My life went from wonderful to what-the-hell, all in the space of two weeks.
Well, it was actually three months, but I was dead for two and a half of them and then in the hospital for a week.
Maybe I should start from the beginning.
My name is Jenna Clearwater, and this is my story.
It all started with a school related trip to New York City. I was among thirty other students there attending a conference dealing with the ins and outs of creating a business in your basement, with the founders of Amazon, Apple, and other such companies there giving presentations on their success stories. Representatives from the top business schools were there, as well as dozens of journalists and hundreds of other college students. When my professor first mentioned that he was taking a group, I immediately began planning. I just had to go. My goal in life was to start my own newspaper after college, and the connections I could make at this conference could make it possible. It took a lot of begging and a lot of favors, but I got on the trip. I could not have been happier.
The conference itself was to last four days. Four days of talks with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs in every field imaginable. Four days to ask questions, take notes, and meet some of the most influential people in the business world. Those hosting the conference were also kind enough to provide certain groups attending free food and lodging. We were one of these groups, thanks to my professor being close friends with one of the people helping to host the event. Upon arriving we were all given a schedule of events, which we all quickly tore through and marked the parts we wanted to see for sure. Since we were all in college, as long as we did not wander too far and we answered our phones when he called, our professor said we could spend our free time however we so chose.
The trip was an opportunity some people would kill for. Fortunately, that wasn’t what happened.
On the second day, I decided to go and explore the city. Most of my friends were sitting in on the conferences, but since it was mostly about the merchandise field, I decided to save my notebooks for other things. It was a beautiful, sunny day, in the middle of NYC and I was going to make the best of it. Making sure my phone was fully charged, I grabbed my purse and my temporary metro card and set out to explore the city. I texted my friend Marcy as I left, promising to keep up a conversation with her so she would know that I was alright.
For the next few hours I wandered around, stopping in various shops, checking out all the vendors in Little China Town. I ended up walking away with a variety of interesting buys and a sense of accomplishment that followed my success in haggling, which was not that impressive of a skill but it still made me feel good. I found it slightly odd that when the lady agreed to sell me the purse I wanted for cheaper, she changed the brand name on it, but I decided not to question it. Actually, I had really wanted to get out of the area because the fortune teller lady in the stall next to her would not stop prophesying the end of the world. Marcy agreed with me that some people need to learn when to stop when searching for attention. If only I had actually paid attention…
After a while I decided to make my way towards Times Square, looking for somewhere to stop for lunch along the way. A very amiable hot dog vendor ended up winning me over and even gave me a discount, because ‘beautiful women pay less’. Needless to say, this made me happy. I wandered around aimlessly, admiring the buildings, trying to decide which one I wanted to go into first. As I was rounding a corner I nearly tripped over a homeless woman who was sitting there huddled under a pile of blankets, one hand sticking out holding a cup full of coins and dollars. The look of loss and sorrow on her face tugged at my heart and I decided to give her the bag of chips I got with my lunch as well as five dollars.
“My precious Petunia, she’s gone. She’s gone. All of the animals are leaving. All gone…” she cried, looking at me with thanks in her eyes. Not sure how to respond, I just smiled and nodded, continuing on my way. Her warning slipped to the back of my mind until I started becoming aware that something strange was going on. A lady walking by me was straining to get control of her toy poodle, which was squirming to get out of her arms. A flock of birds flew over my head, shortly followed by a pack of alley cats running in the same direction. In fact, all of the animal life seemed intent on escaping in the same direction. There was a strange stillness in the air, a sort of silence that did not fit at all with the busy streets of New York City. I picked up my pace, heading towards the nearest office building, glancing around nervously in an effort to figure out what was causing my unease.
I had just reached the sidewalk and was nearing the building when a shudder ran through me that I could not explain. Trying to ignore it I hopped up and started to read the hours listed on the building window.
The first scream scared the crap out of me.
What I saw when I turned around made me think I was hallucinating. The screaming continued as others joined in, convincing me that I was not, in fact, dreaming.
There really was a gigantic smoke monster thing looming over Times Square.
People began running madly in the same direction that all the animals had fled, screaming along the way. I watched in horror as the thing began coming towards me at an impossible speed, destroying everything in its wake. Without another second’s hesitation I turned and took off towards the office building. My plan was to cut through the building and then run to the left of the thing’s path, hopefully avoiding it. I barely slowed down enough to open the door, dodging and weaving to keep from running into people. I was halfway through the lobby when a horrible crashing sound echoed behind me. I made the fateful mistake of turning to see what was happening.
I turned just in time to see the building collapsing behind me, only to crash on top of me seconds later. There was a roaring crash and a split second of pain before darkness.
This work may be continued into a larger story. As of this moment, though, this is all that exists of the story.