Gray, Wet February Noon at Columbus circle 846

When Mary Ann stepped out of her apartment building that morning, it was quiet. Not entirely silent. Rain patted down to provide a cloaking susurrus. Her alarm had gone off at the usual time. Her shower had muted the world for a time. She had made her coffee, thrown on her clothes and had headed out the same way she had five days a week, forever, it seemed. Columbus Circle, a short walk away, was still. Really, the only messages had been spam and autofeeds? Are you kidding me? But it was so. She looked up from her iPhone. It might be easy to not see other pedestrians when your entire consciousness was focused on a tiny screen, but she stopped walking. Stood erect. Looked around. Lights on streetlamps shone, traffic lights clicked on and off at regular intervals, but nothing moved. No buses, cabs, horse-drawn carriages, pedicabs. No sounds of jets rumbling, invisible behind clouds. There was not a soul in sight. She looked up Broadway and across 57th Street, even took a few steps to peek down 8th Avenue. Nope. No one. Oh, fuck, she thought. Not again.

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