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Friday, January 25, 2013

Special Report (#FridayFlash)

Image source: openclipart.org
“Channel 3 News will stay on the air, commercial-free, as long as we can—”


“Lt. Carson of the Georgia State Patrol says if you need to get essential items, by all means go ahead and get them. But otherwise, he’s urging everyone to stay home—”


“The National Guard has closed all streets into the commercial districts, to prevent looting—”

Sam hit the power button on the remote, and tossed it onto the end table. “Nothing’s on!” she growled, chewing one of her braids. “Is it gonna be like this the next three days?”

“It’s not too often we get hit by an asteroid.” Pam reached across her partner, picking up the remote and turning the TV back on.

Sam stood and sniffed. “No, but the talking heads sure love to hype this crap up. Besides, it’ll probably miss, or turn out to be no big deal. This disaster-porn always turns out like that.”

“Tell that to your brother. Wasn’t he in Hoboken when Sandy hit?”

Sam huffed and dropped back onto the love seat.

“—latest model from NASA says this is not an extinction-level event. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be huge problems from this.”

“Isn’t that the weather dude?” Sam whispered.


“—updates from NASA and JPL models as they come in, but the last three runs have Lucifer entering Earth’s atmosphere over the Arctic ocean, near the Siberian coast, on Monday morning around 1:30 a.m. Eastern time. It will pass over eastern Greenland mere seconds later. What happens next, depends on many factors. If Lucifer breaks up over the Atlantic, as expected, we’ll have a string of ocean strikes from roughly the latitude of Boston, perhaps all the way down to Rio de Janeiro. Tsunami warnings and mandatory evacuation orders have already been posted for the entire Atlantic basin. That includes the Gulf of Mexico.”

“I think beachfront property values just cratered.” Sam chuckled. “Get it? Cratered?” Pam, who worked in a real estate office, rolled her eyes.

“—here in Atlanta, we don’t have to worry about a tsunami, but that’s not to minimize the very real problems we’re going to have. The big question is, long-term, what’s it going to do to our weather? Since this is an ocean strike, it’s going to throw a huge amount of moisture into the upper atmosphere. A lot of it will come right back down as rain, or maybe hail, so expect torrential rain most of next week. The rest of it will take some time to work out, and will spread worldwide as cloud cover in the meantime. That’s going to cool us all off, for at least the next five years. Not an ice age, but we’ll have a temporary break from global warming.”

“At least it’s gonna do some good,” Sam mumbled.

“—you’re in a low-lying area, or along a river downstream of a dam, you should consider evacuating to higher ground, just in case. We’re talking unprecedented amounts of rain next week. Flash flooding is very likely, and many roads are going to become impassable.”

Sam snatched the remote and turned off the TV.

“Heyyyy!” Pam protested.

“They’re just going to show the same thing, say the same stuff, over and over, until the damned thing hits,” said Sam. “Then they’ll show us live helicopter footage of the tsunami wiping out the coast. Again and again. Like I said, disaster-porn. Let’s go to bed, okay?”

“Fine.” Pam sighed.

“I wonder why they had the weather dude showing this stuff, though.”

Pam snickered. “Well, he is a meteorologist.”


  1. This is very true to life, Larry. Perfect image of how it would really be.

    That last line, though... ouch. ;-)

  2. I love a bit of disaster porn me (movies ideally, rather than actual people dying, I shoudl clarify!)
    That pun was spot on.

  3. I'd be ignoring the news, too. If this were to happen, it really would be like this: the disaster porn for the news. They'd eat it up. Good story, Larry, (and it certainly was a long way to go for that pun at the end...) ;-)

  4. it's probably only a matter of time...

  5. Seems to me like they should be MORE concerned, Disaster Porn or not. I'd be scared!

    Good writing!

  6. where do all the people who evacuate to higher ground actually get to live? Unless they have time to throw up tent Cities? I never understood the logistics of that in films.

    marc nash

  7. They could find themselves washed away in the night! It felt like I was seeing a new report really! ... she leans over and glances out the window...^_^

  8. The details in this are brilliant, I really felt like listening to a news report.
    I agree though, the harassment of the news at crisis times is absurd! You've captured that well here.

  9. haha! I like how an asteroid impact is imminent, and all Sam can do is moan that there's nothing else on the telly.

    Great humour running through this Larry, let's hope it never turns out to be true though. :)

  10. Ultimate Dad joke with the final line! Winner.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  11. Ha! I'm guessing this is one of those times where the last line came first and the story was built around it? Either way, loved it!

  12. It's the end of the world! No, really, this time it is...

    I know there was a lot of humour in the writing (nice job especially with the beats on the remote control usage), but this scared me. Because I know you are most likely accurate in your portrayal of how people will react.

  13. Tony, I have to think it would be.

    Thanks, Icy!

    Mazzz, it can be some dramatic stuff, especially when done right.

    Eric, I wrote this after the local weather dudes waxed rhapsodic over an incoming winter storm last week. I've seen the local version of "Impending DIsaster" quite a few times!

    Crafty, that's true. Maybe we'll be able to actually put a nuke to good use.

    Ganymeder, I figure they're either jaded or have a good stock of food on hand. Or they'll freak out when it actually happens—"we didn't know it was REALLY going to happen!"

    Marc, I actually address this in my blog-novel, FAR Future. Episodes 75–77 (link points to #75) if you don't want to read the whole thing… it *is* huge.

    Helen, you're closer to the coast than Atlanta, I think!

    Thanks, Cindy. Like I said, I worked from recent experience. :)

    Steve, I'm with you!

    Thanks, Adam! ("Dad joke," hee hee)

    Jack, I was actually about a third of the way in when the last line came. ;-)

    Katherine, I've been around a while, so I've seen people in action… or inaction as it were…


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