Strange feelings abide on this day of golden hues. You awake refreshed; a deep, long slumber has rejuvenated you and your eyes open effortlessly, ready to face the day. A cool breeze sighs in through your open first-floor window, bringing with it the first hints that summer will soon be here, and a slow, content smile begins to spread easily on your face.
And yet despite all that you can tell that something’s wrong. You raise yourself up and drop your legs off the side of the bed. Suddenly drained of the wholesome energy that had so wonderfully imbued you moments ago, you place your hands upon your knees as your brow furrows and your shoulders instinctively rise up in protection.
The exact nature of the threat eludes you, but like the flicker of a shadow beneath the waves there is no mistaking the presence of a silently malevolent force. Something has come. Maybe for you, maybe for everyone, but either way it is here. It is here, and something must be done.
But can anything be done?
You realise that while you were paralysed with thought, the gently sighing breeze coming through your window has slowly risen in strength. Knocked from their rightful perches, assorted knick-knacks now litter the floor, mingling with the leaves brought in by the wind.
‘Leaves?’ you think, incredulously. Spring is turning into summer, there shouldn’t be any displaced leaves. This wind isn’t strong enough for that. You move quickly to shut the window, but your hands freeze as you catch your first glimpse of the world outside.
A surreal landscape of horror greets you. While on the horizon a crisp and clear blue persists, the sky directly above your house has turned a deep, cloudless black. Only a few hundred meters away summer still reigns, but all around you an exclusion zone of some sort has sprung up. The trees nearest to you have shed their leaves and have shriveled to sickened saplings. The grass has fled, leaving behind a cracked, dry earth.
Mouth dry and eyes unable to blink, you stagger backwards, catching yourself on the bed. ‘This is it,’ you realise with abject terror, ‘I knew this day would come.’
Looking around wildly your eyes alight on the wardrobe. There’s a mirror on the inside of that door, you remember. You lurch towards it as a soft whine begins to permeate the air. Hand reaching for the handle, the smell of sulphur and gasoline suddenly assaults your senses and you recoil. But you steel yourself. Your hand grasps the handle and you swing the door outwards, revealing the truth in the reflective surface.
A screaming swallows the Earth.