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Elements: The Question - Chapter 1

by AlexandraBurton


For all those fatalists out there wondering what the end of the world will be like, here’s a hint: it’s boring. Dead boring. Out-of-my-mind-with-boredom boring.

Yep, this is Kaito K, live from the end of the world, somewhere in Beirut, Lebanon. Temperatures are way below normal for December – global warming considered. My fellow survivor, Abigail, thinks it’s just another one of them natural phenomena, but I beg to differ. Water in glasses freeze overnight, which cannot be normal for Beirut.

How do I know the world is ending? Well, five months ago, on a fine clear night, everybody in the world fell asleep. Abigail and me were the only ones who woke up. Or, of course, it’s only the whole of Europe that fell asleep, and everybody in the other parts of the world are hiding somewhere, far from human contact. Which seems distinctly unlikely, so we decided the first option was more like it.

I was on a plane when I fell asleep. Even I’d expected the Boeing 747 to end up as a massive metallic grease spot somewhere in Europe, but I’d found myself in one piece in the Arrivals lounge at Heathrow International. Which was queer enough, without all the cobwebbed people. Everybody in the airport, in London, in Britain, in every town we’d passed through, everybody was wrapped from head to toe in silvery webbing, virtually unbreakable – I’d tried – and icy to the touch.

They’d just fallen sleep wherever they’d been during the Night! Pedestrians curled up on the pavement, foodies pushed their plates aside and started snoring, software engineers stayed awake long enough to set their computers to sleep before nodding off themselves.

The electricity lasted for two months before it stopped, then started up again after less than a month. It was strange and unnerving, but very convenient. We checked the radio every morning, even though there were no broadcasts, just endless rotation music.

Then, a month ago, we began to hear the first voices. In London it was little less than a murmur, but in Beirut it was a definite voice, though we couldn’t make out any words. It sounded like somebody, but we didn’t know who it was or where we were picking this up from.

So we set off in the direction it was clearest. It led us to Lebanon, and we’re still hunting.


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Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:49 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well, at first glance this seems like a really cool premise here and there are soo many questions that we as the readers find ourselves wanting to ask. Definitely a solid looking start.

Anyway let's get right to it,

For all those fatalists out there wondering what the end of the world will be like, here’s a hint: it’s boring. Dead boring. Out-of-my-mind-with-boredom boring.

Yep, this is Kaito K, live from the end of the world, somewhere in Beirut, Lebanon. Temperatures are way below normal for December – global warming considered. My fellow survivor, Abigail, thinks it’s just another one of them natural phenomena, but I beg to differ. Water in glasses freeze overnight, which cannot be normal for Beirut.


OKay...well, that does sound like the sort of temperature that should be killing a human, or at least coming very close to doing that...unless there's a loot of warm clothes in the mix...and well...at any rate, this is a really interesting way to kick of this whole apocalypse style situation here...I always love stories of that nature.

How do I know the world is ending? Well, five months ago, on a fine clear night, everybody in the world fell asleep. Abigail and me were the only ones who woke up. Or, of course, it’s only the whole of Europe that fell asleep, and everybody in the other parts of the world are hiding somewhere, far from human contact. Which seems distinctly unlikely, so we decided the first option was more like it.


Well, you can never tell, there's definitely a chance that you two are not the only ones that woke up...although considering this is a story...its probably only you two. At any rate, this does seem like some pretty hard evidence that the world is ending, so I'd totally agree with that conclusion there.

I was on a plane when I fell asleep. Even I’d expected the Boeing 747 to end up as a massive metallic grease spot somewhere in Europe, but I’d found myself in one piece in the Arrivals lounge at Heathrow International. Which was queer enough, without all the cobwebbed people. Everybody in the airport, in London, in Britain, in every town we’d passed through, everybody was wrapped from head to toe in silvery webbing, virtually unbreakable – I’d tried – and icy to the touch.


Hmm, they should've definitely lead with that one...cause that is a much creepier sounding reason to believe in the end of the world than the just everyone falls asleep start...you don't want to leave out details this good at grabbing attention for too late in the story after all.

They’d just fallen sleep wherever they’d been during the Night! Pedestrians curled up on the pavement, foodies pushed their plates aside and started snoring, software engineers stayed awake long enough to set their computers to sleep before nodding off themselves.

The electricity lasted for two months before it stopped, then started up again after less than a month. It was strange and unnerving, but very convenient. We checked the radio every morning, even though there were no broadcasts, just endless rotation music.


OKay...well you can something big has definitely taken place...and the biggest question to ask is what exactly caused only these two people to be spared. I suppose at the very least the two of them can be grateful that the only two to be awake were so close to each other, or they'd have both just been alone..at any rate, I'm quite interested to see what the explanations behind all of this might be.

Then, a month ago, we began to hear the first voices. In London it was little less than a murmur, but in Beirut it was a definite voice, though we couldn’t make out any words. It sounded like somebody, but we didn’t know who it was or where we were picking this up from.

So we set off in the direction it was clearest. It led us to Lebanon, and we’re still hunting.


Well...this is a solid little start to a first chapter here...although I must confess, this is a little bit of an unsatisfactory ending...it kind of just tells us the story of the world and what they're doing before it ends...I feel like there should be a bit more happening here before this abrupt cut off. This isn't the best choice of cliffhanger here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this makes for a really fun start here...there's definitely a few interesting details that I would question, but I don't there's anything too glaring wrong to the point that I can nitpick those details in the very first chapter. So yeah, good job here :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:09 pm
xXTheBlackSheepXx wrote a review...



For all those fatalists out there wondering what the end of the world will be like, here’s a hint: it’s boring. Dead boring. Out-of-my#FF4000 ">your-mind-with-boredom boring.

Yep, this is Kaito K, live from the end of the world, somewhere in Beirut, Lebanon. Temperatures are way below normal for December – global warming considered. My fellow survivor, Abigail, thinks it’s just another one of them natural phenomena, but I beg to differ. Water in glasses freeze overnight, which cannot be normal for Beirut.

How do I know the world is ending? Well, five months ago, on a fine clear night, everybody in the world fell asleep. Abigail and me were the only ones who woke up. Or, of course, it’s only the whole of Europe that fell asleep, and everybody in the other parts of the world are hiding somewhere, far from human contact. Which seems distinctly unlikely, so we decided the first option was more like it.

I was on a plane when I fell asleep. Even I’d expected the Boeing 747 to end up as a massive metallic grease spot somewhere in Europe, but I’d found myself in one piece in the Arrivals lounge at Heathrow International. Which was queer enough, without all the cobwebbed people. Everybody in the airport, in London, in Britain, in every town we’d passed through, everybody was wrapped from head to toe in silvery webbing, virtually unbreakable – I’d tried – and icy to the touch.

They’d just fallen sleep wherever they’d been during the Night! Pedestrians curled up on the pavement, foodies pushed their plates aside and started snoring, software engineers stayed awake long enough to set their computers to sleep before nodding off themselves.

The electricity lasted for two months before it stopped, then started up again after less than a month. It was strange and unnerving, but very convenient. We checked the radio every morning, even though there were no broadcasts, just endless rotation music.

Then, a month ago, we began to hear the first voices. In London it was little less than a murmur, but in Beirut it was a definite voice, though we couldn’t make out any words. It sounded like somebody, but we didn’t know who it was or where we were picking this up from.

So we set off in the direction it was clearest. It led us to Lebanon, and we’re still hunting.


Hey there :) I really don’t have many nitpicks for this, it all sounded pretty good to me! :D
I was a little confused on a few things. 1)if the guy was asleep in the plane when everything went dead, how come they didn’t crash? The pilot must’ve fallen asleep too. 2)how come they knew the electric power situation in like two different countries? You can’t be in two places at once. Unless Abigail told him about it… 3)how did he come to meet Abigail? I’m curious where she came from, and how they found each other.

Besides that, I have to say I love this storyline! The idea of everyone around them being asleep seems haunting. I’m really interested to see how you are going to work with only two character! I have a feeling it’s going to be good :D
Give me a heads up when the next part comes out? Thanks!
~blacksheep




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Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:49 pm
EmmaJane wrote a review...



Hey, Alex. So I don't really wander into this forum, but I saw your story and it intrigued me. :) It reminded me of Flashforward, did you see it when it was on? If not - go watch it. Gogogo! The shots of everyone asleep and the chaos that insures are very good.

First thought: Your MC was on a plane when they fell asleep? It happened to everyone, which should include the pilots. Why didn't they end up a metallic grease spot somewhere in Europe - as you said? You didn't really explain how they avoided this, and if you did, I don't think you did it clearly enough.

Second: This feels more like a prologue than chapter one. There's not as much description, it's short, and feels like when the MC tells us what we need to know if we're to understand this story. For a first chapter, I'd suggest involving us more in a particular scene. You mentioned Abigail, why not bring her in and explain the situation as you go. Have them walking through a deserted city, seeing all the skinny people slumped over desks or on the pavement. if they haven't woken up in a long time, they haven't been able to eat or drink anything, so I'd assume they'd be wasting away. ...If you can see them through the webbing that is...

Well, those were my only issues so far. I really like the idea for this. And you're just a star with creating brilliant hooks.

Then, a month ago, we began to hear the first voices. In London it was little less than a murmur, but in Beirut it was a definite voice, though we couldn’t make out any words. It sounded like somebody, but we didn’t know who it was or where we were picking this up from.

So we set off in the direction it was clearest. It led us to Lebanon, and we’re still hunting.


Please let me know when you post more of this. (:

~EmmaJane~




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Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:45 pm
Dragonette wrote a review...



Hey there, I'm Dragonette, or Dragon, or just Onet :) I hope you don't mind that I review your story today.

Here's a couple nitpics I found as I read through your story:

How do I know the world is ending? Well, five months ago, on a fine clear night, everybody in the world fell asleep. Abigail and me #0000FF ">I were the only ones who woke up. Or, of course it’s, #0000FF ">Well, it's either that or only the whole of Europe that fell #0000FF ">had fallen asleep, and everybody in the other parts of the world are hiding somewhere, far from human contact. Which seems distinctly unlikely, so we decided the first option was more like it.

They’d just fallen sleep wherever they’d been during the Night! Pedestrians curled up on the pavement, foodies #0000FF ">consumers pushed their plates aside and started snoring, software engineers stayed awake long enough to set their computers to sleep before nodding off themselves.

Then, a month ago, we began to hear the first voices. In London it was little less than a murmur, but in Beirut it was a definite voice, though we couldn’t make out any words. It sounded like somebody, but we didn’t know who it was or where we were picking this up from.
This is pretty cool and mysterious. But you don't give us much to work on, where exactly did they here the voice? On the radio? On the streets? How can you here a voice so loudly that it leads you to a completely different city? And you said that it's leading you, so is it constant? Give the voice a little more description, the mystery is good but give us enough detail to get us itching. Is it singing? How does it make your character feel? Does it sound manly or womanly? Is it an eerie ghost sound?

Also, this is rather short for a chapter, if I were you, I'd probably change it into your prologue. But overall I thought it was really interesting, I want to read the other chapters.





Defeat has its lessons as well as victory.
— Pat Buchanan