Jenny kissed Tom in the truck passionately, and their heated passion filled the cramped space, steaming up the windows. She made little noises as they kissed, until finally Tom started to put his hand up her shirt and she pulled back, falling back against the passenger door.
“What are you doing?” she protested, staring at him in the darkness.
“Aww, come on,” Tom said. “Don’t be a prude.”
“What? Do you really think we came up here just to look at the moon?” She glowered at him. “Fine, be that way. Might as well not just sit here in silence.”
Tom lit a cigarette and turned on the radio. There was the sound of a man talking, hurriedly but trying to maintain a calm tone and sound matter-of-fact:
“We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement. Police have just learned that a patient has escaped from the institution for the criminally insane on Black Briar Hill and is heading down the mountain toward the city. The fugitive is described as 6 foot 3, with long black hair, and should be considered extremely dangerous. The police commissioner is advising everyone to stay, lock doors and windows, and be on the lookout for any suspicious characters in their neighborhood.”
And then the broadcast was over, and The Eagles were in the truck with the two high-schoolers, singing about the hotel you could check out of any time you’d like but never leave.
“Oh my God!” cried Jenny, flicking one of her long curly blonde locks at Tom. “That’s terrifying! That’s not far from here, just a ways up the mountain. We should get out of here Tommy! Just to be safe! I’m so scared!”
“s’okay baby.” Tom blew smoke from his Malboro into the cab. “I’ll protect you.” He pitched the cigarette out the window and leaned in to kiss the innocent young girl.
The two necked passionately, as the smouldering cigarette lit the scrub brush it had landed in. The flames spread, engulfing all the vegetation on the hill. Just as Tom started to round second base Jenny pushed him aside and looked out the windshield to see the inferno spreading before them.
“Oh my god, Tom! Look! What did you do? What did you do!?”
The teenagers jumped out of the truck, slamming the doors behind them, not knowing why.
“What do we do, Tom, what do we do?” Jenny screamed.
“Shut up!” Tom said, grabbing her shoulders and shaking her. “Just shut up!”
The fire raged on beneath the light of the nearly-full moon. The two turned to look down the hill into the raging blaze, and saw within it a dark shape emerging, flames leaping off of it; the dark figure of a man with long black hair and holding something down at his side, something bouncing against his knee as he climbed the burning slope.
It was a human head.
They turned and ran, and the burning man followed.
“Howdy Folks, this Chip Thompson with your early morning traffic report, brought to you by Sunny Brand Orange Juice. It’s a beautiful day here on the South half of the island, and a great one to be alive! Pack up your swim trunks and grab your surf boards because today’s also a great day to head to the beach and forget all about the traffic on the 317 because it is a disaster out here!
“I’ve seen some bad snare ups in my day folks but this is one for the record books. Me and my co-pilot here Jon Spence have a view all the way from the South Beach up to the city core, and my, every single lane is backed up as far as the eye can see. I’d recommend just enjoying the beautiful sand and surf today and forgetting all about making it downtown for work today if you’re commuting, because things do not look like they’re going to be getting any better any time soon!
“We here at KRCH-11 haven’t received any word of major accidents so we’re not sure what the problem is, alright… alright… we’re just coming up around the bend now and… my God… this is a disaster! There’s cars on fire! Overturned vehicles. It’s a big accident folks and it sure looks like a bad one, a real bad accident, a tanker truck’s overturned and is spilling gasoline onto the road and…
“Jesus Christ, there’s people down there running around! Even from up here I can see blood. It looks like they’re surrounding one man… my God… my God! What are they doing? Oh Jesus! Sweet Jesus! Jon, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. What is this? What is this? Oh God, they’re overturning some of the other cars now and pulling people out… sweet Jesus, there’s blood everywhere…. everywhere…. on the pavement, I can see it even from here…. they’re covered in it… more of them are coming out of the others cars now and.. oh God they’re eating each other. They’re eating each other! What is this? What is this? What is happening?!”