Photograph - Angel Octoso

What Happened to the Humans?

Athena Christy L. Soledad

The blinds were open by a slit, letting in a small sliver of light into the somewhat dim room. They used to be white, but took on a grayish hue throughout the years. My masters never bothered to change it. As I peeked through the small gap, I saw a scene straight out of the dystopian movies my master always watches.

Something was off.

It was a scene I’ve seen since the day I was born. Yet these past few months, it seemed so foreign and different. The stretch of road that used to be full of those roaring human inventions, was silent and empty. The neighbors who used to live with the windows flung open, but now they kept it closed. My masters used to go out so often, but now they remained at home, huddling together and whispering to themselves. I couldn’t make out what their hushed voices meant to convey, but every now and then, I would sense a burst of shock, and then their heads would hang in sorrow.

They still watched the moving things on the bright screen with such intensity, but not like they used to. They used to laugh while watching it, or sometimes they would gather and settle beneath the blankets, screaming in surprise whenever something popped up on screen. But things have been different these past few months. They were watching the same old thing, but they rarely expressed any bit of emotion. They just watched, silent, although sometimes I would notice their foreheads crease and their eyebrows furrow and their corners of their mouths pulling downwards in a frown.

Other than my masters, I rarely saw any other humans. They rarely pass by the sidewalk outside my window, and when they do, they cover their faces and walk briskly. I used to hear loud chatter and banter from outside the window, either from the neighbors or the passersby, but lately, they have been passing each other as if they were ghosts, as if they were unaware of each other's existence. Sometimes, they would even steer clear of each other.

There were no littler humans who would play games in their backyards. The neighbors no longer held their Sunday tea parties in their lawns. I no longer see the group of schoolboys who used to walk home together. The sidewalk was empty, and everything was silent.

It was as if the world held its breath as something sinister ravaged the world. It was as if an unseen force caused the humans to cower and hide behind their blinds. Humans are powerful creatures, they do not back down so easily. Yet, as I licked my paw, I wondered, what happened to the humans?

While the outside world took on a darker hue, the blinds of my window remained the same. Still a grayish white, taunting me with their silence as I asked the same question over and over again.

Published: April 25, 2022