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Not sure why I’m writing about this. Feels like I’ve done this before. Strange feeling, déjà vu, but I know I haven’t, so here goes.

It happened maybe 20 years ago, now?

The internet went out, followed by the cell phone networks, then the landlines.

Every radio signal was white noise, and cable TV was nothing but static. All we had left was electricity as a hush fell over the world.

Hospitals and medical equipment had been spared from… whatever it was. Dangerous machinery claimed no lives and continued to operate smoothly. Nuclear power stations remained stable. No mechanical incident of any kind took place during The Hush.

All was simply… quiet.

No one knew what caused it. Most of us were fine, but a few people lost their minds.

In Tampa, one hour after The Hush began, a soccer mom tried to stab her own family to death during a psychotic break over not getting to see an episode of her favorite show. A suspiciously wealthy tycoon took his own life 4 hours into the incident, in a public square in New York. Six hours passed, and the owner of a company that regularly donated to hate groups had to be restrained and committed to a psych ward after roving the streets of San Diego, foaming at the mouth and swiping his hands like a zombie at passersby. The incidents continued like that until the end.

The Hush only lasted 24 hours, down to the half-second.

To this day, no one could tell you the cause. Theories abound, but most people don’t care.

It wasn’t so bad for most folks. We were… uneasy at worst, relaxed at best. We talked with our neighbors, cracked open books, even played offline video games, since the electricity was fine. Whatever had happened, it was selective and deliberate, but not hostile, it seemed. For most people, it was downright peaceful, to be honest, as though some sort of relaxing chemical had been released into the air—though scientists never found proof of that theory either.

The After is what’s important. See, the world started to change After The Hush.

People were nicer, the rich were more charitable. In less than a decade, billionaires stopped existing. I don’t mean they were murdered. They just spontaneously decided all together to divert their wealth. Poverty vanished. Everyone has a home and food and shelter now, but…

People don’t talk about it, but we know something meddled with huma—

Ariel Cross

Ariel Cross is a fantasy author and blogger with a love for representation and subversion. To them, happiness is a warm glass of mead on a cold day.

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