The entirety of the human population has woken up today to a deafening silence. Puzzled by the unusual nature of this stillness, authorities from around the globe have embarked on several diagnosis tasks in an attempt to determine what the hell is going on. Although experts do not seem to agree on the cause of this standstill, all their opinions converge, unanimously and unerringly, on the same point:
The world is dead.
The wind, ashamed perhaps of its now noiseless presence, has retreated into a millennia-long age of contemplation leaving only a bunch of rusted leaves and a paralyzed wind-swept hearth behind.
As a result, most migratory birds have been forced to stop all motion, afraid of their own useless, inconsequential wings. Perched atop the nearest tree, fence, railing, wire or post, they gape in silent frustration in a sort of motherless infant regression. Some have been reported to bite at their own wing joints in a mixture of primal rage and impossible confusion, trying to free themselves from their former evolutionary blessing suddenly turned burden.
Penguins, kiwis and other flightless birds remain unaffected by the world’s demise.
After a massive gathering of unprecedented proportions, all the seas, oceans, lakes, pools, swamps and marshes of the planet have decided, almost unanimously, to turn to stone within the next century. The Petrification Process will take place in stages, the first of which will consist of a series of increasingly violent storms with the goal of shedding all remaining waves and getting rid of the surplus of stored tides that most water masses kept within their depths. However, to show that there is room for dissident voices within the Flowing Realms, an agreement has been signed to preserve the last wave in liquid state somewhere beneath their stony surfaces. All oceans but one have sealed this pact with their own sea foam.
Meanwhile, the Dead Sea grins knowingly from its isolated corner.
Speech, the most basic and ancient for of human interaction, has been temporarily banned in most nations and countries for an unspecified period of time. Since the world’s untimely demise was declared, the population has grown more and more paranoid. The police keep getting emergency calls regarding “the scratching noises outside my window” and “that voice inside my head.” To appease and reassure the masses, governments around the globe are studying the possibility of banning rational thought and keep neuronal processes at the bare minimum necessary for survival.
In the meantime, the deaf are taking the streets with renewed faith in this promising new period for humanity as they intone chants of hope with booming clarity and joyful tears rain down their faces:
“Don’t you see?”