Suddenly... the vault shakes... I hear a loud noise and things are falling off the shelves. Something hits me on the head and the room goes black.
I'm not sure how long I was out. Something is on my legs. I can't move. The room has a faint flashing glow to it. I realize my reader is still glowing. I can see it is flashing "low battery" as I pick it up off the floor, through dusty glasses. My legs break free from their hold and I pick myself up to stand. I'm a little dizzy so I catch my balance and clean my glasses.
"What has happened?" I ask myself.
I turn off my reader and stuff in my pocket. I will have to remember to charge it later. I make my way to the vault door. I can feel something against the door as I push it open. It takes all my strength. Finally it pushes free and opens. A dark smoke fills my lungs. I can't see.
As my sight clears I see a faint gray light across the room and I realize it must be the front door. As I make my way to the light I trip on something on the floor and fall flat on my face and loose my glasses. I grab for them and my hand touches the face of someone. It is my boss!
Oh good I'm not alone. I feel for a pulse. Nothing... he is dead! I am alone. Is anyone alive?
I continue my way to the door, tripping over more coworkers... all dead. A sinking feeling grows in the pit of my stomach. Black dust and debris is all over the place. I clear a small circle of film off the door and peer outside. I'm not ready for what I see. Bodies everywhere! Cautiously I open the door and make my way outside.
Sounds of explosions greet my ears and fires fill my eyes. "The bomb," I quickly realize. And I am the only one left alive! Running from building to building I look for survivors. Lots of bodies, no survivors. I think of my wife. Is she alive? I MUST get home!
On way home I see the bus I normally take to work overturned on the road. Hopeful to see someone alive, I am quickly disappointed when I see the bus driver from this morning lying on the floor of the bus. Blood is all over his face. He must have hit the windshield when the bomb exploded. I turn away, forcing myself NOT to throw up. I must find my wife. I continue towards home.
A grocery store door is open, so I make my way inside to grab some food. I must have been out longer than I thought, my stomach is growling. My hand makes its way to my pocket to grab my wallet when I realize there is no one left to pay! The store is dark. There is no electricity. I fumble in the darkness and grab what I hope is a sandwich. It will have to do for now. I think about my flashing reader. How will I charge it without electricity? There is no time to think about that now. I need to get to my wife.
My stomach full, I continue home. It is silent except for my footsteps and the crackling of the fires. Not even a bird is singing. It is quite disturbing. Most of the buildings have no windows in them. Blown out from the explosion. Every now and then I see another body lying on the ground. "Oh... HOW much farther til I get home," I ask myself?
Finally I reach the familiar steps to my apartment building. It's taken me over an hour to get here and my feet are tired. I am not used to so much walking. The building windows are all broken. A faint breeze blows the curtains through the window panes. My heart is racing as I make my way up the stairs. I don't know what I will find. I still have not seen anyone alive. Not even a faint cry. The door of the building creeks open and I make my way to my apartment. I can barely see up the stairs. I fumble for my keys and unlock the door.
"Dear??? Are you here??? I'm home," I cry. But not a sound answers me. I find her in the kitchen lying on the floor. DEAD! Like the others. All dead. Is ANYONE alive? I carefully lift her to our bed. She is at peace. I lay the covers over her face. Tears fill my eyes. IS ANYONE ALIVE???????????????
"IS ANYONE ALIVE?????????" I yell at the top of my lungs. My voice echoes in the building. It is starting to get dark and I am tired. I will sleep and in the morning I will look for any survivors. I pull the reader from my pocket and connect it to the my charger filled with batteries. I can finish reading my David Copperfield tomorrow. I don't feel like reading tonight.
The sun greets me and I open my eyes. Oh... it wasn't a dream and I AM still alone. There is a beeping sound that lets me know my reader is fully charged. I am happy I can read. David Copperfield takes me away to another place and time. Before I know it I am immersed in his story. I read for hours before my stomach starts growling. There is plenty of food in the house. And I have the grocery store if I run out. I eat a filling meal and decide to look for survivors. I put the reader in my pocket. I will finish my story later.
Up and down the streets I walk, but I don't find anyone alive. The fires have almost all burned out. I barely hear any crackling around me. I start to panic. This is not what I wanted. To be alone. That is NOT what I meant when I thought "I wish they would all just leave me alone to read in silence!" I don't want to be alone forever. I start running down the street yelling...
"Can anybody hear me??? Is anyone alive??? Helloooooooooooooooooooooo???"
I trip and fall to the ground. I land on my reader. I pull it from my pocket. The screen is shattered into a million pieces.
"Noooooooooooooooooooooo,” I cry. "Now I can't even finish my David Copperfield. I can't read ANYTHING. It is broken. I can't be alone forever. Not without my reader. There is no reason to live."
I look around and see a police car up the road. With luck there will be a gun in the car and then I can end this agony. No Reader... No People... No Nothing... I can't live forever like this. The car does have a gun. I pick it up and sit on the ground crying. I put the gun to my head, my hand on the trigger...