Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Apocalypse
by Claire Spaulding
I call Dani at three in the morning.
"They came for my family," I say. "Finally."
She's silent on the other end of the line.
"I mean, I knew I wouldn't be on the list. And I knew all of them would. But still." There's a lump in my throat. Everything feels too close. Too tight. I want to scream. Throw something hard and breakable against the wall.
"Your family's safe now," Dani says. "That's good. They say the doomsday front might actually reach us tomorrow. So if they're still collecting people for Sanctuary, they're cutting it close."
I press the phone against my cheek, listen to Dani breathe.
"Are you okay?" she says.
I'm suffocating. I hate everything and everyone. "Well, the house is kind of weird. Too quiet."
"Come over," Dani says, her voice bright, resolute. "I feel like baking."
I can't believe how bright and sharp and silver the stars look at three in the morning between gaps in the clouds. A few flakes flutter through the warm night air. What people have been calling "goodbye flurries." White snowflakes mixed with hot black ash. When the goodbye flurries show up, you know the doomsday front is only a day or two away from your town.
I know that most of my neighbors are asleep in their beds, that only one in five people are chosen for Sanctuary, but still, it's easy to think that I'm the only living person left in the whole town.