Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Mysterious white substance casts City of Roses into chaos
Portland, the City of Roses, is today, a city on the edge.
The unease began on Sunday when a mysterious white substance fell from the sky to blanket the city's streets and houses. At first, residents of Oregon's largest city assumed that the white flakes that descended upon them were merely volcanic ash, the result of another eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. But disquiet grew when the more adventurous denizens discovered that the flakes were cold to the touch and immediately dissipated to water upon coming into contact with human flesh.
The first sign of trouble came as a dazed group of citizens gathered in Pioneer Square, apparently trying to comprehend the meaning of this icy, white plague. Reportedly, as it became apparent that city officials were as puzzled as everyone else, someone in the crowd screamed, "Ice terrorism!" Any semblance of order vanished soon thereafter.
Within minutes, reports were crossing the wires about unruly mobs storming grocery and hardware stores, looting supplies. The mob seemed to place special value on Christmas-themed DVDs and any items trimmed in green or red.
Highways out of town were choked with all manner of conveyance as terrified refugees packed essentials and sought escape from the white deathtrap that the city had become.
Mayor Sam Adams, allegedly holed up in a bunker in City Hall with his top lieutenants, was heard over the radio airwaves urging calm, but his broadcast was cut short after listeners heard what were described as gunshots.
Fires broke out on 82nd Avenue and in the Warehouse District, reportedly the results of arson. Raucous crowds gathered around the roaring blazes, warming their hands, and roasting looted hot dogs and marshmallows over the open flames.
"If only this had been another St. Helen's eruption. If only the city had been buried in volcanic ash. We could have done something!" a visibly shaken Governor Ted Kulongowski told ABC News. When asked if he would deploy the state National Guard to restore order in the stricken city, he replied. "I can't send men into that hellhole. There's nothing human left in it."
Reports coming out of the city now are murky and unreliable. There are rumors of bicycle-mounted mobs riding through the streets, and of mob orators inciting all manner of lawless behavior. Observers watching the city from the surrounding hills report hearing loud voices belting out what might be Christmas carols. Columns of smoke are rising now from all quarters of the once-peaceful city.
Unfortunately, the forecast calls for more snow on Wednesday night...