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Let me start by saying that no... This is not a rewrite of The Day the Earth Stood Still. The Keanu Reeves remake sucked...
This is the story of the day that everything...and everyone around me froze.
I wish I could say that I have the power to control time or something incredible...I'm afraid that it has a far more sinister explanation.
I woke up one morning to find that nobody was home. I came downstairs to find that my mother wasn't in the kitchen making breakfast like every other day. I didn't think much of it and made myself some food. I assumed she'd gone out shopping while my Dad was at work.
When I finished breakfast I decided to call her just to check in... No answer. Still, no red flags because half the time, she keeps her phone on vibrate and leaves it in her purse or in the car. Since it was the weekend, I decided I'd spend my time wisely and binge out on some TV. The television was usually always set to the news since that's the last thing my Dad watched before going to bed. Sure enough, there was the news as soon as I turned the TV on...but the newscaster wasn't saying anything, he wasn't even moving. He was just staring blankly at the camera. It was honestly unnerving...as if he was staring directly at me and not saying a word.
I stared right back at him, waiting for something to happen but nothing did. The guy didn't even blink.
I thought to myself, "Okay...maybe the channel is just frozen. That happens sometimes, right?"
The thought comforted me until I looked past the newscaster and noticed that the generic background they use was still moving.
I felt my skin crawl as I realized that nothing was wrong with the feed. This guy was literally frozen in place. Was he having a breakdown? I kept waiting for someone to get his attention or cut to the dopey weatherman... but it never happened. I don't know how long I sat there in a staring contest with the newscaster.
I finally decided to change the channel hoping it was some weird fluke. Next was a kids channel and it was working just fine. The brainwashing cartoons were broadcasting like normal. Part of me was terrified I'd come face to face with a character staring into my soul... Thank God that didn't happen.
On to the next channel. Sports. Not my thing but I needed something to take my mind off the news. I should've stayed on the cartoons...
My brain couldn't process what I was looking at. Two sportscasters were staring at me again. One had his mouth open like he was mid-sentence. The crowd behind him looked like a photograph at the big game. Some were in a standing cheering position, some were sitting, but nobody was moving. I looked past the crowd and saw hockey players sliding across the ice until they hit the wall but they didn't react. Everyone I could see was frozen in whatever position they were in. What the hell was happening?
I didn't stay on this channel for long, I couldn't handle it. I started quickly surfing through channels. I realized anything live was affected by whatever this was...but anything prerecorded was just fine. I decided I was done with the TV and I'd go out to clear my head.
I hurried out of the living room and nearly had a heart attack. I bumped into someone I wasn't expecting to see and I fell back. When I composed myself and looked up I nearly screamed...I found my mother. She was standing still in the hallway, mid-stride with her purse in her hand like she was getting ready to head out. I slowly approached her and studied her closely. "
Mom...?" I asked shakily but she didn't respond.
She wasn't moving or even breathing! I reached out and touched her but she wasn't cold so I knew she had to be alive, but she was frozen in time... She couldn't be though. As far as I could tell, time was progressing just fine. Things were moving like they should, except for people...
I ran from the house and hopped on my bike, not really paying attention to my surroundings at first. My sweet old neighbor, Mrs. Hannigan, was outside watering her garden...well, actually, she was drowning it considering the water was running but she was standing still spraying a single bush.
I passed kids "playing" outside... A mailman who looked like he couldn't decide whether or not he wanted to put the stack of mail he was holding into a mailbox.
It felt like the whole world was doing the mannequin challenge that went viral a while back.
Was I on a reality TV show? Was this some kind of elaborate prank?
Thank god I wasn't driving because the streets were chaos. I expected to see cars frozen where they were but some were moving at a snail's pace while others had gone in a straight line until they crashed into a building or someone's house.
If I hadn't been so terrified, I probably would've laughed when I saw the car that had plowed into some old guy's house and the old man was just sitting on his couch watching TV with a car sitting in his living room.
I saw a car that had slowly bumped into a person crossing the street. They were just laying under the car like nothing happened.
I rode my bike to the mall trying to find SOMEONE that wasn't frozen like this. I ran inside to a sea of "mannequins" shopping and standing next to actual mannequins in the stores.
Hell, if I wasn't a decent person this would've been a great shoplifting opportunity.
Every single person I could find was frozen...
I was about to give up hope and slip into madness when I saw...him.
I had sat down in the food court next to a couple of teenagers enjoying their lunch when I saw a man across the court who looked like he was staring at me. He wasn't really out of the ordinary considering at the right angle, I've had a lot of people staring at me that day.
I kept glancing over at him, feeling like his eyes were burning into me... when he blinked. I could've sworn it was just a trick of the light or my already crazed mind playing tricks on me. Then I realized he was sitting opposite me in the exact same position as me. I lifted my hand to wave at him and he mirrored me. I could feel my heart stop and I couldn't decide if I should be overjoyed that someone else was moving but something about this man made my blood run cold.
I stood up and sure enough, so did he. I started walking one direction and he became a perfect mirror of me. Then I started walking towards me and he matched my speed but I stopped thinking he might have ill intent.
I turned around facing away from him and looked over my shoulder to see him doing the same and I started walking, and he walked away from me.
Keep in mind... this man looked NOTHING like me, it wasn't a mirror. He looked like an average middle-aged man in unassuming clothes and I was a kid.
I spun around to face him and screamed, "What do you want?!"
I expected him to do the same but he didn't make a sound... He only mouthed the words. Who was this guy? Why wasn't he affected by the phenomenon? What did he want from me? How was he copying my actions?
So many questions running through my mind...
I moved a little closer and so did he. Then I grabbed a drink off a table and threw it at him... He mirrored the motion with nothing in his hand and the drink splattered against his chest, but he didn't react.
I then had the thought that I had just pissed this guy off and maybe now he'll try to hurt me, but he didn't. I came to the conclusion that I should be safe since he can't reach me unless I approach him.
So I turned around and started walking to one of the exits. I turned my head to look at him and he was walking in the opposite direction so I ignored him and looked towards the exit.
Then I heard rapid approaching footsteps and my heart stopped. I turned and for a split second I saw him running at me, but as soon as we locked eyes, he stopped completely like the other people.
I screamed and started running for the exit and I heard him getting closer again. It sounded like he was only a few feet behind me and I was bracing myself to be grabbed or whatever this guy had in mind.
I turned one more time and saw him right behind me... His eyes were drilling into the back of my head but he wasn't reaching for me, he was just sprinting at me. I wasn't watching where I was going and I ran face first into a display and fell on the floor. I hit my head hard enough to black out...
The next thing I heard was someone's voice saying, "Hey, kid. Are you alright?"
When I opened my eyes, I saw a friendly mall cop standing over me with a worried expression.
"He,y kid. You took a pretty nasty fall."
He helped me sit up and I looked around confused. There were a few people staring at me but everyone else was walking around the mall like always. Nothing was frozen and that...man was nowhere to be seen.
The mall cop called my parents and my mom came and picked me up.
I wish I had a more climactic ending... but I was left with more questions than anything. Nobody was ever aware that anything was frozen... I still have no idea who that guy was or what he wanted...but I know it was real...