The Challenge: “Write a 275-word fictional story about a person who wakes up one day to find all media has vanished. Use only active sentences of a maximum of seven words.”
“Monday morning,” I groan. I shuffle to the living room.
My radio sits in its usual corner. I jiggle the dial, seeking sound. Silence fills the airwaves. The stations are empty. Where is Richard Cloutier?
It must be a glitch. I turn to the television to check CBC. Both it and Global have vanished. I sigh. Well at least there’s still print.
I unlock the door and step outside. There is nothing on my porch. The Winnipeg Free Press should have arrived. I hope they are just running late. Manitobans cannot survive without the news.
The billboards downtown are empty. Even the CTV building looks abandoned. I step onto my bus. There is a crowd of disconcerted faces.
“Do you know what’s happening?” I ask the woman beside me.
“The news stations are gone,” she says. “No papers either.”
Social media must have an explanation. I reach for my phone. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are deleted. Has all media vanished? The loneliness begins to set in. I feel unplugged from the world. I push my worries aside. I still have to get to school.
Entering the college, I notice it’s emptier. None of my classmates are visible. I glance around nervously. Where’s my class again?
“Are you looking for something?” A voice inquires.
I turn around. “Yes, the Newsroom.”
“For Creative Communications?”
I nod my head.
“Sorry, but that program has been cancelled.”
“Why?” I demand.
“It’s just not needed anymore.”