An Invitation

The setting sun provided a warm backlight on the massive building. A rainbow of color bounced around as the sunlight shot through some of the massive glass windows and bounced off other. The steel and concrete monster sat silently on the edge of oblivion, not knowing what was about to happen. The death it had in tole was as strange and unknown to it as this building now was to the world around it.

Rusty sat on the hill side watching his watch and doing a countdown silently in his head. The anxiety of what was about to happen was as thick as the sweat and dirt on his brow. As he sat there silently counting down to something important he felt the hair on his neck stand up and heard a small rustle in the brush behind him. Institutionally he grabbed the 12 gauge next to him and stood up and turned around in one smooth rehearsed motion. He quickly pointed the gun toward the sound not expecting what he saw.

“Damnit Carla! You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you right in the face.” Carla dropped her shoulder slightly and gave Rusty a little smirk that she knew would diffuse the situation immediately. Rusty lowered the gun and pulled Carla in close. “You’re just in time, the detonators should go any minute now.”

Carla and Rusty sat down on the hillside and pulled each other in close, waiting for the inevitable chaos they had set in motion earlier that day.

It was Rusty’s idea to use the explosives they had found at the air base to blow up something big. They argued for over a week which building they should target. Carla wanted to do a little one but Rusty thought if they were going to do something so stupid they might as well make it big. They had spent several days searching through the building to make sure no one was inside, the last thing they wanted to do was destroy someones house, or even worse kill someone. They did find a couple Nashers in the building but no one would be upset about their death.

They searched while they set just to save time, luckily they didn’t find anymore. Most of the survivors are smart enough to stay away from the city centers, that’s where the Nashers are the worst. Rusty laid out the plan to set a large number of charges on the 27th floor, about half way up the building. He had seen a few building demolitions when he was younger and remembered seeing that they would blow the floors above the middle so the top would drop straight down onto the bottom and make a massive cloud so that’s what he was hoping here, but he admitted it was a long shot.

Rusty sat next to Carla counting down the last 10 seconds like it was the most exciting New Years celebration about to start. 3…2…1. The light hit them followed by the blast and lastly the sound. The explosion was so violent both Rusty and Carla jumped to their feet and started to scramble backwards up the hill. Even though they were well over a mile away they felt like the building was going to fall onto them if they didn’t move. The second blasts fired off a few seconds later and took out the lower support beams around the 8th floor. They laughed at each other over their stupid reactions and realized they were missing the best show of their lives.

The top third of the building broke loose and started to fall from its pedestal. The whole thing moved so slowly it didn’t seem real. Slowly the realization of what was happening caught up to the actual act of the destruction. Rusty could see where only part of the 27th floor had blown away, part of it was still intact and he worried that piece would someone hold the whole thing up. The massive building with two gaping holes in it’s side slumped to the side and settled slowly into what looked like it’s new reality.

Suddenly a massive chunk of steel and concrete busted off around the 15th floor and smashed into the ground below. This piece must have been holding the upper floors in place because as soon as it dropped the top of the building snapped loose and started falling straight down. The snap was the most horrific sound they had ever heard, followed by a scream of crunching steal and breaking concrete.

The wind from the collapsing building rushed up the hill covering them with dust. Rusty and Carla pulled their shirts up over their faces to block the dust from their lungs and eyes. They hooted and hollered celebrating the chaos they had made. Before the adrenaline from the situation wore off Rusty pulled Carla in close and gave her the most passionate kiss he’d given her in a long time. They looked longing into each other eyes and realized that they wouldn’t have fun like that for quite a while. Rusty looked back at the destruction and chaos backlight by the sunset and thought, “I never thought the end of the world would be so beautiful.”

In the distant a flare gun shot high into the sky and hung above the city. Carla scrambled for her pack and pulled the flare gun out. She aimed it straight up and fired before even thinking.

Rusty grabbed her arm. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“Yeah” said Carla, “I’m inviting them for dinner.”