Last night, one of those minor earthquakes that rock the California coast from time to time woke him up. He guessed it was about a 4.0. Quakes that small were common and very rarely caused any kind of damage. So, he had rolled over and went back to sleep.
This morning, he prepared for another day of going door-to-door pitching the latest edition of the encyclopedia. He ate his bacon, hash browns, toast and fried eggs. After pouring his second cup of coffee, he opened his briefcase to retrieve his map and replenish his sales brochures.
At first, he couldn't believe his eyes. He wiped his eyes, squinted, shook his head and frowned. The paper that was his map was blank. The sales brochure with colorful pictures of a family sitting around a dining table reading the encyclopedia was pure white. His receipt book had no lines or embellishments. The lettering on his pencils had disappeared. All traces of ink were gone.
He shook his head and rubbed his temple. "This is a nightmare," he thought. "I'm still asleep." But, he knew that wasn't true. He turned on the television and watched the newscaster sitting in front of a blank, white backdrop make the following announcement:
"We are receiving similar reports from all around the world. Every nation around the globe is reporting the disappearance of ink. The ink that man has used to write and print has disappeared from all surfaces. All sources of ink have vanished. Ink has evaporated off all paper surfaces, ink has evaporated, gone....."
Ron rushed to his encyclopedia and opened the first volume. The pages were blank.