As night fell the lights in the town slowly flickered on, from the colonial lights adorning main street to the more utilitarian lights lining the darkening side streets reaching out into the dark countryside like a mass of monstrous veins flowing from a heart. In some of the buildings lights came on automatically, powered by an automated machine some ways away, oblivious to the sudden obsoleteness of itself. The soft glow of low watt bulbs filtered out of glass and illuminated the cluttered city streets.
A few of the cars scattered around the road still sat running, carbon monoxide puffing out of mufflers as they ate up the last of the gas still in their tanks. Most had finally run out in mid stride, their engines seizing with a gasping cough and then nothing, nothing but that blessed eternal silence as the sun died and the moon rose. There owners said nothing; there was nothing to say.
The town church still had its doors open, a gaping maw into an unknown oblivion. Inside blew the dead leaves that had littered the town common earlier that day, building in piles along the doorframe. No sound escaped the church, but it's pews were not empty. A full congregation waited patiently in the darkness for a silent sermon which would never come. No alter boys would walk the path leading towards the pulpit; they slept deathly quiet in the front pews, hands resting passively on their laps, heads bowed as if in prayer.
Across the street, from the town store, the last mom and pop shop still successful in town, came a constant stream of static emitted from a small radio on a shelf behind the front counter. Sitting slightly above the dirty magazines and left of the cigarettes, dialed to WGHX, it hissed to itself. The clerk was no longer there; perhaps he was in the street or out in the backroom. Neither option mattered much to the hissing and humming radio; it went on droning to itself gently. Inside the store shelves were overturned and products lay strewn about the floor along with the corporeal remains of a few of the patrons.
Following the main road out of the center of town, swinging past the pizza joint and the colonial cemetery left over from centuries past, a roadblock manned by bare faced boys with grim, cold features covered by gasmasks and clad in fatigues, still watched the road with unwavering, unseeing eyes. Their fingers gripped the cold steel of automatic weapons lifelessly. A line of cars, some abandoned, some still carrying their passengers, stretched back a mile or so, before turning into the casual carelessness of a small child who had forgotten to put his toys away for the night that seemed evident over the rest of town.
Inside the cars, windows closed and doors locked, sat the drivers and their families or their friends, perhaps a loved pet or a close neighbor. Some were serene, holding hands, smiling as the inevitable, intangible washed over them and sweeping them away with the wind. Some clawed at the air as if they sought to withstand the sweet whisperings of the wind with their fists and fingers. Tears still wet faces, becoming dark stains as they dripped onto the seats; one man clutched a bible tightly to his chest. A small child, sitting in his mothers lap, clutched a golden cross so tightly that the edges of the sacred object had dug deep into his skin, staining his hands red.
Above the town the moon began to cast pale ghostly light over the land. Light spread slowly over the old town monument, the young man in blue, carrying a musket to a far off war, and over the police station and its officers slouched quietly in comfortable chairs or inside their stall squad cars. The cold light spread past the flickering street lights, aimlessly blinking red and green to cars that would never move again no matter what the color was. It spread past the nice suburban houses that lined the streets, steadily growing larger as they progressed further from the center of town.
At the very edge of town, just on the border, in an old farmhouse that had been erected long before the incorporation of the town, one television still flickered on. A man and his wife still gazed incomprehensively at the words scrolling across the blue screen endlessly. Their arms wrapped around each other in an endless knot of longing and comfort, fear and love. Sightless eyes stared at the words, watching as each one flowed past impassively. Emergency Broadcast System, it declared itself to silent viewers. A biohazard warning for the Tri-County area. The stream of words ended for a moment, a cliff hanger that no longer mattered. Authorities recommend immediate evacuation. Possible contagions have been released in the Tri-County Area. Again it paused, unaware and indifferent to the senselessness of it. Those townships directly bordering the Kennedy Military Facility are quarantined. All local civilians are asked to take extreme caution and it is recommended that they stay inside until the duration of the crisis has passed. The screen changed color for a second, the machine at the other end instructing it to begin again. Emergency Broadcast System, it declared yet again to an impassive audience.
Over the hills of green blew the wind, picking up speed through the narrow valleys that cut between them in troughs. Onward it blew, propelled by nothing but the change in temperature. Onward it went, gleefully eager to whisper its secrets to the next town. Onward, onward and onward until there was no more.