I looked down at my watch and took note of the time. It has been three hours since I last saw any inkling of civilization. Even that wasn’t much. It was an old wooden shack that looked like it had been abandoned for years. Beyond that, all I’ve seen is this road, the trees around me, and fog. Everywhere around me is the fog.
It all started when I woke up to the sound of nothing. I frantically threw my covers off when I realized that the power was out and my alarm clock wasn’t alive. I threw on some fresh clothes and went out to the kitchen. None of my roommates were there. This was strange because even if I was late for work today, normally somebody would be home. But, looking down at my watch, I realized I was already an hour late for work so I shrugged it off. I ran down the stairs of my apartment building, not wanting to wait for the elevator. I slammed the door at the bottom of the stairs open and was greeted with a strange sight. Everywhere I looked there was fog. When I was a kid living out in the country this would not have been a peculiar sight at all. But ten years later while standing in the middle of the city, I was concerned.
What was more concerning than the fog was the lack of sounds. As I looked around, I didn’t hear a single soul. Nor did I see any signs of life. All the power was out. No cars were moving. More importantly, I didn’t see anybody. I dropped my shoulders for the first time this morning, no longer feeling tense while worrying about being late for work. But, my heart pounded even faster than before.
I ran to nearby buildings looking for any signs of life. Not a single soul was present in the middle of the city. I peered inside all the cars sitting on the road around my apartment. Nobody. I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket and pressed the unlock button for the first time today. Just like every other electronic device in the city that I had seen, there was no power. I walked into the empty coffee shop across the street and walked behind the counter. I grabbed the phone next to the register and put the receiver to my ear. Not even a dial tone. I tapped the hook switch a couple times to see if a dial tone ever came. Nothing.
I ran back up to my apartment and into my roommate’s room. I searched around his desk and found his car keys sitting inside an old cappuccino mug. Grabbing them, I ran back down the stairs and threw the key into the ignition of his car. Before turning the ignition, I prayed for a brief moment. I turned the ignition. Nothing. Everything in the city was dead. The lights. The phones. The cars. And, I still wasn’t sure about the people. They were just gone. All of them. I took a moment and pinched myself. Nope. This was not a dream.
I went back up to my apartment, this time taking my time, and packed a backpack with supplies for a small trip. I went back downstairs and hopped onto my bicycle. The rest of my family lives about 200 miles away from the city. Without cars, this would be the fastest way to see if they are alive.
That all happened three days ago. Yesterday, a tire popped on my bike while riding it down the highway. Now, I’ve been walking along and eating junk food at gas stations. The entire trip, I’ve been surrounded by a thick blanket of fog. I don’t know where anybody is and I don’t know why all the power is gone. But, I’m sure it has to do with this fog. While sleeping during the first night of my trip, I noticed another detail. I haven’t heard a single bird or cricket chirp. Matter of fact, I have not seen any other wildlife during this entire trip.
Today, I noticed I’m only fifty miles out from seeing my family. At this point though, I’m really doubting if I will ever see them. One of the many questions that keeps running through my head is “why me?” Why am I the only one out here?
After walking for a couple more hours, I sat down to take a quick break. I opened my pack to take inventory. I had a pile of snacks that should last me for the rest of the trip. My water bottle was half full. I’d need to refill at the next exit. The gun that I grabbed out of a police cruiser on the first day was fully loaded, just in case.
Suddenly, I heard something. The first sound I’d heard in days. I looked up from my pack to see the cause. It was futile though. All I saw was the same familiar white wall of fog. I sat for a moment and tried to identify the sound. Footsteps. Yes! I wasn’t the only one out here. I’m not the last man on Earth. I yelled out.
“Hey! Over here!”
The footsteps turned towards me and started to grow louder. I yelled out again to help the other person hone in.
“Over here! You’re not alone!”
Suddenly, alongside the sound of the footsteps came a blood curdling scream. I had never heard anybody yell like that before in my life. I stopped myself from calling out again. The scream wasn’t one of pain. It was pure rage. Like somebody charging into war. The scream echoed through the fog again. It was a man’s scream but it sounded more like a wild animal. Whoever was coming for me was certainly not friendly. I grabbed the gun from my bag and readied myself. I was ready to be the last man on Earth again.