I lay on the couch, gazing at the ceiling. Idly wondering what time it is, I glance at the windows. It's dark outside. Shouldn't be. What time was he supposed to be here again? Oh, that's right. 3:30. I look at my watch. 7:15. Well, hell. Guess that's the end of that one.
My stomach starts to rumble so I stand up and go to the kitchen. It's still dark in there and I haven't turned on any lights. When I open the fridge, the small room is illuminated in a ghostly white light. Sighing, I lean on the door. Nothing. I never have anything I want in my fridge, though it always seems full. I don't feel like cooking, either, so I reach for a yogurt. Yoplait Light Red Velvet cake. Mmm... Before closing the door, I turn around and grab a spoon from the drawer, then head back into the living room.
I plop back on the couch, curling my legs beneath me, and reach for the remote. Turning on the TV, I flip to ABC. Might as well watch Wheel of Fortune, since it looks like I won't be going on that special evening I planned. I get to the station, but it's just news. No Pat and Vanna to be seen. Frowning, I flip to the other stations. More news. Growling in irritation, I decide to watch. I should probably know what's going on in the world, anyway.
I set the remote down and pay attention to the screen. There's a young woman in her mid-20s holding a microphone. She looks terrified, but she's not about to give up her big chance at a national network position. She's standing in front of some big crater. I narrow my eyes and look closer. Those buildings collapsing into the pit look awfully familiar. There is a red bar with white lettering scrolling across the top, so I read it.
"URGENT: THE CENTER OF OZVILLE IS CAVING IN. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ENTER THE TOWN FOR ANY REASON."
Ozville? But that's my town. I look at the video closer. Yep. Sure as snow, I watch as the hardware store where I bought my newest toilet seat begins to crumble, toppling into the vast emptiness beneath it.
What the heck is going on??
The young woman turns back to the screen, her eyes wide. "We won't be here for much longer, but for those of you just joining us, a black hole has opened beneath the community square in Ozville. It has engulfed the entire square and is working its way out." She glances back as the hole continues to grow, moving toward her and her cameraman at a rapid pace. "To hell with this. I'm getting out of here."
She throws down the microphone and the cameraman films her as she races in the opposite direction of the growing maw. He pans back toward the black, then the camera falls to the ground, resting on its side. It stays there. I watch as the blackness creeps toward the camera, then the screen goes fuzzy.
I continue to munch my yogurt, curled up on the safety of my couch, wondering how long it would take for the black hole to reach me.
**Origin of the story: There are 15-minute writing dashes at Milk Wood in Second Life every day at 5amSLT and 6:30pmSLT. This story is from the 2-24-11 morning dash, using the prompt "couch."**