It began, the first of many lasts. The events from that one fateful day would forever change my life. That day started off as any other day. The daily ritual of punching the alarm clock, getting dressed and brewing coffee. But none of that matters now, it’s in the past. What matters is explaining what we know about happened so that someday if we recover we can fix it. So that one day things might once again be normal.
It all started on my daily walk to school. Earbuds in listening to Spotify just like any other day. Then the music stopped. I glanced down at my phone to see the words, “No Service” greeting me at the top of my screen. That was odd, I had always had solid cell reception on this route. I didn’t think much of it though and continued on my route, figuring a simple restart would fix it. Only it didn’t. I checked to see if I could find any Wi-Fi networks and to my surprise that also yielded nothing. I wish I had known the truth then, maybe if I had I could have done something-anything to better my present situation. I had plenty of time and had barely gotten down my street so I figured I ought to head home to use the landline and let my parents know that my phone was acting up in case they tried to reach me. A quick check at home revealed that I could not find our local Wi-Fi either. I picked up our (rustic) phone plugged into the wall and dialed my dad’s office number. I related the situation to which he replied, “hmmm, my phone is having the exact same problem and the wireless is down here too.” We talked a bit more and figured that maybe the sun was acting up and some flare had knocked out a few communications satellites. Something serious but not unfixable. He decided to call me out that day and come home to try and take a look at things.
I then hopped on our archaic desktop and heard it purr to life. The laptop couldn’t connect to our Wi-Fi since the network was down but since the phone lines were working I figured it was worth trying the wired internet connection. Sure enough I was able to quickly reach the CNN website. That was when the first warning bells started to go off in my head. Plastered across the screen was an announcement reading “All wireless communications worldwide have been disrupted”.Upon further investigation I found that the UN was holding an emergency meeting to work at a solution to the problem. Beyond that there were stipulations as to what might have caused the disaster.
I saw my dad pull in the driveway and park (the garage door opener couldn’t function with whatever was going on). I ventured out to greet him and noticed that the sun seemed to have a little black speck in front of it. At the time I simply assumed that I had something in my eye and went on to greet my father.
Upon my return to the computer, the CNN website had disappeared and been replaced by a video simply showing videos of various cities from the air — London, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Berlin and so on. I tried BBC, NBC, and a handful of other sites but they all went to this same video. Suddenly, the video cut to some city I couldn’t recognize. The buildings all began to collapse as though they were made of paper. They didn’t to any side but simply went straight down, filling the streets with rubble and dust. Everything went down from skyscrapers to small apartment buildings until nothing was left. Then the video cut to the next city. Then the next. Then the next. Finally it went through New York then it abruptly ended. I tried to return to the CNN website but was greeted with a black screen. The land line was down too. Sure enough, upon picking up the phone there was simply silence on the other end.
At this point we figured out that something serious was going on, but had no idea what on Earth could have caused this. I’ll save you some time for the answer to that one — nothing on Earth could have caused this global meltdown. My dad and I decided it would be safest to stay at home for a while and avoid any panic that might have been going on outside. Who knew anyways, that video could have just been from someone good with photoshop right? My mom had been travelling out of state for work, and at this point there was no way to reach her so we just hoped she was alright. After a few days we received a flyer in our mailbox for a town meeting at the village hall to discuss what to do; no one had heard anything from the outside world and no food shipments were coming in to local grocery stores. To paraphrase, we needed to plan out how to not starve to death.
We ventured out to the meeting but hung around the back in an attempt to avoid the crowd. Just before the meeting began at noon, I once again noticed the little black speck in the sun, appearing seemingly bigger now. The mayor took charge and explained that: for the time being, grocery stores would ration out their food to people and save what they could. The police force would be guarding all food stores in the town. They also decided to send out a few people to the nearest city from the video- Chicago- to figure out if what was shown had actually happened. I wish I had an answer about that, but I don’t. The party never returned and they left about a month ago to make a two hour round trip drive. We assumed the worse.
A week or so after the meeting, a lot of people left. Some to find relatives, others to seek information. Suburbia just didn’t seem like the kind of place to be in in those trying times. We hoped that we might soon see some green military humvee or a sleek black cadillac pull in with someone official to explain what the hell was going on. Sadly, that never happened.
And so life carried on for a few more weeks. With less populants the food supplies lasted longer although they were dwindling. In hindsight we were lucky that the town functioned as it did without looters and criminals. I like to think that that never happened because we lived in a town of good people. In reality it was probably because everyone assumed that things would come back to normal soon. The power had cut out after the first week, and water soon followed. Fortunately, we were able to get by by collecting and purifying rainwater.
After about a month, people started getting antsy. Nothing had happened and their lives had ceased entirely. People no longer worked as money was useless for the time being. To save future archaeologists some time, those little rectangular pieces of paper you might find were used as currency to exchange for goods. Now people bought and sold things using food.
Finally, something broke the monotonous ritual. If it hadn’t been for that I probably never would have written this. One day instead of waking up in my bed, I awoke on a cold metallic surface. It was almost pitch black and I had no idea how I had gotten there. The only illumination was provided by a tiny clock on the wall that read 1:47:36 and was counting down. It cast a pale red glow over the room. It certainly added a very ominous atmosphere to my cell, counting down to some unknown event. Beside me I found a handful of my possessions, some sheets, a pillow, and this laptop. I must have fallen asleep with it and somehow it came with me to wherever this place was. I seemed to be in a roughly 8’ by 4’ room with no entrance or exit. Around me I could hear muffled sounds. For the most part I did my best to ignore them, and I’ll save you from having to think of them. I’ll just say that they were things that no one should ever hear. The clock counting down on the wall didn’t help my uneasiness either.
As I lay there I decided to write down some description of these events so that whatever is left of the world may understand at least some of what happened. I had nothing else to do anyways. Now the clock reads 0:1:30. A little opening just appeared on the wall opposite the clock, some sort of window. Peering out, one question was answered but a million more just rose inside of me. Outside I can see the Earth. Not the ground, but the entire planet. Well at least the part that’s facing me. I couldn’t be could it? I couldn’t be on that little speck I saw in front of the the sun somehow could I? Could something or someone else be visiting our planet? I have fifteen seconds left now so I doubt I’ll be able to write much more. My battery is almost gone anyways. With 3 seconds left, a whirring sound started emanating from behind the clock. It just hit zero and