As I looked out my bedroom window I saw the garden of flowers covered in the dew of the early morning, just now beginning to bloom in the soft warm glow of the morning sun, their buds slowly opening as if they were stretching to wake up and welcome the morning sun and begin their day. As happened most early spring mornings the sun rising over just below the horizon caused a light pink-orange hue to be cast, foreshadowing its arrival. As I looked up into the sky to see the transition from light to dark I noticed that there was not a single cloud to be seen, which meant it was going to be pretty cool outside today. I didn’t mind that at all, I liked the colder weather. I could always choose to put more clothes on, but well one can only take off so much with it still being legal of course.

I waited until the warmth of the first ray of sunlight danced across my face like a little fairy running from my chin, up over my lips, climbed up my nose and sprinted toward the top of my head. A triathlon if you will, for the tiny little light particles that my body interpreted as warmth. I got ready for the day, a day just like any other.

“Would you like to make that a large today for 20 cents more?” I asked the customer in as chipper and happy of a voice that I could. The sound of line cooks shouting, the sandwich builders scraping wax paper and cardboard together, with the tired old soundtracks playing in the background it was a miracle that I was able to hear myself think, I only worried that the customer wouldn’t be able to hear me. I worked the early morning shift at McDonalds, I had to pay for college somehow right? After giving the customer her ticket I called the next customer up into the line. “Hello, what can I make for you today?”, again, chipper and cheerful voice. This is how my day went, day after day for the last 2 years. I didn’t have the availability to be a shift leader or manager thanks to my classes getting in the way of that.

I was finishing up, counting down my till for the night when I noticed something strange in the penny cup. It was a small microSD card. 32GB in capacity. I thought maybe one of the customers had accidently handed it to me when they were paying for their food, that it was in their pocket and maybe didn’t realize it was there? It was the only logical explanation. I contemplated turning it into my shift manager, but when I heard her coming down the hall I put it in my pocket and continued counting things down.

When I got home, I had an adapter for these little things that came with my laptop. I hoped there was no virus on it, or worse. I plugged it into the adapter and stuffed it into the slot. Watching as the AV software scanned the device for viruses. It found none. A little window popped up that had a general generic name for the manufacturer listed on it. Exactly 330 pictures on it. The folder they were in was named “After Sunset”. They were just ordinary pictures, a family vacation at Disneyworld. The pictures just looked like someone had the exposure setting too low since all of the scenery looked a little darker than it should be. Disappointed by the lack of anything controversial or even illegal I slumped down in my chair and crossed my arms over my chest. I unplugged the SD card and put it into letter envelope and taped it shut so as to not lose the small piece of plastic.

I booted up WoW and logged in, I play a level 100 Discipline Priest. The server was pretty busy at this time of night. I looked outside, the sky was clear and the moon was full in the sky. It was about 10 at night and everyone was getting ready for the raid that was supposed to go down around 1030. I logged into TeamSpeak, disabled my microphone so as to not accidentally say something and get in trouble since I’m not the raid leader and there is a very strict guild policy on that sort of thing after a certain Leroy a few years back. I crafted some potions, made some enchantments for some newbies gear and talked in guild chat for a while up until it was time to get good to go.

The raid progressed normally, boss after boss went down. We were well oiled when it came to taking these things down and had this one on farm status. That didn’t mean though that it didn’t take hours to finish, with bio breaks and the various swap outs from people dropping due to, well literally dropping to sleep at the keyboard. It happened from time to time, but never was someone booted from the guild for it, just had to pay penance of some form or another, usually over TeamSpeak in the form of song.

I took some time to go outside and get some fresh air, and to stretch my legs. The glow of the moon was gentle on the features of the area around my apartment. I looked up at it and smiled before heading back inside. I noticed it got darker as I did, but figured that some clouds rolled in, it was after all supposed to be overcast tomorrow.

My alarm went off sometime during the middle of a boss fight, I looked down at my phone, the glowing display said that it was 0600. I thought that couldn’t be right, my view has me facing directly toward the east facing window, the sun normally came up around 0400 around this time of year. Perhaps it’s just cloudy outside or something, my blinds were closed and the curtains over it and I didn’t exactly have time to get up and go investigate something so trivial, well what I thought to be trivial at the time.

The raid ended abruptly with the guild leader saying “Hey guys, is it just me or is the sun late?” there was a collective silence as everyone was still globally muted, and then everyone was unmuted. “Yeah, it’s like 9 in the morning here should be well up by now.” My skin crawled, I’m sure everyone else was having the same reaction. People were just starting to wake up over here, but the guild leader was on the east coast, so he was three hours ahead and people were supposed to be at work by now.

I felt my stomach jump into my throat, my skin crawled with my hairs standing on end, that same feeling you get as if someone were watching you, staring into the back of your head. I looked down at my phone and noticed that Facebook was starting to blow up with notifications about comments, and I swiveled around in my chair quickly turning on the TV and looking for a news channel. I didn’t have to.

Every channel had the same news story on, I had just tuned in to watch a home video that was uploaded to YouTube of a family laughing and playing while on vacation at Disneyworld, it was the early part of the day and they had just gotten into the park, I realized with dread that I recognized the family. I was just about to protest the possibility, then it was black, I thought the video went dead from the water damage maybe, but audio was working and the camera seemed to adjust to the low light as best it could. The camera then tilted up, to where the sun was, and should be but wasn’t. Instead all you could see was darkness, a cold lonely and bone chilling void filled with stars that were otherwise obscured by the bright city lights or the sun itself. It would have been beautiful under different circumstances.

The video turned back to the newscaster who was shaking and trembling from what I assumed to be fear as he tried to maintain some sense of professionalism as he spoke, “No more Sunrise….” Then the power went out. - FragileVestibule