Fiction Friday: [Awake]

I woke up this morning, but no one else did.

The first hour was the toughest because, despite the rise and fall of their chests, I worried that my family was dead. No matter how hard I shook them or screamed their names, neither my parents nor my little brother would wake. I held my mom’s hand and cried for a while.

After gathering some courage, I sprinted downstairs and right out the front door. Running into the middle of the street, I stretched my neck and strained my ears for signs of anyone…anything. I cracked the silence as I ran, screaming at the top of my lungs.

“Hello? Is anyone out here? Anyone?”

All that greeted me was a disheartening vacuum of nothingness. There weren’t even birds singing or leaves rustling. Even the wind had left me all alone.

My voice grew hoarse and I was blocks away from home, barefoot and in my pajamas. I needed to get back. I plodded toward home, dreading the emptiness that would meet me there.

Reaching my block, I stopped mid-stride. It had been faint, but I was sure I’d heard it. It was a struggle to hear anything over the rhythmic pulsing in my ears, but after a moment I convinced myself that it had just been my imagination and continued on.

Just as I was shutting the door, I heard it again. Echoey and distant, it gently pierced its way through the silence. I raced back out into the street, turning in circles, eager to find whoever it was. Then, I heard it again, much clearer this time.

Icy fingers of fear crept up my spine. I grew weak from the excitement draining so quickly and dizzy under the weight of what I’d heard.

My own voice.

“Hello? Is anyone out here? Anyone?”