John’s dinner was interrupted by the clanging of bells and screams of women and children in the courtyard outside his dim second story apartment.
“The Jebs are coming!” A woman shrieked.
“Governor, save us, save us!” Yelled another.
John cracked his fist against the frost sealed window, heaved it up, and stuck his head out. A trail of fire in the East slithered down the Agie Mountains. “No,” John said, “no, Marken, you son of a bitch.”
The bells clanged madly and someone kicked on the old emergency siren. John took up his red silk robe from it’s perch and hopped into a pair of plaid pants. John hadn’t heard the siren in seventeen years, well before his son Antony was born. Antony.
“Why now, why here?” John said as his crashed down the two flights of stairs to the lobby and fumbled with the metal lock. “Come on you bastard!”
The glass double doors sucked in the snow and cries from the townsfolk and blasted John in the face as he stepped into the cobbled street, surging with women and children and men with ancient rifles or makeshift bludgeons.
“Hold friends!” John said into the river surging east against him. “The treaty! The treaty stands!”
“The treaty is dissolved,” a mountainous man said, stopping to shake John’s arm. “The peace is dead Governor, the Jebs will come, we will die.”
“No,” John said. The golds and oranges of the flaming serpent licked at the chilled air, melting the frost as they swarmed and pushed ahead. “I don’t understand.”
“Governor!” The mountain said. “You need to come with me sir.”
The mountain grabbed John’s shoulder and spun him east and shoved him in the back so that John nearly lost his feet. “No! I must talk to them, they can’t come now, Antony is away, he’ll have nothing to come back to.”
The first explosion came from the West gate. The boom expanded the air around it in a giant sphere that shook the town’s foundation and John hesitated. “Marken, I’ll kill you for this!” John yelled.
“I’m sorry Governor, but there’s no more time, we need you at Fort Bennings.” The mountain gripped John by the back of the collar and heaved him to his shoulder.
“Get off of me, this is a time of peace! Of peace!”
The flaming Jebs rose and fell as John bounced away from town on the back of that mighty creature. Minutes later they were clear of the East gate and the whole city blazed in gold light as the shadows of men on horses lurched and swung.