I was greeted by an eerie silence as I pushed open the glass door and descended the stairs to the Benay Enterprises office. Each step echoed, shattering the sound of silence that irked me upon my entry. As I reached the last step, the squeaking hinge of the closing door alerted me. I glanced over my shoulder to make certain no one had been following. Dead silence awaited me at the bottom of the staircase. Where were the normal sounds my ears have grown accustomed to over the last month? The copy machine was not cranking out page after page. No phones ringing or friendly voices discussing finances; even the sweet cinnamon scent of Merrilee’s air freshener had faded and been replaced by a dingy, musty, nothingness. As I paced up and down the halls, looking for any sign of life, I found that every office door was closed and locked. A light was flickering in Dawn’s office, illuminating the ominously dark hallway from the gaps between door and wall. I knocked. No answer. I knocked again. Still no answer. Fearing Dawn was on a conference call and could not hear me, I knocked again, harder, yet the only noise my ears could make out was the whistle of the windy front left behind in Hurricane Sandy’s wake.
The door to my office was open, and assuming my boss had not arrived yet, I figured I may as well get to work and prove myself a solid intern. I flicked on the light switch, but the lights did not work. No power, I presumed, and decided it was time to go home. As I quickly fled from the empty office building, I realized my steps were the only thing I could hear. Even more peculiar was the fact that the daily hustle and bustle of downtown Danbury had disappeared, vanished in the matter minutes. Buildings had been set aflame, yet there were no screams for help or ear piercing fire alarms. The only section of Danbury that was not severely affected by the storm suddenly sat in utter darkness. As I rounded the corner and proceeded down the alleyway, I heard signs of life in the distance. With great anticipation, I tiptoed towards the noise. My precaution turned into worry, as the hopeful signs of life revealed themselves as deep and fearful grunts of desperation. Running towards the noises and fearing that others had been severely harmed in some sort of apocalyptic disaster, I failed to realize the only life I should have feared for was my own!