““Sky,” I whispered. Whenever someone would yell, Sky would cover her ears and scrunch her eyes and dance around in a circle until they stopped. And with everything that was going on, I was not in the mood for one of her tantrums. But if I had known I would never hear her yell again, I would have done it in a heartbeat.”
It was Friday, May 13th, 2017. The day the moon fell.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Something seemed different. Not better, not worse, just different, quieter. And I didn’t know why. I wouldn’t know why until later, much later.
I got up out of bed and got dressed. That’s when I realized it was darker than it usually was at 6:00 in the morning. There was a strip of light beaming across the corner of my room. It was bright and shaped like a banana and looked like I could jump into it and fall into a pit of nothing.
I put on my NASA t-shirt and some jeans. It was time to start my day or, little did I know, my night.
I went downstairs and sat down at the kitchen table. Normally, Mom makes breakfast for my younger sister and me, but that day she wasn’t downstairs. My sister, Sky, wasn’t up either. Neither was Dad.
I suddenly got really confused, why was no one awake? Did their alarms not go off? Or maybe mine went off early? I looked at the grandfather clock we had in the corner of our dining room. Nope, it was definitely 6:00. Something was wrong.
I went back upstairs and knocked on my parents’ bedroom door. No answer. I slowly turned the knob and crept in, being sure not to make any of the floorboards creak.
My parents were still asleep, but my Mom’s phone alarm wasn’t going off, almost as if she had turned it off. But my mother’s never done that, my mother never will do that. What was going on? I tiptoed over to the bed, once again being sure not to make any noise. That’s when I looked over to where my dad usually sleeps, but nothing was there. My dad was gone.
I started to panic. Maybe he had something to do with the fact that my mom’s alarm never went off. Or why it was so dark outside. No, he couldn’t have done that. Only fairies and wizards and demons do that. And everybody knows, fairies, wizards, and demons don’t exist. Little did I know, I was wrong, very wrong.
“Mom! Mom, wake up!” I yelled as I shook my mother left and right. She was definitely alive, her pulse was racing as if she was really scared. But she was asleep.
“Please, Dad’s in trouble!” She didn’t move a muscle. My mother was normally a really light sleeper. Maybe she was really tired, I thought. Maybe she got home late last night or something. No, no, something was definitely wrong.
I ran into Sky’s room and saw her asleep in her toddler-bed we put together a few weeks ago. She loved that thing.
“Sky,” I whispered. Whenever someone would yell, Sky would cover her ears and scrunch her eyes and dance around in a circle until they stopped. And with everything that was going on, I was not in the mood for one of her tantrums. But if I had known I would never hear her yell again, I would have done it in a heartbeat.
“Sky, wake up!” I said again, this time a little louder. “Please, Sky, you’re the only one left!”
I started to panic even more. My mother and sister weren’t awake, my dad was nowhere to be found, and for some reason everything had changed.
I looked back at the clock. I read somewhere that if you think you are dreaming and you look at a clock twice, the clock time should have significantly changed. But no, it was still 6:00 am. It never crossed my mind that it was still 6:00 am.
I looked around a little, trying to find something, anything, that could help me out a little. Even a spider would have been nice. But no, all the spiders that hung out in my sister’s room were standing still next to their webs.
I finally decided to look outside, hoping someone or something was there that could explain everything. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.
Cats were stopped short. Drunk college kids were standing in the middle of the sidewalk, and a plane was still in the sky. The moon was the only thing that looked normal, twinkling as it usually did, and slowly moving west. The sun hadn’t come up yet. No wonder it was so dark.
I turned away from the window and ran back downstairs, not knowing what to do next. Maybe I could run to the neighbors’ house like my parents always taught me to do “if there was ever to be an emergency.” I was pretty sure this counted as an emergency.
I turned the doorknob to go outside, half expecting it to be bright and sunny, the flowers to be blooming, and the birds to be chirping. Little did I know, I would never see a flower bloom or a bird chirp again. But, like I guessed, it was still dark and all the flowers were doing was standing stick-straight up.
I ran outside and pounded on my neighbors’ door, getting more and more worried. What if no one answered? What if it was just me? Maybe I was going crazy? Maybe I had died and this was the afterlife? I asked myself these questions every time I knocked on another neighbor’s door, just trying to get some answers. I wish I had known that one of those answers turned out to be true.
Eventually, I got to the end of Pickleberry Lane and had to take a breather. It all seemed so, what’s the word, unreal. Everything was frozen, and not frozen like snowy frozen. Frozen.
I looked up at the moon. You know that feeling? The one where you just need company even though you don’t want anyone to talk to you, but just their presence makes you feel better? It was like that, except with the moon. It gave me comfort. It was the only thing that had stayed the same throughout all this chaos. I wish I had thought about that more, because if I did maybe I wouldn’t be where I am now.
I walked back home in silence. Literal silence. Nothing was making noise, not even the factory on the other side of town that keeps everyone up at night. Not even the crickets or the wind. But I swore I could hear the moon moving. No, that wasn’t possible. Oh, but it was. It definitely was.
Suddenly, somewhere within the silence, I heard a scream. It was faint, but it was there.
“Hello?” the voice screeched. “Anybody? Please?” She had an accent, British, I think. I didn’t know what I should do. Should I yell back? What if, somehow, I was dreaming and I ended up yelling in my sleep? Sky would never let me hear the end of that. It could help, though. And so I yelled back.
“Hello?” I screamed as loud as I could. “You still there?”
“Yes, I’m still here,” the voice said, this time a little softer. “What’s your name?”
Jackson. Jackson was my name. But I thought twice about telling her. I mean, I knew nothing about this person. Maybe she was some sort of creep, trying to kill me? Or maybe she was my unconscious, trying to lead me in the right path.
“Jackson,” I yelled, lifting myself up onto my tip-toes. “What’s yours?”
“I’m Luna,” she yelled. “Do you know what’s going on?”
“No,” I said. “Where are you? Maybe we could meet somewhere?” It would have been nice to finally see another person, even if I didn’t know her.
“Bloomsbury,” she said. “Where should we meet?”
Bloomsbury? I’d never heard of it. Maybe it was in the rich part of town or something. There was nothing that could prepare me for what she was about to say.
“Which part of Massachusetts is Bloomsbury in?” I yelled. “I’m in Cambridge.”
“Massachusetts? Bloomsbury’s in London.”
London? So this girl, Luna, is telling me I’m hearing voices from London?
“How am I hearing you?” I asked.
“They think time has frozen,” Luna said, sounding sad. “They say since all the noise is gone, there isn’t any noise to drown us out.”
“They?” I asked. I was so confused. “Who’s they?”
I wish I had known those would be my last words, because if I did, I would have said literally anything else.
I heard a thump. Luna must have heard it too, because she suddenly went silent.
I looked up and saw the moon coming closer and closer, like it was falling to the ground.
“Jackson?” Luna yelled. “Jackson, I just want you to know…”
And then it went black.
So, if you’re reading this, please, if anything seems out of the ordinary, tell someone. Anyone. Before it’s too late. Or you could end up where I am now, with them.
I put down my pencil and went to sleep.
I woke up in a cold sweat. Something seemed different. Not better, not worse, just different. Quieter. And I didn’t know why. I wouldn’t know why until later, much later.