Call for Obstruction (The Courier #1)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 5 (v.2) - First Run

Submitted: May 18, 2009

Reads: 314

Comments: 4

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Submitted: May 18, 2009



Two hours south of Denver, I feel as though I’ve been on the road half the day. Even fifty-five dollars an hour can’t make up for this much boredom. I’ve thought about ditching the van, but every time I do, I let out a dusty fart.

An unmistakable hacking cough echoes throughout the cab. “Margery?” It’s like she’s in my head, but not in my head.

“Yeah, Honey, it’s Margery.”

I jump in my seat and look around. “Where the hell are you?” A light on the radio catches my eye. It flickers like it’s on the fritz. Is that the source of her voice? I turn the only knob on it, but it doesn’t seem to do anything.

“Wanted to let you know a few of the drivers have encountered a flock of those birds I warned you about. They’re just south of Pueblo. Close to your current location.”

“Those things really exist?” I shift in my seat and look skyward.

“Why would I warn you about something that doesn’t exist?”

“I’m not a zoologist, but who would take man-sized birds that attack speeding vehicles seriously.”

“If you’re finished, Mister Smarty-pants, you’re in one of the new vans. The damage should be minimal.”

“Damage?” I squeeze tight on the steering wheel and talk at the radio. “Wouldn’t it be better to get off the highway? Wait for them to clear?”

Her voice fills the cab. “You’ll do no such thing. You’ll get that cargo to Trinidad ASAP.”

“It’s my first day.” My heart races faster.

“You have two options.” She lets out a long sigh that’s more of a growl. “Keep on the road or hide in a gas station restroom and shit out your intestines.”

Something tells me I’ll shit my pants either choice I make. I mumble, “Bitch.”

Considering today’s been nothing but clear blue sky, I doubt the white mass off to my right is a cloud. It enlarges as it descends. “I think I see them.”

“And they see you, Honey.”

“I’m not ready for this.”

“Too bad,” she says. “Keep it on the road and don’t stop. They can’t hurt you unless you stop.”

With wings that flap at a twelve-foot span, the birds swoop in. The first one dives straight at the windshield and hits the passenger side like a cannon ball. At least twenty more dive-bomb behind it.

The van rocks and swerves, but miraculously none of the birds break through.

I lean forward in my seat and hover over the steering wheel, struggling to keep the van on the road. My chin trembles. “This isn’t happening.”

“It sure is, Honey.”

“Stop calling me Honey.”

Margery hacks a laugh so hard she could hyperventilate.

“Shut up. This is not funny.” I floor the gas pedal, not that this van could outrun them, but it’s worth a try. “Shit! This is The Birds movie on steroids.”

“Stop talking and concentrate or you’ll end up bird feed.” Margery continues to bark out directions, but only half of what she says is discernible amid the screeching birds and flapping of wings against the windshield.

My neck whips backward as a ghostly white, human face head-butts the windshield. The monster snarls and punches the glass, which shatters, but just as quickly, the cracks fuse back into one clear sheet.

“They’re not birds,” I whisper at first, then reiterate for Margery’s benefit as loud as my voice allows. “They’re not birds.”

Outside the driver’s side window, another monster has a tight grip on the mirror. It bares sharp teeth and violently yanks at the door handle.

My body tilts to the right. The steering wheel rotates the same direction through clammy hands. “Ah!” I slam on the brakes to force the thing off the van. The vehicle goes into a tailspin before skidding to a stop.

Margery barks like a drill sergeant, “What part of ‘keep moving’ did you not understand?”

My foot forces the gas pedal to the floor even though my view is obstructed. “I’m trying. I’m trying,” I keep saying. I skid back around to head south and somehow manage to drive back onto the pavement.

“Hold it steady,” Margery says. “Help’s arrived.”

“Thank God.”

“Honey, God’s got nothing to do with this mission.”

Darkness descends over the van. A few of the toothy bastards break away, replaced by black wings and deafening squawks from a murder of crows. A pecking and clawing war between black and white commences overhead.

Blood rains down on the windshield, blocking my sight. My stomach turns as I fiddle with the dashboard controls. The wipers come on and jets of blue cleaning fluid squirt onto the gory mess.

The white creatures retreat back into the sky, a black veil in pursuit. Maybe I’m safe, but that doesn’t stop the full body shivers or loosen my tight chest. “Margery, help! Can’t…breathe. Having…heart attack.”

“Don’t be silly. You’re in shock?”

Shock. This is…not shock.” A bead of sweat streams down my forehead.

“When’s the last time you were pummeled by a flock of giant birds?”

“Those were not birds.” I pound my fist on my chest and white-knuckle the steering wheel with my other hand. “Seriously. Call an ambulance.”

“I don’t have time for this nonsense. Pull yourself together and finish your run to Trinidad.”

There’s silence. Margery’s gone.

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