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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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  • Rachel Anderson said...

    I got some good chills from this - I loved it. I smiled at the end but I'm not even sure why. Alice seems like my kind of person, though. She's calm while everyone else is freakin out.
    That Stephen King comparison is no joke :P

    By the way ... this might spoil the mystery effect but ... what *did* happen there? Did the sun just ... burn out or something?

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Drew Ewing said...

    Brilliant! I have been reading a great deal of Ray Bradbury recently (RIP Mr. Bradbury) and this has such a similar tone and pace to it and especially the subject matter. I am impressed how you wove such an interesting idea in so few words. I think there could be a lot more to this, and keeping it still in the flash fiction category. I hope you add to it and share.

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Barbara Storey said...

    A very interesting beginning - I hope! This is a compelling scene, I want to know what happened, and I want to know why Alice is so calm! What does she know?

    • Posted 4 years ago
  • Metta H said...

    I really liked the description. I'd love to know more; what happens next?

    • Posted 4 years ago