Nuclear Wasteland


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I was driving along the highway in a remote area, and I had a need to relieve myself somewhere. I pulled over on a gravel road and hid my vehicle behind a gravel berm.

I was the only human being anywhere near that place, for miles and miles. There was a large raven, and a large wolf. I did not see or hear the wolf, but I sensed his presence, and I saw fresh footprints that I had not seen when I turned around.

For some reason the wolf did not bother me, and so I decided to take a walk and explore a little. I climbed over to the other side of the berm, and I came upon an abandoned mining operation, there was a shed with an open door, stocked with explosives, munitions, heavy ordnance, and hazardous materials. I started to have the feeling that no one had been there for years and years.

They had been refining some type of ore there. It looked like it must have been transported from somewhere else rather than mined on the spot, because it was so convenient to the highway, and there was no real "mine" to speak of in the area. There was an old smelter or a blast furnace, where it looked like the ore had melted down by accident and splattered hot slag everywhere.

I touched some of the metal slag. It was very heavy, glasslike, bluish colored like plutonium and "hot," made my hand tingle when I touched it, even though it was not "hot" in the sense of ordinary temperature. At the same time I began to have a strange feeling of urgency about the passage of time in the area. I was slightly confused, and I didn't realize exactly how long I had been in that area, but all of a sudden it felt like too much time had elapsed, and somehow I needed to get away.

I got back into my vehicle, and I saw a sign, below the stop sign at the entrance to the highway, warning of traffic. That further confused me. I thought, well, it's a highway, of course there was traffic, or could be at any time. I re-entered the highway, stepped on the gas, got away from that area.

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Same highway, it was a different time. I was driving along and it was time to eat lunch, and I pulled into a gravel pit, a huge mining quarry as it turned out.

I drove around and hid my vehicle in a remote area, turned around, keys in the ignition, ready to leave.

There was a wolf there. I was thinking aloud, talking to myself — put the wolf as ease to hear the sound of my voice. Suddenly I realized I had unwanted visitors, unwanted human visitors, without having heard or seen them myself. It was the wolf. The wolf had warned me.

I immediately started my truck, put it on gear, took off and drove slowly, took the long way around without stopping, glimpsed the people who had entered the quarry — they were very unfriendly, self-righteous townsfolk type of people — and I stayed out of gunshot of them until I had a clear shot at the highway entrance to leave.

I feinted, made as if I were going to stop at the stop sign before entering the highway but I saw them out of the corner of my eye making a move toward me, and instead of stopping I dropped the clutch in second gear and raced away down the highway. I had already looked for traffic.

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