Black Dawn

The Earth didn't wake up.
When Aurora Mavros wakes up for another day of high school, the last thing she expected was that no one else would wake up. No one. After discovering that the entire planet seemed to be stuck in a coma, Aurora excepts defeat. Insecurity.
Eve Black was always the last in her family to wake up. Until today, when everyone slept. And slept. Rebellion.
Doce Luto was as hot as the noonday sun. But had a charming way of keeping his cool no matter what the circumstances. Until today, when the world was as cold as bitter ice. Vanity.
Luna Noir foolishly chose that night to attempt an all-nighter, knowing she had school the next morning. The most traumatized of the six, Luna watches her family collapse into eternal slumber. Sensitivity.
Fleck Schwarz had a fancy way of making people listen. It came as quite a shock to him that no one listened to his frantic screams of "wake up!". Leadership.
Shai Li was, like his name, shy. Faith.

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1. Aurora Mavros

     Dawn was slowly forming while I sat on my bed. Rays of yellow and orange were creeping their way into my room through the small square window set high above the cobblestone streets below. My cat Piru yawned, arching his back as he slinked over to the space of carpet that was just highlighted by the sun. Sunlight tickled my toes as I listened to my Ipod and sketched lazily on my favorite notepad. It was a gift from my father on my 16th birthday. That had only been two weeks ago, but nearly half of the paper was already used. I loved drawing.

     The picture that was just coming into focus on the paper was one I didn't recognize. Normally, I drew animals, plants, the gods, or occasionally temples. This time though, I didn't understand what my left hand was depicting. Many times I drew from faint memories in dreams, but what I drew was unlike anything I had ever seen, no matter how unusual my dream had been. My hand almost acted of its own free will, but I didn't notice it too much. I sometimes felt as if I wasn't the one drawing, I was just the hand holding the pencil.

     My favorite time of the day was the morning. I loved being up before everyone, listening to the stillness of Athens before chaos began. I loved the feeling of a new hope that always came with a new dawn. The warmth of the hot Greek sun as it rose mightily above the horizon. The faint sound of scratching paper, or the tune of one of the songs shuffle chanced upon. And eventually, the smell of my mother's famous breads for breakfast.

     My mother was the owner of a small bakery just down the street. After school, I'd help her knead the dough to perfect consistency and then watch it rise until it was ready to bake. After she closed, we'd walk home with leftovers that my mom would use with dinner. Somehow she always found a way to make something new.

     My left hand drew a pair of closed eyelids. And then another. And another.

     I didn't realize how much time had passed until the sun had completely overtaken my entire room. I pulled my earphones from my ears in silent shock. Piru still breathed slow and steady as he napped in the light. The absence of noise was terrifying; it must have been nearly 10 already. I was so late for school. How come my father hadn't come up here to get me? Why couldn't I smell breakfast? And finally, I asked myself as I looked out my window, why weren't there hundreds of people bustling around the markets, bargaining off fresh olives and hand-stitched clothes?

     I pounded down the stairs of my small sun-baked brick house, leaving behind my notepad with its unfinished drawing.

     "Mama? Papa?" I dashed around our small living room with its humble hearth. My father's usual rough recliner sat empty. I hurried to the kitchen, where my mother was nowhere to be found. I heard no shower, no toilet flushing, not even snoring.

     Nothing.

     I looked out the window, where our car sat baking in the midmorning sun. So they hadn't gone anywhere with the car, but maybe they walked? I looked on the fridge for a note. Nope.

     What was going on?

     "Mom? Dad?!" Panic started to grow in my chest, like a bubble of gum that u think is going to pop but just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

     The last place left was their bedroom. I walked cautiously up to it, my feet making soft noises on the tiled floor. I knocked softly on the door. "Papa?" Hearing no response, I walked inside, heart racing at the thought of what I might find.

     The bubble popped.

     Both of my parents lay asleep on their bed, my mother nearest to the door, her head on my dad's chest. They looked peaceful. But something was wrong. Something was very wrong.

     I approached their bed slowly. Sunlight shined brightly in the room, putting my father's right side in a dark shadow, and my mother's face in a light that blotted out the weary lines on her forehead. I touched her arm, expecting her to jump. She didn't move.

     "Mom?" I shook her gently. "Why aren't you up yet?" No answer. "Mom, you need to wake up!" I shook her more roughly. "Mom!" In desperation, I slapped her. A bright red mark appeared on her cheek, but there was absolutely no response from her.

     Running to the other side of the bed, I began shaking my dad fiercely with both hands. Tears ached behind my eyes. "Papa, please wake up." My vision grew blurry. "Please," I whispered. Nothing.

     I felt under his nose for breath, and sobbed in relief when I felt air tickle my finger. I tried the same with my mom, whose only response was breathing quietly. A sob racked my body.

     They were in a coma.

     Now I know the rational thing would have been to pick up the telephone and call for medical services. Instead, as the world came crashing down around me, I headed upstairs, nearly passing out at the dread that had settled in my stomach like a bomb. Tears soaked my face, my hands trembled, and my mouth kept letting out involuntary cries of pain. Collapsing on the bed, I picked up my sketch book and glanced at the drawing.

     My sobs stopped immediately. On the paper were hundreds, maybe even thousands of people, all eyelids closed. Every single one of them in a sort of vegetative state, an unbreakable coma, exactly like the one my parents seemed to be in. In the midst of all those people stood six teenagers.

     I was one of them.

     We were looking up at the sky, where what I assumed was a bright light was coming down. Although the picture had no color, I could tell their was something unholy about that light.

     We were the only ones awake. We were alone.

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