DOWNFALL, Elyse Caveda

I grinned at the bright reflection of my face. I just needed to wash the windshield, and then I’d be finished. The laughter of children reached my ears as families walked down to the park at the end of the street.  A sweet elderly couple across the street was trimming the hedge on their front lawn, and I waved hello when I was sure they saw me. I didn’t see them wave back, but I paid it no mind, picking up my bucket of soapy water and my big yellow sponge.  Deciding to let it dry in the sun, I walked over to the front of the car when I was done.

It was after I fell face first into the ground that I finally realized a great amount of force had made contact with the back of my head. The bucket flew out of my hand and rolled into a gutter down the street. I stood and gathered myself as quickly as possible when I noticed a butter knife with a heavy handle on the ground behind me. I picked it up and looked around sharply for someone to blame. After only a second, it was obvious to me that none of the people around could have thrown something with that level of accuracy -  so I looked up. I’m not sure what I expected to see, but the clouds were beginning to turn gray. Still, that wasn’t out of the ordinary, maybe even a little welcomed.

Then, against the dark grey background of a storm cloud, something shimmered. Just for a second, it was so quick I was scarcely sure I saw it until I heard a great sound of crashing scraping metal. I looked to my left, and sticking straight up from my car was what appeared to be a machete. It glinted and gleamed with each wobble it produced. Another sound followed, this time more blunt, until it was followed by a scream. The old woman thrashed in silent panicked movements, contorted in fear and pain.  Her husband was the only one yelling and shouting; his line of vision never veered from the lobster knife sticking out of her body.

I looked up one more time, and the entire sky was glistening as if it had been dusted with glitter. The stars seemed to have come out early to drill the sky with blinding dashes and dots. The first downfall came hurling into view when most people were transfixed in awe. I had already run to the front door, fumbling with shaking fingers and cold metal keys until I was able to slam the door behind me. I tottered into the living room when it started to rain: bread knives, table knives, oyster knives, daggers, meat cleavers, rapiers, and katanas.  It rained every kind of knife or blade I had ever seen and some I never had.  They rained down on the street, stabbing into the pavement or adjacent gardens, and I watched it all through my bay window in perversely frozen horror.

The old woman on the other side of the street was pinned to the ground by the lobster knife. She opened her mouth, but her screams were drowned out and then silenced by the piercing sound of a thousand blades hitting concrete, metal and flesh. Within moments, she had been disassembled. The families that had made their way to the park were now running back to their houses, and didn’t even consider knocking on a neighbor’s door for sanctuary, so insular was each home in our community.

From what I could see, all the knives landed blade down, no matter how heavy the handle was – which was bizarre. A blue car, long-swords and scimitars sticking out of the roof, swerved and skidded down the road making it look like a demented metal porcupine. In a matter of minutes, most of the people on the street had been chopped to pieces, save for a few. Some, a middle aged woman, a toddler and the husband of the woman across the street, were moderately unscathed, and so, stood completely still, hoping, like me, that the rain would stop before they were torn apart.

I closed the curtains and listened to the knives hitting the roof of my house. Through the din of crashing, a low groan reverberated in the house. I leaned against the wall with my eyes closed, wondering how long it would take for the roof to collapse.