Overview: The darkness is here...
3 high school seniors on a field trip sneak away from the rest of the class, and then massive destruction happens.
The power is out, their phones aren't working, they can't find their class or others, and debris falling and crashes are happening all around them.
Madison, Mason, and Becca must fight to survive in the aftermath, and they don't even know what happened.
When normal systems and structures are broken down, the fight to survive becomes even tougher.
Will they even make it through the first few nights alive?

 

Into The Dark by Emma H. Frost Book Chapter One

 

Nick
A car horn was blaring.

Crazy New York drivers, was Nick Carter’s first thought as he came to, fighting his way through a thick, mental fog. His ears were ringing, and the car horn was not helping.

“You’ve been in an accident.”

He remembered stalling just before the intersection. Had someone rear-ended him? No, he’d got the car moving again, out into the intersection. But when he’d hit the breaks, the car had refused to stop.

“You’ve been in an accident. Remain calm. Can you tell me your name?”

He remembered looking over at Genevieve, and then…

“You’ve been in an accident.”

He remembered a light. Headlights? Coming at him? No. Far brighter. Like the whole world was on fire.

“You’ve been in an accident—” This time, Nick recognized the voice. It was his own.

He blinked. He was slumped over the steering wheel, chest laying on the horn. He pushed himself back, and the blaring stopped. There was a silence, except for the ringing in his ears. He wiggled his fingers and his toes, his paramedic training kicking in. No broken bones. No serious injuries.

Nick took a long, deep breath, feeling his lungs fill and empty, fill and empty. His chest and ribs hurt, but he was okay.

He tried to play through the accident again in his head. It couldn’t have been his fault, right? He’d stalled. Restarted the car. Drove forward. Then braked for traffic, only the car didn’t stop. Genevieve had yelled at him to—

Genevieve.

Nick looked beside him. He couldn’t see his wife beyond the airbag. It had inflated. That was good.

“Genevieve?” Nick asked. His voice was hoarse, like he’d swallowed a mouthful of ash.

“Genevieve? Babe, are you okay?” Nick reached for the handle on his door. “Talk to me.”

The door wouldn’t open. He pressed the unlock button and hauled on the handle again, but it didn’t unlock. He cursed and pulled up the lock manually and swung out of the car. His legs shook beneath him as he gripped the hood for balance.

The nose of his car was smashed, pressed against the rear end of a van. Nick climbed onto the hood of his car and slid across to the other side. His feet tingled as they hit the ground too hard, but he ignored it, rushing to the passenger side door. The airbag still blocked his view of Genevieve.

Nick’s heart was racing. “Hold on, Gen!” he said, as he pulled off his sweatshirt. He wrapped the navy blue fabric around his hand and wrist.

“Don’t move. I’m going to smash the back window!”

Car windows were meant to break, given the right amount of force focused in a small area, and the glass was safety glass, unlikely to cut him badly, if at all. This wasn’t his first time breaking a window, but he kept a window punch in the ambulance. He rarely had to use his fist.

Nick took another deep breath, then punched his fist as hard as he could into the window. The glass shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces. He hastily pulled the sweatshirt off his hand, not bothering to see if he’d cut himself or not. He doubted he’d be able to feel the pain if he had. A furious torrent of adrenaline was coursing through his whole body, giving him tunnel vision.

Nick reached his hand inside the shattered window and reached around to the front door. His fingers found the lock and he pulled it up. He pulled his arm back and reached for the handle.

The door opened, and he just barely managed to catch his wife as she slumped from the car, her body falling heavily into his arms. Nick knelt on the road, holding her close.

“Genevieve? Babe?”

There was a watery haze filling his eyes. Tears.

“Babe.”

Her face was smashed, her head cracked open. Nick couldn’t quite bring himself to look at the injury because then he’d know. He’d know…

He cradled her against his chest as he put his fingers to her throat, hunting for a pulse. He could feel his own heart hammering against his ribs like a drum. He vaguely registered the sound of someone yelling, another car horn somewhere down the street, but it was all background noise to him.

Unable to find a pulse at her throat, he moved to her wrist instead. Her hand fell open limply, a pack of cigarettes falling from her fingers. Nick picked them up, looking at the health warning on the label.

He’d always told her those things would kill her. The words felt cold and hollow now. What an awful thing to say! Why would he say something like that to his wife?

A gasp forced its way from his throat as he hugged her closer, the cigarettes still clutched in his hand, as if preserving them could somehow preserve her too.

Blood was staining his shirt, and somewhere behind him, a child was crying.

Genevieve had wanted a child.

Another wave of panic made Nick lay his wife on the ground before he thrust back to his feet.

I can help the child. The child she’d wanted. The child I wouldn’t give her.

Subconsciously, Nick knew he was reacting irrationally, that soon the adrenaline would pass and he would be able to think more clearly, but he couldn’t bring himself to stay still until that happened. He ran a hand through his dark hair and stood up, searching for the car that had hit them, looking for the crying child.

That’s when he saw the chaos.

Cars were scattered all over the road as if they’d all just stopped working at the same time, like they were pieces on a gameboard that had been shaken by an irritated child. Mayhem.

Had a single person hit their breaks?

The sense of dread only grew as Nick spun in a slow circle, looking down each of the streets branching off the intersection. The wreckage went on for blocks in every direction. Cars were bumper to bumper, glass from windows and headlights littered the asphalt. There was a motorbike wrapped around a light post and an SUV through a nearby storefront. The screaming, the crying; it wasn’t just one person or one child, it was everyone. The streets of New York had come to a grinding halt.

The streetlights were out, but that couldn’t have caused the mass pileup. Could it? A power outage could cause traffic to back up, but everyone knew intersections with no lights had to be treated like a four-way. It couldn’t have caused this level of destruction.

Around him, people pulled themselves from the wreckage. Nearby, a woman who’d just crawled out of her overturned car gasped, her lips making a slack-jawed ‘o’ as she pointed a shaking finger toward the sky.

Don’t look, Nick thought. That’s what he told crash victims with badly bleeding injuries or gaping wounds. Looking made it real. Looking justified the pain. If you didn’t look, you wouldn’t know how bad the damage was. You wouldn’t know you were going to lose the leg. You wouldn’t know the bone was sticking out. You wouldn’t know your arm was at an ungodly angle.

You wouldn’t know your wife was dead.

Nick looked up.

A shape was clearly visible against the overcast sky. A plane. Flying low. Too low. And getting closer.

People screamed and ducked or ran or just stood staring at the plane careening towards the ground.

In an unfathomable chance of fate, it dipped into the skyline and between two tall buildings, its wings just barely missing grazing their glass exteriors. But it continued on its course. Down.

It swooped just over the intersection and beyond. There was no fire. No smoke. No obvious sign the plane had suffered an accident or was in distress. Nothing besides the fact it was headed straight for Central Park.

He’s trying to land it, Nick thought. It wasn’t a large plane, but it was still a plane, and it was going far too fast. It was going to overshoot the park.

The plane dipped lower, hidden from view by the trees in the park. And with it, Nick’s adrenaline disappeared too. Pure panic replaced it. The realization of what was happening.

More gasps had Nick turning again to the skies. Another plane. A big one this time, a commercial jetliner, falling out of the sky over Manhattan.

“Oh my God, no…” Nick said, his voice barely a whisper. “No, no, no.”