The air was stained pristinely white with the snow of early wintertime, as were the concrete-paven streets that Jillian Quill found herself walking alongside. The usual traffic jam that caused Allum Volé’s infamy created a cacophony of drivers slamming on their cars’ horn, as if somehow it were a magic spell that would immediately disintegrate any that stood in their path. Jillian Quill was, for better or worse, used to this usually insufferable wall of unrelenting noise. She supposed it was for worse, as now it seemed much too odd when the streets weren’t being relentlessly abused with the sound of tires screeching and cars honking, an unfortunate discovery to find during a vacation, but it was still a boon in its own twisted right.
She further closed the distance between her and her destination, walking a brisk pace as she carried in her shoulders her black faux-leather handbag that didn’t demand any attention. She wore winter boots, and rightfully so as the snow seemed to be piling on top of one another at a pace she wasn’t comfortable with. It was barely a week into the winter and it was already snowing this heavily—one of the curses of living in Pasovito Avette that seem to be in abundance, especially come wintertime. Part of her long platinum blond hair was hidden underneath a dark blue beanie that seemed to go along with her dark blue gloves and other similarly coloured winter apparel that blended nicely to form the shillouette of a shivering girl well fed well.
To Jillian Quill, it were just an ordinary, if not somewhat snow-heavy, middle of the day in the late days of December. Her boots planted in the snow prints not dissimilar to those of others walking alongside her; a popular brand in Pasovito Avette so it was. Her hands buried deep in her grey-ish blue winter coat despite them being gloved.
A sufficient—though not so acceptable—few minutes close to half an hour it took for Jillian to arrive at her apartment complex, the slightly warmer air a welcome change as she let out a disappointed sigh at the persistent sign on the elevator door.
(Out of Order),
it had been reading for close to 4 months now, and irritating, it was, for Jillian who now had to climb quite a number of sets of stairs to reach her studio apartment for weeks. Different was today however, as when Jillian reached the floor that held her apartment, she had discovered the door to be unlocked and ajar. Fear replaced irritation replaced by confusion replaced fear as she immediately rushed into her apartment. Of course, what else would there be to expect other than a room that looked so clearly robbed. Not like one would expect an apartment to be broken into to suddenly be presented with a wrapped gift tied neatly with a red bow, of course unless that gift held a bomb, but there was no gift, and there was no bomb.
“Shit!,” were the words that had left the now frustrated Jillian’s lips as she took a step through the doorway in order to take inventory of what had been missing—not missing, robbed, she corrected mentally. Her necklaces and earrings and shoes and chargers and other assortment of items all missing from their usual position in the usually organised chaotically studio apartment. Her first instinct was, of course, to call the police, which she did, dialling in the numbers with her gloved fingers as she explained in a panicked way that she had been robbed. “Daniererre Street, Iyokan Apartment. Ichxao.” She finished, before hesitantly taking her finger on the red button and stopping the call.
Barely had it been a minute that had passed and her nerves overtook her completely, her instincts gone to tamper with the scene of the crime by attempting her own unauthorised investigation—that last word in big air quotes. Sifting through the trashed apartment for what she deemed important. A tablet. Gone. Her chargers. Gone. A laptop. Gone. Her necklaces and rings and other assortment of accessories that she kept dear. Gone. Before she could search more however,
the Earth shook.
And those three words shifted her concerns almost immediately, with her suddenly being forced to focus on the immediate threat of being crushed by the closet just beside her, which had gone missing.
Confusion couldn’t overtake her for panic already did, but had panic faltered she would have been faced with the realisation that something that was once there had become something of non existence.
She hid underneath her bed, closing her eyes as she held her hands over her head.
Her bed too went missing.
And left her vulnerable to also the shattering of window’s glass.
But the windows and its blue frames too had disappeared.
Her room now was almost empty, almost every sign of the robbery that had happened previously, or even any sign of her residence in the now almost vacant apartment room was gone. Even windows were missing, leaving the room in a darkness that was only cut short of complete emptiness with the presence of a glowing orb that had appeared in the middle of the room. It glowed a colour unrecognisable to the human eye, but somehow perceivable as merely a colour that was a colour of absence. It was simultaneously the presence of the absence of a colour and yet the presence of the colour of absence. And it was something that Jillian found herself drawn to. Something she couldn’t keep her eyes off despite wanting nothing to do with what was happening. Like a moth to a fire, or so it goes.
She could feel the presence of nonexistence almost crushing her and yet, she could feel it welcoming her, beckoning her closer and closer until she didn’t even realise she had been taking off her beanie hat, and then her gloves, and then her coat so that she was left with her dark yellow shirt and dark blue jeans, close to touching the orb. She was cold, and warm, and hot, and chilly, and she could feel her eyes dry and wet and her ears felt numb and her hands were trembling yet strong. She had touched the orb, and that was the last that was heard from Miss Jillian Quill.