September 21, 2016
US Population: ~330 million.
David drifted through space, turning effortlessly as a thousand tiny stars dotted his vision. He reached out to touch one close by, and the tip of his finger burst it like wind to a dandelion. He popped one more, then another, and the tiny specks of light filled the void even further. When it came time to breathe, he could gather no air. That wasn’t too strange, he was in space, after all. However, his lungs felt full of some spongy substance that crept up to his throat. He jabbed his chest, trying to dislodge whatever filled him, but it only grew further, until he could feel it on his tongue. With no breath, his consciousness began to fade, all the stars winking out, giving way to an unceasing sea of black. He awoke, with a pallor gripping him and gooseflesh rippling over his skin. Hang on, air’s going in, air’s going out. It’s just a dream, I’m fine. He paid it little mind, threw off his covers and dressed in the black graphic tee and cargo shorts he wore the day before. Thus began his morning routine, gray eyes and fair hair greeting him in the mirror, but he couldn’t shake the goosebumps. After washing, he started catching up on current events on his favorite message board, when he noticed an odd post pinned to the top of the forum display. “What happened to Maine?” was the title. Having seen nothing on the news, he was reasonably secure in its status as both state and landmass, but curiosity demanded he open the post. It originated at 9 AM, two hours ago.