It begins


The following is a transcription of the written journal and audio recordings of Jacob Plummer

Chapter 1: It begins

The blast ripped through the air, stopping all time and thought. Even from within my hotel room, I felt the concussion deep within my cells. I felt it in my gut, my eyes, my brain. It rang in my skull and burned my skin. The sensation and sound were everywhere and everything. And then it was nothing…which was the strangest part of it all. I expected the sounds of chaos—alarms, cries, screams—but there was nothing. I was affronted with an all-encompassing nothing. For an instant, I felt as if someone had lowered me into a deprivation chamber, where all was lost save some scattered randomness in my brain. At first I thought maybe the concussion had blown out my hearing, but the sound of breathing and the rustling of sheets neatly tucked away the fear of going deaf.

The blast and the shaking room were enough to make me worry that something serious had happened. Against my personal moral code, I decided to turn on the television in hopes that it would have some explanation. Surely the local news would interrupt whatever reality-trash was broadcasting to instruct citizens on what to do in case of an emergency. The television brought me nothing—nothing but static and white noise. The snow-filled screen was hypnotic. I have no idea how long I sat and stared. It felt like forever, but with the fear that gripped my gut, the black and white of the static was soothing. I wanted to hear some fifties-era tones echo from the speaker informing me to get to my nearest bomb shelter, anything that would give me some indication the world hadn’t finally managed to destroy itself. Instead, the noise of the static did its best to lull me into some semblance of comfort. I wanted to stare into the void until everything just disappeared.

After I managed to pull myself away from the hypnosis of the empty screen, I decided that maybe the front desk would have something to offer. I was wrong. I let the phone ring, and ring, and ring…nothing. No “Front desk, how may I help you?” Not even an answering machine.

I tried the radio. Static.

I checked the hallway. Empty.

I opened the curtains only to be greeted by a thick, grayish fog preventing me from seeing anything a foot beyond the glass.

Even without the fog, I was too high up to see the streets clearly, so I couldn’t even assume the city was awake and reacting to whatever had happened. Wonderful. I was in a strange city, I knew no one, and I couldn’t reach anyone. I was afraid the world had ended and left me behind. Me. Why me?

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