It was the sound heard throughout the world. Buses ground to a halt in Central London, pogo-sticks stopped with a squeak in New Zealand, children fell off their chairs in Tokyo and no one laughed. It was the sound of a yellow and black 2B pencil with a 2mm tip. The sound of it snapping. In silence the shrapnel fell to the wooden floor of the examination room.
“Son of a monkey-humper! It broke.”
“Jeff Turner, will you keep your voice down please,” said a stern-looking woman in her late thirties, dressed in a floral white blouse and skirt. “Some of us are trying to finish an exam here, and some of us are trying to decide if it was a wise choice to place a ‘missed connections’ ad for the guy who accidentally spat on their face during the train journey to work yesterday morning.”
Young Jeffrey slammed his clenched fist against the surface of his desk. “I’m sorry Miss Watson, but my pencil just broke.”
“Nevermind. It’s not the end of the world,” she said.
Yet unbeknownst to all of them, it was. This one event would kick-start a chain of disastrous consequences. A chain which would culminate in global catastrophe, the like of which had not been seen since time’s beginning, nor will occur again.