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“Hunter, it’s dinner time!” My mom yelled from downstairs. I sat on my bed flipping through channels on TV. I rolled my eyes, Hopefully by the time I’m done with dinner I’ll find something better. I trudged down the stairs and slouched into my seat at the dinner table, greeting my parents.

“How was school?” My Dad asked me, just like he did every day.

“Fine.” I responded, scraping my fork across my plate.

“That’s it?” My mom chirped. Silence filled the air, the awkward kind.

“Okay!” I exclaimed, tossing my fork onto my plate, the clinking piercing the air. “My day was great!” The sarcasm did not put a pleased look on their faces. I rolled my eyes again, reaching for my utensil.

“Wait, didn’t I just have a fork?” I questioned aloud, glaring at the knife in my hand.

“Oh Sweetie, it was probably just the simulation. Go grab another fork from the drawer.” My mom responded. I got up and shook my head. As I pulled on the drawer handle, the whole drawer was filled with knives.

“There’s no forks in here.” I said. “There aren’t even spoons for that matter, just knives.”

“I guess the simulation is really not a fan of forks.” My mom laughed off, as my Dad and her exchanged glances.

“Okay?” I slowly responded, peering down at my plate.

“Am I crazy, or was I eating chicken before?” I shouted, staring down at the turkey on my plate.

“Ugh, just the simulation. It must be acting wild today. Maybe a glitch.” My dad brushed off. I stood up and dumped the remains of my dinner in the trash.

“Can you take Ginger out? She probably needs to pee.” My Dad demanded. I went to the front door, Ginger following close behind.

“Come on, girl!” I shouted with glee as she jumped on me.  I opened the door, and she ran into the grass to do her business. The second I stepped outside I noticed the sky was not the usual bright blue, it was a gloomy brown hue. What the hell? I muttered under my breath. I vigorously knocked on the door, hoping one of my parents would be at my beck and call. My Mom came to the door, a happy smile on her face. Her smile turned to a frown,

“What’s up with the sky?”

“I’m not sure, I was wondering the same thing.” I responded, scratching my head. My mom grabbed my arm and pulled me back into the house, Ginger running to follow me in.

“Mom, what are you doing? Isn’t it just the simulation?” I blurted to my mom.

“Um, I’m not sure, the simulation is really acting up today.” She said in a startled tone. The sudden change in her voice gave me the chills.

“This is no big deal, right?” I questioned, concern on my face.

“Oh. no. Not at all.” My mom said, trying to reassure me.

“That isn’t very promising.” I said worriedly. She plastered a fake smile on her face and went up to her room with my Dad. I was curious and feeling nosy, so I quietly went up the stairs, to their bedroom door, being careful not to make too much noise and give myself away. As I put my ear up to the door, I heard quiet chatter. All I could make out was:

“We have to tell him the truth.” A look of concern spread across my face. Tell me what? I said to myself. I continued listening:

“The system is starting to act up. We have to.” My nosiness was starting to get the best of me, and I had no choice but to act on it. I knocked on the door, their quiet chatter being brought to a standstill.

“Hey, Hunter! What’s up!” My Mom cheerfully shouted, hoping I didn’t hear their conversation.

“Uh, I’m fine. What were you and Dad talking about?”

“Oh, noth-” Before my Mom could finish her excuse, my Dad interrupted,

“Just tell him.” The three of us exchanged glances.

“Tell me what?” The two of them sighed and motioned to sit down. I followed their command and sat on their bed.

“Okay. I’m not sure how to start.” My mom started. My Dad took over,

“You obviously know about the strange things that keep occurring, correct?”

“Yeah…” I slowly answered.

“Well, these occurrences keep happening because…” I motioned for him to continue.

“Of the glitch.”

“What?” I responded. “What glitch?” I got up and paced around their bedroom, beads of sweat trickling down my forehead. No one was saying anything and I did not want to talk anymore. I stormed out of the room and made a beeline for my bedroom. As I entered the doorway, I noticed my once teak wood furniture and orange colored walls was now replaced with a blank, white room. I stepped back in fear and ran back into my parents room. Once I reached their doorway, I found the same thing; a pit of blank, whiteness. The sweat was now pooling down my face like a stream, I was unable to move a muscle in my body. Where did my parents go? I thought to myself.

“Mom! Dad!” I shouted. “Where are you?” I went into the kitchen, then the bathroom, then the laundry room, without finding my parents or Ginger.  Tears were starting to unleash from my eyes and I began to run upstairs. I dashed down the hall, getting to the upstairs bathroom. All empty and white. I sprinted back down to the living room to find the same thing. An empty, white room. My feet were planted into the floor, with no ability to move.

“Anyone?!” I shouted, hearing nothing but my echo back. After a silent few moments I heard the helpless barks of Ginger. I followed the noises until I reached the kitchen, watching her small fur and red collar disappear.

“Ginger!” I breathed heavily and continued around my house, searching for any sign of what I thought was reality. I ran into the downstairs bathroom, seeing my father’s tall figure slowly fade into nothing.

“No!” I screamed as I frantically ran to find my Mom. By the second, rooms and objects were either disappearing into thin air or morphing into blankness. I rounded the corner to our laundry room, seeing the last image of her before her fair skin and blond hair faded just like my Dad did. My head began to pound and I felt light-headed. I stumbled to the floor, letting my head take all the impact as my body laid upon the cold tiles. Across my line of vision, I spotted a hint of darkness hidden within my pure white surroundings. I sat up, wiping my eyes dry with my hoodie sleeve. I attempted to lift my limp body slowly to a standing position. I headed toward the mysterious darkness, my eyes beginning to feel heavy. As I reached the edge of the darkness, I hesitated. After a few moments of silence, I stepped over the boundary. In an instant all of the white blankness around me disappeared, as if it was swallowed whole. I quickly shot my body around so I was facing where the whiteness used to be, the whiteness that engulfed me, now turned to darkness as I realized I was the glitch.

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