From under a twisted mass of sheets, an unclothed arm reached out and searched about the end table. Eventually discovering the small, buzzing box, it switched it off as the covered figured groaned and threw the sheet off.
Planting his feet firmly onto the floor and stretching with a yawn, the brown-haired man grabbed his glasses and put them on his face after a brief rub of the eyes. He shuffled slowly to his half-bath and began his daily hygiene regimen of washing his face and the like. After his blue eyes shone through his oval-shaped glasses and his short brown hair was tidy, he exited the bathroom and walked into the main room.
His answering machine blinked with a digital number one, and he pressed the play button as he fixed himself some coffee. A slightly deep, but female, voice came from the speaker.
"Hey, Lewis," it said, slightly rushed as though she were pressed for time, "just wanted you to know I made it down okay. I would've called last night, but my phone was being weird. Anyway, miss you lots, see you when I get home, bye!"
With a beep, the message was over and Lewis, sipping his brew, casually walked in and sat on the couch, still clad in his t-shirt and boxers. For a moment he simply sat, drinking his sweet coffee as he placed his feet upon their coffee table. He briefly glanced around for the television remote, but decided that, at around 11AM, there would be nothing on but news shows and "The View". Then, as he pulled his cup to his mouth once more, it dawned on him that, for the first time since he and Liz settled in, that he was truly alone in their new place. Most men would jump at the opportunity and invite over friends and whatnot, but in truth, it never crossed his mind. He was going to be busy over the next few days, and Liz's absence doubled the work-load.
He got himself up, after a quick sigh, and traipsed over to his room to change into some street clothes. He perked up as he dressed himself: it was Wednesday. New comic day.
Choosing a blue shirt and some jeans, he slipped on his trainers and hat and picked his keys up from the bowl by the door, pausing to choose a jacket from the coat rack, then left with a lock of the door.
Driving to his usual comic book store, Lewis frowned as he switched between the FM presets on his car's radio. Every channel was either partly static or completely unlistenable. He tried the AM stations as well, but found more of the same. Settling for a mostly unintelligible KQ92 as he searched for a Caesars CD in the glove compartment, he heard something slightly strange.
"Ol-me ro- n' roll-Lew-jus-is-lew-s"
He turned up the volume, and was treated to more garbled Bob Segar with hints of someone saying what sounded like "Lew" or sometimes "Lewis". He knew it was just the strange transmission, but it was still slightly unsettling to hear ones name unexpectedly on the radio.
His head cleared once he switched off the radio, arriving at his destination. It was one of the best, if not the best, comic shop in his area and, unlike most stores, had a friendly and knowledgeable staff. He couldn't remember the last time he had encountered a bookstore or a comic book store chain and gotten that kind of service. Under normal circumstances, Lewis would go in and spend quite a while browsing and chatting with whoever was on duty, but not today. Today, Lewis simply entered, found his comics, and left. Suddenly having a day out didn't seem so appealing to him, though he wouldn't let himself admit why. He listened to Liz's Lady Gaga album on the way home, giving up the search for the Caesars.
He soon returned to his parking garage and exited his vehicle, clutching his trades under his one arm while keeping the brown trilby on his head with the other. It was exceptionally windy and cold today, but for Minnesota, it was par for the course.
He walked to the elevator to take him to his floor, and pressed the button. He waited for a moment or two before it arrived and he entered, shivering. 'I should've worn a bigger coat,' Lewis thought, willing his teeth to stop chattering.
The lights dimmed a few times during the ride up, likely about to blow, and the normal bit of Muzak was as static-filled as his car radio. 'Someone should talk to the super,' he thought as he finally reached his floor. He exited the elevator as the lights dimmed once more, turning into his hallway and arriving at his door. He held his comics with his left hand as his right searched his pockets, Lewis muttering "Keys, keys, keys..." as he did so. He discovered them in his jacket breast pocket and unlocked his door, opening it and heading inside.
Setting his comics on the banister and his keys in their bowl, he removed his jacket and hung it up, but as he did so, he heard a noise coming from his bedroom. Eyebrow cocked slightly, he slowly walked over and in, looking around. He realized that whatever it was, it came from the bathroom. He opened the bathroom door and peered inside.
His bathroom sink was still running slightly, not having been turned all the way off. Smiling to himself in spite of his forgetfulness, he switched it off and walked back into the living room, his head shaking in amusement. He headed over to the kitchenette, his stomach rumbling slightly as he had not eaten breakfast, despite it being about noon. Opening their refrigerator, he looked around for something to munch on, when he nearly hit his head on the freezer door as his phone rang. Swearing to himself from the quick fright, he pulled his cell phone from his pocket.
"Hello?" he answered, opening a cabinet to search its contents as well.
"Hey, Lew'. It's Liz," came the reply, the phone having static as well.
"Oh, hey, hon'. How's it going?"
"Fine. Just wanted to make sure you got my message."
"Yep," Lewis responded as he pulled out a box of Cheerios from the cabinet."When'd you call anyway? I didn't hear the phone."
"About ten," Liz answered, "But I got here around eight. I tried to call on the way, but like I said, my phone's been really weird and static-y."
"Same here, actually," said Lewis, pausing as he was reaching for a bowl. "Actually, so have all the radios, even in the elevator."
There was a pause on Liz's end; she was likely still unpacking. She returned as Lewis started to pour himself a bowlful of cereal.
"Well, that's strange," she said with a busy sigh. "Probably solar flares or something. It'll be better tonight, most likely."
"Yeah, you're probably right," he admitted, getting the milk from the fridge.
"Well, anyway, just called to check in," said Liz, an echo coming from her end sounding like she had entered her bathroom. "Talk to you later, then."
"Okay," he answered after a swallow of food. "Love you, Liz. Bye."
"Love you too, g'bye."
The call disconnected and Lewis set down his phone and continued eating his cereal. As he ate, he reflected on his morning. He knew he was likely reading too much into things, but something gave him a weird feeling that he couldn't place. It was something like when one feels as though they are being watched, combined with that of when someone talks about an episode of a television show and it comes on that night. The rational side of him knew that his name wasn't being said on the radio, but the emotional side of Lewis couldn't shake it off.
He finished his meal and cleaned his dishes, returning them to their proper locations. Lewis grabbed his comic books on the way to his favourite seat in the living room and opened his new copy of "Titans", reading it in mostly silence, the sounds of the city in lunch hour outside of his apartment building penetrating the walls.
Halfway through his second comic, Lewis found his attention wavering. Ordinarily, he would just breeze through the issues, reading them several times over to get a good impression of the writing and how it held up with repeated reads. Today, however, his mind was elsewhere.
With a sigh, Lewis put the comic onto his coffee table, removed his glasses, and rubbed his forehead with a sigh; he couldn't think of a reason why he was so hung up on what happened earlier. Every reasonable fiber of his being told him that it was nothing and that he should move on, but he kept dwelling on that random occurrence.
He put his glasses back on and adjusted them. He climbed out of his chair, stretching his legs and cracking his back, and let out a small yawn. Lewis glanced over at the digital clock on the entertainment center. It was already about three; over half the day was gone. Annoyed at himself, he resolved that, since he couldn't use new comics to get his mind away, he decided to go and edit the new Atop the Fourth Wall episode. At least then, he'd be kept busy until he got hungry enough to go and get dinner or cook something.
He walked into over to his laptop and fired it up, waiting patiently for it to connect to their Wi-Fi server. After a few minutes, it finally did and he opened his browser so he could check his email and Twitter before starting to edit. He read over and replied to the usual questions on his Twitter regarding suggestions or observations regarding the show's story, disapproved some blog comments asking when the next History of Power Rangers would be, and finally moved on to his email.
Upon opening it, however, he noticed something quite strange; the first ten emails were from . His email address. With an eyebrow arced in disbelief, he decided to open the oldest first. The message, however, was completely blank. No attachments, no pictures, not even a subject in the header. The next eight were exactly the same. The upon looking at the times, Lewis discovered they were all sent one minute apart, from 12:00 AM to 12:10 AM.
He opened the final email, expecting, subconsciously hoping, that it was more of the same. Upon its loading, however, he saw, in a rather small, typewriter-styled font:
"we're coming – LLL"
Lewis jumped up from his chair, backwardly stumbling into his wall, knocking several picture frames askew. One fell, cracking the glass upon landing on the berber.
He ran his hands through his short brown hair. He stared back towards the screen in puzzlement and a slight tinge of horror. The address was definitely his, no doubt about it. It arrived after he had gone to sleep, and he would've remembered mailing himself a note, though why he would make it so cryptic, he had no answer.
Unable to look at the message any longer, he shut his laptop and sat down; he tried thinking of an explanation, but the only one he could muster in this state was someone had used a service on the Internet to send him a prank email with his own address. A fan? His brother, perhaps? Possibly Spoony or Liz?
Liz was dismissed right away; she couldn't even get cell service, let alone Internet up there. Graham, his brother, was quite busy himself, and, while certainly not without the realm of possibility, it was unlikely his doing. Therefore, it really just boiled down to his own fans, or Noah Antwiler, aka The Spoony One, his friend and co-worker. It seemed enough like a joke Spoony would make; a surreal, but assuredly funny attempt to make Lewis crazy.
Lewis dug his cell phone from his pocket, hoping to perhaps call Spoony and straighten this out. Flipping it open, he went to his contacts and selected his number, hoping he was awake, considering the time and his nocturnal work schedule. He put the phone to his ear, waiting for a ringtone. However, after about twenty seconds, he got a 'no service' tone. Removing the phone from his ear, he looked at the screen. Zero bars of service.
Groaning, he reopened the laptop, closed his browser, and started up Skype, deciding to just leave him a message for when he gets online, though he knew that might take a while. After logging in, he noticed no one was on, though that was to be expected; he only used the program for work purposes or playing Dungeons & Dragons with his usual crew. Most people would, at this time of day, either be out or editing their videos for the site.
He chose Spoony's contact information and typed a short message.
"Hey, Noah. I got a weird email from my own address. Would you know anything about that? ^_^"
He sent the item, closing his laptop immediately afterward. Deciding he needed something to drink, he left his room and headed to the kitchen for a Mountain Dew. As soon as he reached the small kitchen, however, his head immediately began to throb, like a bad sinus headache.
"Oh, fuck…" he swore, clutching his head.
He barely got a drink out of the refrigerator in this state, his eyes almost shut tight. He then rummaged through his cabinet for a painkiller. He clumsily got two from the tiny bottle, a couple spilling onto the counter. He wasn't in a state to care, however, and took the pills with a few swigs of soda. He belched, and stumbled almost drunkenly over to his couched, where he collapsed, waiting and praying for the headache to end.
"God…" he groaned as he willed the pain away.