Martin is stuck in a rut. A frustrated and idealistic young man who dreams of becoming a writer, he is also perhaps the world's biggest perfectionist. Time and time again, he is certain he is on the cusp of writing a novel, of making his "mark," before his own insecurities and doubts of his talents keep him held in limbo. Desperate for a change, he moves to Chicago for inspiration. It doesn't come, leaving him wandering the streets late at night. But one night he stumbles into two young men, who couldn't be more different from each other, urging him to come with them for a drink...
It was at that moment that Martin became aware of something. The silence. He looked around, completely stunned. Had he had too much to drink? Was he hallucinating?
The streets of Chicago, one of the biggest cities in the country, silent. Empty.
He was alone.
He felt a wave of panic building up in his chest, but instead of letting it freeze him like it had done so often in the past, it instead set his brain into overdrive. Was he sleepwalking and he didn't realize it? Had he wandered into an area of the city that was completely shut down for the night? It was possible, but that didn't explain the lack of white noise from around the rest of the city. He closed his eyes. He could've fooled himself into thinking he was in a tundra, the silence was so great. Nothing but the whistling of the wind. So at least he was still in Chicago.
Then he heard something. A glorious feeling of relief washed over him, and he turned around in the direction of the sound. Noise! He felt more curious than anything, and felt himself walking towards the source of the noise. As he walked a couple of blocks, the noise became more refined. It was people talking. Oh thank you Lord, he wasn't alone.
He rounded the corner, and was greeted with a sight unlike any he had seen. There were two guys walking down the street on the other side, both about Martin's age, both talking to each other like the best of friends. What made that stunning was the unbelievable dichotomy between them. One of them was large, maybe six and a half feet tall, wearing a football jersey and ripped jeans. His exposed arms were covered in tattoos, and his neck looked about as wide as Martin's thigh. He had a big, chiseled face, like he'd been carved out of granite. He had an earring in his left ear, a scar running down his right cheek, and shaggy black hair. His eyes were brown, his skin healthily tanned. This was normally the type of person Martin went out of his way to avoid.
The other person was so different that Martin wondered if he wasn't being punked. The kid was short, probably five foot eight, except compared to Thunder on his left he was a veritable midget. He had pasty white skin, freckles exploding across his face, and short, slicked back brown hair. The kid's glasses were disappointingly thin, as Martin had secretly hoped they'd be Coke bottle thick. That would've made the strange scene feel safely cliched. The Poindexter wannabe had on a collared blue and white shirt with an honest to God pocket protector, and wore knaki pants. He seemed like the kind of kid that got six times Martin's scores on standardized tests.
Then, they turned and noticed Martin.
"Heyyyy, what's up?" The big guy boomed, a large smile on his face. Stunned, Martin looked behind him to see if the walking refrigerator was talking to someone else. He wasn't. "Yeah, you baby!" The big guy barked. "Come on over, don't be shy!"
Shrugging (and silently praying he wasn't about to get mugged), Martin walked over the crosswalk to the mysterious duo.