“Hello?” I called through the empty corridors of the building. My voice echoed down each hall, into the empty shops, and bounced off the back walls to echo back to me. A stab of panic flashed through me as I searched the mall for the people who I had seen only a few hours ago.
I pulled my phone from my pocket. When I pressed the button on the side the screen remained black. It must have died while I was sleeping. I ran toward the far end of the building where my friends had said they were going before I took one of my ‘power naps.’ My legs felt like jelly when I arrived in the food court, but it took a second for my brain to process what it was seeing.
The signs were all gone, as was all the equipment on which food had once been prepared. Normally the smell of food clung to the air in this part of the building, but the air seemed too clean. The chairs were all neatly pushed under each table like the building was a photography set.
I continued walking through to the exit on the far side, hoping to see cars and people outside. My footsteps sounded loud in such an empty space. They echoed off the walls and returned a moment later sounding almost like another person following me.
I pushed on the door to find it locked. Through the glass I could see no cars or people. Even the highway that sat on the far side of the mall was empty. I looked to the left, toward the intersection to see that the traffic light was out.
“It’s no use,” A deep gravelly voice said from behind me, “you’re mine now.”