Later Dell would remember it as becoming suddenly very windy, but Panda would remind her that it was just the sudden rush of humanity racing out to stand in the sun for the last time.
Because that is what happened. As the girls sat and sipped their mochas in the sweet sunshine, all of humanity that was not already outdoors, suddenly got the urge to get OUT. Like lemmings to the sea, they rushed from buildings, subways, automobiles, trains and buses. Matinees at theatres emptied within moments. Office desks were abandoned; phone calls dropped. Prison guards left their posts and prisoners not on the yard plastered themselves to the tiny windows of their cells, trying to reach the rays of the sun. The elderly, handicapped, or those immobilized in hospitals, could be seen reaching for the doors, the windows, the quickest way.
When the dogs had died, there were a lot of burials. Animal Control and veterinarians that offered disposal services were run ragged for quite some time afterwards disposing of all the remains. City road crews and sanitation men worked overtime to clean up dog carcasses from the roads, alleys and backyards of the ones that were abandoned or wild without owners. And for a time there was a stench of death around the places where the dogs had died and not been found before they started to rot.
But this time Mother Nature had a different outcome in mind. Not one to spare her creatures pain, suffering, trauma or fear in the moments of their dramatic deaths, she chose to wipe out the virus of humanity as cleanly as possible.
The junk DNA, the hidden time bomb that detonated all human life on the planet that contained it, was designed to dissolve the human body into ash upon contact with the sun. And built right into the sequence was the sudden overwhelming desire to be in sunlight.
Those unable to reach the sun, or those placed in climates with heavy rains that day, died more slowly without the catalyst of heat and light to hurry the process along.
But they died just the same. Their bodies dissolved within a minute, but what a long agonizing minute that was.
Better to have reached the sun.