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Jessica Sepple, 15 Jul '12

        On Sunday, August 7th, the sun didn't rise.
        
        All the people on Alice's street rose with their alarm clocks. They woke without the glint of sunlight peering through their curtains and the panic of their neighbors as they looked outside. The stars were gone and the moon had long slipped away. They stood on their tiny porches outside of their lit up houses and looked up at the dark sky. The stars may have been farther than any of them could have imagined but they had seemed so close. Now they all saw the distance. For a silent second they all stared out into the expanse of empty space and felt small.
        
        A scream broke through down the block. Poor Mrs. Hanover gripped at her pig patterned night gown and sobbed. Edward Pilpart's night cap was flung off of his head as he fell to his knees and prayed. Lila Carn stood frozen in front of her doorway and didn't notice her husband try to drag her back into the house. Mr. Gale made strangled nonsense noises and gaped at the sky in his bright red underwear. It was almost nine o'clock in the morning and artificial light seeped out of their homes and faded into the strange night.
        
        Some families grabbed their children and crowded around their televisions, desperate for answers. Others turned to their spouses and tried to offer reasonable explanations.
        
        "Must be an eclipse. I think I heard something on the news last night-"
        
        "It's those NASA people. They're not far from here, you know? Could be some satellite or something-"
        
        Others clung to their religious texts and chanted comforts to themselves. Families loaded up their cars with clothes and pets and drove off.
        
        Alice calmly eyed her neighbors from the swing on her porch and continued with her knitting. Every few minutes she'd lick her wrinkled thumb and expertly flick the page of the magazine that rested on her lap. She stayed on her swing until the sun should have been hanging directly over head and all of her neighbors had driven away or hidden in their houses.
        
        She swung herself for a few moments more and finished the last row on her blanket. In the light of her living room that pooled out through lacy curtains, she collected up her needles and yarn. She shuffled inside and flicked off her lights.

Comments · 14

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  • Jessica Sepple said...

    I would love any feed back or constructive criticism. Spelling is a definite weak point of mine, so if you notice something I have overlooked, I would appreciate the correction. I hope you enjoyed it and that it was worth your moment. Thank you! :)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Welcome to Burrst @Jessica Sepple. I loved your debut. The playful way you describe the various inhabitants of the street was a joy to read. I have my fingers crossed that it might be the opening to something longer?

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jennifer Jaques said...

    @Jessica Sepple I really enjoyed reading this. It was extremely engaging and had that apocalyptic feel which reminded me a little bit of 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King. Very powerful!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    This was great! From the very first line I was hooked. It was very realistic, you could imagine those strange neighbours in any estate in the UK. Alice is creepy in her calmness and it makes me wonder if she knows more than we do... Very intriguing, I hope to find out more!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Rosalind Smith-Nazilli said...

    I agree with JC above.. Alice has seen this before.. she knows what is going on.. Loved the guy in the red underwear and I can't say I noticed any mistakes as you mentioned.

    Nice pıece..x

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Deb Howell said...

    Very intriguing. I'm wondering what happened to the sun. But not just the sun: how have the stars also disappeared? Hmm ... some sort of biodome? Most bizarre. Just where do the people think they can drive to, anyway? (yet people do, don't they?)
    I don't mind un-answered questions in a short story, but I wouldn't complain if you had more to share.

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    Although JC pictures this as an estate in the UK, I could only see it as a suburban area or small town in the US - the mention of NASA, and Alice with a swing on her porch, plus it all seemed like the start of a sci-fi film, most of which are set in the US! I enjoyed the story due to the mysterious idea and the quality of your writing - liked!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Jessica Sepple said...

    Thank you all so much! Those are some pretty high compliments! (I mean, jeez! a comparison to Stephen King? Wow!)
    Thank you for your time and feed back!

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Charlotte Buchanan said...

    well-written and engaging but I confess I was disappointed by the lack of conclusion or twist. Genuine question: how did the end come to be as it is? Thanks in advance. :-)

    • Posted 5 years ago
  • Angela Watt said...

    I absolutely love this and in contrast to the reader above I think the ending is wonderful. I love the fact that despite the neighbours' reactions, Alice just continues knitting almost with an understanding that there is nothing she can do other than carry on as normal. Can't wait to read more of your work.

    • Posted 5 years ago