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Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously)

"Hey, Grey?"

A male with spectacles calls back into his apartment building, the panic rising in his voice. The stars reflected in those round, wide glasses sitting on the bridge of his nose, but there was something unusual when you looked at the mirror in the lens. The night sky was fogged and glistening, yet something was.. wrong. The moon- or what was where the moon used to be, at least- was outlined in a red shimmer, and it was as if you could see right through it. On top of the glitchy semi-circle was the words ERROR 404 in white and blocked letters.

It was impossible. How could the moon be fake? A simple error? What did this even mean?

Though, the confusion kept building on the male when he received no response from his roommate. "Grey? You alright?" He slowly made his way back inside from the porch, risking one more glance over his shoulder at the strange symbol in the sky. The apartment was engulfed in eerie silence, threatening to swallow the male with spectacles with the nervousness within it.

First, he poked his head into the kitchen in case Grey happened to be grabbing a late night snack or something like that. But, when he saw no one devouring the junk food from the fridge, he made his way to Grey's bedroom, searching the miniature living room and bathroom as he passed by. It was strange, because he was sure that his roommate had been awake moments ago when he reminded the male with spectacles that he had to take out the trash. Only was it then that the male realized the moon was labeled ERROR 404.

He stumbled into Grey's bedroom, knocking on the open door as he entered. His gaze drifted around the dimly lit room. The only form of light was the computer screen's blue glow and the ERROR 404 sign that lingered right above where the bed would be.

That sign!

"Grey?!" The male with spectacles fumbled in an anxious state of worry, his hand brushing over the wall in attempt to find the light switch. As soon as he found it, he flicked on the lights and froze as his jaw dropped. His roommate was nowhere to be found. Instead, there was the strange error symbol that rested where his roommate was moments before. To his surprise, the male with spectacles was able to put one foot in front of the other and make his way towards the red shine, waving his hand through it. It was a hologram. It was fake. Just like the moon.

Fake? The male furrowed his brows and took a step back. That's.. unbelievable. Maybe this is just a prank? But then again.. how could have someone pulled this off so quickly? And with the moon, too? There's got to be another explanation.

Hurriedly, he turned to his right and swayed towards the computer, furiously typing on its keyboard. He was offered with six different search results for his question; "What is ERROR 404?"

The first four websites seemed to be how to deal with the error on a device or explaining what it meant and was. The one beneath those was a chat with a Joogle assistant But the last website got his attention. 'Is anyone else seeing ERROR 404?'

Immediately, he clicked on it and scanned over the brisk article. Someone was having the same problem as him? He tried navigating his way around the website. Finally, he found what he was looking for.

There were two comments. One a quick explanation and one a reply. He held his breath as he began typing again.
jeremiahwidow@enteratotallyrealemailandthendotcom wrote:
What's going on?
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

Her day was almost like any other. There was a slouchy pattern to her boring life, it seemed. Wake up, head to work, come home. Wake up, head to work, come home. Wake up- Well, you get the gist.

But today was.. different. Something about today told her to cower under the warmth of her laced bed sheets and just forget her routine. Something about today was off, as if a proceed-with-caution sign was dangling over her head. As usual, Kaseko decided to ignore her gut feeling and roll with it, despite having this sickening emotion clinging to her thoughts throughout the day. It was peculiar. It kept her on her toes, taking each step hesitantly and with worry.

Perhaps it was because she didn’t have her daily dose of ‘please-keep-me-awake-after-missing-three-days-of-sleep’ medicine, aka coffee, that morning. Perhaps it was the absence of sleep itself. Or perhaps it was the ERROR 404 sign lingering in her kitchen floor.

The what?

The white lettering spread across the tile was bewildering to her. Shocking, even. “What in all of the glorious things above is that?” Kaseko spat, looking around for some sort of device to generate such a thing. Unfortunately there was nothing there, let alone anyone to answer her question.

She sent a confused gander around her apartment, setting down her bag on the counter as she entered her side room, which was no bigger than half of the average trailer.

“Coconut?” She whispered, squinting. The name belonged to her ivory colored cat, who would usually greet her at the door when she came home. It was strange to see no other form of living matter except herself.

Hastily, the woman made her way up a flight of stairs, heading towards another apartment, calling another name, “Mrs. Lau?” Lau owned the apartment building, and she happened to be Coconut’s favorite elderly here. So, if the feline were to ever escape ( Again. It happened once ), Kaseko’s best guess is that she would be here.

She knocked on the door, but it seemed to be slightly opened already. It usually was. Lau said she enjoyed company and would accept anyone who wanted to come in. “Hey! Sorry for barging, but I wanted to ask if you’ve seen Coconut?” She explained whilst opening the door, smelling the scent of freshly cooked chicken.

“Jade? Oh, come over here, dearie! Come try this!” It was a relief that the elderly had called back to her, and she sounded as if she was in a particularly good mood.

“I’d love to stay and chat, but Coconut must have got out again,” Kaseko raised her voice slightly, not sure if the elderly could hear her from where she stood. After dusting off the bottom of her shoes on the doormat, she rounded the corner of the hall that led to the kitchen. “Is he here?”

No response.

“Mrs. Lau..?”

No one was there. Instead, it was the sign she had seen before. The glitch. “What in the hell?” She recoiled, blinking rapidly at the sight. A spoon laid on the floor, splatters of what Kaseko guessed was soup near it.

She shook her head. “This.. is all a dream,” She reassured herself, exiting the apartment and skipping down the stairs. “I must’ve passed out in the car, again. That’s it! I’m just.. Asleep in the car. No need to worry about it, then.”

Sighing, Kaseko proceeded to move into her apartment room, walking past the kitchen without a second thought. Though, she did head straight to the computer in worry, despite telling herself she was unconscious during her lunch break once again. She researched what ERROR 404 meant itself, but the technical side of things confused her, so she moved on.

That was when she created the online chat, explaining her problem and what had happened exactly. Then the thought occurred to her;

What if she was alone?

Her day was almost like any other. Hence, the almost.
"I've got to be going insane. That's the answer to all this," Ayden mutters to himself, absently scratching the side of his face.
The scene in front of him is unchanging as it was when he first saw it, which was over fifteen minutes ago. He'd been standing, staring at an empty void for fifteen minutes. Granted, the void isn't completely empty. The door-shaped hole where his apartment's bathroom should be is a dark, yawning pit stretching on for who knows how long, but in front of it floats the words ERROR 404.
He had awoken in the middle of the night due to the stifling heat. His AC broke two weeks ago and his landlord had yet to provide him a response on when it would be fixed—or how for that matter. Ayden had lumbered out of bed to go to the bathroom, opened the wood door, and
He wasn't holding the doorknob anymore. In his hand was nothing. Air. The door was gone. The bathroom was gone.
And here he stands, staring at nothing, holding nothing, and talking to himself. There's a "just an average Tuesday night" joke in there somewhere.
Possessed by some chaotic, animalistic instinct, Ayden decides to stick his hand in. To the void, that is. He reaches out with his right hand directly into the inky blackness that was once a completely normal, ordinary, existing bathroom.
The air in where the bathroom should be is cold, stale. There's nothing there. He waves his hand through the white, blocky letters. They shimmer, but don't break, don't waver. Before Ayden can make the brash decision to stick his foot in the darkness, something catches his eye. A change in the lighting of his room. He turns to see—just peeking out the window, surrounded by thin, wispy clouds—the moon.
"What in the fresh hell?" Ayden asks himself.
It's not just the moon. The moon itself appears to be suffering from severe .JPEG style compression. It's outlined in a red, glitchy veil, fuzzy at the edges and overall difficult to see. Over it is that same phrase ERROR 404.
If this problem stretches beyond just his bathroom. . . other people may have seen it. Other people who know more about whatever this is.
Still partially asleep, Ayden sits down at his desk and boots up his computer. Buried in a few pages of Google searches is a webpage. It's simple, looks as if it were put together in a few minutes—it even has the domain name of the website maker—but has what he needs: someone else.
The only post on the barebones website is a short retelling of events eerily similar to Ayden's. Underneath the text is an entry box. Hastily and now more confused than earlier, Ayden types a reply. He tells whoever owns the website about his bathroom and about the moon. He hits submit and waits. First, he refreshes the page every five seconds. Then he turns on all the lights in his apartment and paces. The hole mocks him, yawning, foreboding. It's hostile in a way—there's no way to tell how big it is, how long the darkness stretches, what's on the other end. Who's on the other end.
Ayden is poised in front of the stretch of darkness. In one hand he has an old sneaker, raised over his head. He leans back, preparing his arm to throw when his computer lights up. A response.
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

Breathe, Kaseko thought to herself, now pacing to and fro in her living room. This.. will figure itself out. No need to worry. That won’t help you a-

She heard a small, soft ding! from her computer, which made her whirl around in a flash. A response? Did this mean she wasn’t solitary? A grin creased her lips. It was weak, much like her hope, but at least it was there.

Kaseko quickly scanned over the problem she was given by this online stranger ( which would seem controversial, if it were thought about outside of this situation ), and she began typing away, asking question after question. Though, she paused.

Would they really know what’s going on?

Sighing, she rapidly hit the backspace key in slight irritation. Just start over, she told herself. Quickly, the woman finally came up with a reply, hitting send as she read it over one last time; Sounds like we’re in the same shoes. Any ideas how this started?

Kaseko squinted, reading over the stranger’s message once again. What did they mean by the moon? Curious, she swayed towards the window, pulling back the curtains. She was nearly knocked off her feet. There it was. Again. The damned error.

Another ding.

She raced towards the computer once more, scanning over it. Only, it wasn’t from the same person who had first given an explanation. Instead, the question laid ahead, ‘What’s going on?’ and she nearly scoffed in disbelief. Of course, she was glad there was someone else out there, but why did they think she would have a single clue?

Exhaling, she began typing away again. Good question. If any of us had an answer, I’m sure we would confess. Feel free to share if you do, by the way.
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Jeremiah was- well- panicking. It was what he was best at.

He had left the browser open on the computer and walked through the dimly lit hallway that led to a small area of the living room. He had thought that maybe there would be something about this situation on the news or some other channel or something.

With haste, he swiped up the remote and began flicking through channels. Though, the remote seemed to slowly become lighter in his hands, until it felt like there was nothing at all. When he looked back down at it, 404 RORRE was reflected in the mirroring of his spectacles ( of course, it was only backwards thanks to the lens ), hiding the fear in his wide eyes.

He let go of whatever he was holding almost immediately. It flopped onto the coffee table without a sound, but there was something faint coming from the room he had just left. It took him a moment to realize it was the chat he had left open, and that caused him to forget about the strange disappearing of the remote as he rushed towards the device.

Good question. If any of us had an answer, I’m sure we would confess. Feel free to share if you do, by the way.

“Bloody hell! I just asked a question!” Jeremiah whined, readjusting the position of his glasses. Then he placed his hands on the old keyboard before he wrote a reply of his own.

Apologies, then. >:c I don’t suppose the two of you know how to fix it, either?
weird question: can you guys see anyone else? my building is really quiet for some reason. it's like everyone left???
Ayden hits post and waits. Sitting in the artificial yellow glow of compact fluorescents, Ayden's only company is the sound of his fingers on the keys. Sure, he woke up in the middle of the night, but when has the building ever been quiet at night? It seemed the drywall was always stirred by someone walking, talking, yelling, or partying on the other side. Now, sitting alone in a familiar room suddenly turned unfamiliar, there's nothing. No sound. Not even from outside.
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Jeremiah squinted at the question that was asked next, furrowing his brows as he looked over his shoulder. No roommate. Just the blurry, red and white delusion. Did Grey just.. disappear? Or was Grey still here, somewhere? Was Grey even real? How come he hadn't been an error, as well? This was an awful lot of work just to pull a prank, wasn’t it?

But, then again, he was starting to think that this was all too real. The dreaded fear was starting to gather within in his thoughts and mix with the confusion, and it left a sinking feeling in his chest.

Nothing here. But it’s strange. It’s like one moment they were here, then I left, and when I came back, poof!
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

So people were missing now, too. Wasn’t that great news?

No one here, either. I thought I saw some earlier ( I heard them, too ), but then it was only the error or whatever. It’s like they were replaced??

Kaseko ran a hand through her hair and sighed, rolling her thumb over the keyboard in order to hit Enter. She watched as her response popped onto the screen under the other’s. Nervously, she stood up again, wandering to the kitchen. ERROR 404 welcomed her, still lingering on the floor. She was expecting something different. She didn’t know why, but she was. Unfortunately, nothing had changed, so she returned to the computer, narrowing her eyes at it.
Ayden sighs, exhaustion gone as adrenaline seeps into his bloodstream. How had no one else found the website so far? Where the hell was everybody?
Ayden types a response: is this worldwide? where are you two?? not to be weird but maybe if we know where this is happening it will make more senes?
Realizing his error from typing so fast, Ayden adds, ***sense, with already shaking hands.
He gets the urge to look over his shoulder. The only thing there is the error message and the gaping hole in the corner of his room. Just barely he thinks he can hear a faint humming coming from deep within the void. Ayden turns back to the bright computer before he can think too much about it.
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

Kaseko blinked. Worldwide? Was it? Was she supposed to know that?

Of course she was supposed to know. She had created the website, right? Quickly, she opened another tab, typing in the website's address a second time. Was there a way she could figure that out? She thought she had just put up the basic website, and that it was it. She didn’t go into detail about it, so wasn’t just in her area? Perhaps a thousand mile radius?

I don’t think it’s worldwide. I didn’t do any fancy-schmancy settings on this, so I think it’s just around the area.

Then something occurred to her.

Is this happening all around the world?!?
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Well, it would make sense if it was, right? Why would it just be happening in one area? And can’t you see the moon from anywhere and everywhere?

Jeremiah hit send and paused. He had another thought, so he continued typing. Of course, he had a million thoughts at the moment, but he was too panicked to actually write them down. He decided to would probably be better to stick with the basic questions, for now, but he tried to grasp onto his confusing thoughts. Maybe he would bother them later.

Does that mean we’re in the same area? Is there somewhere we could meet up to talk about this??
Desperate for an excuse to get away from the inky black hole in his room, Ayden replies quickly, sounds like a good idea to me. dont know what other option i have anyway
He looks around his room, searching for something to bring when he leaves. He'd only been living in the building for the better part of two months and hadn't ever thought of what he would do in an emergency. The area wasn't prone to natural disasters anyways, so it hadn't ever crossed his mind. The only things somewhat close to survival equipment he had was some old hiking gear and a steering wheel lock that could be used as a weapon. A weapon? Is that what he needed right now.
"This isn't the goddamn zombie apocalypse, pull yourself together," Ayden mutters under his breath.
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

Sounds like a plan. How about the old cafe near the park?

She hit send, though she blanked for a handful of seconds before typing another reply.

I Forget what it’s called. Something—something boutique?

Quickly, as she waited for a response, Kaseko picked up her purse, but she decided that it wasn’t exactly necessary to what she might need, not to mention the size was barely enough for her phone. She sighed. After picking up a slightly larger backpack that would, in fact, carry more than her device, she also changed attire. Heels and a blouse were probably not the way to go, dare she need to run from something or someone. An old t-shirt and even older hoodie seemed more appropriate. So, she flopped back down onto her bed, checking over the chat once again.
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Jeremiah was halfway into a response when the computer made a quick and echoing ring, signaling that someone had replied before him. The something-something boutique. Clever.

The one by the flower shop that just got shut down? The Greensday Boutique?

It made him laugh that he had to correct someone on a simple matter, but the noise was strange in the almost silent room. If it weren’t for the faint humming of the air conditioning, the silence would have eaten him alive by now. Strange enough, why was it so quiet? Did this thing ( a virus or glitch or something? ) knock out everyone?

“Well, no, Jeremiah. That theory would be false,” He told himself matter-of-factly. “If everyone was affected by whatever this is, you, nor whoever is on the other end of your screen, wouldn’t be here.”

Hopefully, he was right. But that brought a new question to mind; why wasn’t he ( and the other two ) affected?
Greensday! Ayden types, eyes lighting up with recognition, i can be there in ten minutes
Ayden leaves his computer open while he gets dressed in case another response comes in. He's pulling a jacket on when he blinks. In the second it took for his eyelids to flutter shut, it happened. It disappeared. Less than a second passes and his closet—which he was staring directly at—emptied. All that was left of his belongings was a single, shimmering phrase hovering in the air. ERROR 404.
"I gotta get the hell out of this place," Ayden says hastily. He shoves his feet into a pair of sneakers and slams his computer shut, then does the same to the door to his apartment. The lights are still on inside. The only things in his pockets are his car keys, phone, portable charger, and a flashlight. He doesn't look back.
Even as he scrambles down flights of stairs, the building is devoid of sound. Finally he reaches the lobby, racing to get outside, he bursts through the double glass doors.
The night is dead quiet. He hears nothing, not even an animal. Not even the wind. Ayden catches his breath out in the parking lot, turning to look up at the looming apartment building. He didn't notice as he ran through it, but all the lights are off. Only one light shines down. The light in his room.
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

Alright. See you guys there, ig.

Was she skeptical? Of course. Did she have another option? Not really, no. A sigh escaped her lips as she shut her computer. With haste, she made her way towards the door, glancing into the kitchen. Still there. “Bye, Coconut!” She called into the silence of her apartment, as if she were expecting a response. She wasn’t surprised when she didn’t get one.

On the other hand, she was slightly ticked she had been corrected by whomever was on the other end of the screen, but she also questioned why it bothered her at all. As she was passing through the parking lot, Kaseko looked around and shuddered. It was unusually.. quiet. On the other hand, day was fading into night. But wasn’t there usually a car or two, at least? A stray animal?

Coming to her car, she quickly opened the door and slipped in, making sure to avoid her gaze drifting towards the sky. She didn’t need to panic more than she already was. The woman started her vehicle, placed her shaky hands on the wheel, and pulled out of the parking lot.

“At 31680 feet, turn right to arrive at your destination.”
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Sounds like a plan!! Be there in twenty. :p As soon as he made sure his message went through, Jeremiah hopped out of his chair and made his way down the hall. Before swinging out of the door, he grabbed a coat and his rough satchel, which was an excuse for a real bag he couldn’t locate. He skipped down the steps and hustled towards his bike, keeping his distance from the car sitting in the driveway. He knew that taking a car would have more than likely been faster, but, thanks to his fear of automobiles, that wasn’t going to happen. So, his bike seemed like the best option. Well, the only option, anyways. He wasn't too fond of riding when the sun was down, but his choices seemed limited. Very limited. As if it were the Olympics, Jeremiah began peddling down the empty streets, keeping his eyes open for anymore of the peculiar ERROR 404 signs as he hurried along the sides of the road.
The walk—or rather, adrenaline and fear fueled scramble—to the boutique is quick, thanks to how close Ayden lived to it. Immediately Ayden regretted not grabbing a flashlight. The lack of light outside it uncanny. Not even the streetlights cast their familiar, fluorescent glow. Along with the light, the city's regular sounds are absent. Completely absent. Ayden can't even hear cars on the highway. He exhales loudly just to make sure he hasn't gone deaf in his exitement.
The stout building of the boutique stands where it always has. Painted a pastel lime with eggshell details. Glass-paned windows reveal the pitch dark interior. Hovering overhead, where the Greensday Boutique sign should be are the words ERROR 404. Seeing the message makes Ayden want to turn back. A primal instinct—flight. But to where? Where was a safe haven? From what he's seen, no place is untouched by the stagnant message.
Light from the floating message casts soft, white shadows on the cracked sidewalk. Ayden walks underneath it, looking for something to explain the phenomenon. Nothing.
Ayden hopes that whoever these people are, they can provide him more answers than he's been able to come up with.
Jeremiah Widow (played anonymously) Topic Starter

Ack! Jeez!”

Jeremiah gasped, drawing in the air quickly. His wheel tilted forward, and he swiveled sideways and directly onto the concrete of the sidewalk. His palms left the stirring of the bicycle and hit the ground, much like the rest of his body did. For a moment, he just tumbled, his arms held over his face for protecting. Then he absorbed the silence. Nothing. He exhaled, pushing himself into a sitting position before looking around.

That’s when he noticed the figure. “Oh!” The male put on a quick, awkward smile, waving as he rose to his feet. He dusted off his jeans and clasped his hands together. Don’t you dare stutter. The last thing you need is someone— a stranger— judging you for being anxious. His brows furrowed at the thought, and he held back a scoff. “Uhm.. Jeremiah!” He inhaled. Too loud for somewhere close to silent. “I mean.. I’m Jeremiah. Are.. you here because of the..?”

He made a gesture towards the Greensday sign. Or, what was supposed to be the sign, anyways. Nervously, he fumbled and reached for his bike, setting it upright as he held it. Some phony advice ‘don’t be awkward’ was.
The Anonymous (played anonymously)

And here came the doubt. The second-guessing. The ‘why-the-hell-am-I-doing-this’? Kaseko’s grip on the wheel tightened. The static of the radio and the stillness of the environment around here gave her too much time to think. Since her mind wasn’t worrying about driving without any incidents or avoiding any groups of traffic, she was engulfed in the thoughts of her current situation.

Besides, she wasn’t exactly driving anymore. She had parked a block away from the boutique. Irritated and overwhelmed, Kaseko placed her head against the wheel and groaned. Not only did she dislike interactions with people she’s never met, she didn’t particularly enjoy the sudden rush of emotions, either. But, if she wanted to figure things out, she would have to just toughen up and roll with it.

Kaseko said goodbye to the warmth and safety of her car, beginning to pace down the sidewalk of the empty town. It wasn’t long before she spotted two people standing near the building. Ah, that must be them, she thought as she straightened her short and stiff posture. She was planning on acting as if she hadn’t witnessed one of them falling off their bicycle, but it was difficult hiding the slight disappointment in her eyes. She was in for the long haul, wasn’t she?

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