1 The thin red numbers glow in the dim morning light, 7:12. Kyle’s eyes open slightly as he squints at the clock. Ten more minutes, then I’ll get up. His eye lids droop down and he quickly drifts back to sleep. Suddenly he’s stuck in a room all alone. No windows, no doors, nothing but thick cement walls that rise at least 60 feet into the sky. Surprisingly, there is no ceiling in this strange room, thick gray clouds march across the open square high above Kyle’s head. Thunder rumbles, vibrating the four solid walls. In the distant there is a faint scream, at first he can’t make out who or what is making the noise but moments later the sound becomes louder. “Kyle!” The woman’s voice screams “Kyle help!”. The frantic screams grow louder and closer to the walls. Finally he recognizes the voice, “Mom?” he says trying to yell to the other side of the cement. “Kyle, Kyle please stay with us, don’t leave us!” Kyle runs to the wall from the direction his mothers voice is coming from. “Mom I’m right here, I’m right here!” One final loud screech and its silent, drops of rain begin to fall into the gaping ceiling. Kyle puts his ear against the cool cement as a chill runs down his spine. A heavy fist thuds against the wall, making Kyle jump back. “Mom?” he whispers, again, just the loud bang. A low deep moan chills Kyle’s body, numbing him all over. Suddenly he’s thrown back into his bed a loud thumping coming from his bedroom door. “Kyle, you better get up now or I won’t be able to drive you and your sister to school.” Sweat drips down his face and over his bare chest; he throws off his down comforter and slips into his bathroom. “Give me 5 minutes.” He yells back to his mom. The faucet runs until the water is nice and ice cold. With two large splashes to the face, Kyle feels a bit more awake. He rests his palms on the rim of the sink starring at himself in the mirror. His brown eyes look darker than usual, not that the large circles underneath help at all. His usual messy hair is even messier from tossing and turning all night long. It’s been like this for the past month, the same dream the same horrible feeling of loss and feeling utterly alone in that gray cement box. Slowly his body becomes more thin, his eyes deeper, everyone is getting more concerned.
The black SUV slows down for the flashing school zone lights as Kyle’s mom pulls in front of Saint Barnabas Academy. Kyle looks up at the large stone building, the saints starring down at him from the high spires of the school. His skin starts to tickle as his body rises in temperature. He begins to sweat, his breathing just a little bit heavier. His mom turns off the radio. “Everything ok honey?” She asks with a concerned voice. Kyle nods as he reaches for the car door handle. He feels his mothers light hand on his shoulder keeping him in his seat. He doesn’t want to look at her; he doesn’t want to see her kind thin smile, her soft brown eyes with just a few specks of gold, the way his eyes used to look. But he does, he turns and as he does his mothers smile fades into a frown. “Straighten your tie.” Is all she says, trying to avoid eye contact as she tightens up his uniform. “Make sure your sister keeps her dress code.” His mother lets out a small grin as she looks in the back seat. Kyle’s sister Meaghan pops out an ipod ear bud.
“What?” She says with her fifteen year old attitude.
“I don’t want another call from Father Mickelson telling me you’re violating the dress code again.” Meaghan rolls her eyes and hops out of the car, slamming the door behind her. Kyle’s mom turns back to him with her sad smile. “Have a good day.” She says, as she holds his cheek in her warm palm. Kyle pulls away from her warm touch and gets out of the car, throwing his backpack onto his shoulder. As the SUV drives away Meaghan hikes up her blue plaid skirt and shoves her headphones back into her ears drowning out everything else around her. Kyle watches his sister bounce along to her music, wishing it was that easy for him to ignore the world. The loud bell rings across the Academy’s campus ushering the students into the school. Kyle watches them all file up the steps and into the doors that will hold them captive for the next six hours. He stands there completely still as the last girl with her books in one hand, coffee in the other and cell phone glued to her ear, struggles with the door. A bang echoes in his ears as the wooden door is carelessly slammed shut. Kyle doesn’t move, he doesn’t blink, while the leaves begin to rustle around him, as the wind swirls closer to the frail boy standing alone in the courtyard. The wind picks up speed, whirling, running towards Kyle, picking up leaves and dirt and stray paper along its way. Suddenly it’s blowing past, the wind beating against him, trying to push him over, tugging at his blazer demanding to take him into its whirling mass. Kyle begins to shiver as the wind subsides as quickly as it begun, leaving a cold bitter chill throughout his entire body. The chill isn’t from the wind though; it’s that Kyle feels something is coming, something big, something that will change his life forever.
2 The first few classes of the day are just a blur, as they have been for the past months now. His grades slowly dropping, his class participation has been non existent. Not that he particularly enjoyed class, but he would always throw up his hand if he had an opinion he thought needed to be heard, or didn’t mind being called on if he knew the answer to the question the teacher had asked. He even had a few close friends from the lacrosse team, before he stopped going to practice all together. Now he always chose to sit at the back of the class room, avoiding answering questions, talking and eye contact with anyone. Finally the last class of the day came, History. The one class Kyle actually enjoyed half listening to. Kyle arrived to class a bit early, found a seat at the back of the room, took out his notebook and began drawing on an empty page.
“That’s an interesting drawing.” Mr. Dolton was hovering behind Kyle, hands in his pockets, slightly rolling back and forth from heel to toe. Kyle nodded in agreement as he closed his notebook on his sketch of a gravestone. Thankfully the bell rang and Mr. Dolton headed to the front of the classroom. Kyle exhaled. Once everyone took their seats, Mr. Dolton promptly started his lesson. The marker squeaked as he wrote on the white board: ‘Today’s Lecture/Discussion’, followed by moans from the students. Mr. Dolton laughed. “Don’t worry, today will be an easy one. There will be no notes required for this lecture, only open ears and an open mind.” He walked back to the white board, popped open his marker, and finished the lecture title, ‘Human Extinction’. Mr. Dolton turned to face everyone with a big grin on his face. He pushed his dirty blonde hair out of his face, adjusting his thin glasses, obviously trilled about today’s lecture. “It’s discussed everywhere today, in science, religion, even culture. We’ve all seen the movies or books they put out about the end of the world, the living dead, 2012, Judgment Day. All of these are examples of different theories of human extinction.”A skinny boy near the front of the room raises his hand. “Yes, Travis.”
“It is only theory as you say,” Travis adjusts the glasses slowly falling down his thin nose. “But even if any of those things happen, hypothetically speaking of course, it will be hundreds, if not thousands of years from now.”
“That could be true Mr. Mac, but aren’t there so many signs in the world today that it could happen only twenty years from now, a year, next week.” Another hand shoots up.
“My mom,” Ashley twirls her blonde curly hair around her finger. “She’s all like super religious right, she like always says how like Judgment Day and stuff like God will kill everyone, like that just freaks me out.” Mr. Dolton nods.
“‘The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.’” Ashley stares at Mr. Dolton, genuinely confused. “Matthew 13:40-43.” She nods as if knowing the scripture. “Yes Judgment Day or The Last Judgment, religion has a way of frightening,” Mr. Dolton pauses, looking at the crucifix at the back of the room. “Well, informing perhaps, its people of the Second Coming. But there is always Salvation, you can always be saved.” Some of the more religious students nod. Mr. Dolton sits back on his desk, facing the classroom. “What about 2010?”
“That movie was bad ass.” A muscular boy says from the back of the room. Kyle turns to look at him. Of course, he thinks rolling his eyes, its one of the jocks. He goes back to his drawing, but listening intently to Mr. Dolton. “Remember that part where the plane is flying and he’s all like pheww neeeooo.” The boy continues making bad airplane sound effects pulling up on an invisible plane wheel.
“Not the movie, but the actual prediction from the Mayan’s of 2010. The Mayan calendar just simply ‘ends’ after 2010, but did that mean they really thought the world was going to end?”
“I think it’s a bunch of BS.” One boy says, Ashley pushes his shoulder.
“It could be true.” She says.
“It’s like the whole Y2K scare back in 1999, everyone thought the world was going to end, or the computers were going to blow up or whatever. But nothing ever happened.”
“Good observation Daniel.” Mr. Dolton looks at his wrist watch, covering it back up with his gray sweater. “Human extinction is inevitable ladies and gentlemen. We, has humans, have been here but a glimpse of the entire existence of this earth, and will leave just as quickly. Sadly the world will get along just fine, if not better, without us. It’s said that some people can predict about the world ending through visions or dreams.” Kyle looks up from his drawing, intrigued.
“Ya, the crazy homeless guy who sits outside Juicer’s everyday.” One boy says, the rest of the class laughs. The bell at the back of the room rings loudly and students begin packing up their things. “Remember your paper is due tomorrow.” There were audible groans. “Yes, don’t think I forgot. Five pages double spaced.” Mr. Dolton yells to the leaving students who are not really paying attention. Kyle sits in his seat a while longer before gathering up his notebook, and swinging his backpack over his shoulder. Predictions? Kyle thinks. He looks up to see Mr. Dolton casually putting his things into his briefcase. Kyle shakes it off and leaves the classroom.
Kyle shoved his way to the front of the school to wait for his mom to pick him up. He glanced up and down the row of shiny cars exiting and entering the school round-about. The sun reflected off one of a black Mercedes, momentarily blinding Kyle. While averting his eyes from the present rays he thought about his recent dreams, the strange creature moaning outside the thick cement wall, he didn't realize the closeness of the edge of the curb, the dark sky, his mother's scream. His foot slightly slipped from the yellow painted edge towards the hot sticky asphalt. A loud car horn pulled him to reality as he felt a hand yank him back from the edge of the curb.
"What the hell is the matter with you!" His sister shoved his shoulders while her eyebrows furrowed. "You into trying to kill yourself along with starving yourself now?" Her voice grew shriller and louder, people started to stare. Kyle just shrugged.
"I guess I just lost my footing." Kyle tried not to look at his sisters deep brown eyes, now starting to water. Meaghan clenched her jaw and tucked her perfectly curled hair behind her ears and let out an exhausted breath. Everyone Kyle new started to use this technique, avoid his eyes, breathe a sigh at his expense as if they pittyied him, as if to say 'Oh Kyle, we know you've gone slightly mad but oh well we will deal with it'. Kyle finally met Meaghan's eyes this time her eyes looked away. "Mom isn't picking us up today, she got held at one of her houses." Kyle just nodded. "I'm going over to Autumn's house, let mom know." Again Kyle nodded. "Thats it? You just nodding now?" Kyle shrugged. "Whatever." Meaghan just shook her head and walked away towards her friends. Kyle noticed she had folded the top of her skirt at least twice, it was obviously shorter than when they left the car this morning. Kyle smiled and headed off towards home.