They hobble toward me through the early morning fog. Dawn has not yet broken, and the sky above the fog is slate gray and steely. Porch lights and street lights are pinpricks of blue, star-shaped sparkles high above the street. But the figures coming toward me are huddled and shapeless. Their toes seem to find every crack in the sidewalk, and they lurch and shuffle.
Zombies? I wonder and glance over my shoulder.
Has the apocalypse started?
I listen for groans, for the moaning and gnashing, but all I hear is the traffic drone from the valley.
The figures lurch and sway toward me, and as they fully form out of the soup-fog, I see– No, they’re not zombies. They are teenagers swaddled in hoodies and backpacks, their faces swallowed by their phones. As they pass beside me– so close we could touch– they don’t stir or look up or even acknowledge my presence or each other’s.
Perhaps, I think, the apocalypse has already passed.
©️ Katie Baker