I had an idea for a story (or a book if it goes long enough, we'll see) a year or so ago. I came up with a few ideas but never typed anything. I figured I'd give it a whirl. The base premise is two guys with a solar-powered car driving around what's left of America after nuclear winter ends. They'll meet interesting people! They'll hear interesting stories! Some humor will be in there along the way. We'll see how it goes. Here's the rough (no edits or revisions done) of the first chapter.
On the Road (working title)
Part 1: The End
It was the brightest day imaginable, how could it be better?
A and B had just driven on to the salt flats of Utah. Their
solar-powered project car was a joint senior capstone, and this was
their third test drive. With the latest round of tinkering, their
goal was to get it up to a sustained fifty miles per hour for six
hours. A nice, leisurely test drive to finish their engineering
On such a sunny day, they could drive until nightfall, and even
later with the battery reserves in the trunk, but there wasn't any
reason to. As long as they could show that the converted Ford Taurus
was a viable alternative to gasoline, they'd graduate with honors,
get great jobs, and make lots of money. At least, that was the plan,
and it was going well so far.
“Why the hell did you bring a Geiger counter?” asked A, after
setting the car on cruise control. B was pointing the device in
every and making noises like it was a laser pistol.
“Haven't you ever seen the movie 'Them?” Giant ants in the
desert. It's a classic. With this, I'll be able to see them
coming!” B explained.
“If they're giant, ants couldn't we see them through the
windows?” A replied, turning the AC up a notch. He had grown well
used to B inanities.
“Not if they're invisible. Radiation can do that, you know,”
B patiently pointed out.
“I must have missed that lecture. Hey, pass me one of those
Cokes.” B grabbed two Cokes out of the cooler in the back and
popped the tops. They each took a nice long gulp.
There wasn't much to see out here. Mountains in the distance,
but otherwise just a huge expanse of flat glaring sand. A could
probably take his hands off the wheel, there was nothing to hit, but
there was the odd race now and again. Their car hummed along
wonderfully, with the passengers comfortably passing through the
“You know, I don't know how the settlers got through this
place. It's desolate. I don't remember it from in Oregon Trail,”
B wondered whimsically.
“Dude, we're in Utah. Not Oregon.” Batteries were fully
charged from the sunlight. Speed had been maintained for one hour
“I think they're sister cities,” B said nonchalantly. “Hey,
we rigged this up to power my iPod over the weekend,” B said,
fishing an iPod out of his pocket. “Let's get some tunes going!”
Soon, Led Zeppelin was coming out of the speakers. B sang along,
“When the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay...”
A flash in the rearview mirror. “Was that lightning?” A
asked his companion, turning the music down. The brightness was
unbelieveable. A few seconds passed, then a brighter flash, from the
right. A turned off cruise control and stopped the car. “There
was only sun in the forecast...”
They both got out of the car. B had the Geiger counter in hand,
but looked serious for once. They stood baking on the hard salt,
scanning the horizons. Bright flashes seemed to have sprouted all
around- but not lightning. Clouds were forming in dreaded mushroom
shapes. The iPod had been left playing, the doors half-open, “Crying
won't help you, praying won't do you no good...”
It was the brightest day imaginable, and things could not be more