Entry Seventy-seven: Adam Mahoney, You Just Won!

[The next many entries are the current story I am working on. This is seven of who knows how many will be posted. Enjoy it while it lasts...]

Chapter Two
Adam Mahoney was in a new and unique place. Not just for him but for anyone, ever, in the history of the world. If what the note said was accurate, and he was still holding out hope that it wasn’t, he was breaking new ground as a human and it was too much to comprehend. He sat on his sofa, staring at the television, mindlessly clicking through every channel and chain-smoking cigarettes. Most of the shows revealed nothing unusual, mocking him with their consistency, showing programs taped long ago and cued up in a big computer, housed in a far-off city, set to run automatically. But the shows that were usually live were anything but. Empty sets, stillness and silence were all they offered. He sat there, selecting channels up and down the spectrum for hours, hoping that somewhere a real person with something current to say would jump into the frame and make it all go away. He yearned for that shock. Instead, channels started disappearing, turning to white and gray digital snow, signaling the end of the pre-set programming as well as the end of the broadcast day. And their broadcast life. As it began turning dark outside, Adam rose from his perch, turned off the TV and crawled back into bed. It was all he could think to do, the only choice that seemed safe.

He slept some, occasionally waking with an idea he thought would verify or debunk his situation. He would then force himself out of bed and follow through with whatever new plan he had hatched, but the results always favored the contents of the note. His best and most comprehensive idea was to use the online phone books, look up phone numbers of random businesses all over the U.S. and call them. No one answered. He also called residential phone numbers, randomly selected from cities big and small, from Hawaii to Maine. Still no one answered. As a last resort, he began calling overseas—Germany, Italy, Spain—dialing randomly, searching for anyone to talk to. There was no one home. Anywhere.

All words and images ©2006/J. Colle

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