I saw the ship on the horizon and pointed it out to Lisa. Then the shooting started. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
I ducked under the dashboard. Lisa swerved.
Goddamn. They were firing at us. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
“Speed up, Lisa, speed up!” I yelled. “Put the hammer down!” Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
“What about that island? Let’s hide on the island.” she said. She pointed to the island on the horizon to the right. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
“We’ll be sitting ducks there. We’ve got to rush through.” Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
The looming ship grew as we neared it. If we could keep our speed up, we might just shoot past. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
Then, to the left, a serpent appeared, snaking through the waves, back arched out of the water. We weren’t going to make it. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
I screamed. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
Lisa stomped on the gas, peeling another layer of rubber off the tires that had carried us the last 35,000 miles. We had to keep moving.
We passed 90, then 100MPH, and we were still accelerating. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
“We’re going to make it!” I shouted. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
We’d made it past the serpent, the ship was fading in the distance, but the machine gun was still tracking us. Tat-tat-ta-ta-tat!
“Dammit, it’s the rumble strip,” I said, still breathing heavy.
Lisa’s eyes were wide. She didn’t believe me.
“It was just the rumble strip, we were rolling over it,” I tried to explain. Lisa took her foot off the gas. We started coasting to a stop.
“Just the rumble strip?” she murmured.
“Yes, we’re safe.”
“But the serpent?” she started. “It was so real, so real.”
The van hobbled off the road, stepping down from the shoulder like a tired old man descending a staircase. Grasshoppers cleared out of our way. Waves of corn and wheat passed all around us. The engine coughed, and static rained on the radio. We’d been out of NPR range for hours.
Our eyes met. The fear was still with us.
“Fuck, another one.” I pointed out beyond the windshield. Another ship was bearing down on us. Lisa’s eyes widened.
“Let’s go! Let’s GO!” I yelled. “We’ve go to get across this state before the crazies catch us.”
But it was too late.