The world did not end in a bang, or a whisper, but rather, one scream at a time.
Its chilling sound rattled me from my sleep. I hadn’t even realized I had closed my eyes.
Had it been a scream? It had to have been? My thoughts stumbled around in a foggy confusion.
It had been so long since I had heard the sound of another human being. The quiet now residing where the chaos of the early days had filled the air nonstop with the scream after scream of a life being extinguished.
The warehouse below my perch remained mostly in shadow, the sunlight barely filtering through its broken windows. I held my breath and watched the shadows hoping they would remain stagnant.
When I had come upon the warehouse the previous night, it appeared to be an ideal place to become just one of the shadows. But now with a scream so close, I wondered if I had stumbled into the wrong place.
The scream could have echoed from farther off. A thought attempted to console me.
Followed by another one with a differing opinion: Is staying put a good plan?
My thoughts had fractured quite quickly from the getgo of the purge, but I hadn’t been too shocked by it as hours upon hours of screaming while trying to survive would make any person lose what little sanity they had to begin with. I made myself believe this fracturing was why I had survived thus far.
But a fresh scream brought them all out to collide with one another. The synapses in my brain firing wildly, my one arm pulsating to lift myself from where I sat aloft while my legs felt itchy demanding we remain frozen.
Before I could override any of my thoughts the screeching of metal upon metal quieted every nerve in my body. My lungs shrivelled, halting my ability to breathe.
The metal movement stirred the shadows below me and all I could do was wait. Hope wildly beating in my heart that whoever made the screeching sound was someone just like me.
A door had been opened, the sun illuminating a rectangle upon the floor. My thoughts remained deadly silent as a silhouette etched itself within the light, like someone stepping onto a yellow carpet.
A shadow could be anything, anyone. But it was the loping gate it made forward which brought my nightmares to life.
My thoughts no longer remained silent they pinged off of one another within the blackness of my mind, a sudden consensus between them:
What will it do when it finds out?
Can it kill you if you can’t scream?