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Commuter Corner Stories: A Grim Scene in Post-Hurricane Sandy New York City

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Train travel between Middletown and Manhattan was cut off after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Hoboken Terminal, so a few days after the storm, I decided to take the bus into work. It was practically empty. Most people, it seemed, were content to forgo the rat race that day. 

The moment I stepped out of Port Authority onto the street, I was greeted by something very unusual in the Big Apple — silence. The streets were deserted, the restaurants locked, the office buildings empty. The city that never sleeps was in a coma. A few wanton, passenger-less cabs idled at the street corners. Withered leaves blew down the concrete corridors, street lights changed for no one. It looked everyone had fled the borough, leaving me in Post-Apocalyptic Terror New York City.

I began the walk to my office building, praying that my city-dweller coworkers had weathered the storm unharmed. 

After about a block, I saw another pedestrian walking toward me from an adjacent sidewalk. He wore a black robe. And a hood. And he had a scythe — oh my God, the Grim Reaper was roving the hurricane-beaten streets. 

He jaywalked across the street and began to follow me. The only two people on this entire block were me and the Grim Reaper. I walked faster. But I couldn’t lose him. It seemed like every other soul in the city had evaporated, leaving me to my own terrible destiny. My heart churned all the way to my office. The Grim Reaper is following me, I thought. He took everyone else. Now, he’s come for me.



I practically dove into my office building, like a baseball player sliding into home base.

 When I reached my desk, I was greeted by an automatic morning email. It read: Happy Halloween.

Kelly Gallagher, editorial assistant
Middletown

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