I remember learning in my AP World History class, that catastrophe, war, it is progressive. True, it can all of the sudden seem as if the world is ending. However, if you know what to look for, if you're aware of the warning signs then it is slow. Like watching a kid in a park, every time they do a little jump to make it to the next monkey bar and make it they dance in success. Then, suddenly, they fall. You knew it would happen, if not then then someday, but the kid had no idea.
I didn't like being that kid.
Honestly, to this day I don't really know what the signs were. I missed something, obviously, but even now I don't know what. Not that I have had a lot of time. Between the running and dodging and screaming and sleeping taking quiet time to focus on what brought on the end of the world doesn't come handy. Regardless, without a second thought I can tell you exactly how I knew it was over.
I was driving around trying to find somewhere to get some ice cream. It was about 9:30PM, not particularly late, but not particularly early either. I tried to find a Cold Stone or a Bruster's but nothing was open. Unsurprising given that this was the coldest fall in years, ice cream shops weren't doing great and the closed down sign of the frozen yogurt place I went to in desperation proved it.(Soft serve just wouldn't do, so McDonalds was out of the question.) As a last ditch effort I decided, what the heck, I'd go to the grocery store and just pick something up packaged.
The grocery store by me was a Publix, and even though I loathe Publix, I didn't want to make the drive for what was now only a sad replacement for what I really wanted. As universes reminder to why exactly it was that I hated Publix so much, they had a sign on their entrance stating the following:
Due to staffing, climate, and safety issues the new hours of operations are 10A to 6P Monday-Saturday, 12P to 5P Sunday.
I groaned and rubbed my freezing hands together before getting back in my car and waiting for it to heat back up from its 3 minutes out in the cold. When my teeth stopped chattering I clicked my seat belt and drove off. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and there was a 24/7 Wal-Mart close by that I had been to at about 3 in the morning the other night, that time it had been a craving for cake. Getting there was made difficult as it had started to snow. Thankfully, once I got past the entry for the highway -which was so bad that the police were directing the traffic-there were few people driving into town. I grinned with success when I made it into the Wal-Mart (after a slippery drive that nearly cost my life at least 7 times) and saw the parking lot empty. I parked my car, braced myself for the cold, and walked to the doors.
That's when I noticed something wrong. The lights weren't on despite the dark and snowy sky. The doors were locked, and they hadn't even left on the entry way lighting. It was an eerie sight- this 24/7 Wal-Mart was closed.
That's when it knew it without a doubt, the world as we knew it was over. Wal-Mart was closed. Our world, was closed.