The state of TIAH
November 4th, 2006
Alternate Historian's Note: November is NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. In 2004, we produced our novel Warp, and last year we got a start on The Protocols Of The Elders Of Zion during this annual event. Both of these novels were based on timelines from TIAH – Warp was based on the Mlosh timeline, and Protocols on the Greater Zionist Resistance timeline. Although we posted numerous links to these novels on Lulu, TIAH didn't post any excerpts from them. We're going to do it a little differently this year. This year, the November posts on TIAH will be excerpts from the novel that is being written by us for NaNoWriMo. We will still have Guest Historian entries – Stephen Payne has some already written and waiting – so, if you want to make a Guest Post this month, go ahead and send it to us, and it will appear along with our novel post.
Traffic was bunching up early this morning. Steph sat in a line of several other cars. George, getting impatient in the back side, undid his safety belt and slid up behind Joan to read her magazine over her shoulder. Steph tried to crane her head around to see if there was anything blocking her progress that she could move around. She turned on the radio to see if she could find any traffic information, but only got static. “Radio's busted again,” she told the kids.
“We should get one that can play MP3s,” Joan said, not even looking up from her magazine.
“Or satellite radio – that'd be cool, wouldn't it, mom?” George slid over to her now, eagerly smiling at his own suggestion.
Steph looked at him disapprovingly. “I can't help notice you ain't got no seat belt on, boy.”
He flopped back in his seat. “Mom, we haven't moved in, like, ten minutes.”
“Doesn't matter. Your Uncle Chuck'd have an entirely different wife if his first fiancée had just listened to me about that.”
George groaned, but fastened his seat belt. “Not the dead lady story again.”
“She'll keep tellin' it till you listen,” Joan said, her face still buried in her magazine.
“Chuck loved that girl with all his heart,” Steph said, lost in memory. “We all loved her; she was so sweet. But she believed that BS that you can survive a car crash better if you get thrown clear. Guess she learned the truth about that.” The car in front of her backed up a tad, then pulled off a very imperfect 5-point turn and headed back the way they had come from. “I gotta learn a different way to get y'all to school.” She looked around at the other cars in line. Traffic was heavier than usual today. Lots of people looked like they were packed up with junk. “Did the college session let out or something?”
“No, they're still going till December,” Joan said, finally looking up and examining the cars around them. “Wow, they do look like they're moving. Is there another hurricane?”
“We're in the center of the state. Hurricanes can't reach us here.”
“Rita went all the way up to Arkansas, didn't it?”
“Yeah, but it was following a river.”
“Austin has a river.”
“Not one that reaches the coast.” Steph thought about following the guy who vacated his position in front of her, but didn't know another road into town. “Why did I have to live in the country?”
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