“What… what are you talking about Jess?” I asked, distracted but still angry, “You called me this morning didn’t you?”
“Ty, I just woke up, that wasn’t me calling you this morning?”
I pause to consider remembering I hadn’t actually checked the origin of the call this morning. I flushed with the realisation that I’d mixed up some other, probably wrong number, for Jess and exploded at her over nothing.
Taking my phone away from my ear, I hit speaker and went looking for my call history as I answered her, “Oh shit, I’m sorry, I thought… look never mind I wasn’t freaking out and wasn’t thinking.”
Making it to my call history it listed three incoming calls, Jess’ call now, Mum this morning and an unknown number in between. I copied the number into an internet search, “Anyway, mum suggested we come over their place today with… well yknow, with shit being weird like it is”
“Yeah that sounds like a good idea sweetie, I’ll just shower and call my boss, see if this is affecting work at all”
The phone number search result came back with a flood of results, at the top the usual phone number tracking websites with useless webtracker pages confirming that the search was made but with no information. Beneath those however I found a handful of question sites, all dated as posted today, reporting having received a call from this number. That’s weird, I think to myself, looks like I’m not the only one they called… and as far as I can see, all today.
“Huh, what?” I asked, realising I’d zoned out and Jess had asked me something, “Sorry I didn’t catch that?”
“I asked what you thought was going on?”
I paused again at that question, I hadn’t really tried to consider what was going on before now, not really. It was all too enormous to me to focus on.
“I don’t know… The sky’s fucked for one thing. Mum says its been like this since dawn,” A thought struck me, “But dawn here is noon somewhere else…”
“What?” Jess asks, tired confusion in her voice, she’s not a morning person at the best of times and working nights has exacerbated that.
“I mean, if the sun disappeared at dawn our time, then it would have happened while the it would have been noon in like, Japan or something, right?”
“Yeah, so?” she asks,
“Then shouldn’t videos of that be all over the internet? I haven’t seen any mention of that… shit,” inwardly I kick myself for skimming over headlines rather than actually reading any of the news articles or long comments, “Hang on, I’m gonna look that up”
“Yeah sure, I’ll go have a shower, but I’ll keep my phone with me if you want to call me”
The call ended and I jump back on my computer searching “When did the sun change” and one of the first articles I ignored shows up with that exact phrase bolded in the snippet beneath the link. God I’m an idiot, I think shaking my head as I click open the article.
The text inside explains that the sun rose black in the sky at roughly 10am UTC on the 21st of December. That was around 8pm last night here, I noted after converting the time zones online, right around sunset.
Searching “Sun goes black” videos immediately shows a minute long video of the horizon which shows the sun peripherally as it flared and in a surreal moment a piercing prick of blackness opened up and like watching a piece of paper burn from the centre outwards the light is absorbed by the abyss until only that twisted halo remained.
I sat in silence for longer than I can pinpoint at the end of that video, shell-shocked while the autoplay ticked around to another video of the same transition, followed by another, then another. Not even able to formulate a response, my confusion incomprehensible. What I’d just watched couldn’t be possible, it couldn’t mean anything, it was too far beyond possibility. It was ridiculous. Stupid.
How, was all I could muster, the sheer volume of ways I could have followed that word overwhelmed me. Until finally coherence returned enough for the questions to shape into words.
How could this happen? How could I have missed that video? How could I have missed all of these videos? How could I have not noticed any mention of this story in the half a day since it began last night? How… how… how… how!?
The silence of my room was broken by the sound of my phone ringing once more.