I will continue to add to this. If you want to run some commentary that's fine, but I'm nowhere near done with this. I just took an idea and ran with it. Please enjoy.
In the late '80s, two men were trapped underground during a cave-in inside an abandoned coal mine in Loganville, Texas. Loganville was a rundown, deserted town with no inhabitants, and the coal mine itself was fifteen miles away from the nearest living soul. Their names were Ted Barnes and Howard Johnston. This is their story.
It was 6:00 a.m. and the rain was pouring down as if the Heavens themselves were about to fall. The roar of the water meeting the ground overpowered every other noise to be heard and every living thing on the flatlands was busy trying to crawl back into whatever hole it called home. The drought had ended, and had done so with a bang, choosing to go out with as much spite as nature could offer. Howard however felt no reason to yield to the rain in any way, least of all to reduce the speed of his BMW 580i to something more reasonable than 95 miles per hour. Instead he opted to grumble under his breath and take another sip of his coffee. Carefully, and with the inattentiveness of someone who has done it many times before, he lowered one hand down, picked up the thermos, raised it to his lips and took a slow swill. It was rich and flowed into him like liquid fire, but most importantly, the effect was almost immediate as he became that much more awake. Slowly he set it back down. Only to find that his cupholder had retracted back into the center console again. God damnit. He strained his eyes ahead for a bit to make sure he was the only one on the road. The straight empty one-laner went on for miles across the scrubland in either direction. Not a single other car occupied the road. Setting cruise control on in one fluid motion, he looked down at his center console, opened the cupholder back out and placed his coffee back in. Not one to leave things to chance, he nudged it firmly into place. The coffee was hot enough to scald and the lid had a hole to sip from. No sense in tempting fate. He put both hands back on the steering wheel as he looked back up at the road... right into the eyes of a woman standing in the middle of the lane some 20 feet ahead. He swerved, ran off the road and into an 8 foot tall cactus. Inbetween all the four letter words that garbled together at the back of his throat, instead of all the visions from childhood to present that he should have been having, came a single unbelievably clear thought. Rather, it was just one word that was louder than everything else. Sholade. Before he could think of what it meant or why he had thought of it, the airbags deployed and struck him with excruciating force, blacking him out.
Somewhere near milemarker fifteen, Highway 193 split off into FM175. Sitting at the crook of the two was a small rest stop and beside it, the now defunct Mahler Bed and Breakfast. George Mahler stared at the man in front of him with something approaching shock. "You... can't be serious. Why would you want to do it now. After all this time?" The man, well groomed and sporting business attire and attitude, simply smiled and held out the document in his hands. "Just sign the papers Mahler, and let this all be over with. The Weller Foundation has graciously agreed to compensate you, even though this land was in fact already ours to begin with." George shook his head silently as he signed the papers, unable to comprehend what was going on. "But why now, when the place is worthless? It doesn't make any sense." After a moment's thought, he added, "I'll leave but how long do I have to get my things together?" The man, one Frank Redmond of Austin, Texas, slowly put the papers back in order and placed them in his briefcase. "You'll have about three days. Don't cut it close Mr. Mahler. For your own sake, be out of here as early as you can." As he let those words hang in the air, he stalked out of the building, ready to be off. George gave the door a hard angry glare. He lacked the guts to give it to Redmond, so he might as well give it to something. "That asshole." Carefully picking his way around the front of the inn, his shoes bending and straining the wooden floorboards, he made his way to a small hazel wooden frame with a picture inside. He took a moment to compose himself and breathe in the air of the Mahler Bed and Breakfast, to remember better times. "Martha... What should I do Martha? Without you I just. I just can't do anything." The scent of warm peach cobbler wafted along barely noticeable over the strong smell of antique wooden furniture and dust. George shook his head slightly as he headed to his own room to grab his wallet. The rain had let up outside and morning sunshine poured through the windows, granting a surreality to every room as tendrils of light caressed everything they touched. But George Mahler didn't have time to appreciate small miracles. Jesse, his assistant, would be in within the next ten minutes, and under the current circumstances there was some things that needed to be done soon. Extremely soon.