A Glibertarians Exclusive – The River IV

Wednesday:  Impact Day, 2:00PM

“Sure is a good old hot day,” Ty said.  “Ain’t it?”

“’Bout the sixth time you’ve pointed that out,” James said testily.  “Gonna get a lot hotter in ‘bout twenty minutes.”

“Sure is,” Ty agreed.  Both men were good and drunk.  The bottle of Rebel Yell James had opened when Ty had showed up post-church was empty, and now they were about half-way down the fifth of Jack Daniels Ty had brought along.  James was wearing the same clothes he had worn the day before; Ty suspected (correctly) that James had spent the night right here, on the riverbank, in his lawn chair.

“Did y’all see that big flash of light jus’ at sunrise?”

“Nah,” James replied.  “May have dozed off for a bit.  Somethin’ to do with the meteor?”

“Dunno.  Sure has been quiet.  Everywhere, been quiet, from what I seen.  Guess folks got tired of fighting.”  In the last few hours of mankind’s existence, a hush had fallen over the world.  The Internet and cellular phone networks were still up, and there was still news from the big cities, where rioting and looting had finally stopped.

Pollard, Alabama lay under the hot summer sun, silent as an open grave.  Ty and James had the riverbank to themselves; nobody else from the town seemed inclined to walk down.

“Church was sure full this morning,” Ty said.  “Prob’ly still is.”

“Makes sense,” James agreed.  “People crammin’ for finals.”

They sat in silence for a while, passing the Jack Daniels bottle back and forth.  There just didn’t seem to be anything more to say.  After a while, James looked at his watch.

“2:20,” he said.  “Wonder if we’ll see it coming?”

“Looked up some stuff in Ma’s old encyclopedias last night,” Ty said.  “This ‘un comin’ in, looks to be bigger than the one that killed the dinosaurs.  Thing I read said that it hit so fast, that by the time you see it, you’re already pretty much fucked.”

“Figures.”  James looked suspiciously at the sky.

“Seen old man Baker again this mornin’.  Still sittin’ on his front step.  Not crying or nothin’.  Just sittin’ there, looked like he been hit in the head with a hammer.”

“Can’t blame him.”

A few minutes later, James looked at his watch again.  “Huh.  2:25.  Didn’t that news guy say 2:24?”

“He sure did.  Maybe your watch is off.”  Ty pulled out his phone to check the time.  “Or maybe not.  Phone say 2:26.”

They sat for a few minutes, watching the sky.  There was nothing overhead but the slight breeze in the tree branches and the unbroken, tranquil expanse of Alabama sky.

Ty looked at his phone again.  “2:31.”

“Listen,” James said.  He cocked his head back towards the town.  “Hear that?”

Distantly, but clear, came the sound of people cheering – laughing – snatches of shouted prayers.

“Check the news,” he told Ty.

Ty looked at his phone, opened a new app.  “Oh, boy,” he said.  “Listen to this.”  He put the phone on Speaker.

The new object has been named 2088-Eos, after the goddess of new life and rebirth, a disembodied voice reported.  For reasons that are not yet known, the new asteroid went undetected until its impact on 4292-Arawn, approximately nine hours ago.  Calculations on the altered trajectory of the World-Killer were just completed and reported to his news service.  We can now report that the World-Killer will miss our home, passing within the orbit of the Moon but then proceeding without harm to our planet.  There will be some notable meteor showers over the next 24 hours, but no objects of any consequential size have been observed.  The Earth has been saved!

“Well,” Ty grinned.  He leaned back in his chair.  “Ain’t that a hell of a thing.”

“Sure is.”

Ty looked slyly at James.  “Gazillion-to-one rock in space, hit and deflected by ‘nother gazillion-to-one rock in space, saves the world.  How many gazillions-to-one that make?”

“Well,” James said, “Reckon it’s pret’ near one-to-one odds now, since she already happened.”

“Yup.  Makes you think, don’ it?”

James leaned over and opened his tackle box.  He extracted a jar of foul-smelling catfish bait.  Picking up his rod and reel, he let out some slack in the line, baited his hook with the catfish bait, and cast it into the river.  Then he stuck the handle of the rod in his chair’s rod holder, picked up the Jack Daniels bottle and took a drink before handing it over to his old friend.

Ty reached out, still grinning, and took the bottle.  He took a long pull.  “Reckon I’ll got get my own fishing stuff,” he said.

“Good day for it,” James agreed.  “An’ a good river for it.”

“Yep.”  Ty stood up, looked at the sky, then at the river.  In the near distance, the shrieks of joy and shouted prayers of thanks could still be heard.  “It sure is.  Sure is a good old hot day.”

He looked at James and smiled wider than ever.  “Ain’t it?”


People disagreeing everywhere you look

Makes you want to stop and read a book

Why only yesterday I saw somebody on the street

That was really shook

But this ol’ river keeps on rollin’, though

No matter what gets in the way and which way the wind does blow

And as long as it does I’ll just sit here

And watch the river flow


Watch the river flow

Watchin’ the river flow

Watchin’ the river flow

But I’ll sit down on this bank of sand

And watch the river flow