Zanzibar – Part 3
Zanzibar – Part 3
by Lori Carslon
Hemi hadn’t even blinked. One second he was arguing his case and the next second he was back in the smoke-filled rocky terrain. The smoke and ash was thicker this time. He couldn’t see any clearings like before. Still, he’d been here when they fell through that vortex. If there was a way in here, there had to be a way out and Hemi was determined to find it.
He couldn’t tell which direction was which. There were no stars to guide him. Every direction looked the same – smoke, ash, and large boulders. He only saw the boulders though when they were mere inches in front of him or when lightning strikes lit up the area. He’d already banged his shoulders on a few smaller ones. They’d been too obscure to see. Only one area remained visible no matter how thick the smoke and ash became – the lava flow. He vaguely remembered his days as a boy scout, but he’d learned a valuable lesson. Always follow a river if you were lost. And Hemi was definitely lost.
Hemi remembered another trick from his boy scouting days. He ripped a piece of cloth from his shirt and tied it around his head. Every so often, he removed the cloth and rung the contents into his mouth. He didn’t know how long he could survive on his own sweat, but it was better than dehydrating. What he did know was that if he didn’t find water soon, he wouldn’t even sweat.
He trekked his way toward the lava flow. The ground shook under his feet, as did the sky. Every step was met with bolts of lightning and several times, he nearly got struck.
“I will not die here,” Hemi repeated over and over again as he moved from one boulder to another to reach the lava. It’s orange-red glow guided him.
As he walked on, he thought about his friends. At first he was angry that they hadn’t joined him in his defiance, but the longer he thought about it, the more his temper cooled. They’d been right to stay. This place really was hell. A few times, he thought he saw them standing in the distance. He even thought he’d heard Comet’s voice.
“C’mon, Hemi! Follow me!”
Hemi turned in circles trying to track Comet’s voice, but he just made himself dizzy. He collapsed to the ground. His chest swelled with regret. Tears streamed down his face. He missed Comet the most. They’d been friends long before he’d met the other Motorheads. They grew up on the same grungy block with their grey apartment buildings and trash-lined streets. It had been Comet’s idea for them to take names of muscle cars and call themselves Motorheads.
“You should have been our leader, Comet,” Hemi whispered into the smoke-filled abyss.
He stood up and walked on, his mind filled with images of Comet. He remembered their antics that usually got them into serious trouble with their parents. That’s why they’d left and formed their own family. Comet had always been there by his side. Would he ever see his friend again?
“I will not die here!” he shouted up at the sky at whatever being controlled that place – the so-called Curator. “Do you hear me, you fucker? I will find my friends again and we will get out of here!”
By the time Hemi finally saw the edge of the lava flow, he was exhausted. He had no idea how long he’d been walking. It felt like an eternity. He found two boulders with just a small crack between them. A third one hung overhead. It wasn’t much of a shelter, but Hemi hoped it would keep the lightning away. He slid into the small crack and curled up into a ball.
“I’m a Motorhead. I will not die,” he repeated over and over again until he finally fell asleep.
This is now a round-robin between Keith Channing and I.
or Jump ahead to Part 4