The survivors huddled together in one of the theaters. They shared the bleak, empty look familiar to Matheus from the constant barrage of disaster footage on cable news. A few glanced at Matheus as he approached. He slowed, the weight of identical expressions pressing down on him. Each step fell like wet cement. Time had stopped in that moment of loss, walls rising up in their eyes, images projected there in an endless loop. No one spoke, only watched. The future ceased to exist, as real a break as if the sun had swallowed the Earth. Matheus stood in front of them, Heaven waiting at his side. He cleared his throat. One by one, they looked up at him. Cracks appeared in the walls, a glimmer of the pulse of time on their faces. Matheus wanted nothing more than to sink through the matted carpet, into the dark, silent earth.
“Say something,” said Heaven.
Matheus leaned down, dropping his voice to a whisper. He didn’t dare look away from those broken expressions. “What?”