It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


(SXWC) Silence and Darkness

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 02:56 PM
Saul leaned back in his chair. A quick glance at the monitors in between every few pages of his Batman comic book was all it took for him to fulfill his job. He didnt mind working the late shift, at least the TV station had heat, a luxury he could not afford in his one bed room apartment. Between the rows of equipment racks one could easily fall asleep on the floor, but Saul knew that if he fell asleep now, he wouldn't wake up until well after his bosses arrival in the morning.

Without so much as a second thought, he walked into the break room and opened a soda, then promptly took it back with him as he sat back down in the control room. He only had one minute left before the midnight satellite feed, and if he messed this one up he knew he would soon be looking for other employment options. He noticed a glitch in the BBC satellite feed, and then it went black. He was surprised, but not too worried because it didn't air until 5 PM the next day, and his engineer could easily fix the problem in the same amount of time it would take him to file a report.

Saul placed his can on the table, and started to prep his video tape recorder when he heard an almost violent sounding noise. Startled, he knocked the can off the table. After letting out a sting of monosyllabic curse words he was relived to see that the soda had poured out harmlessly into the thick carpet. His attention was quickly drawn back to the noise and heared an automatic ticker feeder print. The Emergency Alert System. The sound threw him off guard, because ever since 9/11 all EAS information at the station was directed through a newer machine which routed all information from the networks headquarters.

He half ran to the rack that housed the archaic system as it churned out a slip of paper and became quite dumbfounded as the words soaked into his mind;

[ Station Receive Log:

Saul stood petrified. "All electronics...?!" was all he could make himself say. He ran back to the On Air controller and looked at the wall of monitors above him. The wall took on the pattern of a checker board as more and more international satellite feeds withered, dissipated and eventually morphed into darkness.

Saul frantically searched for his cell phone and quickly remembered he had placed his copy of "The Killing Joke" down on top of his phone before grabbing the soda some minutes before. As he reached for his phone he felt a vibration not unlike a roller coasters laborious climb. Soon high pitched metallic clanks emanated from all around, a chorus of squeaks and beeps filled the room. A series of bright lights lit the room;

Then Silence and Darkness.

Standing in the sound proof and windowless room in pure silence and darkness made saul very uncomfortable. He mashed the buttons on the phone for a makeshift flash light, but nothing. He felt the walls around him and located the door. "Why hasn't the backup generator kicked in?", he wondered aloud.

"The EAS message..." was his own answer to his rhetorical question.

After stumbling around and nearly knocking over the ficus tree in the lobby he was almost ecstatic to see the moonlight as it bathed the lobby couch abutted in front of the large glass picture window. He tried to open the front door, but the stations electronic lock would not allow it.

Almost hysterical, he entertained the idea of shoving the couch through the plate glass door, but he sensibly decided against it. He then remembered back to when he first started his job. He knew that during long weekend shifts some of the techs would climb out onto the roof from the upstairs bathroom to drink and smoke.

He lit a cigarette and used it as a beacon as he crawled up the steps, and into the bathroom. After messing with the latch for almost 3 minutes he was able to slide the window to the side and he stuck his head out. The station sat less that 50 yards away from interstate 40, but for the first time ever, the road was silent and dark. He climbed out onto the roof and located his truck a few meters below the ledge. He looked back at the highway and became confused. He could make the road out by the moon light, but there were odd shapes just sitting on the highway. He cocked his head to the side and listened.

He heard a low murmur, like a group of people chatting quietly among themselves.

He became excited about the prospect of talking to anyone at this point. He ungracefully jumped down onto the roof of his truck and nearly rolled off the side. Once on solid ground he opened his door and stuck the key in the ignition and turned.

Nothing but silence and darkness.

posted on Apr, 9 2009 @ 03:24 PM
I am ready for chapter two. Great read.


posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 01:13 PM
But but but...WHAT HAPPENS????

posted on Apr, 10 2009 @ 03:16 PM
Chapter 2: Then Chaos

It took a few minutes for it to sink in. Saul had already bruised his knuckles and received some pretty serious cuts to his hands before he fully understood that no amount of work at this point would bring his truck back to life.

"All electronics..." he said solemnly.

He lowered the hood gently and considered his options. The implications of the events during the last ten minutes was a hard thing for him to swallow. His mind became consumed with thoughts of frustration.

Saul reached into his truck and pulled out his winter coat. Inside the station it was a nice even 70 degrees, but he had been outside in a t-shirt for some time now and barely realized he was shivering. He slid the coat over his slender shoulders and pulled up the over sized hood.

Saul stood at the threshold of depression. He wanted nothing more than to be at home with his golden retriever, Revan, who had a knack for making Saul feel like the most important person in the world. Saul stood and thought about the ten mile distance between him and his home.

He glanced down at his feet and let out a boisterous laugh. "of all days.. I had to pick today, to come into work wearing my bed room slippers.." he shook his head and looked into his truck one last time and decided he had everything he needed. He locked the door and took one last look at the station and then started to walk.

The thick North Carolina briers seemed to latch out and grab him at every bend. His decision to cut through the woods to shave one mile off his trip was beginning to seem like a bad idea, but the ever increasing volume of chatter was enough to make him keep going. Walking towards the voices he could hear children crying, mothers panicking and fathers trying to sort out the mess logically. He came out of the woods at the top a high embankment and finally realized the scope the situation.

Hundreds of cars, some mashed together in a violent embrace, others stuck in culverts and even more simply sitting on the highway. For ever car there seemed to be ten people, with everyone milling around, some softly sobbing, others arguing amongst themselves and yet others bathed in complete silence.

He walked along the bank and heard one man with a thick Boston accent exclaim "I was talking to my daughter in Jersey when my phone cut off and shocked me". Saul could see dried blood around the mans ear and quickened his walk.

In the distance a glittering light caught Saul's eye. The mass was too small to be a car, but he could make out a body tangled in the mess. He ran to the other side of the highway and approached the object. a man, face down, tangled and skewed in a bicycle wreck. He tuned the man over and checked for vital signs, and quickly pulled back his hand, which was now covered in blood. Saul opened the mans shirt to inspect the wound and saw a zipper like scar on the mans chest. Apparently pace makers were adversely affected by the magneto-electronic interference as well.

The moons reflection glistened the chrome of the bike and for the first time in his life, Saul committed petty theft. He figured the man would have little use for the bike now. He even told himself he would return in the day light to give the man a proper burial.

Traveling on the bike caused many people whom Saul passed to become enraged. They were stuck and he was moving. Most people yelled, some threw things and one intrepid woman tried to knock him over and take the bike, but Saul was resilient.

His journey was soon curtailed when he came to the last overpass before his exit ramp. Strung out in front of him was a jumbled mass of 18 wheelers effectively blocking his path. He hopped off his bike and decided he could walk from here, maybe even cut through the woods to get around the bridge.

As he climbed the embankment he heard a low whistling sound that was gradually gained in pitch. Then a single scream, then two screams, then four, which grew exponentially until seemingly everyone on the road was in unison. Saul turned around and saw the people frantically running and some pointing towards the sky. Saul turned his head and squinted.

All he could see was a dark object growing seemingly larger by the second. His mind raced as he tried to identify the shape, and as he spotted the billows of smoke he knew what it was.

What frightened Saul the most was that the object was no doubt on a collision course with the over pass less than 50 yards ahead.

The pitch was now unbearable and Saul shrank to his knees and watched as the airplane fell from the sky before he passed out from fright.

Silence and darkness.

Then chaos.

[edit on 10-4-2009 by drsmooth23]

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 11:27 PM
I love this story, it is my favorite so far next to he who wont be named's story wink wink. Please by all means continue it is really very good.

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 12:39 AM
Keep writing, this is the best story I've read so far, and I've almost read all of the current entries.

Star and Flag


posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 02:38 PM
Came back today to star your second as I forgot last night, and to ask you to please continue, this is one heck of a great story.

Best of luck to you and your entry.

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 07:22 PM
Excellent story my friend, thank you for sharing it with us.

I hope you do well in the competition.


posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 01:24 PM
Chapter Three: Pale Rider

Saul was woken by a cold wet feeling over his face. As his eyes shot open his view encompassed a long mucus covered snout and a long thick tongue raking over the top of his forehead. As he recoiled and shifted his weight he was startled by a deep, guttural "MOOOOOOOO"

Saul sat upright and and shielded his eyes from the bright sun and felt very small as he noticed a rather sharp looking piece of shrapnel protruding from the ground less than six inches away from his ribcage.

Through his squinting eyes Saul could see charred remains, broken glass, mutilated metal and oddly enough, hundreds of cows littering the highway. In the seemingly moments between conciseness it appeared as if everyone had been turned into cows Saul thought irrationally.

"They went down the bank into the road Daddy!" Saul heard someone exclaim. He stood up and looked around and saw a young girl walking through a rather large breached fence connecting to a field in the distance.

Saul called out to the girl but his voice was non existent. A tall man in a fraying straw hat walked up next to the girl. "Laura, go help momma with lunch" the man nearly whispered. "but momma said..." the girl started, but she was quickly cut off with a rather insistent "NOW".

She bounced away and skipped towards the field. Saul tried to produce a smile but every muscle in his body disagreed. The man took a few steps towards Saul and then stopped and spoke.

"Looks like we have a cattle thief in our midst." Saul felt an elementary need to turn and see who the man was addressing, but realization dawned upon him that he was the only one there.

"No sir, I was just walking home when an airplane hit that bridge and I got knocked out!" Saul insisted as he pointed frantically toward the large mass of concrete and rebar.

"Son, do you think im an Idiot? that airplane killed damn near everyone when it hit three days ago."

"Three days ago?.." Saul said in disbelief.

"Now Why dont you tell me why your really out here?", the man demanded and retrieved a small double barreled sawed off shotgun from inside his jacket.

Saul could feel a bead of sweat forming, even through the blistering cold as the man lazily aimed the gun in his direction.

Saul voice broke and cracked as he said, "Sir, I assure you..."

"Hogwash; Ill give you 90 seconds before I start shooting to get out of my sight." The man stated as he pumped his gun. "You better start moving, that western ridge line is father away than it looks."

Saul stood for a moment and tried reasoning one last time, "listen, this is.." was all he had time to get out as the man angrily stepped forward and clenched Saul by the shirt. "LISTEN CITY BOY, I dont want to have to shoot a hippie during Armageddon, I have enough problems as it is, but If you think Ill let you steal from my family Ill leave you dead on the floor."

Saul broke the grasp and simply nodded as he turn and ran toward the highway.

He had began his own internal countdown and had reached 45 when he heard the first shot. The side mirror on a fractured ford Econline van burst into a thousand pieces a few feet away. The cows were quite startled by the commotion and began to scatter in all directions.

Saul looked over his shoulder and saw that the farmer was now quite preoccupied with the roaming cows and he slowed his pace to a quick jog as he entered the woods.

In the dead of winter the woods were quiet and devoid of wildlife. as he passed decaying logs and old forgotten beer cans he reflected on the situation. He wondered if power had been restored, or even they even know what caused the problem in the first place. He came to the crest of the hill and could see the houses of his neighborhood through the thin pine stand.

Deep in thought, he didnt hear the rushing water until he nearly fell into it. What was normally a small stream on the edge of his neighborhood had become a raging river. He could see his apartment in the distance and he decided to leap across the river.

Soaking wet, he climbed the bank and vowed to never go swimming in December again.

As he walked down the road he could now read the numbers on his apartment door. What seemed like The longest trip of his life was now coming to a close. He stopped and pulled small twig from his slipper and noticed an odd shadow on the ground being cast from behind him.

Slowly he turned around as his eyes fell upon the pale rider sitting on top of a giant horse.

"Are you Saul Goodman?" The rider asked.

Saul almost didn't answer because his gaze was transfixed on the giant Clydesdale in front of him.

"Yes, I am" he finally said.

"Oh, good, these are for you." The rider said as she leaned over and handed Saul a stack of envelopes.

"Sorry we couldn't come out before now, the automatic sorters, well, you know." The rider said with a certain ease Saul couldn't quite comprehend.

The rider turned and sauntered off leaving Saul confused. He looked down at his hands and realized he was holding his mail.

Saul walked over to his front stoop and sat down. He pushed the cold wet cloth sticking to his skin out of his mind and for the first time in three days he began to laugh.

posted on Apr, 15 2009 @ 12:26 PM
Thanks for your support guys, It really makes me want to email this thread to my old middle school teachers who insisted I be put in the learning disabled class because I had so much trouble with my Written Expression

[edit on 15-4-2009 by drsmooth23]

posted on Apr, 29 2009 @ 10:49 PM
I think this song fits the story well, even if it is just an instrumental.

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 03:14 PM
Chapter Four: Unity

Revan was ecstatic to finally see Saul. It is impossible for a golden Retriever to hide its emotions and Saul nearly started crying.

Saul walked through his kitchen and could both hear and feel the water droplets hit the linoleum. He was shivering after having fallen in the stream, but Revan faithfully nudged him along to her kibble cabinet.

Saul filled her bowl and sat the bag down on the floor as he made his way to the bed room. After a quick change into dry clothes he walked back into the kitchen and started to open the fridge. Even with the ambient room temperature hovering around 40 degrees, he could smell the spoiled food after barely cracking open the door. without the light he could only make out rough shapes of the food so he decided he would just have a bowl of cereal.

He sat at his impromptu kitchen table, which was really a large fractured cable spool and he glanced through his letters in between shoving food into his mouth.

When he finally got to his power bill he stopped. He slowly opened the letter and and stopped on the line concerning the dates that the invoice covered. December 15th, through January 15, 2013. Without a thought, Saul swept the bowl off the table and flung it full force into the wall, leaving the pieces to cascade down in a porcelain explosion.

Revan gave Saul a quick perplexed look, then continued eating as if nothing had happened.

"Guess I wont be paying that bill", Saul said to Revan, but the dog was transfixed on her food dish.

Saul thumbed through the rest of the letters and stopped once again on the last letter. It was post marked on December 25th.

(Saul; I don't know how to say this. I really wanted to see you today but my car wont start, NOBODIES car will start. People we leaving the city on foot, and if you weren't 150 miles away, i would do the same. I have something to tell you, I really wanted to tell you in person, but after what happened last night, I don't know if i will ever see you again. I , well, i Guess We, are pregnant. I found out about four weeks ago. Saul, im scarred, I tried to listen to the news, but everyone is saying that It might be gone for ever. Everything is changing. I heard that the postal service and the police force are the only people who went into work today, well the firemen are busy down the block, but they don't even have a truck, they are using buckets of water from the cape fear river! I don't know if they can even deliver this to you, but please Saul, I need you here. I will stay here for as long as I can, and If you receive this letter, please write back. I love you,

Sauls hands trembled and fumbled as he reached for a sheet of paper. His hands flew like mad as he scribbled his experiences and thoughts into a semi coherent letter. He at last wrote; "I am coming to see you, be patient. I love you"

He ran outside and put the letter in the mailbox and raised the flag. He stopped dead in his tracks as he looked towards a house down the street. He could see at least twenty people milling around, some were even laughing. He could see smoke from the chimney and even a the flicker of candle lights through the windows.

He decided to approach the group.

As he got closer he could see a few familiar faces. Saul approached his neighbor, who called out, "hey everybody, its my good friend Saul!". Saul was thrown by this response. In his four years living here he had never talked to Jim for more than two minutes, but he was still at ease enough to give a half lopsided smile. the others gave similar, boasted greetings and Saul shook hands and hugged necks.

"Haven't seen you around the past few days", Jim finally said to Saul after a few guests had migrated inside. Saul laughed as he retold key points from his journey and finally Jim let out a laugh and said, "haha, I guess they wont need you at the station for a while"

"Who knows, maybe the electronics wont be out much longer", and let out a weak laugh.

Jim's smile dissolved into a stern look and said, "Saul, I dont know about that. follow me"

Saul walked carefully behind Jim as they walked around the side of his house and entered the cellar door. The room was quite hot and he noticed Candles all around the room that washed the walls in a warm light and saul sniffed the air, which smelled strikingly like distilled alcohol.

"how did you get the room so warm?" Saul asked Jim.

Well, Ill let you in on a little secret. You know that moonshine I get from a friend? well, Id like you to meet that friend."

Jim opened a small door that Saul Hadn't even noticed and he could see into a room that contained a rather large Still

"I can take the heat and redistribute it all through the house, plus, it gives people a reason to come over and discuss solutions to our shared problem."

"you mean the electronics..." saul said.

Jim's eyes narrowed once more. and he walked to a table in the center of the room and picked up two small metallic objects.

"here, try to put these next to each other"

Saul completed the task, and gave a puzzling look.

"those are two very strong magnets. they cost me about 200 a piece a few years ago, and now, they don't even work. Ha, who would have thought that was even possible" Jim said almost bitterly.

Jim told him to go up stairs and talk with some of the other people. as they walked up the flight of old wooden stairs Jim explained that he liked having people over because he considered his nightly meeting to be a new sort of community congress.

Saul soon saw why.

Everyone at the party had an idea, a theory, as to what exactly happened. Some had horror stories of loved ones over seas, some had jokes, and others had questions for Saul.

There were no strangers, everyone was united.

One elderly woman even confused Saul with her long dead husband and nearly demanded they leave for home right then and there.

eventually the guests thinned out and Saul finally approached Jim and and told him about Sarah's letter.

After careful consideration Jim told Saul the greatest news of his life, " Ive heard a few people talking about seeing a steam locomotive pass through town around three in the morning, it goes down the line all the way to Wilmington."


Nearly seven hours later Saul was woken by the loud whistle and the train lurching to a stop. He looked out the window and smiled at what he saw. He saw no anger, no hate, just happy people, helping one another, in Unity.

[edit on 30-4-2009 by drsmooth23]

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by drsmooth23

Hi drsmooth,

Your story is one of the first entries that I read. I love the part when Saul is laying in the field and that guy gives him a rough count down before he starts to shoot

What was that guy thinking?
he reminds me of Dick Cheney!!!

your credit instrumental fits your story to a "T"

posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 04:11 PM
Best story I've read! No offense meant to anyone else, but it really is good...


you'd get a 10/10 if you explained why he was out for 3 days and no one noticed him


posted on Apr, 30 2009 @ 06:54 PM
reply to post by OrangeJuice

thats not that far away from the image in my head when i was writing that, haha

Originally posted by roswell1
Best story I've read! No offense meant to anyone else, but it really is good...


you'd get a 10/10 if you explained why he was out for 3 days and no one noticed him


Initially I had him under a pile of rubble, but I didn't think it was surreal enough,

posted on May, 3 2009 @ 03:50 PM
A wonderful story and one that has stayed with me since first reading. I wish you all the best.

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 12:40 PM
Electricity... something we all take for granted. Like a house built on sand, as wind and rain take their toll on the ground beneath, the foundation shifts and, inevitably crumbles.

So much of our day to day society is dependent upon things which can easily be taken away... trucks, planes and ships are the cells which carry the food we need through the veins of the body of the human race.

We believe it to be impossible to survive without it.

But, that's not true. The majority of the human race still does without such things as computers and the vehicles that stock huge grocery stores, for instance. Billions live their lives from what they are able to grow within walking distance and still put provisions away to tide over times of drought or winter.

When the lights go out and the engines of commerce fall silent, we will once again look to the simplest of tools for survival.

A hopeful and wise vision of a future from which new technologies have been temporarily ripped.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 11:44 AM
I am so thrilled to see that the judges saw your entry as did I. well done story I enjoyed it completely.

posted on May, 10 2009 @ 08:23 PM
Great story, Congrats on your winning!

posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 09:46 PM
Good job !!! congrats on winning. you the man.I really enjoyed it.again good job.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in