’t answer that question.” She massaged her temples. “All the neighbors probably think I’m some sort of psycho maniac.”
Damien rolled his eyes. “Please. You act like I have no skill. Besides, it’s from roadkill. I’m not a complete heathen.”
“How is that any better? I swear–”
“You’re not supposed to swear.”
Sadie blinked. “What are you? My ‘personal demons’ manifested into a human male body? Because you are ridiculous.”
“Uh, no. Your ‘inner demon’ is Brittany. She’s one of the populars, so I don’t step on her turf.”
“The ‘seven deadly sins’ are Brittany. Well, for you, anyway. Each person’s inner demons are usually just one demon. The inner demons are an elite hierarchy I stay away from. They’re all a bunch of snobs with their special powers and abilities.”
“You’ve been my guardian for, what, three months now? And every single day you manage to say something completely off-guard.”
“I’m ridiculously old. I have a lot of knowledge.”
She pushed herself away from the table. “I’m going to take a shower.”
He sighed through his nose as he watched her walk away. Mumbled to himself. “Didn’t even finish the pancakes. All the work I do around here, and what do I get? Nothing.” He cleaned up the mess from breakfast.
“Damien!” came a piercing screech.
His head sunk between his shoulders. She found his fresh message on the mirror. Then his eyes widened, tearing to the bathroom. He had forgotten to clean up his writing material.