Featured Item: C L A Vv. Vintage Getaway Bag (Retro Rewind)
When an apocalypse comes, and everything goes to hell, sometimes, you just have to make a run for it.
Fighting an enemy that is as indefinite as a plague, at least after it’s transformed 85% of the world’s population into blood-sucking vampires, just seems a bit too much for one man, or even two. Larp and his best friend Rand, had been there with his Grandpa until things had gone really bad. They had survived for a long time, years in fact, but supplies were running short, and the attacks by the Bled-Bourne were getting more frequent.
Grandpa Jack had fallen victim to the Bled (that’s what they were calling the disease that made you into vampire-like creature, a Bled-Bourne). They weren’t sure if one of ‘them’ had gotten to him out in the barn, or if the old man had somehow contracted it by some other means.
But before he had turned, Grandpa had revealed a secret he’d kept from everyone for a very long time. Several secrets, in fact, but the biggest one was the fact that he was an Arcanist – a researcher and practitioner of the mystic arts. And he’d been hiding that fact by becoming a farmer for more than 50 years, leading a secluded life with his family and the few friends that were nearby. It had been a good life, and some strange things now made sense to Larp and Rand, considering some minor miracles that had happened through their short lives, and how relatively well protected they had been against the hordes of Bled-Bourne in the years after the outbreak.
It had taken some convincing, but the dying man had easily put their minds to rest that he wasn’t in some delirium, but did in fact have the ability to do real magic, and his secret lab under the barn had all sorts of things that the man had created or collected over time.
Grandpa had shown them his ‘armory; or collection, in the remaining few days he had, schooling them on the more important one’s use.
“This mask, “ he had started, before a coughing fit took him for a few moments, and the pulsing red veins in his neck and along his arms showed that the disease was spreading rapidly in his system. But he rallied, and took another one of his counter-agent pills. “Its not a cure, but it slows it down,” The old man had said of the medication, before continuing with his original discourse.
“This mask – I made it so you can breath anywhere.. Gas, water, hell it’ll probably work in outer space, too – its a little heard to test from here, though, “He’d grinned. “But -most important of all, it’ll prevent you getting infected. Plus the lenses in the eyes will let you see in the dark, as well. “
He placed two of the masks next to one another. Larp and Rand each took one, and looked at the other. Rand was lean and athletic, with a runner’s frame, wearing a checked shirt half unbuttoned and untucked from his jeans. His gray hues sparkled as he nodded understanding, as he glanced over at the blond haired Larp. The other boy had short cropped light brown hair, and lean frame, half shrouded in the white shirt that was open at the front. “Those look strange, Grandpa, but you’re sure they work?”
The old man nodded, his grizzled face was tired, but firm. “I tested them myself, boys- as did your father, rest his soul. It wasn’t anything to do with the mask that got him killed. It was those rat-bastard Bled-Bourne, attacking like ravening beasts, when we made that run into Loredo Falls to get supplies. Should have never chanced that near sunset. “ He paused a moment and his tears ran down his gray-bearded chin, but the resolve returned and he huffed, determined to finish his exposition on what he had to show them before he was totally overwhelmed by his condition.
He explained about the magic belts – that they gave the wearer the strength of a bull, and made your skin ‘tough as leather’, and it didn’t matter where you wore them. Larp had put one around his neck, and given Rand a side-long glance, and a smirk. “Never thought you’d live to see me collared, huh? “ He wiggled his eyebrows.
The other boy blushed and gulped, thinking about the implications of that statement, and simply slipped a belt around his own waist, and cinched it above his low-slung jeans, hip bones exposed. “It looks good on you, but yeah – never thought I’d see that, “ He grinned and looked down at his own belt, and caressed its smooth leather.
The old man shook his head, grunting, knowing the two had been lovers for some time, but this wasn’t the time for play.
So he had continued his explanation about the Serpent buckle, and the pocket watch, and even the infused leather jeans that he’d made just for each of the boys. “These all have special properties. I’ve written it all down in this diary.. But the most important of all is .. the watch.. You have ta use it above ground – in a building or up on top of the old windmill tower in the field – at least 40 feet off the ground.” The old man hadn’t said why, but he’d been emphatic about that.
The pocket watch was a time travel device, and it was how the old man had escaped his former pursuers – the Arcanists that had been upset that one of their best and smartest researchers, had simply up and left with valuable artifacts.
The Grandpa had passed away, the following morning, out in the blowing dust of the early morning light, burning in the rays of dawn on his own two feet. The boys had both been so upset, but it was how he’d wanted it. They had held a wake, and burried his ashes, before making their final preparations to leave.
They had a plan now. They were going back in time to stop the plague.
They tested their gear, packed several bags – they couldn’t take just anything with them, though. The watch would only transport the two of them and what was close by, in a few feet of them. Larp had a valise and a large duffle, and Rand had a backpack and a large army bag, as well. “Got everything,” Rand asked.
Larp nodded, and sighed. “This has got to work, Rand.. let’s get moving. We don’t’ have much time. “
They climbed the tower, but saw that coming over a nearby ridge, vehicles with blacked out windows, were driving hard and fast for their location. They climbed faster, cresting the top of the tower, as the wind-vane shifted in the light breeze.
Larp grinned at Rand, gripped him by the hip and pulled him in for a long kiss when they were both at the top, holding on to one another for a long moment. And then, they glanced over the old farm – and at the enemies approaching
Larp shook his head. “Glad you’re with me on this. We have a big job to do. “
Rand squeezed Larp’s hand and nodded slowly. “We can do this, and those bastards won’t know what hit them. You do know how to make that thing work, don’t you?“ The black maned boy gestured at the old pocket watch. Larp smirked and took it in his hand, and flipped it open, and the strange colorful display flickered with mystic symbols that glowed and moved, as if a minature 3-d world existed inside it full of floating magical spheres and symbols. He spoke to the watch, and the display flickered to blue, and then gold. They were traveling back over 75 years.
They both put on the masks, grabbed their bags, and saluted the approaching vehicles with middle fingers upraised. That didn’t seem to stop them, but it made the boys feel better.
The watch started to make noises, like it was warming up, like an old tube tv set or something. It was going to take a few minutes, it seemed before the watch kicked in.
The vehicles were getting closer, fast, so to slow them down, Rand grabbed a bronze disc the size of a pie plate, and held it up. It was called a Sun-Disk, and from it, a ray of super-hot light lanced out like an enormous laser beam, and and struck the attacker’s vehicles, as Rand directed the beam. It was hitting them from a few hundred yards away, and causing them to explode or crash on their approach.
The vehicles all stopped -an assortment of dust covered pickup trucks and sedans. All of them stopped, in moments, and the infected Bled-Bourne boiled out and tried to seek shelter.
Larp gripped a remote detonator, and clicked it, and explosive charges went off all over the farm – the barn, the house, the out buildings, and the large propane tanks, as well.
And then the watch chirped like it was counting down – and indeed, little blue numbers flicked down from 10 seconds down to 1 on the surface of its golden lid. “Let Everything Burn, “ he whispered, as the temporal bubble enveloped the two friends – a silver shell that appeared around them. It looked like it was made of mercury, and seemed to flow with some kind of current all around them, with sparks of blue and red light in its depths. He wondered if this was purely for effect, or if it was just how time really looked, when you could see it flowing around you – if you were pushing against its usual flow.
But that didn’t matter. What mattered was, it had worked. And they were out of that horrible place, that used to be their home. And they were doing it together.
When they arrived, things would be different, and they’d find a way to stop the Bled.
And they’d corner Grandpa too, his younger self, and not let that old man die this time. Not to mention get him to show them how all those other toys worked. Oh, and stop the Apocalypse. Yes.