In one moment a global blackout occurs, and six billion humans become unconscious. During this brief yet seemingly eternal three-minutes, a series of catastrophic events occurs, and minds collide with truths hidden beyond the physical realm. With the reawakening comes a drastically and horrifically altered world; populations decimated and social order gutted. No one seems to remember the truth that has been revealed in the blackout or that this discovery could save or destroy the human race. No one that is except Laura. As she and her small band navigate the post blackout landscape of birth mutations, cold-eyed survivors, and religious zealots, Laura must figure out how to convince others of the truth before evil takes care of what is left of the world.
Nothing moved on the wreckage-strewn Golden Gate Bridge. For three long minutes, those who’d survived the collisions lay unconscious, ecstatically basking in exploding visions.
John Thomas regained consciousness in strobing flashes: Everythingness, nothingness. Vague euphoria. Everythingness. Singularity. John Thomas.
Reality returned abruptly: smoke, burnt rubber, oil, and blood; idling engines, stuck car horns, Lucas’s voice, and a low humming he didn’t recognize; twisted car interior strewn with CDs, fast-food garbage, and contents of the glove compartment; leather upholstery oddly pressed into his side, the seat belt bruising his lap and shoulder.
His head hurt, his eyes stung. But there was a leftover bit of dreamy fog, something exquisite, exciting, good. It slipped away when he tried to focus, and panic, sadness, filled the emptying recesses. He squeezed his eyes shut. What was the picture inside that whiteness that kept sending such night-before-Christmas feelings? The best dream he’d ever had and now he couldn’t remember it!
“What happened?” Lucas asked loudly, excited. “My side hurts. I can’t get my seat belt off.” He tugged John Thomas’s arm. “What’s wrong with you and Dad? You don’t answer and I need help. Get my seat belt off, John Thomas, now, now, now!”
John Thomas looked at Lucas—his voice, his hand plucking at his sleeve—there, but somehow, not real. Like a TV turned up too loud. Lucas.
Lucas frightened John Thomas. He’d been wanting to say something about this to his father. But what could he say? The things he felt about his brother didn’t seem to have words.
His head hurt and it was hard to think. Part of him knew that something was terribly wrong, but most of him was wrapped in the memory of wonderful feelings. If only he could remember where they came from, the story that strung them together.
“John Thomas, stop pretending you don’t hear me,” Lucas demanded. He tried to wriggle out of his seatbelt to see out the windows. All but the front passenger-side window, facing the parking lot, were shattered opaque, yet intact.
“I can’t see anything, John Thomas. Dad! John Thomas won’t help me! Dad!”
John Thomas tried to focus on the spot where his father’s head and shoulders should be. His father wasn’t there. Where was he? Fear jolted him.
They’d had a very bad accident. Was something wrong with his father? John Thomas fumbled with his seat belt, forgetting that he’d been trying to remember something, ignoring Lucas, the pain in his head, needing only to see his father, to know he was there and he was alright.
He grabbed the front seat, heaved himself up, and saw his father, body contorted on the floor beneath the dash, head turned at an impossible angle, eyes staring at him.
John Thomas stopped breathing. His pulse thrummed his eardrums. He fastened his gaze on his father’s trembling lips.
“Watch out,” Craig Thomas croaked.
John Thomas leaned farther over the seat, straining to hear.
Using his last breath of life, Craig whispered, “Watch out . . . for . . . Lucas.”