I at first resisted writing this tale because I was afraid it would become a huge, out of control thing. Well, it did. There was no way to make a short story out of this. Most of the idea/execution is a result of Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us, which is a good read no matter what. It’s as hopeful as it is disturbing. Hilariously, the History channel decided to show a documentary on 1/21 on how the planet would react if people vanished. Everything man designs carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. I was already about 23,000 words in at that point. Plenty of web-searching is to blame, as well, once the idea took hold. Google holds on to searches for awhile, as I’m sure everyone knows, so the FBI and Homeland Insecurity will probably be flailing at my door any time now. Or not; God knows the UPS guy can hardly find it, so I’m sure the feds will take longer. They’ll probably have to Google it. I will admit I did pause for a moment before typing ‘active nuclear plants in the US’ and ‘chemical plants in the US’ and ‘dams’, but, they probably just figure I’m yet another environmentalist. Sam talking about the Large Hadron Collider was one of my little inside jokes – there are a lot of people who are concerned that that thing really will create miniature black holes. It’s due to begin operating in May of this year, so I guess we’ll see. The places are real, as are most of the facts and figures. I bent things here and there to make them Winchester-friendly.
Please don’t email me to tell me what I got wrong. This is not the aftermath of a disaster, and so it is not going to closely follow what anyone has already seen in RL in disaster situations. This is an utterly improbable scenario, and as a result, some things are going to be...improbable. I have the utmost respect for anyone who’s suffered through or been involved in the aftermath of a real disaster, so rest assured this is not That Disaster.
September 13th is someone’s historical guess for the date the Rapture was supposed to happen, and the boys are in West Virginia as an homage to the Croatoan legend. WV has a Roanoke, although it’s not the same Roanoke. The rest of my research involved me staring around at the world and imagining the things I do every day being done sans people. I don’t like apocalypse tales as it is, so this is the first one I’ve written. World destruction makes me sad. However, humans disappearing does not. The idea is by no means original, and I may not have done much with it that was original, either, but I decided to take a run at something I hadn’t done before. Many thanks to tvm for her idea for a ficathon and to innie_darling for her prompt, which bunnied me so hard that I went from thinking about writing a tale to writing it head over heels. The moment I read her prompt, I had a mental image of Sam spray painting numbers in every city he visited, over and over, hoping for survivors. I couldn’t get it out of my head.
It’s not the Rapture, btw. Or aliens. It doesn’t actually matter what the hell really happened, but for the record, I know. The how and why just weren’t part of the story, this time. Many thanks to the following (in alphabetical order) for their time and beta work: baileytc, catdancerz, missyjack, and veronamay. I’ve probably never needed it more than I did for this one. It takes an Aussie to teach an American geography. <3 All remaining mistakes are mine.
Here’s the original summary I wrote for myself so that I could remind myself NOT to let it become this:
Sam: The world ended.
Dean: Dude. Seriously?
Dean: LET’S FUCK.
And I’ll never, ever walk through a Macy’s again without smirking.
The universe is open, so anybody who might enjoy filling in the spaces/rewriting certain parts is more than welcome to do so.