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Just Gone

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My best friend Cane didn’t show up for school. Looking around the classroom I noticed that there did seem to be a few more empty desks than usual. Maybe there was something going around. I decided to call Cane after school to see what was up.

I shot up immediately after hearing the bell, and if I hadn’t been so excited to get home and play my new video game I might have paid more attention to the fact that the halls felt a little bare, and the parking lot seemed to have a few less cars.

As I walked in my front door I completely forgot about my plan to call Cane, and headed straight for my videogames. I played until about eight o’clock before I decided that my mother was obviously working late, and that I would have to make myself something for dinner. So I heated up some leftovers, and as I watched my plate of spaghetti spin around, and as I listened to the low hum of the microwave, I thought again about Cane, and remembered that I meant to call him. I pulled out my phone, found him in my contacts, and hit call. By about the fourth ring I realized he was probably not gonna answer, and I started to get worried. I hung up when I heard the beep of the answering machine, and before I could come up with a reason as to why he wouldn’t answer I heard the beep of the microwave.

Laying in bed that night I thought about Cane, and why he wouldn’t come to school or answer his phone, but mostly I thought about my videogame, and how much I didn’t wanna get up for school tomorrow. I heard the front door open, and the familiar sound of my mother's keys being tossed on the table. I rolled over, and slowly drifted off to sleep.

I woke up the next morning to the sound of my alarm going off. My mother opened the door and told me to get up. I got ready for school, and as I left the house I waved to my mom who was getting in the car to leave for work.

The short walk to school was just as uneventful as usual, but when I turned the corner, and the school came into view I was taken aback to see how few cars were in the parking lot. After walking through the halls, and sitting at my desk, I would guess that there was less than half the amount of people here as any other day. Cane wasn’t there again, even a few of the teachers were gone, and I overheard some students say that the principal didn’t show up either. I was too socially awkward to ask anyone about it, so I spent the rest of the day listening in on people’s conversations. Many kids knew people that had gone missing. One kid in my biology class even had a big sister who never came home the night before. No one saw or heard anything, they were just gone.

I walked home that day utterly confused, and somewhat terrified. When I got home I called Cane again, but got the same result as last time. I turned on my game, and tried not to worry too much about what was going on. After a few hours I heard the door open, and my mom's keys being tossed on the table. I jumped out of my chair, so excited to have someone to talk to about all this, someone who likely knew a lot more about it than I did. She told me about how most people didn’t show up for work, and that the news was saying that people had been going missing all over. We turned it on and it was all they were talking about. We watched for about an hour, but decided to turn it off, and get our minds on other things. We had dinner, and watched a movie. Before we went to bed she told me to keep in contact tomorrow.

I found it very hard to sleep that night. I worried that more people would be gone tomorrow. I worried that my mom would be gone. I worried that I would be gone. I wondered what happened to all those people. I wondered what happened to Cane. I finally fell asleep around three AM.

The next morning I woke up to my alarm. I laid in bed waiting for my mom to open the door, and tell me to get up. I waited for what felt like an hour but she didn’t come. I sat up in bed, and thought that she must have gone to work early. I rushed to the living room, and looked out the window. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that her car was not in the driveway. For a moment I felt so relieved. I felt silly for being so stressed out. I sat down with a smile on my face before it started to sink in again that so many people had gone missing, maybe I was right to be stressed.

I got ready, and headed out the door. The short walk to school seemed a lot longer today. I stared at the ground the whole time worried about what I would see when I turned the corner, and I was stopped dead in my tracks when I did. The parking lot was completely empty. I looked around. There was not a single car on the road. I stood there dumbfounded hoping that a car would come into view any second now, hoping that they called off school on account of all the missing people. I pulled out my phone, and called my mom. I tuned around, and started walking home. By the third ring I started to get really worried, and when it got to her voicemail I was stopped dead in my tracks again. I didn’t know what to do. I called her again, and again, and when there was no answer the fourth time my arm that was holding the phone to my ear went limp, and fell to my side. I stood there for a few moments in a daze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t even know what to think. Suddenly I snapped out of it, and started to run home, never stopping to think what I was going to do when I got there.

I ran as fast as I could, and was praying that my mom's car would be in the drive, and when it wasn’t I ran faster. I stormed through the front door, and slammed it behind me. I paced around the living room, and slowly began to realize that I had no idea why I was in such a hurry to get back. I stopped in the middle of the room, and tried to calm myself. I looked at my phone that was still in my hand, and called my mom one more time. When there was no answer I sighed, sat down on the couch, and dialed 911. When there was no answer there I stood up, and threw my phone as hard as I could. I fell back on the couch, and started to cry.

For the first few days I spent my time trying to find anyone who was still around. I borrowed a bike from one of my neighbors, and rode around town looking for people. I noticed on the third day that not only were there no people, but there were no birds in the sky, there were no squirrels in the trees, there were no bugs on the ground. The silence was eerie. All day, and night the only sound I heard was the wind blowing through the leaves.

I had fantasized once or twice before about being the last person on earth. I could go anywhere, or do anything. I hadn’t thought about the nights I would spend alone crying, not knowing where my family was. As the weeks, and months went by I started to do things that kept my mind off the crappiness of the situation. I went to Walmart, and picked out whatever I wanted. I got the best games. I got the best movies. I could eat whatever I wanted. I even broke into a car, and tried driving a few times. I broke into the nicest house I could find and stayed in the nicest bedroom.

After a few years I had built a fairly comfortable life for myself. I was no longer scared about what all this meant. I still cried sometimes at night wondering about what happened to all my loved ones, but for the most part I just tried to have fun. I feel strange admitting this, but they were some of the best years of my life. The world was my playground. I did whatever I wanted.

Most days I was content to sit in my room, playing games, and watching movies, but one day it started to rain, and on days like those I loved to go for long walks. I put a towel, and some clothes on my porch for when I got back and walked out into the rain. I loved the way that the storm made everything grey, and wet. Everything just looked prettier in the rain. I liked getting wet myself, but most of all I loved the smell. As I walked, my mind slowly drifted from the sights, and smells, and I thought about how I wished for this once. Even in passing, how could I have thought that this would be a good life? I loved the freedom that I had, but I would give it up in a second just to have someone to talk to.

That’s when it happened. Something that hasn’t happened since this whole thing started. I heard a noise. Something other than the wind, and the rain. It was a loud crash coming from one of the houses that I was walking past. I stopped, and stared at the house. A feeling of uncertainty washed over me. For the first time in a long time I began to feel confused, and scared. I slowly took my first few steps toward the house. As I got closer, and closer I could see that the door was slightly ajar. Each step was harder and harder to take as I became more and more terrified. I reached the door, and peeked inside. All I could see was the wall, and the tile on the floor, so with all the courage I could muster I pushed the door open, and stepped inside.

I looked into the living room, and could see that the TV had fallen over, and broken, but what caused it? I stepped inside and looked down at the TV. My eyes slowly scanned the room, and when they made their way through the doorway, and into the kitchen there it was. A cat. It was just sitting there. I could see its body from the side but its head was facing away from me looking into the kitchen. It was grey with a white underbelly. I was stunned, and confused, but also somewhat excited to see another living breathing thing. I walked towards it, and called to it, but it just sat there. I begin to feel very uneasy. Why is there suddenly something else here? Why would it not acknowledge the fact that I was here? I squatted down, and reached out to it. Its head jerked around to face me so fast that it seemed instantaneous. I fell back on my ass. It had green glowing eyes. I sat there in shock with chills going through my entire body. It just looked at me for a few moments until its mouth started to move, and it began to speak in a deep, eerie, commanding voice.

"Feed me human."

I stood up, and started running in one motion. Before I even knew what to think I was out of the house, and running down the street. I ran as fast as I could through the rain, and when I got home I ran past the towel I had left for myself into the house, and locked the door. I ran up stairs to my room, and locked that door. I locked my windows and stood in the middle of the room panting. My heart was pounding so fast that I felt like I might die. Eventually I started to catch my breath, and calm down. I paced around my room not knowing what to even think, let alone what to do. I sat down, looked at my door, and listened for any sounds coming from the other side. After an hour or so I turned on some music to try to calm down, and about an hour after that I put on a movie. I spent the rest of the night watching movies all the while paying more attention to my bedroom door. I finally went to bed around one in the morning, and fell asleep around three.

That night I dreamt that I was laying on that living room floor unable to move with the broken TV by my head, and the cat by my feet. I looked down at it. Its glowing eyes stared at me from between my feet. It said to me once more in that otherworldly voice.

"Feed me human."

It began to slowly open its mouth wider, and wider until its mouth reached unnatural proportions, and even then it kept growing. It began to put my feet into its mouth. I started to scream. It bit down around my ankles. The pain was worse than anything I’d ever felt. It opened its mouth again, and started working its way up my legs. The more of me it consumed, the larger it became. I screamed so loud, and so hard I felt that my head might explode. The creature was twice the size of me by the time it got to my waist, and when it did it stopped. It just looked up at me with those now massive glowing green eyes, and watched me scream. It opened its mouth once more so wide that I knew that this would be the last bite it needed to consume me completely. The roof of its mouth hung over me. I laid there screaming, waiting to die, and with that the creature bit down.

I woke up in my bed sweating, and panting. I could see through the window that the sun had come up on another rainy day. I put my hand on my chest, and tried to calm myself. I was so glad that the nightmare was over. I slowly began to breath normally. I could feel my racing heart start to slow down. I dropped my hand to my side and let out a big sigh of relief. I laid there for a moment staring up at the ceiling so happy to be home in bed. I rolled over, and on my desk staring at me were two green glowing eyes. I tried to sit up, but found that I could not move. The cat jumped on to my chair. I began to beg for my life. It jumped onto my bed near my feet. I pleaded with it not to eat me. It just looked up at me with those glowing eyes and said once more.

"Feed me human."

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