I answer the phone immediately. There is a noise on the other line. A low beeping that held a steady pattern. I began shouting. I asked if anyone could hear me. I pleaded for answers. I weeped for a voice that did not answer. In the background, in between the beeps, I caught a sound. It was faint, but I could hear it. Seagulls…it sounded like hundreds. Just then the phone went dead. I looked at it forlornly and slid the powerless device into my pocket. Just as the pain of defeat began to gnaw at my stomach, I caught something from my vantage point. It was a glimmer of light. Sparkling in the distance, I could make out water. A vast body of water just out of sight, but reflecting the sun off its surface like a beacon of hope. I carefully climbed down the tower and headed towards the hulking shells of skyscrapers.
D6 = 5, so 5 cards pulled
D6 = 1, Drew 8 of Spades
The outskirts of the city were easily traversable. The roads were open with little debris clogging the streets. A few abandoned cars here and there, but nothing I couldn’t walk around and avoid coming in contact with in case something or someone lurked inside waiting to attack a passing victim. An hour into my journey, I turned down one of the main roads and was stopped in my tracks. Before me, completely engulfing the two-lane streets, were thick jungle vines. They seemed to be coming from every direction. Turning back and finding another route would cause me to lose time, and I did not want to be out wandering this strange city at night in the dark. With a heavy sigh, I began working my way through this natural obstacle course.
D6 = 6, Drew 5 of Hearts
After some time, and considerable effort, I saw dim light through the choking vines. It became brighter and brighter before I pushed through and almost collapsed to the ground as the last of the heavy foliage snapped away. Finding a curb to sit down on, I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths. When I opened them, a white banner caught my eye. It was high up dangling from the side of a skyscraper. The wind buffeted it around and every once in a while I caught letters. Finally, a strong gust billowed it out and it unfurled with the word HELP written in a large black font. The building it was attached to was mostly decimated by something. Huge gashes across its surface with thousands of broken windows and twisted metal beams. There was surely nobody in there left to help.
D6 = 3, Drew 10 of Hearts
I continued to walk, free from the unrelenting vines now behind me. As I continued down what I assume was one of the main roads, I heard a phone ringing. I immediately froze, unsure of where it was coming from. I haphazardly guessed it was forward and began to run. I was glad to hear it get louder as I ran in the chosen direction. An indoor badminton facility seemed to be the only logical place, as it was the only recognizable structure that wasn’t burnt out or destroyed. The phone at the receptionist desk was loudly screaming to be answered and I picked it up yelling in return. Nobody answered my calls and instead I was met with the same beeping I heard earlier. The seagulls were much more prominent and unmistakable. But, what did these calls mean?
D6 = 6, Drew 5 of Spades
When I returned to the street, I continued in the direction I had been heading before this recent distraction. I took a moment and sat down on a bench a block away. Just long enough to rest a few minutes. I didn’t want to slow down, but I couldn’t keep going at this pace forever. There was a low creaking and groaning noise above me and I looked up to see the HELP sign flutter away in the wind. What was once a broken and ruined building just moments before was now choked and entwined with massive vines. As I watched, long green stalks broke through sheer metal and twisted up and around the broken building. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes.
D6 = 3, Drew 3 of Hearts
I was not conceivably any closer to my destination and it was approaching nightfall when I decided it best to find shelter for the night. The mighty skyscrapers were behind me now and I stumbled across a street of townhouses. They were all identical in their layout and design which told me this must have been a recent addition. After some searching, I found one that was in relatively good condition and got inside without any trouble. I locked all the doors and slid the heaviest furniture I could drag to brace the entrance and exit. As I found a quiet corner, the phone in the kitchen began to ring. I jumped to my feet, heart racing, and answered it. I didn’t speak this time. I just listened. The beeping was there. Seagulls calling in the distance, but something new. Someone was breathing. It was raspy and wet. I was paralyzed with fear. “I’m waiting for you,” a deep male voice said with a chuckle. I slammed the phone down, tearing it from the wall and throwing it across the room. I then heard the phone in the adjacent unit ring, followed by the one in the opposite end. With the silence of the dead city, and hundreds of broken windows, I heard every phone in every townhouse ringing. I huddled on the ground, my hands clamped over my ears, trying to block out the sound.