I was 27 when it first happened. Slowly around the world reports rolled in that mirrors were no longer showing reflections. People laughed at it, in fact I was one of those people. It was the week before April fools day, so people passed it off as pranks. People on social media would post videos of them standing in front of mirrors and there would only be floating clothes and floating cameras. There was no physical person in the mirror, and people passed it off as a hoax. Some people claimed that their reflection faded before it vanished entirely, while some said that it vanished while they were doing make up.
I think it was around Mid-April when there were no reflections left anywhere. Only cameras and water could reflect people. People took to social media quickly. “It was the government!” “It was the aliens!” It was terrorists!” Were some of the first theories, but their ramblings were passed off as even the government struggled to find answers.
The groups that remained quiet? The churches. It was very uncharacteristic, especially since attendance in all churches saw a massive spike. There were whispers in the pews that it was the beginnings of the rapture, or the second coming of Jesus. But again people passed it all off.
It was in May when the stars started to flicker out of existence, with no correlation. Stars from every direction would just disappear like they were being snuffed out. It was barely noticeable for quite a while. But then the bright and close stars began to vanish. People in the suburbs with less light pollution could no longer look up and see the same constellations that had remained constant for billions of years, relatively that is.
Late June left the moon alone in the night sky. No telescope or human eye could detect any light from anywhere. Only the faint glow of planets like Mars and Jupiter and Venus remained in view. It was truly horrifying, there was now just... emptiness. As far as every human could tell, we were now the only remaining thing in the observable universe.
People awaited in fear for the next event to take place, it felt a lot like waiting for the free fall ride at an amusement park to just suddenly drop you. It wasn't noticeable until pest control companies began to report there were no more bugs. People looked far and wide to find any bugs, but there weren't any. Even I noticed that going outside at night no longer required a coat or two of mosquito repellant. But it was also eerie to stand outside and hear nothing but silence. And eventually through August, animals began to just vanish. The forests fell silent without the songs of birds to fill the air. Sea creatures swam to depths they couldn’t have survived and would come to the surface belly up. Animals in zoos refused to eat when they couldn't escape, or they would attempt to commit any type of suicide that they could.
Living in the Midwest, I was accustomed to hearing an orchestra of crickets and other chirping insects like cicadas. And it was extremely quiet for a cicada emergence year, when supposedly there were supposed to be millions upon millions of cicadas swarming everywhere. Another problem was that fields and forests around the area, once beautifully lit up with lightning bugs, were now darkened with the night.
September was a month that dragged out very long, as slowly we watched the moon in the sky shrink. Obviously not becoming smaller, it was slowly drifting away from us. The drifting moon was bringing the ocean waves to a near serene state, only slight waves from the sun were left. And once November hit, there was no moon to be seen with the naked eye; and the night was plunged into eternal darkness. The ISS, which had for so many years stayed above the planet, had to deorbit into the ocean because the wobble of a moonless Earth was too much for the station.
Beyond the moon, planets also began to drift away in such a way that reminded me of when someone breaks in a game of pool. The dots of the planets faded smaller and smaller as they drifted away to the vast emptiness of space. Telescopes watched them drift away with heavy hearts. The night sky became truly empty now.
The months of November and December were the worst of it all, without the moon to keep us in a stable orbit; the tilt, and eventually seasons, of the earth got mixed up. It was very slow at first. The winter that was supposed to roll in, never did, and the fall gave way to summer. It was almost unbearably hot for most of the planet. Only the extreme poles felt like it was a decent temperature. I can’t remember the exact temperature for reasons you’ll see later, but I believe it hit 140 degrees Fahrenheit in Maryland, and 180 degrees Fahrenheit along the equator.
I remember how the sweat poured off of me like crazy in a desperate attempt to maintain homeostasis. I also dunked myself in my bathtub full of water that quickly warmed up. Even indoors I could smell the vinyl siding in the neighborhood melting slowly; the smell invading my nostrils and taking over my mouth.
At the start of January when the world was boiled alive, we saw our next plague coming. A solar flare that we were headed right for. Although we knew about it, we weren't sure how to prepare. I tried in vain to protect my electronics with sheets of aluminum foil; but when we met the solar flare all of our electronics went down. The world was plunged into darkness, both literally and figuratively.
Social media sites which were a staple in our lives went down and we could no longer communicate with the rest of the world. It was horrifying. Our lives had to change so dramatically because we couldn’t even drive anywhere.
The planet became so silent it was unnerving. No animals to sing. No bugs to call in the night. No cars to honk at one another on the freeway. The only noise that could be heard was from wildfires from the heat, or the occasional gun shot from rioters.
I only write this because it is now February 28th, and tomorrow will most likely be the beginning of the next plague. And I’m not sure we’ll make this one. There is fear in the eyes of every person on this planet, and our voices are devoid of hope. There is no turning back, or safety from these plagues that keep coming. I truly hope that there will be no next plague. Part of me does think that because March is when this started. Maybe this is it. No more plagues. But if there is another one, I will have to kill myself because I refuse to live in a world like this.
I hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Please don’t forget me. Jesse.