[The Plague, 1,004 words, Genre: Apocalyptic]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
There was a plague that had broken out in the first world countries. It had started in the country areas and slowly people were gathering in the cities, looking for healthcare and aid to escape the contamination that had occurred throughout the land.
The infection begun with the eye sockets. People would usually experience a dry eye sensation in which their eyes would not lubricate properly. This was a symptom of the fever that would cause much dehydration to the body. It would be undetectable by the individual at first. They would experience dry eyes, dry mouth. These were the beginning symptoms of something much more severe. The dryness of mouth and eye would then break out to a great temperature. And then the fever would break out. The fever would leave individuals unable to take care of themselves. They would experience severe diarrohea as the body attempted to burn out and flush out what was the root of the problem. The infected would puke and spread the disease further to those who were touched by it. It spread on a mass scale. In the end, what happened at the end of the infection is that the body would literally cook the brain in attempting to kill off the infection. The bodies would turn to putty, the flesh becoming soft and malleable. At first it was just to friends and family, but when it got into the hospitals, that’s when it became a national crisis.
People were abandoning their work posts. Shops were closed. The news stations were all taken over by military operations. As the infection was land spread, the navy was organizing to create a Noah’s arc situation in which all those who were of sustainable health and could be cleared would be given a room on one of the warships.
It was unknown where the infection began. Some said that it had started with travellers going into the third world countries and picking up some unknown strain of bacteria.
Out of those who remained unaffected were a father and his teenage son. The father was a widow, leaving just him and his son living in the contemporary world. The father listened to the radio and found out where the health checkpoints and Navy warships were boarding. The father told his son to pack a bag full of essential clothing, giving him the instructions to pack things that would keep him warm. His son, still in his teenage years was hesitant at first. Complaining because he had to break his lethargic routine.
When the bags were packed the father and son went out to the car, throwing their bags in the boot of the car and taking seats in the drivers’ and passengers’ respectively. Through the safety of the windshield they saw what was happening outside. People, those infected, were stumbling around puking and trying to reach out for help. They were all looking for assistance of some kind. But any assistance that could be provided to them would be of detriment to those who went to lend a hand. People were passed out on the streets. People were crawling on the footpaths. All with red eyes and the look of death upon them.
“Dad, I’m scared.” His son looked at his father who had just started up the car.
“Don’t worry son, it will be alright.”
His father started up the car, put it from neutral to reverse, backed out of the driveway. Then like a bat out of hell started driving down the road. For the most part he had to swerve in an attempt to avoid those whom were infected. But after he mowed down one of the infected accidentally, he didn’t bother to avoid them anymore. It was kind of like taking your first piss after drinking six cans of beer and continuing to drink on throughout the night. Once the seal was broken, you didn’t care much anymore. And that’s what it was like driving towards the destination. His teenage son was screaming, becoming traumatized as the blood and puke gathered on the windshield and windows of the car. Bodies went flying as the father continued to drive in a straight line down the highway. He turned on the windshield wipers and the windshield wipers paused in the middle of their automatic cycle, getting caught up on a chunk of flesh.
After half an hour of erratic driving they arrived at their destination. Most of the other people had already been processed. Those that had survived the infection. Things were becoming hap hazardous as people in their thousands gathered and called out to be let into the safety of the Navy warships.
His father got out of the car. They forgot the bags that had been packed and navigated their way to the front of the mass of people that had been gathered in a clump, before the barricades that had been set up. People were calling out. People were praying. People were pushing and hustling one another. His father held his son by the wrist and pulled him through it all.
The father somehow made their way to the front gate and got in contact with one of the military personnel who were holding back the crowds from breaking into the installation.
His father began calling out, “Wait! I have a son! For fark’s sake, I have a son!” Over and over again. He did this for half an hour and then one of the military personnel looked at both of them. The military agent went over to them and pulled them inside the complex.
They went through the routine of being health checked by medical staff and the medical staff cleared them both, they were both free of infection.
A soldier came up to the father and explained the situation, stating, “There’s limited room on the vessel. There’s only room enough for one of you.”
“Well, you’re sure as hell taking me and not this little cunt!” The father stated and motioned towards his son.