Six days. That’s how long they said it would take. 6 days without the sunlight. 144 hours. 8,640 minutes. 518,400 seconds. That’s how long the world was supposed to go without the sun. It seems totally harmless.
Six days turned into six weeks. 42 days without the sun. 1,008 hours without the sun. 60,480 minutes. 3,628,800 seconds. It’s what caused the panic to start.
Six weeks turned into six months. 182 days without the sun. 4,368 hours without the sun. 252,080 minutes without the sun. 15,724,800. That’s how long it took to start driving people insane.
Six months turned into six years. 2,191 days without the sun. 52,584 hours without the sun. 3,155,040 minutes without the sun. 189,302,400 seconds without the sun. That’s how long it took for most of the world to die out and those left to give up hope.
And we pay the price.
528 hours left
The flashlight un Myra Kolhands hand flickers on and off as it struggles to stay alive. The batteries are dying and obviously each day brought it closer to its own demise. Smacking the flashlight against her right palm, Myra curses under her breath, preying for the light to stay alive a while longer.
Supplies are dwindling by the day and her supply of batteries and oil are running dangerously low. In the first few weeks of the suns disappearance the flashlight, batteries, and pretty much anything that could give light were the first to go. Now they grow more scarce by the day. Myra feared that if she were to run out of her batteries and oil she wouldn’t be able to find more.
A few more smacks and flickers later the flashlights beam focus. A sigh of relief escapes past Myra’s lips. She moves the beam of light around to get her bearings.
She’s in the middle of what used to be a highway. Cars are run down on either side of her, decaying at their own pace. Veins have long since claimed the cars and patches of brown grass dot the road. Rust covers the cars from the years of being in the rain without cover. Wind shields are broken, no doubt from scavengers. Some of the cars moan and groan as Myra walks by as if they are call out to her for help but in reality it’s only from the veins wrapping their green fingers around the heap of metal, claiming it as its own.
Myra works her way in and out of the cars, as if it were a maze, being careful not to cut herself on any of the rusting metal. Crickets and other insects sing around her but despite their song it still seems eerily quiet to Myra. Something that could no longer be escaped in a world without the sun. In the beginning the quiet had been comforting to Myra, something that was a type of sanctuary from the regular noise. Now it’s just a curse. She misses the loud noises of the Boston, Massachusetts and her college campus, Boston University.
Back then, when there still was a sun, Myra a had found it critical to go somewhere close to home so she could take care of her mother. If it had been up to her she wouldn’t have gone to college but her mother insisted and Myra found it hard to tell her mother no. So she went to Boston University.
Now, six years later, that all seems like a distant dream. Something Myra wishes that she wouldn’t have had to wake up from because now there’s only this hell that surrounds her with nothing but darkness. Myra had long since given up on getting people to stay with her. They had all either gone mad or died so after the first few months she decided to start traveling by herself once in became evident that she could no long stay in Boston. She heard about their being a type of safe haven in San Jose, California.
In the past few years she had been to a hand full of other safe havens. Some of them worked out for a few months and a few worked out for a year or too. All of them leading her across the United States. About two days ago she had left one in Wichita, Kansas. It had worked out for a month or so before things started to go wrong. The electricity started to die and food shortages started to happen so Myra got out before chaos broke loose. She’d left without saying a word and got on the nearest highway that would lead her to Colorado.
From the passing signs she could tell that she is closing in on Colorado.
It won’t be too much longer now. Myra thought as she pointed her dimming flashlight beam on a sign. It read:
Myra sighs before shinning the flashlight over the obstacle course of cars set out before her. I’ll walk for another hour and call it a night. She said and chuckled to herself before whispering,
“Old habits die hard.”
An hour later Myra stands among the crowd of decaying cars looking for a decent one that she could camp out it. Anything would be better than camping out in the open. All of them are almost completely totaled so she eventually just settle on one that’s closer to the side. Tossing her bag on the dirt riddled floor she slides into the sad excuse for a vehicle, spreading out and lying on her back. Despite it’s look the seats were still comfortable. A sigh escapes past Myra’s lips as her muscles start to relax from a long days hike.
Her eyes travel to the dark sky that lays beyond the broken and cracked glass of the cars back windshield. When the sun vanished, the moon thankfully didn’t and neither did the stars. The dim glow of the moon washes over everything bathing it in a grey kind of glow. It’s not enough to really make anything visible but it is enough to make it somewhat beautiful. Closing her eyes, Myra smiles a bit and turns on her side, away from the broken window and falls asleep.
Jared Tolkin kicks the empty soda can out of anger. He's been wandering around the city for days now trying to find anything that would aid him in his trip. So far he's found nothing that would be of any use. Everything's been taken, even the crumbs of food.
"There should be something!" Jared hissed angrily, kicking the can once again. This time it finds its way into a run down building completely abandoned and no doubt picked clean. He listens as the cans metal sound penetrates the silence of the night. It's a silence that he's lived with for his whole life. This silence is not the same as the old one however. This silence is comforting, reassuring, and something he's spent forever trying to find.
Many people seem to find the sun vanishing a curse. Some may call it gods wrath. Jared calls it a miracle. A gift that was given to him.
Jared peaks through the broken window his can had flown through. It seems to be empty but he can't be so sure. The insanes could be anywhere. The people who went mad after losing the sun for so long. The ones who had to "cope" in a different way from some.
After a long moment of waiting Jared hops through the window careful not to cut himself on any of the glass below the window. It crunches under his brown leather boots and breaks the silence once again. Nothing seems to stir in the dead of the night however.
Shoving his hands into his leather coat pockets, he pushes further into, what he now recognizes, a convenient store. The shelves, like he thought, are already picked clean. Some of the stands are knocked over and lying on the filthy floor. The cigarette case behind the check out counter are gone. The glass is smashed and strewn about on the dirt riddled floor. Jaden clicks his tongue in anger at this. Even though he knew that this place would be empty it still pisses him off that he's right.
Jaden turns around to walk to the back of the store when he hears something off to his right. He drops to a crouch and hides behinds the checkout counter, listening. It's quiet for a few minutes but then there's noise again. For a moment Jaden thinks that it's just an animal but when it starts screaming he knows it's an insane.
His heart starts beating in his chest and the blood runs faster in his veins. Sweat forms on his brow and he hugs closer to the counter. He listens as the person walks around the empty store obviously looking for something. They're breathing heavily.
Jaden slowly pushes himself up and looks over the counter to find where they're at. If they're on the other side of the store maybe he could sneak out. Jadens eyes land on the figure a few feet away from him.
They're male, it's obvious from the build. His clothes are torn and filthy. The stench almost makes him gag. His stomach turns over and he watches as the guy pushes a stand over and onto its side. He turns around and Jaden ducks lower, hiding further behind the counter. The mans face is completely scarred and covered with what looks like dirt, but Jaden suspects it's something else.As if sensing something the man starts walking towards the counter and Jared ducks back down,hugging himself closer to the counter if at all possible. He barely breathes, trying his best to make no noise at all. The mans feet crunch on the glass under foot as he comes around the counter. Jaffna heart stops altogether and so does his breathing. The man is standing only inches away.
The man looks around before turning toward Jaden. Before the man can take a step towards Jaden there's a noise by the window catching the insanes attention. There's a curse and then the sound of someone running. The insane follows after them leaving Jaden alone in the store.
He wastes no time getting out of there and heading a different way from the chase.
That was too close a call.
Jaden thought as he looks out the door, making sure the coast is clear. When he doesn't see anything he leaves and heads down an alley way to keep hidden. He doesn't need a repeat.
Jaden keeps to the shadows as he moves, doing his best to keep quiet. He walks until the moon disappears from the sky before getting into a car to sleep. The batteries for his flash light had died and there's no way he's going to just walk around blindly until the moon comes back.
Jaden yawns as he lays back on the seat. He'd been walking for a while before his flashlight had given out and then some more just to find batteries.
"Time for a good rest." Jared muttered as he moves his hands behind his head and closes his eyes.
Just as he's about to fall asleep he hears feet pounding on the ground, running toward him. He's wide awake now and staring at the ceiling of the car not moving a muscle. When the running stops in front of the car he stops breathing altogether and when the door to the front seat opens his heart seems to stop.
Slowly he looks towards the front of the vehicle but he can't make out their features. He can't tell if they're an insane or not. They sink down in the front seat, cursing silently the whole time.
Okay, not an insane.
Jared thought as he continues to watch them. They're looking out the wind shield and in a few seconds he knows why. An insane runs past the car. As soon as it's footsteps die away the person visibly relaxes.
"Oh thank god." They say. Their voice is feminine and has Jareds heart pick up a pace. It does something to him, the way it seems to run over his skin like silk. Without thinking he sits up and the seat groans alerting her to his presence. She quickly turns and looks back. The second their eyes lock she screams.