I’m sure it was the night that I awoke to the golden light outside my bedroom that all of this started. My friends and I had been planning to go to Six Flags for my 16th birthday. They went, but nobody called me. Nobody even bothered to wake me. I called Sandy and asked her where she was. She told me with the confused, sing-songy tone she used to speak with strangers that she and the gang were about to ride the Python. I asked her if she remembered what day it was. She didn’t.

It was gonna be a good day, I swore to myself. Dad was gonna give me his old car. We’d talked about it, and today was the big day. But when he got home from work, he brought in a box to a brand new television set. It came out of some savings he’d been putting together. He wasn’t sure what they were for, but they’d been needing a new TV anyway.

What about my car? I asked him. My dad looked at me with a weird smile, like he was struggling to remember something. “What car?” he’d asked.

Before I finally faded away, I started seeing shadows creeping in and out of the corners of my eyes. As they became clearer, it was clear that they were the silhouettes of people standing around in some sort of bored stasis.