The Northern Lights have arrived… and has brought the end of civilization with them. A giant solar storm has hit Earth. At first, the people of a small Alabama city are awed by the Aura Borealis- then the lights go out. Chaos ensues as the realization that all of man’s technologies are still at the mercy of the natural world. Amy has lost her parents in the first few hours of the lights arrival, now she is faced with surviving this terrifying new world.
There were no working flashlights in the house that Amy could find. An idiotic notion since every year as far back as she could remember her family stock piled canned food, water, and of course batteries. Storm season began every spring and without fail, Aaron Mitchell- her father- would go just after the first of the year to Wal-Mart and stock the already well-stocked cache of emergency items. She chuckled to herself as she dug through the kitchen drawers trying to find a fresh pack of batteries.
“Yes!” She fumbled a pack of batteries from the utility drawer in the darkness.
Although she could not read the labeling in the pitch blackness, she knew that they were Energizer “D” batteries- the only brand her father bought. She envisioned for a second that stupid pink bunny wearing his sunglasses and banging his drum while marching around the house. Another attempt to ignore the alarm of panic sounding in her head. Amy unscrewed the flashlight’s cap and switched out the old batteries for the fresh ones. She pressed the button. Nothing. No light. No beam. Not even a glint. Instinctively she tapped the head of the flashlight on the ball of her hand. Still nothing.
The panic alarm in her head started to ring ever louder. Something was so not right. From outside she could hear people on the street still ooohing and ahhhing at the night sky. Obviously no one else’s alarm started sounding yet. She looked through the window over the sink out into the street. Then her mind eased. From Mr. Gregerson’s house across the street, she saw a light moving across his front porch. She rolled her eyes. She was freaking for no reason
Outside, Amy found that her parents had joined the Walthers on their driveway. They were discussing how the lights seemed to have doubled in intensity in the past ten minutes or so. More people had come out onto Livingston Avenue, congregating in groups in the street and on the lawns. Each spectator’s face peered upward and basking in the soft glow of the dancing lights.
“Mom, I can’t find any batteries in the kitchen that work.” Amy joined them on the Walther’s front lawn. Mrs. Mitchell stared smiling into the sky unhearing.
“Mom?” Amy nudged her with the empty flashlight.
“There’s a rechargeable in the utility room next to the circuit panel.” Amy’s father replied.
Making her way to the far back of the house proved more difficult then first assessed. Amy had made it half way down the hall when she slipped on one of Mojo’s rawhide bones. Mojo, the Mitchell’s Great Dane, usually left his chew toys- far too often one of Amy’s shoes or bras- in the hallway on his way out for the night. The heavy rolled piece of rawhide skittered across the tiled floor as her foot came down on it. Amy tumbled forward in the sheer darkness, blindly flailing her arms trying to steady herself with the wall. Narrowly avoiding a nasty spill, she managed to feel her way the rest of her way toward the back of the house.
Instinctively she tried the light switch as she entered the dark room. There was no response. The room was completely black except for the faint glow of the lights through the backdoor window. Amy closed her eyes to gain her bearing on where what her father called the switch box was. That’s when she heard it. A low whine, like an immature class clown humming in the back of his throat.
Amy focused on the sound.
The noise became a waking giant, growing higher and fuller with each passing second. The walls under Amy’s fingers shook. Her heart raced. The noise thundered through the darkness all around her filling her head and body. Then the darkness became light and Amy flew through the air.