In The Air Tonight
They were smart, those monsters. You don’t need to give them credit for anything else, but you should at least admit that they were smart. They knew that if you’re going to end the world, you should do it at night. During the day, people are awake and moving around and panic whips up quickly. Now, if panic is what you’re interested in, then by all means do whatever you’re going to do during the day. If you simply want to End Things, though, you do it at night. People are asleep or winding down their days. They aren’t watching TV or talking to others or on the Internet – most of them, anyway – and they are not tuned in to the world at large.
That’s what those bastards knew. They knew that the quiet of night was the perfect time to release their perfect weapon.
It started slow at first, as most ends do. Whispers on social media about coughing up blood. It was sparse and didn’t cause much of a to-do. Sometimes food goes bad. That’s something that can happen with food poisoning, right? Nobody noticed. Nobody listened. Nobody cared. Even when night joggers started talking about a weird, tangy mist in the air, nobody cared. Who would listen to people who choose to run at night, after all?
Most, though, simply didn’t see what was going on. People were asleep. They were nestled in their beds and resting up for the days to come. They had no need to be online or browsing through Twitter or whatever else. They were taking their respite from the day and were happily snoozing.
That meant, though, that those who managed to wake up at some point awoke to a planet that they would never recognize again. As they slept, dead to the world, the world died around them. Those that did not have proper sealing of their windows would die quickly from the release of the poison into their homes. Some never woke up and they were lucky. Those that did often opened their curtains and saw a thick haze surrounding everything, too dense to see through. It was curious but not particularly threatening. Fog happened all the time, after all.
It was only when they turned on the news and saw the reports of mass deaths across the world that concern blossomed into panic. People couldn’t go anywhere, so they were stuck indoors, calling and texting and messaging those they cared about. Some answered. Some didn’t. Some couldn’t.
It ultimately didn’t matter, though. It was too late for any of them. Too late for all of them. As they slept, the poison released into the air and consumed the world in blood and agony. One by one, everyone dropped, whether it was immediately or over a period of days. Once a person coughed, it was only a matter of time. There was no cure. There was no time for a cure. No time for hope.
They were smart, those monsters.
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Here is where I''ll post random stories that aren't, as of yet, in a larger book. Call it a free ride into the mouth of madness, yo.