I was online when the horror began... then, the sudden flash, snap crackle pop and all was night. It was like a sheet of darkness descended down around me, turning the familiar shapes of my apartment into black mysteries, potential dangers. Screams from outside filtered through the windows (the kids were playing kickball on the common). It was dangerous, but I had to look. I had to know.
It wasn’t just me. The lights were out all over the complex, and a voice cried out, “The lights across the street are out, too!” So now I knew. It was all of us. This meant no quick fix. No throwing a switch at the electrical box. No internet. No lights. No TV. Hard times. But what had caused it all? Was this a plague, a virus? Had millions disappeared or died without the rest of us knowing? Was it... zombies? Vampires? A serial killer? I could only hope he would start at the end of the block.
I took a look around the apartment. There was a lot to think about. I live in a studio so the only way out is the windows or the door. There would be no basement defense when the shit started to go down. No attic to hide in to weather the storm. No wood and nails to board up the windows. If worse came to worse, my only hope was the bathroom. But first, I needed the thing we all crave in the dark. Light.
I remembered where I had left my purse and shuffled to it on my hands and knees. My cat sensed my weakness and began attacking. All I could do was scream "Hwagu shiggam getthefukoffme!" and hope it didn't draw danger. With the light of my ipod, I fished out the last remaining scented candles, left over from the cold and dark of winter. Thank God the Duraflame candle lighters were there in the same drawer. Light acquired, my thoughts drifted to food.
The light of an ipod is cold and harsh and when it falls on an object, it makes a cruel shadow. But there, next to my purse (which I have tripped over twice in the search for the candles) is a grocery bag. Inside that grocery bag is an apocalypse survivors holy grail. Two bars of chocolate, a box of graham crackers and a packet of Safeway brand marshmallows. All I had was the flickering flame of a vanilla mist candle and gooey, candle toasted s’mores to keep my hope alive.
Hey. I’m no hero. I’m just one of the lucky ones. I had gone to the store and seen Hershey bars on sale. I meant to warm the marshmallows in the microwave, but there’s no microwaves during the apocalypse. So, I sat down in the light of those candles, my chocolate broken up and ready for the graham crackers, and watched the only movie on my ipod. Zombieland. A cruel irony, or a sign from the Gods? Convinced I was living in the endtimes, I sat down to soak up the lessons to be learned from other survivors and waited for the screams to begin... again, hoping it would start at the end of the block.
Five long hours later, the lights came on to general hooting and hollering across the complex. It was too dark for the kids to continue their game, too late to go out and count the survivors by the glow of lights in the apartments. Once again, irony won the day as I turned off all the lights that had come back on and slipped into bed, the red glow of my am/fm clock radio like a beacon in the night. Till next time, apocalypse. Till next time.