• No one expected this to happen. No one was ready for it. It...it just happened. I remember it all. I was in my fifth period English class when we heard the explosion. Then we saw the bright flash of light. I blacked out soon after.
    When I woke up, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It was sweet, and rancid. Burning flesh. Startled, I jerked up and looked around me. The bodies of my classmates and teacher lay burning and black. I could see the screams, stuck on their faces, frozen in time. I was confused as to why I suffered no damage. I closely examined myself only to find that my skin was rock solid.
    I'm dreaming, this is all a dream. I kept telling myself over and over again. I knew this wasn't real. I planned on forcefully waking myself up. After many painful tries, I realize to my horror that this was not a dream. This was reality, or what had become of it.
    I walked outside to the quad, hoping to find other survivors of the mysterious explosion. None were found. I panicked, and searched the whole school. Tears streamed down my face while I searched for my friends. In the distance, I saw a lone body walking. Thank the Goddess, maybe it's Arylene. To my surprise, it was Aiden.
    I met Aiden back in the second grade. He was never the talkative type, but something attracted me to him. Maybe it was the way he would seem to be looking into your soul with those mysterious grey eyes. Our friendship was never really as tight as me and Arylene's, but for some odd reason I always felt close to him. I felt like I knew him from another life.
    "Hey, Aiden! I'm so glad I found someone alive!" I hollered to him.
    He ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. We just stayed there in our embrace, silently crying with one another.
    "I thought I lost you," he murmured into my hair,"Let's stay together, until we figure out what's going on."
    "Sounds like a plan." I wiped the tears from my eyes.
    "Have you seen anyone else? Anyone who might know what's going on?" he asked, quickly composing himself.
    "No, I looked everywhere, but with no luck."
    "Damn, what are we going to do now?" He looked really troubled.
    We decided to search for Arylene, hoping she would've had the same thing in mind and went looking for us. Arylene and I have a long history together. We were practically born together. Our mothers were pregnant around the same time, and while my mother was undergoing labor, five hours later, Arylene's mother's water broke. Our mothers took us everywhere together. We grew up like sisters. We shared the same clothing, interests, and friends. People wouldn't have been surprised if we were twin sisters. Knowing all this increased my urgency to find her.
    I almost gave up in my search when I heard the tinkling of the library doors. I finally found Arylene. She was on the floor, looking like sleepy beauty. Her porcelain skin wasn't charred like everyone else's, but her lips were blue. I pressed my hand to her cheek. It was cold as ice.
    “Donec obviam redimus,Soror. Until we meet again, Sister.” I gave Arylene one last hug.
    I exited the library, and went looking for Aiden. It didn’t take me long to find him.
    “She’s gone, her body lays in the library.” I tried holding back tears, but they came anyway.
    “At least now we know she’s somewhere better off than us. I mean, she doesn’t have to go through all this stress.” He handed me a tissue from his pocket.
    “Thanks,” I blew my nose.
    We surveyed the rest of the campus to find any survivors, but there were none. We decided to leave the school and check up on our families. I tried calling my mom, but the call went straight to voicemail. A few more tries, then I gave up.
    “Maybe we should check you’re on your family first, my mom isn’t answering.” I gave her one more call, no good.
    “No. My family moved out of town a long time ago, it’s just me in a studio apartment.”
    “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know.” I felt stupid for even bringing the subject up.
    We walked in silence for a couple of minutes, getting a grip on our surroundings. Everything was in ruins. The local grocery looked war-torn. The neighborhoods were in no better condition. The sky was black from the smoke burning in all the buildings. We couldn’t see any survivors, no signs of life. My mood began to drop lower and lower. Where is everyone? I thought to myself.
    “Here we are” Aiden led us to small apartment building. Half of it was blown away, while the other half looked like it was ready to collapse.
    “Where are we?” I asked
    “Home sweet home.” He led me upstairs.