We’re watching “Pawn Stars” when Steve Kornacki flickers onto the screen with these words, “Breaking News”, coming up to his rolled-up sleeves: Kornacki’s at the big board with maps, charts and his sharpy along with his lucky striped tie and orange cord slacks. His sleeves are messy, pushed up, and he’s banging away on the board like it’s a drum.
An asteroid’s coming towards earth, Kornacki reports.
Kornacki, at the Big Board showing asteroid location as seen from the space station—reports it’s heading towards the US.
Steve says it tracking towards New England and is but days away.
Early morning “BREAKING NEWS”:
Kornacki pushes up sleeves, which are now almost to his arm pits, and says the asteroid is heading directly for Connecticut. The weather channel cuts in with their own:
An unknown reporter from the Weather Channel is on screen standing in front of Kornacki and the Big Board who’s on the screen behind him. His sleeves are also rolled up, and he’s wearing a striped, red tie and orange chinos. He can’t pull off the Kornacki look. He says the first asteroid of the season will be called Arborvitae and any further asteroids will be named alphabetically after trees.
Kornacki, back now, has Connecticut on the Big Board and now New Haven County is circled.
He calls it as heading towards Long Island Sound. It’s the only news now on the tube. It’s asteroid Arborvitae 24/7.
Kornacki: Vehicles prohibited from entering Connecticut via the Tappan Zee and George Washington Bridges crossing both the East River and the Hudson. State police guarding the bridges. All lanes both incoming and outgoing on turnpikes are now turned into outgoing lanes.
The Vegas Bookies are making book where Asteroid’s going to land.
Steve Kornacki caught hiding flask says Arborvitae is on a straight path heading east of New Haven directly towards the Town of Madison. I live two blocks north of the beach club.
The bookies have upped their odds and now they’re at 1000-1 that the asteroid will impact on a steady course between the Madison Beach Club and the Madison Golf Club. That’s where my street is.
We load our cars with boxes of snack food, cases of Dr. Pepper, and out mutt Alvin, along with his food and stuffed Elvis, that he sleeps with. The roads to get on the turnpike are miles long so we wind around the back roads and head west on Rte. 1 towards New Haven. Before Guilford we’re blocked in from cars trying to cross the Quinnipiac Bridge and get as far west as possible. We turn around and head east, the opposite way towards Old Saybrook.
We can’t get into Saybrook because of the traffic heading towards Boston is backed up at the Saybrook bridge across the Connecticut River so we turn around and head home. Unable to listen to the news anymore we close the laptop and put on an audio book of Orson Well’s “War of the Worlds”. Hours later we finally finish the 20-mile ride home. We pull the car into the garage, break out the Ring Dings and Dr. Peppers, and sit listening. An hour later, finished, we go into the house, turn on the TV, and there’s Kornacki, drawing lines on the Big Board showing the lasers three firing locations, and their trajectories taking out the asteroid, scattering it into more space detritus, before it caused real problems in Madison Connecticut. Some of our neighbors don’t get home for days.
Paul Beckman’s a Connecticut writer whose latest flash collection, Kiss Kiss (Truth Serum Press) was a finalist for the 2019/2020 Indie Book Awards. Some of his stories have appeared in Spelk, Anti-Heroin Chic, Necessary Fiction, Fictive Dream, Pank, Playboy, WINK, and The Lost Balloon.