She’s sitting on top of me, laughing and giggling while my hands move about her waist in efforts to tickle her. Her uncontrolled laughter and screaming only causes her to smile more and more until she is overcome with joy and falls onto the bed next to me. Her beautiful blonde hair wraps around her soft features and onto the pillow. I gaze into her deep blue eyes and look at her soft lips and milky complexion; like the kind of woman out of a magazine. Why has she chosen me of all men, I wonder. She smiles a crooked smile that would normally be full of perfectly white teeth, but before I have a chance to react, I notice that her teeth are missing. They’ve been replaced with fangs and—I woke up.
“Shit,” I jumped awake. I heard the buzzing and dinging what seemed like unbelievably fast coming from my bedside table. Ever since she broke up with me I haven’t really been getting too many text messages. “What is going on,” I said aloud, and I grabbed my phone from beside me. I noticed the clock on my wallpaper: exactly three in the morning. The alert was one of those government mandated text messages. A week ago, President Trump sent out his first mass text among the populous; this must be the beginning of his shenanigans.
But the text didn’t say anything along the lines of collusion or fake news. Instead I saw in all capital letters: “DO NOT LOOK AT THE MOON.” Why would the government send out a mass text saying something so cryptic? Why was my phone was still buzzing in my hand after I had already opened the alert?
I exited out of the alert page and saw the notifications were coming from my inbox. My messages app was full of texts for the first time in my life—there were hundreds of notifications. Among the senders were my boss, two of my best friends, and a few random acquaintances. I noticed some numbers from my area code, but most were some I had never seen before in my life.
“How did these people get my fucking number?” I muttered aloud in a groggy state. I didn’t see advertisements or warnings that my social security number was found in the deep web, so I ruled out the possibility that bots had gotten my number. They all seemed like people. I scrolled through some of the messages at the top of my screen, and my brow furrowed in confusion. I tapped on the first number, and the next, and the one after that. All of them were saying the same thing: “It’s a beautiful night tonight. Look outside.”
At this point, I had gotten out of my bed and was walking to my bathroom. “This must be a prank,” I scoffed to myself in the mirror. I splashed some cold water on my face and then lifted my phone into view after hearing another vibration. There was a name I recognized: Stephanie. Her contact popped up and the message followed. I dropped my phone immediately into the sink and took my head in my hands. “What the fuck is going on?” I said aloud, beginning to feel terrified. Stephanie wouldn’t text me unless it was an absolute emergency.
Whatever all of this was, it had gotten to Stephanie and everyone else in the country. Since she was in trouble, and it had to have something to do with the moon, I put on sunglasses to shield my eyes and opened the door to my room. Walking down my hallway slowly and methodically, I kept my eyes down toward my feet the entire time. At points where I could feel the wall with my hands, I closed my eyes.
“Thank God,” I whispered when I felt the button for the elevator. I had made it without looking through any windows in my periphery. Once I had gotten down to the lobby, I froze. I could see that there was no one there. The doorman, George, who was always sitting by his post at this time of the night, was gone.
I opened the front door and was met with people. I wasn’t looking up, so all I saw were legs and feet. They were people in slippers, clearly who just woke up and were lured outside. I even saw George’s black pants and oxfords. None of them were moving, though. I walked down the sidewalk and around the impossibly still people in my path. No hustle and bustle, no cars moving, no talking. It was eerily quiet in New York city, something I had never heard before in all my years living there.
Finally, I could see the red brick of Stephanie’s building, which was only a few blocks away from mine. Just as I noticed it, I stopped dead in my tracks. I saw the shoes I had bought for her last Christmas in the street. I saw her pale ankles peeking out from them, and the base of her freshly waxed legs. I ran to her grabbed onto her arms.
“Stephanie,” I whispered to her. Even after I tried to shake her awake, there was no response. I took off the sunglasses and looked at her, and into her eyes. I saw nothing. I didn’t see the beautiful blue I remember, no, I saw blackness. No pupils, no white, no anything. Shaking out of fear, I held her in my arms hoping to God her stiff body would regain function and hold me back. I felt nothing but her cold skin on mine.
I began to cry, and the tears fell onto my cheeks like acid pouring from my eyes. I fell onto my knees, with Stephanie in my arms, trying to make sense of all of this. Nothing made sense anymore. With my eyes closed, I pointed my head in the direction of the sky, and in the direction where the moonlight was shining on my face. I opened my eyes.