Author's Note: Daria and all of its characters are property of MTV/Viacom. This is fanfiction and no money was exchanged for this story. It is non-profit and written for fun.
For those who do not know, the character of Scarlett is commonly known as the Ankh Girl, who started at Lawndale High School the same day that Daria did. For more information on her, check out the story Scarlett by The Angst Guy or the entry on her in DariaWiki.
This is a story that takes place in the same universe as Apocalyptic Daria, but told from the point of view of Scarlett, who happened to be home in Lawndale when the world fell apart.
1. The Beginning...
The end of the world began at 11:03 a.m. on a cool, crisp sunny Saturday morning in April...
She woke up when her alarm went off at 9:30. Almost instantly, she sat up, shut off the alarm and stretched loudly. Her normally long and straight red hair was awry on her head and she blinked repeatedly as sleep left her. She yawned and glanced at the blank spot on top of her dresser. "Just a dream," she muttered. "A really beautiful dream." She smiled as she thought of the talking mouse named Roger.
Her name was Scarlett Hawkins and she was a seventeen-year-old junior at Lawndale High School, located in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. The truth be told, she preferred her old home outside of Warren, Indiana, but minor children usually have little say in where a family lives.
Dressed in her normal (for the Spring, that is) flannel pajamas and white socks, she got up, stretched again and put on her ankh necklace. Then she plodded downstairs to find a simple handwritten note on the breakfast table:
Your father and I will be in Philadelphia
for the day. Do the whites and towels and
WASH THE DISHES!!!
We'll be back around seven.
No visitors, young lady!
Scarlett smiled as she read the note. She knew exactly where they were right then: Stuck on I-95 just outside of Philadelphia International Airport, where her dad was doing a slow steam over the amount of traffic he had to deal with. Her mother was doing her best to keep his temper from boiling over.
How she knew that was something Scarlett never told people about - even her best friend Kristy Barton. Her dad knew, but that was because her dad was also something of a sensitive...just nowhere near her league. But ever since she went through puberty, she could "sense" things about people - things they never told others about even.
For instance, she somehow knew that the next door neighbor - 48-year-old John Fleming - had seen her naked once, and that he liked what he had seen. She didn't know how he saw her that way. She just knew it had happened. The man himself was extremely polite and regularly hired her to do yard work. He never mentioned it to her or anyone else. In fact, he never said or did anything out of the way to her. He didn't even stare at her.
All the same, that creeped her out. But then, her dad did warn her that the biggest problem with being a sensitive was that it "limited friends." When you can see what jerks most people were under the veneer they presented to others, it put you off, to say the least.
At the same time, it was an effective weapon in dealing with crooked salesmen.
"I guess I'd better wash the dishes," she finally said. "I've put it off for two days now."
She filled the kitchen sink with hot water and put in every used piece of silverware she could find, followed by the drinking glasses and coffee cups. As she did this, she ate two pieces of toast smeared in apricot preserves, accompanied by a tall glass of chocolate milk; in her opinion, that was the breakfast worthy of a queen. Or at least a spoiled princess.
After she ate her food, she moved to the utility room and started on the laundry. As the washing machine filled up, she turned on the radio to hear "Rock & Roll" Randy play the top 20 songs. "Hmmm," she said as she heard his voice. "I didn't know you were on Saturdays, too."
Scarlett set a stack of dirty plates into the dishwater gently, allowing the still soapy water to cover them up. As they soaked, she waited until the washing machine finished its final spin cycle. Then she quietly loaded the dryer and turned it on. "I think I'll wait until after I take a shower to do the towels," she said to herself and walked to the bathroom.
Her hair moist, but not soaked (she had washed it the night before), Scarlett walked back into the kitchen and began to wash the dinner plates. Usually when she washed dishes, she replayed conversations in her mind...or played ones she wished would happen. Like if that cute senior would look her way and ask her out. Or if Kristy would introduce her to a cousin who happened to be a hot actor from The O.C. or Smallville.
That thought made her laugh.
The washing machine had just started its rinse cycle and Scarlett set the next stack of plates in the sink, then rinsed the suds off of her hands. As she dried her hands off, she dropped the towel on the floor. "Crap!" she muttered and saw the digital clock change to 11:03.
She bent down and grabbed the towel.
Suddenly a white light instantly enveloped everything and vanished almost as fast as it appeared. She stood back up and asked herself, "What the hell was that?"
She looked out the window and searched for the source of the light. Did Mr. Fleming just take a picture of me? she wondered and shook her head. For a second, she thought that the light was unusually warm, but dismissed it.
It dawned on her that the radio was only putting out static then and she idly wondered what had happened to "Rock & Roll" Randy.
When she walked to the utility room, however, Scarlett realized that the washing machine had stopped. "Oh, come on, now!"
She stopped and stood still, suddenly aware that something had just happened. A chill swept through her and she shook.
Dad...Mom...I need you.
Scarlett didn't know how much time passed before she walked to the living room, sat on the couch and grabbed the remote control. She pressed the power button, but nothing happened. She pressed the button several more times and stared dumbly at the darkened television screen.
Then she heard the thunder and noise. At first it sounded like the thunder she heard back in Indiana during bad storms, but when the house shook and she was tossed off the couch, she realized that it wasn't thunder. It took her several seconds to realize that what she also heard was her own screams. She stopped screaming, but the sound got louder.
The bay window to the left of the TV cracked and she screamed again.
"Omigod!" She got to her feet and ran to the kitchen and looked out the window over the sink. The noise continued to grow.
The entire sky to the southwest was black, as if the earth itself was rising up into the air. "Oh, God! Oh, God!" It's a bomb! Washington just got nuked!
Scarlett stared out the window in shock and finally ran to the living room. She grabbed the cellular phone, opened it and pressed the talk button.
Tears ran from the redhead's eyes as she whimpered, "Dad? Mom?"
She sat on her father's blue recliner, drew her knees to her chin and wrapped her arms around her legs. Slowly she rocked the chair and cried.
(To be continued...)