She sat on the bench in the park, enjoying the lunch that she had packed that morning. There wasn’t anything special about it. Chicken salad, chips, juice. The juice was fresh-squeezed, but it was always fresh-squeezed because the got it from the cart just thirty feet away from the bench that she sat on, munching on the sandwich that she packed last night and stowed away in the fridge so that she would be able to spend this very moment.

She liked to take her lunch hour in the park. Parks were fun places, places where it was almost impossible to be sad or lonely. Even when it was a cloudy day, or if it was raining, somehow the park took it all in and made things okay. People would sometimes ask her questions about where something was, like the ampitheatre or the carousel. Usually it was just a nice quiet time with herself and her lunch though.

Today seemed different, though. She couldn’t put her finger on it before she sat down, but she was fairly sure even before she was crossing the street, waving goodbye to her coworkers who would head to the Subway or the Pizza Shack. She could feel it in the air. She had decided to enjoy her lunch anyway.

It was just normal park things, going on, so there wasn’t anything to be alarmed about. A dog was running around in the grass across the path, and there was his owner, tossing a ball and waiting for the faithful return every time. A couple runners making their way through the circuit training course, skipping the ones that they deemed not worthy of their attention. The trees were swaying in the breeze and it was warm but not bright outside.

It happened so quickly that she almost didn’t notice it at all. Then a bike sailed past her at an alarming speed – with no rider. Carlos at the juice stand was gone. The dog was gone, and it’s owner too. The ball tossed smacked her bench, splaying her chips all over the sidewalk.

It was quiet, and they were all gone.