Just felt like posting the introductory story to Wildfire Industries while I’m getting ready for this weekend’s second play test with the newly modified rules from Xavier Fox Shandi. Should be interesting.
Of course, feedback on my writing is always welcome, and I hope you guys enjoy the short story.
For an election night, Burning Forest was quiet. The perfectly spaced trees along the downtown street were covered in midnight blue as the lone biker pedaled along the concrete river. The red strobe light on the front of her bike turned the road into a patriotic disco, and the sound of the flag taped to her helmet laid down a tempo that matched only the beat of her heart.
She felt as if she could fly her bike right off the street and towards the stars. The long, grueling election was over, and the nation had a new president — Blake Asgard. The Warrior himself. No longer did she have to worry about government regulating the corporation she worked for. No longer did she have to worry about government tangling her workplace in red tape. She was free.
She was the lead accountant at The Rainman Group, and the last thing she wanted to see in her office was the man from Washington looking over her books. There were projects the government didn’t have to be concerned with hidden within those dollar values. Projects that were better left as ink on the page, rather than as a man trapped in a testimony box.
The smile on her face was the brightest thing on the street on that cold night.
“O beautiful, for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,” she sang to the stars.
Her bicycle passed by the dilapidated store fronts, her voice resounding off of the foreclosure signs and tightly fastened wooden boards. The downtown was a shell of what it once was, as many of the workers had been hired by the five mega corporations that now resided in the city. Small business could not hope to compete against the signing bonuses that the new corporations were providing, nor could they ever hope to offer the benefits packages the corporations held out on fishing hooks.
“For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!”
She turned left on the corner of Main and Shady, passing the old Mayor Wisenberg Memorial Park. The space had been sold by the city to Industrialized Industrial, where they quickly set up a briar patch of brass and steel that kept the steam mains of the city pressurized against their corporation’s heavy steam usage. The corporation had given back to the community, however, by making sure that only 80% of the park space was used for their control station. The remaining 20% housed a children’s playground, complete with requisite slide, sandbox, and merry-go-round. All brass, of course.
God shed His grace on thee,”
Two police officers were standing on the corner of Shady and Third Street, turning around as she drew nearer. She reached inside her black blazer and produced two white envelopes, handing them out to the officers as she passed. The burly officer on the curb grabbed them from her hand as she passed and gave her a friendly wave. She turned around and nodded, smile still spread across her face as the officer’s partner lit the Molotov cocktail in his hand. The flaming bottle smashed through the window of the Green Dragon owned building. Light flickered on their faces as they opened their bounty, eyeing the checks inside of the envelopes. The sound of melting server architecture mixed with the air.
“And crown thy good, with brotherhood”
She turned onto Fourth, heading towards McClintock as her voice began to reach a crescendo. She closed her eyes and took a long breath of the damp air. Sirens began to break the quiet of the night, but she didn’t mind. Everything was perfect.
She didn’t notice the silhouette woman on the roof, idly standing next to a darkened billboard.
“From sea to shining…”
The loud groaning of metal from above her snapped her from her trance. She hit the brakes on her bike and looked upwards, towards the billboard. It bent and snapped from its metal stand, the thick advertisement blotting out the stars, only leaving an empty, depthless rectangle in the night sky.
The billboard marched towards her, shadow paired with the outline of a woman holding the huge object above her head. She hurled the whole thing towards the biker on the road, her astonished face and dilated pupils explained why her legs weren’t moving.
As the billboard careened downwards, it slowly flipped in the air, briefly catching the light of the moon. The painting depicted a happy, nuclear family having a picnic in the city’s main park. Emblazoned across the beautiful, painted blue sky were the words “Burning Forest: An exceptional place to live!”