What will happen next?

by Daria Shuklina

It is only 8.30, but I’ve already opened my eyes. The weather seems to be perfect as the sun ray is trying to enter my room through the closed curtains. It’s unusually quiet, but perhaps it’s just too early for disturbing sounds of town life. I lay in bed a little bit more and finally, get up. I let the sun in, and now all the room is shining.

Today is my day off; that’s why there is no need to hurry anywhere. It’s still extremely quiet, but maybe it’s just my luck and the universe wants me to have a good day. I go to the bathroom to take a shower.

The sun is in the kitchen as well. I love cooking breakfast when there is such great weather outside, which is calling you to go out and walk. I’ve made my lovely avocado toast with a poached egg and some coffee. And still, it is so quiet. I can’t believe that it can be so quiet.

It suddenly comes to my mind that I haven’t seen my cat today.  Fiona usually comes by the time I have breakfast, but it’s also possible that today she decided to sleep longer.

It’s unusually quiet.

The clock already shows 10, and there is no noise from the neighbours’ repair. They have been drilling something every day from 9 till 1 p.m. for almost 3 months now. I decide to share this happy news with my mum as she is annoyed by these sounds and would be surprised to hear that there are no drilling noises. I realised that it is the first time today when I decided to take the phone in my hands. I casually turn it on, expecting to see some messages from friends or new publication notifications from the social networks. Strangely there are no new messages, and nothing new has been posted recently. Perhaps, everyone decided to take a day off today and rest from the social networks and excessive communication. Fiona hasn’t shown up yet.

Finally, I reach the messenger which we use to text each other with my mom, but it seems that the wi-fi isn’t working and the loading wheel is spinning too long. I turn on LTE on my phone, but nothing works again. Probably, we forgot to pay for Wi-Fi. Then, I decide to use the phone the way it was used before messengers and wi-fi were invented. I call my mom, but nothing happens. There are even no beeps. What happened to my operator? They decided to leave me without connection with the outside world. Resting from the Internet may be great, but I still need to be aware of what’s going on around.

Quietness. Now I realise that there are no sounds at all. It reminds me of the words of one of the actors from the play I saw several years ago. He was talking about the contact with a UFO, and I remembered that he described it as absolutely quiet. No drugs could give such an effect, and his character tried them all.

I look out the window. Everything seems to be the same; nothing has changed, but… There are no people in the street, not a single person. No one’s crossing the road; no one’s waiting for a bus, no one’s walking in the playground; no one’s walking the dogs. Emptiness.

I’ve read numerous science fiction novels. Could it be that I became the heroine of one of them? I should stop panicking. There may be no one in the street sometimes, but it does not mean that everyone disappeared. Before going outside, I need to check once more where Fiona is. I look everywhere: in all the boxes and wardrobes that she likes to hide in. After half an hour, when I almost give up, I hear some purring sound from the bathroom. The last time I was there, there was no one.  I open the door and see that there is a pile of towels in the corner, which is moving. I carefully come closer and unroll it. There she is, cosily sleeping. At least she hasn’t left me. I decide to take her with me outside. It is not the first time I take my cat for a walk. That is why we have a special backpack with a window through which she can observe the world around us. I take my keys, some money, a pocket knife and water. the Cat is on my back and we are ready to face whatever awaits us in the street. I check the phone and there is still no signal, unfortunately.

We go out and the silence starts to be annoying. Living in a town you are used to hearing various noises and you can’t imagine what it’s like when there are no sounds. Now I understand it. Perhaps, it is the sound of life of deaf people. Another thing that I suddenly realise is that I don’t know whether I have my own voice and the ability to speak or not. I open my mouth in an attempt to pronounce the word “hello”, but I can’t. The feeling is as though I don’t know how to do it.

We go and go and meet no one. There is no signal. The phone is a useless piece of metal. The only thing I can do with it is to take pictures. We’ve already bypassed the whole city. I’m exhausted and lost.

It’s 4 p.m. and I decide to sit on one of the benches in the park and rest. Maybe I will come up with an idea of what to do next.

Instead, I burst out crying. I was so focused the whole day and didn’t let myself feel all the emotions that have appeared. I’m alone, the phone doesn’t work, I don’t know what to do and where to go.

5 p.m. I see the light through the trees. It is an artificial light. There is nothing to lose and I decide to follow it. I go and go, the ray is becoming bigger and bigger, all the trees look as though they are on fire. My curiosity leads me further and further. Out of a sudden, I start feeling that this light penetrates me and goes right through. Then, I feel like I’m becoming a part of this light and finally, I completely dissolve.

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