01 Feb EMERGENCY ALERT Part 1
EMERGENCY ALERT -THIS IS NOT A TEST -IMMEDIATE THREAT FOR RESIDENTS OF [withheld] COUNTIES -BE WARY OF: -SEVERE WINDS -LIGHTNING -SEVERE RAIN -FLASH FLOODS -RESIDENTS ARE ADVISED TO STAY INDOORS -PLEASE LOCK OR BAR ALL ENTRYWAYS INTO YOUR HOUSE -RESTRAIN FROM USING ANY DEVICES THAT EMIT LIGHT OR LOUD NOISE -PLEASE ENTER A ROOM WITH NO WINDOWS -EFFECTIVE INDEFINITELY -ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
This was the message I was greeted by in the middle of an episode of Big Bang Theory in my living room. Frozen halfway through a forkful of Kraft Mac N’ Cheese, I sat bolt upright and turned around to look out the window. The sky, as I thought, was crystal clear. A few clouds, but nothing crazy. No rain. No thunder. Nothing. Confused, I turned off the TV, erasing the alert from the screen. My two dogs came walking over to me and I patted them on their heads. One of my dogs, the other’s brother, was shaking profusely from the buzzing noise that always shows up with Amber Alerts and the like. I left them in the living room and walked through my kitchen and onto my front porch. My neighbors, too, were standing outside their houses, all looking at the sky in bemusement.
An immediate threat? It didn’t seem like it, I thought as my phone started buzzing with the same tone. One by one, everyone else’s phones started ringing.
I should explain, I guess, that I have never experienced a severe weather warning for real. Not once in my life. I suppose it should come as no surprise, seeing as I live in Oregon of all places. I supposed maybe it was just a mistake, but just as the thought floated across my mind, I heard the siren.
The siren of the squad car coming down the street. An officer talked through the speaker. “This is not a drill. Please enter your homes immediately. Do not go outside under any circumstances.”
Never the kind of guy to ignore higher authorities, I entered my house nervously, turned off all the lights on the above-ground floors, and took my dogs into my basement with a sleeping bag, some food, my phone, a charger, some spare batteries, flashlight, and other essentials. I called my brother, who lives a couple of blocks away, and asked him if he had gotten the message. He had. I considered saying we should stay together to wait out the storm, but then I figured we’d probably get in trouble for that. So I hung up, got comfortable on my sleeping bag, and started browsing Reddit. Eventually, I fell asleep, seeing as I was under stress and had woken up pretty early. When I woke up, I realized that I still didn’t hear any rain. Seriously, nothing at all. More confused than ever, I decided to see if the alert had been called off. I turned on my phone and called my brother again. It went straight to voicemail, though, so I gave up. I decided to risk it and go upstairs. I had to squeeze between the door and the wall to keep my dogs from following me upstairs, but I won and they stayed in the basement. I walked through my kitchen to the front door and looked out the window part of it. As I squinted to see outside in the dark (strange, seeing as it was only 2:00 PM judging by my clock), the TV flickered briefly. I looked around at it and it flickered again, but this time every device on the ground floor flickered. Thinking little of it, I turned around and looked through the door again. Every house on the block had its lights turned off. Nobody was outside.
Except for one teenage girl.
A thin, short-haired girl wearing what looked like a pillowcase walked unsteadily down the street, very slowly, looking as though she was having some difficulty. I turned around, now extremely confused and worried, and got the dogs’ food bowls, which I had forgotten earlier. When I looked up, one of the houses, the one diagonally across from mine (right next to the house across the street and to the left) had it’s lights on and one of its windows broken. I shuddered and rushed back into the basement as the lights flickered intensely.
I locked the door to the basement and sat on an old, tattered couch that I had brought down here–the basement is where I put everything I didn’t have room for. So, yeah, it’s packed. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something that may be worth noting: I live in a small town. A very small town, probably with a population of under 500. Or less. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even on most maps. We never make any news, we never have any scandals or anything. This is the first interesting thing that’s happened, I think, since Mrs. [withheld] lost her dentures to a raccoon. So, it’s possible this whole thing seems way worse than it is.
Call me crazy, but until a few minutes ago, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I love these scenarios, and my basement is totally secure, so I’m having the time of my life. Well, I was. I decided to turn on my radio–what harm could it do, as long as I didn’t turn the volume up to high?
I was surprised to find that our local radio station was still up and running. They were talking about the weather, so I listened hard for any news that I hadn’t heard. There wasn’t any–they were just as confused as us. Not wanting to listen to crappy pop music indefinitely, I tuned into another station. This one was one I hadn’t heard before.
-“Could you give me the status of [withheld] county? Over.” -“No new developments. Over.” -“Okay. Any fatalities? Over.” -“What part of “no new developments” do you not understand, McClellan? A squad car will be passing through soon to scan the area for the target. Over.” -“Any ETA on that? Over.” -“No, not yet. Over.” -“And any word from HQ, Jones? Over.” -“No, McClellan. Not yet. Not since 013 first got out. Over.” -“Well, let me know if and when they contact you. Over.”
At that point, I lost the signal. Well, not really, but the connection got so weak that I could barely make out anything they were saying. I figured I must have found a police communication channel. And I had been left with no answers whatsoever.
That was about forty-five minutes ago, as of me writing this now. Guys, I don’t know what’s going on. Do any of you live near me? You’ll know if you’ve received the warning. I’d say what county I live in, and which ones were affected, but I don’t know to for privacy reasons. Anyway, I’ll keep you guys updated, okay? Until then, wish me luck.
EDIT: Woah, guys, this has blown up. I’ll be sure to keep you posted over the next few days!
UPDATE: Just a quick update before the first major update–about five minutes ago, a car alarm went off somewhere to the right of my house. I’m too freaked out to go check it out, but I’ll go up and see how it looks tomorrow morning, and I’ll update you then.
NEXT UPDATE COMING TODAY