Chapter 1: Fifteen Days
As Riley Andersen sat at the kitchen table, she tensely watched the door. It hadn't moved, not an inch or a jiggle of the doorknob, but she wished more than anything that she'd soon be met with her parents' relieved faces.
They'd race in and apologize for being gone so long. Scoop her up in their arms and explain everything that happened. Just rejoice that their little family was finally back together...
But Riley accepted that it was a futile hope at this point.
She had held onto that hope for days. Weeks. Why think it would suddenly come true now?
She cautiously crept over to the window, her blue eyes peeking out. Searching for someone, anyone.
But there was nothing. No regular people she recognized, no indication of the ones who had somehow lost an essential part of what made them human, assuming those people weren't illusions. Just the houses on the block and the dusty San Francisco skyline.
It was like a ghost town these days, a ghost world. One in w