CHAPTER 1: Every Snowflake is Different

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CHAPTER 1: Every Snowflake is Different

Los Angeles, California
Monday, April 6th 2020
Time: 8:02am

Los Angeles, the city of Angels, was at a stand-still. The traffic had stopped: cars were frozen on the freeways and on residential streets. No horn could be heard, no screech from tyres, no revving of engines – just silence.
The tour bus had also stopped with the driver frozen. Every driver of every car was frozen, their bodies cold and mouths opened. The only people that were mobile were those not driving any motorised vehicle.
Frank, Ray and Gerard walked the road not knowing what was happening and not knowing what to do next. They stared at each other; they gazed into the eyes of terrified passengers and gawped at the children crying out of fear. No one spoke a word. They only stared.
Mikey, terrified and stunned, swallowed a pill to stop an anxiety attack, noticed something that nobody outside had yet realized. There was snow falling outside. He stepped outside, held out his hand and caught one thousand micro-sized snowflakes. Every snowflake shaped differently and every snowflake shaded in different colours.
“Every snowflake is different”, he mummed under his breath.
Gerard, Frank and Ray peered over his shoulder to see one thousand micro-sized snowflakes, shaped and coloured one thousand different ways. Gerard repeated what Mikey said, “Every snowflake is different” and raised his eyebrows in wonder of what was happening.
Mikey turned his hand around and let all the snowflakes drop to the ground and all of a sudden everything was in slow-motion and every car radio was playing ‘Every Snowflake is Different’, the song they had performed on Yo Gabba Gabba. The snowflakes dropped slowly to the ground with a small thuds echoing as they hit the ice-covered road. As soon as every snowflake had dropped to the ground motion returned to normal speed and the song abruptly stopped playing.
Mikey stepped away from the snowflakes, looked at his watch and turned to face the Eastern sky. Something was wrong with this picture: the sun was not there yet there was a shine from light in the sky. Mikey looked and looked to locate the position of the light coming from the sky and there, there it was – the sun!
“South”, he said.
“What’s south?” asked Gerard.
“The light, it’s the sun”, he answered.
“It’s bigger than that. That light is the size of a peanut”, Frank said.
“It’s the sun. What else in the sky at this time of day would generate light?” asked Mikey.
“UFO”, answered Ray.
“Does anybody have a telescope?!” Mikey yelled to all the people roaming on the road.
Every person looked, with fear in their eyes, at Mikey not knowing what to answer.
Purposefully, looking through the windows of every vehicle in eye distance Mikey searched if any of them had a telescope. It was a long-shot, but this is Los Angeles after all. Jackpot! The crimson car in front of the bus had a brand new telescope in the back with solar filters designed to observe the sun in the safest and easiest way possible.
Breaking the window Mikey set up the telescope, fitted the special lenses and looked to the sun. First, he looked to where the small light, the size of a peanut, and stunned discovered the sun had shrunk. To be sure, Mikey repositioned the telescope to the East, where the sun is meant to be and nothing was there: just blackness.
“The sun has shrunk and shifted to rise on the south. Does this mean it will go down to the North?” he said and questioned.
“Mikey that is ridiculous. How can the sun shrink and move sides?” Frank disbelieved.
“See for yourself”, said Mikey, using his hands to encourage Frank to view exactly what he had.
Frank, with his mouth open, stood and looked at Mikey until he eventually gave in and looked. Frank shocked and stunned, “Oh my God! That is the sun!”
“It has moved! It has shrunk! What the hell is going on?!” he screamed.
“We need a scientist, preferably a physicist, astro-physicist or some space nerd. Let’s hire Professor Farnsworth”, joked Gerard.
Mikey quickly ran for his phone: he dialled the number for NASA but there was no pick-up, only static sounds and a voice that said, “NASA has been destroyed”.
Mikey looked at Ray who had been listening to the phone call. Telepathically, they both agreed aliens are in process of over-taking the world and have destroyed what they believe to be their arch-nemesis – NASA!
“The sun isn’t our only problem. The month is April. America is supposed to be blooming with mammals, insects and flowers all mating and all pollinating. Look around the flowers are dead, the insects are dead and the only mammals that I see are all these people walking around in shock. The roads are ice, every driver is frozen and there is something strange about the snowflakes. Combined with oxygen and carbon dioxide they have changed colour and the move in slow-motion, I don’t know why, but as soon as they hit the ground it’s like the carbon and oxygen have been separated causing it to go back to normal. My point is, the season is still Winter”, Mikey explained as he continued to observe his surroundings.
“Well, smart dude, what the hell is your solution to all of this?” asked a young man with a ginger coloured hair that invaded nearly every part of his face, wearing a black bandana, leather jacket and held a gun in his holster.
“I don’t have a solution and I do not have an answer. I only have logical observations. I am an artist, a musician, I am not from NASA and I am not some sort of genius. I am logically observing instead of panicking,” Mikey answered.
The young biker man walked up to Mikey all macho and tense. “You back chatting me boy?”, said the young man nose-to-nose with Mikey.
“Leave my brother alone!” demanded Gerard, pushing the biker man away from Mikey.
The young biker man pulled out his gun, pointed the muzzle at Gerard’s head, pulled back the hammer and prepared to pull the trigger. Ray quickly pulled neon lights from the bus, placed the small bulbs into his empty revolver and fired a shot into the young man’s shoulder, while Mikey used his karate and kung-Fu defence training to front kick the young biker man’s handgun away from Gerard’s face. Before the young man could recollect his handgun, Mikey quickly used the best karate technique for this situation, Kizami Zuki, the jab punch, knocking the young man unconscious.
Gerard was stunned, not by nearly dying though, but by Mikey’s karate and kung-Fu skill. “That…that…what was that?” asked Gerard.
“That is karate and kung-Fu training put to good use,” answered Mikey. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah”, nodded Gerard.
Frank turned to Ray and Ray looked down at his revolver.
“You have a gun!” he freaked.
“Only for protection”, answered Ray.
“Who cares if he has a gun?!” screamed Mikey. “We’re going to need it. Don’t you get it, the sun is rising in the south, it has shrunk and the season is still Winter and will be for a long time. We need as much protection as possible. Ray find as many neon light bulbs as possible and go and find more revolvers”.
“Gerard and Frank can you go and gather as much food as you can?” Mikey asked.
“Aren’t you over-reacting?” asked Gerard.
“No. NASA is gone, and we don’t know what’s going on. Every driver is frozen and every passenger, but us for some reason are not aggravated, we are not frozen with shock, we need to survive and we need to find out what is going on,” answered Mikey.
“Let’s go”, said Frank.