Was I the only survivor ? Coughing spasmodically,
I peered through the darkness and the sight that I saw sent shivers down my
There were still figures on the pavements, road kerbs and even in
stalled vehicles. Moving vehicles had lifeless faces and miserable looks. Eyes
were listless and bodies looked numb. They looked dead but they were not. They
were like the living dead or dead living. I could not tell the difference.
I was mesmerized by the scene before my eyes. This was my very first
experience. Such a situation had never happened to me before. What had happened
Then it hit me like a thunderbolt. The Environmental Department had pitched
the Air Index at Orange two hours ago. All citizens had been warned to stay
indoors and not venture outdoors for Orange meant Be Prepared. The level could
go to Red and Red would be when all hell would break loose.
The world had become horribly polluted that the populace had to be prepared
for any eventuality when the oxygen level would spell death for those without an
adequate supply of oxygen. The United Government had contingency plans in such
an event. Oxygen drills and practices had been carried out. Some people took
them seriously, others were nonchalant. I
was sceptical but I was a low-abiding citizen so I was somewhat prepared.
It was unfortunate that I had gone on a work assignment to the other side of
town and it would take me four hours to get back to the safety of my home. I had
my mini oxygen device with me which would only ensure a three-hour oxygen
supply. At Orange Alert, no LRT tram would stop to pick up passengers. One had
to be at the "Safe Station" Pick-up Point.
It was one of those mishaps that could only occur once in a blue moon. Within
an hour of Orange, the Air Index hovered at Red.
I was within five minutes of Haven Point when the sky turned into a swirling
mass of darkness. Everyone panicked and ran blindly in all directions. I was
knocked down by the mass of human bodies.
When I managed to steady myself, it was still dark and my first thought was,
"This is the end !"
The sight of the prostrate bodies numbed
my thoughts and limbs until I heard a concerned voice, "Come, Mister, share my
tank. I have two masks." I peered in the smog and saw an outstretched hand of a
black man with a face mask. Thankfully, I put out my hand and together we
breathed in the unpolluted man-made oxygen.
We were the only two survivors that day when the polluted city was on Red.