"I am you. You are me. We are us."
Part 1: Welcome to Alabama
"Ugh. My head. My head is killing me."
"Wait... Am I bleedi... Where the hell am I??"
"What the hell is going o..."
I can't see a thing, but I know that the smell I'm smelling isn't right. There's a rubbery smell to it. Where am I? I feel awful... like... throw up awful. That feeling of "wow, I'm in so much pain that I'm going to fucking throw up everywhere" - awful. I feel like my head's been split wide open. I've never had a headache like this before. I've never felt so shitty. In fact... I really don't remember the last time I was sick. Seriously. I can't remember. I've got to get up. Wherever I am, this isn't right. This isn't a bed or a hotel, that much I know for sure. Everything feels like pleather, or maybe vinyl. And what is that burning smell??? "HOLY SHIT!" Ok, so... my head... really is split open. Ow...
I'm in some sort of shit. It's slowly coming back to me, and my head is all sticky. This happened a little while ago, whatever it is... even this vinyl is sticky. Luckily it's padded or som... I'm in a bus. What the f... Wait. I can see some light. A pinpoint of light, but I definitely see it. From above, there's a rip of some sort - maybe I can get up and out of this thing. It feels like a wreck or something. Was I in a wreck? Ok, yeah, this is a wreck. Feels like I should have been killed by this judging from the size of this gash and the amount of pain I'm in. I'm up, but I feel like either I haven't eaten in a week, or whatever I did eat had rat poison in it.
I'm so freaking close, but everything I touch feels sharp or pointy and it's so damn dark it's unreal. I've got my fingers in this little rip in the ceiling, I can tell this is definitely a bus or a van of some sort. The roof feels cheap, and as I'm here prying away hoping just outside is an ambulance, I can't help but feel like laughing a little at the lack of safety buses have. I've lost a lot of blood. "Almossssst...."
"I'm the freaking strongest man alive!" I've gotten this far, and either I have the most narrow shoulders ever, or the hips of a third trimester pregnant woman. "I'm fucking stuck!" It really is pitch black out here. You would think there were some lights or something on this street... or wherever I... You're kidding. In the flicker of the fire I was smelling, I see what I had to look three times to believe. I'm in a bus alright, as well as a wreck, but let me tell you... this isn't some fender bender or ran red light. This thing is crashed on the highway. Let me rephrase that - into the highway. There isn't even light from the stars, hell, there are no stars. It looks like the sky has a deep haze over the entire horizon. Free. God, my hips are all cut up now - I must look like an escaped prisoner. For as easy as the roof was to peel open a good bit, you'd think I wouldn't be able to stand on it. "This whole bus is flat black. It looks like this thing was in a war or something..."
The highway overpass has seemed to have collapsed right in front of the bus, making one of the worst wrecks maybe in mankind, or at least that I've ever seen. I'm counting what I've seen as "worst in mankind" too, because there is this odd feeling of something super foul in the air. The bus windows are boarded up, and the sides of this thing look like they've been reinforced with scrap metal and random junk. Of course, I don't think that whoever did all this anticipated multi-ton overpass collisions either. Ha, hopefully this is covered by their insuranOW OW OW. My head is really killing me. I'm getting all loopy in the head, and I haven't got a clue as to why I was on that bus, or where the hell I am. I should look inside again... look for clues or something.
So the bus door is either missing, or this was the unconventional air conditioning unit that we've all been missing out on. Regardless, I think I can squeeze up into the aisle. It's a mess in here, and I think the only reason I survived this was because I was sitting in the back. I can't see a damn thing though. It's like there was a nuclear fallout or something in this area, and I'm starting to think that maybe I really am an escaped prisoner. Ha. No, that's not right. Someone spilled a soda on the floor in here, 'cause it's so sticky.
I'm rooting around in junk like an animal, and this is so pointless because nothi... a cell phone! Err... Should I call 911 though? I mean, wouldn't someone have been here by now? A highway falls down in the woods, does... ugh... my head. Ah, shit, the screens all jacked up anyway, but at least the backlight wor... "Oh my God, oh my god... These are all dead peopl.... I'm fucking crawling in blood!!!!" Gotta get out of here, GOT TO GET OUT.
"What was th... Hello?" Shit... shit shit shit. "Is someone there?" Ok, ok, don't panic. Think. You're fucking nuts. You've lost who knows how much blood, plus, you're confused and disoriented. It's probably just the paramedics, or hell, even the news crew to come check this mess out.
"Ya'll heer dat!?! Soundz ta' me like sum sorta gurly man down in that thurr wreckage!"
"Oh goddam it". That 'ain't' no news crew.
So I'll just wiggle back into the bus and hide amongst the mess in here. Alright, scratch that. I just saw a woman's face mashed into one the window frames, and the only reason I knew it was a face is because it was attached to her neck. I can't get caught in here anyhow, just in case. Whoever is outside is getting a hell of a lot louder... and drunk sounding. Am I down South? Nothing makes sense to me at all. I'm sweating bullets, and I don't want some fucking rednecks messing with me when I, for the life of me, can't even remember why I was on this bus in the first place. I fucking hate rednecks.
"Hey now, I heer a feller down thurr fer sure!"
"Yeah, I bet we juss found ourselves a new plow!"
"Maybe he'll be real meaty too!"
Oh my fuck. I'm dreaming right? Head gash, big wreck, dead people all around me, crawling in a pool of blood, other people's blood, highway overturned, and now crazy ass sounding hillbillies. "Plow?"... "Meaty?" Ugh, something is so wrong, and I'm ab... I just threw up. If you can think of anything worse then sliding around in some lady's mashed brains and about 6 other people's collective juices on a school bus floor, add in your own puke. Seriously, just pepper that into the equation, and you've got about the best time you can have while feeling like psycho rednecks are coming to save you.
So close to escape. It's so much harder to crawl backwards than forwards. Probably some cruel joke God played in the off chance a guy is crawling out of a wrecked bus to avoid finding out why Jethro wants to see how "meaty" he is. Call me Houdini, because yet again, I've managed to wiggle out of this bus from hell. Lights... no... torches. They're carrying torches. Stay or run. Stay or run. Stay or...
"Aw 'shee't! There's that lil' sonnuva bitch right thurr!!"
Run. Run run run run run dammit. I can't run though. It feels like my legs were put on backwards. I've been so busy belly sliding all night that I didn't even realize how crappy I feel standing up. 1... 4... 7. Seven of them. Seven of them, chasing a guy running like he's shit his pants and is avoiding the feeling of the damage he's already done. You know, this would be the perfect time to scream for help, but I have an even worse feeling about that. Where am I even running to? This area is just a pit with a ton of rubble, and I still can't see a thing! I'd run at least a little faster if I weren't tripping constantly. I need to invest in torches if I survive this. Great, I just fell and definitely mashed my left hand good on something sharp. I can't even see it enough in this dark to get an idea of the damage.
I'm spent. They're laughing at me. They know the area, they have lights, probably guns, who knows, and they're still laughing at me. I can't hear anything but their laughter, and even if I could hear the words they're saying, I can barely understand these inbred freaks. I'm not sure what they want with me, but stopping and giving up seems worse than death at this point. I've got a plan. I'll grab a rock, hide behind something, and bash the hell out of the first guy I s...
"OH MY GOD, LET ME GO, PL.... Mmmmpphhhmmm!!!"
You're kidding me.... apparently the fastest man alive is a 5'4" chubby redneck that doesn't even wear shoes. I'm wearing shoes, yet my feet feel like they've been smashed with hammers all night, while Frodo here can just skate past me and hide in some bushes waiting to ambush me. His fat ass had to have been up ahead waiting for me. Now I've got what smells like his underwear tied around my mouth. Regardless, I was wrong, lucky for me there are only six of them. One of them is being a badass, carrying two torches. I'm going to throw up again. Ha.
"Way too small fer the fields, wuu'dent ya'll say boys?"
"Really too scrawny to even really eat either!"
"We could cut him up and take him as a snack"
WHAT THE FUCK!? Cannibals!? I've struck gold apparently wherever I am, because I've found the motherload of all messed up shitstorm situations! I've never shaken my head "no" so hard in my life as I am right now. Oh good, good, I'm glad one of these great smelling, gentle individuals has stopped my moving head for me. I'm going to black out any second now. Please wait to kill me then, ok? Thanks.
"Hey ya'll! Look what I found on this lil' feller! Says here, he's a DOCTOR! Can't make out the name on this thing though, looks like it's been all blacked out."
"Probably a city slicker like the last group that came through. All black out their names and cut the tags 'out they clothes. Haha!"
I'm a doctor?? God, for my patients sake, I hope I was a good one, because I can't remember a damn thing still! I'll take the "city slicker" insult, because any place is better than this God forsaken death pit. Stop thinking about this. Think about the family and life you'll miss. You know... the one you can't remember.
"Doc-turr No Name here looks mighty beat up though. Ain't gon' do us no good all battered up before we can even put him to work!"
I might break my own arm trying to get out of this redneck's Kung Fu grip, but I don't care, I've got to get out of here... My God I have to get out of here. No dice. This guy has retard strength or something, and I'm choking up like I'm going to cry now. I can't cry. Not because I'm afraid of them seeing my weaknes, but more or less because I'm super dehydrated and I think I lost the last bit of liquid in my body during my gimp sprint.
"Here's what I'll do, each of ya'll get a piece, a'ight?"
"I want a thigh!"
"I'll take a leg!"
You're kidding, right?
"Alright, first cut's mine, and luv me sum arms. This boy's got some strong'ens too! Can barely hold him down!"
"What's your name boy? Any last request?"
Think of something. Plead. Say something witty. Break out with ferocity, toss the fat one holding you in the air, crush the guy in front of you with a rock, anything. I can't even move my arm an inch without feeling like Bubba here is going rip it clean off. Ugh, finally they untie this codpiece that was around my mouth.
"What the fuck!? Where am I!? Who are you crazy people!?!?
They're still laughing. Laughing like a bunch of kids or something. That's really an insult to children in all fairness considering the combined IQ of this posse is probably no more than 13. Wait...
"Wait is that a ma..."
A machete... a fucking machete... I'd take a good old fashion redneck beating over whatever this machete situation could lead to. I can't even speak. Nothing. I'm like a freaking mute besides the occasional yelp of pai....
Twisting my arm harder and harder. It's damned near breaking. I'm making the same grunting noise over and over while their laughter just gets louder and loude... Stopped. Like deer caught in headlights...
"Damn! 'Nother hunter!"
"Best scat unless we want shot up!"
Has someone come to save me? Maybe free me from this hellish prison? I might have a chance at getting out of this alive after all. I was starting to wish for death until this point, but I feel a glimmer of OH M...
"Consider this 'take out' food!"
"MY ARM, YOU CUT... MY GO..."
Think... arm... mffff...dddkwja... must... calm...
"Best get! Leave this little thing!"
They're... gone... got to... get this cut... I can't keep losing blood... I'll use my shirt... think fast... I've got... it's all coming back to me...
Do not touch the actual wound at any time. Got it... this hurts like a bitch. Remove the clothing from the wounded area or cut the clothing off. Done... God this is going to kill me any second now. If debris remains or is embedded in the wound, do not attempt to remove it. Do not wipe or scrub the actual wound. Ha, are you joking... The next step is to cover the wound with a dressing. A sterile bandage is the best solution but if sterile gauze is not available, cover the wound with the cleanest cloth you can find. Great. My bloody tattered shirt is a medical standard these days, right? I'm going to pass out... Once the wound is covered, do not remove the dressing. If bleeding continues, just add more bandages. Elevate the affected limb to slow the bleeding. Apply direct pressure for a full fifteen minu...
There's those damn tears I was missing... Repeat until help arrives. Do not apply pressure longer than fifteen minutes at a time, as damage can occur to blood vessels and nerve endings. As long as help is on the way and you can continue to apply direct pressure, a tourniquet is usually not necessary. Use only if there is no other option. There is no help. There is no other option. I am a fucking doct... I can do this... think man... When there is no hope for medical help, cauterization is a last resort....That glow... the only glow... The engine of the bus is still red hot... hot enough for me to maybe save myself... I have to find something cleaner... My legs are so weak that I've resorted to a mix of crawling and limping. Almost there... I'll bite down on my shoe or something, put my arm against the manifold, and bam, life saved, total badass... Made it... Now to crawl up the front of the bus and...
"Going to die or else this is the most stupeeddupfff.... ok... 1... 2... 3..."
Either I've made it to heaven, or hell isn't nearly as bad as people made it out to be. So bright. It's like searing bright actually, and it's really burning my ey...
I'm in hell alright! Looks like I blacked out from last night but... Damn...
"I'm alive!!! Hahaha!!! I can't... I fucking did it! I cauteri..."
Throwing up... Throwing up nothing. And yet... throwing up never felt so good. Beyond woozy now. I can't even walk straight, but damn, I can actually see for once. What's left of my guts were right in the regards that something definitely went wrong here. Buildings collapsed as far as the eye can see, and hell, this isn't even some backwoods country swash, it's a goddamn city! The trees, the streets... everything is knocked over or destroyed. Looks like a bomb, or even 2 or 3 bombs went off here. A sign... crooked as can be, still standing in the distance...
"Welcome to … Alabama... 'The Beautiful'".
Ha. You're kidding. I don't know how or why I ended up here, or what happened, but I do know that I feel like I haven't eaten or showered in days, am now sans left arm, and probably going to die of either any of those things combined, or getting raped to death by one of the many terrifying locals. Either way, things are looking great today, right?
"I've got to clean up these wounds and disinfect this mess... and eat. And fuck Alabama."