The petrol gage was in the red; it’d been running on empty for miles. I dodged vehicle pileups, but the car spluttered and then faltered and died. I opened my door and climbed out. The chaos that surrounded me was immense, but none that I wasn’t used to.
I was the only person alive. No birds, no animal, no insects, no people. Overnight everyone and everything had vanished leaving their clothes piled on the floor where they’d stood, it was as if their bodies had simply turned to dust; except there’d been no dust.
I chose a car that seemed the least damaged and pulled out the owner’s clothes. I reached to the well of the car and grabbed hold of his boots; the right was still resting on the accelerator. I tossed them outside and climbed in. I tried the radio, like I did in every car I took, but it was always the same. Nothing. Despair overwhelmed me. Humans were a social species. How’d I cope on my own? Totally on my own. I’d already lived like this for months – years even.
I’d noticed a high rise and headed towards it. I parked neatly and climbed out. The main doors were wedged open with a pile of clothes, and I slipped inside. The lifts still worked perfectly, but soon, with no people manning them, they’d stop. I stepped out at the top, and followed the balcony around, mentally counting the council regimented blue front doors. Behind those doors were once families.
I looked over the top of the balcony. Such a long way down. It called to me. I swung my legs over until I was sitting on the ledge. For the first time since I woke to find myself alone I felt happy.
With a smile, I let go of the ledge. As the ground raced to meet me, I heard a phone ring.