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7th April
posted by amber

The Day of the Invasion

When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere. Sunday morning in my neighbourhood is quiet, cars aren’t flocking in their droves from suburbia to downtown highrise office towers, kids aren’t laughing and crying as they jostle each other at the school bus stop right in front of my house.

Sunday morning starts around 10, when lawn mowers surge into noisy life and sprinklers attract screaming excited children the way sugar water attracts hummingbirds. Soon after that a modest exodus of the still-faithful emerge in their Sabbath finery and head to the church of their choice.

I work nights as a bartender and days as a writer. I live in this middle class paradise due to the earnings of my wife who is a dentist. I start to rouse when the morning bustle happens, and drag myself out of bed an hour later to relish the deserted neighbourhood.

The silence woke me this Wednesday morning. My wife is away at a dental conference, but she never wakes me anyhow. She usually leaves at 7, so she gets a quiet hour to do paperwork before her office springs to life. Silence at 7 was to be expected, but silence at 8 brought me to the surface of an involving but easily-forgotten dream. It was as if I’d heard a gong, or a trumpet announcing the end of the world.

But I didn’t suspect anything much as I stretched and headed to the bathroom, stabbing a somnolent finger at the radio as I passed, not achieving power (I presumed) since no morning chatter flooded into the room. A few minutes later I ascertained that indeed there were no radio transmissions.

In the living room, there were no television transmissions and, most upsetting of all, in my study there were no internet transmissions. Modern writers live almost entirely on the web.

Electronic life being absent, I looked out my window to observe real life. My yard was quiet, so were the nearby yards and so was the street, but what did that prove? This is my weekday reality, and I usually revel in it.

Back to electronic sleuthing, I found the land line and cell service non-existent. There was nothing else to do besides go outside to try to find out what was going on. But a writer’s imagination is too vivid, so I had to eat a hearty breakfast (thank goodness the power was still running, but for how long?) and fill a backpack with survival gear. I even dug around in the garage and unearthed the 22 rifle I’d had as a teenager.

Thus prepared for aliens, zombies, werewolves, foreign invaders or even giant intelligent plants, I wrote this goodbye note to my wife and set forth.


“Yes, officer,” the woman of the house told me, standing beside her suitcases just inside her front door, “this is the note that he left me. It’s like the beginning of one of his stories, but I think he’s been gone at least a day and he left the front door open.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

The first line of this story comes from the book, The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham, one of the first science fiction novels I read.

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