You burned the toast again.
It wasn’t the first time; your mind always seems to be somewhere else in the mornings. Your day begins as it does every day. You wake up at 5:00 AM, hide under the covers until 5:30 (or until the sun creeps in through the curtains and coaxes you out of bed), shower and slip into the baggy jumpsuit with the word MAINTENANCE printed in bold white letters across the back, prepare breakfast, completely lose yourself in the world outside your dingy apartment window, stare mindlessly at the specks of dust suspended in the rays of morning light that sprawl along the tile kitchen floor (seemingly frozen in that fleeting moment, unaware of their purpose in the universe or the direction in which they are headed, simply existing without a second thought), forget about the bread in the toaster and the eggs on the stove, trigger the smoke alarm, snap back into reality, leave for work with burned toast in hand. This morning wasn’t much different. The shrill, piercing cries of the smoke detector break the silent serenity of morning, making dogs howl and babies wail, awaking every tenant on the 12th floor in a startled daze. Nothing unusual. But there is something a little odd about the way the sunlight breaks and bends along the silhouetted skyscrapers on this particular morning. You lean against the window frame and squint into the golden haze. The alarm blares.
There is something in the sky.
Against the blinding light you can make out a vague dark shadow in the distance. A traffic helicopter, perhaps; or possibly a flock of migrating birds, either way, the ambiguous shape looks very out-of-place in your all-encompassing view of the city. It seems to be moving closer.
Suddenly, your concentration is broken by a loud banging on your front door. “Open up!” a woman’s muffled voice says on the other side. You turn off the alarm and hesitate for the door. “Hey, I’m serious! The building’s being evacuated! Open the door!”