The Clock Tower Slowly, somewhere deep in the city, the cogs turned, powering the impressive clock on top of a large tower. The clock turned endlessly, silently and indiscriminately ticking away the hours. It didn’t matter to the giant tower that none remained in the town to hear it anymore. The Clock Tower had a job to do, and it would do it right up until the moment the giant cogs powering it finally shut down. The streets below the tower were empty. They had been that way for a day now. It was six in the morning, the time people were supposed to get up and go to work. The sun was just starting to rear its head on the horizon. So where was everyone? Why was the town so utterly devoid of life? The Clock Tower stood at the center of the town. People that climbed all the way up to the top floor could see all the way to the city limit. Barely visible all the way at the edge of town was a military barricade. It, like the town, was devoid of life. Only a few abandoned vehicles and road blocks existed anymore. There were no bodies, just the occasional splatter of blood. Something horrible had happened here. The town was empty, the blockade, abandoned. All over the town there were signs of fighting. Bullet holes and small craters, abandoned armored vehicles and weapons, more blood. Never any bodies. Smoke rose into the air in several places, created by fires that there were no firemen left to fight. The Police Station still stood, imposing, but empty. No squad cars remained in the lot, they dispersed around the town. Like everything else, they were empty. Occasionally, a shadow was cast in the vast emptiness. Rats, feasting on the surplus of food. They were one of the few animals to remain in a town otherwise devoid of any life what-so-ever. These animals did not wonder where everyone had gone. They had seen it all, and lived to tell the tale. Now that it was over, all they cared for was what was left behind. The Clock Tower struck seven. The sound was loud, and demanding. It scattered the rats, who for a moment believed that someone had come back. This was not the case. The cogs were just doing their job, and had gotten the bell ringing. After the tower fell silent again, the rats came back, enjoying their feast. It might be the last they ever had. Another fire broke out. Its smoke joined the rest of the smoke that floated from the town. As time went on, it grew, consuming several buildings. Its desperate plea for attention went unanswered. Not even the rats cared about the fire. In time, it would simmer out, just like every other fire in the town. The Clock Tower struck eight. School was open. No students. No teachers. Not even a principal. Just more rats, attracted by what ever the lunch ladies had prepared the day before. Pencils and papers sat abandoned at their desks, left by the students as they had filed out of building the day before. Blood was plentiful here. There was a bus sitting outside the school. Something had forced it onto its side. The escape hatch on the roof had been opened, as the students attempted to get out of the damaged vehicle. There were signs of struggle all around the bus. Blood was very plentiful here. The rats avoided this bus. The Clock Tower struck nine. By now, everyone should be at work. The factories remained empty. The offices got no calls. The water cooler wasn’t even touched. The computers were still on, left unchanged from yesterday. Blood was a common sight here. Still no bodies, but lots of signs of struggle. The Clock Tower struck ten. By now, the rats had stopped fleeing every time the bell rang out. They simply continued their feast, blissfully unaware of the state of the town around them. Their only thought was to gorge themselves on the food that still remained. The Clock Tower struck eleven. There was only one body in the entire town. It sat on the top floor of the Clock Tower, badly maimed and covered in blood. It was a soldier, and all signs pointed to the fact that they were dead. No heartbeat. No brain activity. No movement what so ever. The Clock Tower struck twelve. The body stirred. The heart started beating; the brain began to function once more. At the final strike of the clock, the eyes opened, and a moan escaped the body’s mouth.