A person finds out what happens when they seemingly wake up to the end of the world
| FEBRUARY 30th…
Madeline awoke, suddenly, from her coma and looked around the room she was in.
Where am I?
She wondered. Then her memories came flooding back to her. She was on her way to work when a truck hit her from her side. That was February thirteenth.
After lying around, gathering her thoughts, Madeline realized that she didn’t hear anything. Normally, hospitals were noisy with the sounds of the many people bustling around. She pressed the call button on her bed and waited for a nurse or a doctor to come. She pressed the button again when no one came.
Madeline finally decided to get herself up and check what was going on herself. She found swinging her legs over the bed to be very difficult. It felt like there were fifty pound weights attached to each of her ankles. She saw several small tubes coming from her body that she hadn’t noticed before. Pulling out the tubes was surprisingly painful and she felt exhausted after the last one come out of her arm. Madeline sat still, breathing in controlled breaths, to gather up her strength and the pushed herself out of the bed. When her legs hit the floor they instantly gave out. The girl hit the floor with a grunt. Her legs felt like there were millions of tiny needles pricking her skin. The feeling slowly went away a little as she gained some feeling back in her leg.
Madeline steadily raised herself again and took slow, small, steps towards the door. She poked her head out the door and looked down both ends of the hallway. There were no signs of anyone. Madeline suspected that the power was out because there were no signs of any televisions, computers, or any type of machinery to be working. The hospital’s only source of light the sun coming through the few windows in each patient’s room.
“Hello!” Madeline called out. “Is anybody here?” Only silence answered her. Madeline wondered if she were dreaming. The whole situation seemed surreal. She stepped out the door and proceeded down the hall. There were papers strewn throughout the whole floor. She spotted an elevator and then realized she would have to be taking the stairs because the power was out. Madeline found the garment she wore to be uncomfortable and went behind on of the desk in search of anything to wear. After search for a couple of minutes she found a nurse’s uniform. After changing she felt like she wouldn’t have to be embarrassed if someone saw her.
"If there's anyone to see me." Madeline muttered under he breath.
At the end of the hall was a door that led to the stairway. Since the stairs only led to the floors below that meant Madeline was on the top floor. She groaned at the thought of descending at least seven floors before reaching the bottom level. Her feet slowly shuffled towards the first step. The descending of the stairs was going to be a slow process because Madeline’s legs were still weak. She used the railing to support herself with each step and to keep her from falling down. It felt like hours before Madeline reached the final step of her descent. She leaned against the door, leading out of the stairway, to rest briefly. When she stepped out into the first floor hall it was just as silent as the other floors. Not a living thing could be seen nor heard.
“Hello!” Madeline called out once again. There was still no answer.
Where did everyone go? And why was I the only one left here? She pondered to herself. Her eye caught the waiting area and saw a soda machine next to a snack vending machine. She realized that was the reason why her body was so weak. Who knows how long it has been since the hospital had been emptied out and who knows how long it had been since Madeline has had any source of energy in her system. She didn’t have any money so she couldn’t buy anything from the vending machines but then an idea came to her mind. Madeline took one of the chairs from the floor and, with all of the strength she currently had, thrust the leg into the front of the soda machine. She had only punctured a hole but after tearing the plastic pieces away made the hole large enough to put her hand through. She grabbed a beverage and drank it greedily, completely ignoring the fizz building in her throat. She tossed the empty can aside and reached in to grab another one. She drained the next three beverages equally as fast as the first and with them felt her strength return to her body.
Madeline turned and grabbed the chair again. She then threw it against the snack machine, shattering the display glass. She reached for whatever snack, she felt was highest in sugar and ate it quickly. After she ate a few more bags of chips and cookies Madeline eventually turned to more of her favorite foods. She then rushed behind the front desk to search for something and emerged with two large, black, trash bags. She put one bag into the other to make it more durable. The girl then headed back to the vending machines and stuffed as much snacks and beverages into the bag as she could carry.
As she exited the hospital she looked at the name. “Angel’s Hospital,” She whispered to herself. “I remember this place. But where is everyone?” Madeline looked around at the area around her. It felt as if someone had stopped time. There were vehicles abandoned in the middle of the street signifying that the people had to leave, quite suddenly. “What happened here?” As if to answer her question Madeline noticed a Newspaper drifting towards her and she quickly picked it up. The headlines read “VIRUS EPIDEMIC FORCES IMMEDIATE EVACUATION!”
Madeline remembered something about a virus on the News. She really hadn’t considered it being much of a threat. There were always threats going on but none ever affected her. This was obviously real if it forced cities to evacuate. “But why was I left behind?” The question hung heavily over her. She wondered if anyone else had been left behind and was in a safe haven somewhere. She decided to start by her house first to prepare herself and then look for any other people still in the city that may have been left behind like her.
Her house wasn’t too far from the hospital, only about several blocks away. When Madeline finally reached her house she didn’t even bother with the front door. She knew it was locked. She picked up a nearby rock and flung it through one of the front windows.
“I can’t believe I’m breaking into my own house.” Madeline muttered to herself as she climbed through the broken window into her bedroom. She lived alone in a pretty decent house she rented. She was hoping to begin her college days there but considering the sudden circumstances that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, if at all. Most of her boxes still remained unpacked so Madeline spent less time scavenging through her house to find what she needed.
“Transportation…” Madeline thought aloud. She was pretty sure her car had been totaled in the collision and it wasn’t likely that someone fixed it up and placed the vehicle in her garage but she checked anyway. The car wasn’t there but a motorized scooter was sitting off in the corner. She hadn’t ridden it in a while but Madeline hoped it still worked. She raced to her kitchen and opened the refrigerator. A fetid smell came from the foods inside and overwhelmed her. She slammed the door closed. Madeline didn’t have any canned food because she had just moved in. The store was her only option.
After dressing in her own clothes Madeline checked her wristwatch. 6:13pm. She had about an hour and a half before darkness settled in. “Let’s see,” Madeline held out her hand to list what she had to do. “I have to walk that bike to the nearest gas station, go to the food market to stock up on supplies, and find a safe place to stay for the night.” She let of a sigh. This was proving to be very difficult for her. She was hardly used to being by herself let alone surviving in a, possible, nation wide crisis. Madeline shook her head. No, I can do this. I have to stay focused. She wanted to go to the nearest market first so she could use the natural sunlight to see what she was looking for easier. Madeline used to work at a store market and knew how dark it could get when the lights were out, especially, when it was dark outside. Unfortunately, the food market was a lot farther from her house than the gas station was and it would probably be dark by the time she got there and she would still have to take the bike to the gas station. Her only main concern was just getting done with everything before the sun set and spread darkness hiding any dangers that could be a threat to herself.
Madeline opened the garage door using the red emergency handle since the power was out and started her walk out of her neighborhood. The gas station would be her first stop after all. She looked back at her house and realized it would, probably, be the last time she would ever see it again. It wasn't exactly safe and now there was a hole in one of the windows and Madeline had no time to board up the place. She readjusted the bag on her side and continued with her walk down the street towards the heart of the desolate and abandoned city she was supposed to call home.