I want to scream against the silence. I haven’t heard anything outside for hours, maybe there is nothing outside, maybe I can go outside, breathe fresh air, flush the toilet, start the car and drive until everything is different. I wait. I can hear the sound of my own heartbeat. I wait. I think about microwaving some macaroni and cheese. Stovetop would be quieter. Why do I even believe that silence is what will save me? I go upstairs and open a window. I look out. There is a hand in the street. Just a hand. Long fingernails. I’m surprised I can see that from here. On impulse, I yell.
“Hello! Is anyone alive out there?!”
My voice echoes off the two-flats and three-flats across the way. It’s a series of three flats separated by mere inches between the walls. The trees out front are green and trimmed into nice tidy shapes. There’s no movement. Not even a breeze. I wait.