13th August 4032
At first it hit the elderly, the weak, the poor.
The plague, that is.
As the bodies started to fall, I cooped myself up in my bedroom. My parents thought that I was crazy, but I knew, I knew it wasn’t going to be long.
28th May 4032
It’s the year 4032 and a mysterious plague has hit the globe. If the plague gets too bad, people will just lock themselves in their houses. We have a network of tube which send letters, food, water and medical supplies. So as long as the tube system works, we can stay alive.
There is one main tube in the house, but each bedroom has secondary tubes, so if people need to isolate themselves for some reason, they can still have things from the outside world. My family is still receiving things in the main tube, but I have payed a subscription fee that sends both fresh and canned food, bottled water and supplies. I eat the fresh food, but store away the canned food. in case I need it later.
31st May 4032
The first signs of the plague are a purple rash and coughing, then, after nine days, you are dead; a puddle of blood surrounding your body.
If one person in your household gets it, you have to tell the government, and your family gets locked away for a month. After that time has passed, soldiers in bio hazard suits open up the house. Either the bodies are taken away, or the survivors are taken to a recovery home.
Most of our family and friends have died, and I’m surprised that my family’s still going.
1st June 4032
‘swffp’ a letter slides through my tube along with a tube of adhesive sealant I ordered.
I pipe my door shut with the sealant, and then I pick up the letter. Strange, I think, The government doesn’t usually send me letters..
I slide my finger under the tab to open it. As supplies are running out, the government are using paper now, instead of the glass panels we usually get our messages on.
Dear Miss Astrid Bolt, As the plague has entered you household, your family will now go under a month long protection period. Power to your house will be cut to save energy, but the tubes will remain functional and will send supplies like usual. A team will be present shortly to bolt your doors and cover your windows.
As I read, I hear the familiar buzzing as our front and back doors a bolted so that no one get get either in nor out.
why didn’t they tell me? I’m their daughter… they have to tell me everything!
But I know that I’m not going out of my bedroom now that they have been struck.
I don’t want to risk it.
9th June 4032
It’s been eight days, and I can’t hear anyone else in the house. I’m guessing that my parents are dead, there aren’t any other options. No one survives the plague once they have it.
I haven’t been able to stop crying, but I guess that this is going to be a reality for most people.
The deliveries through the tube still come, but there is no fresh food or water anymore. Only canned food, and I have to ration my water that I have saved up. I’m counting the days on my wall with a black marker. Twenty-one days to go.
21st June 4032
It’s been five days since anything has come down the tubes. Have they forgotten me? Is there a problem with the tube system?
Luckly I stocked up on canned food before we were bolted in. Hopefully I will have enough food until they come for me.
Nine days to go.
28th June 4032
Being holed up in here for almost a month has made me close to insane. I don’t dare leave my room because if I see my family, I’m sure I will loose my mind!
Only three days to go; come on, I can make it through.
1st July 4032
Today is the day I get released! Finally! I wonder how much the world has changed in a month.
The soldiers should be here any minute now. I think.
2nd July 4032
It’s the next day and they still haven’t come yet. I can tell because when they release a house, they yell and bang so everyone knows.
I have decided to break out.
I fill my backpack with my remaining canned food, water, matches, torches, batteries, my first aid kit and any other supplies. I grab my small tool kit which I’ve used for fixing anything that has broken during the month including my old chair, which broke when I sat down.
I grab the small hammer and a pair of sunglasses so that any stray glass doesn’t get into my eyes. I close my eyes just to be sure, and smash the hammer against the glass and feel a rush of adrenaline pump through my body. I open my eyes to find that the glass is merely cracked, but after a few good hits with the hammer, I can get out.
I drop the hammer and glasses, grab my pack, and step out into the streets. The light is blinding as I look around. I see not a soul. I walk down the street for a minute, and walk up to a house that hasn’t been bolted. No one is inside, I go to the kitchen, grab some canned food, then walk to what I think is the main bedroom while calling out for anyone in the house.
Inside the room, I find a man’s body. Eyes open and white, a pool of brown, sticky blood around him. He’s been lick this for ages. I can tell because of the colour and thickness of the blood.
Why hasn’t anyone picked him up?
I quickly run out of the house, so that I don’t get sick. I crouch down on the front lawn and rummage around in my pack for a face mask. Just to be sure. I walk further along, an make it onto the main road.
There are cars parked around the place like normal, but the street is empty of people. Well, alive people. There are bodies lying around the place. Just like that man I saw earlier, they all lie, eyes open and white, with blood all around.
Cats wander around the place, looking for food, and a few sitting next to the bodies, chewing at the flesh. It seems like cats are immune to the plague. My eyes wander to a tabby cat, standing on the chest of a woman, eating her shoulder. I feel like a volcano, vomit pushing up my oesophagus. I hurl onto the side walk.
I grab a water bottle out of my back pack and take a sip and spit it out, cleaning my mouth. I walk around, calling out to anyone who may hear. I continue doing this throughout the day.
The sky starts getting dark and a brilliant swirl of purples and ranges lights up the sky. It seems as if it’s the only beautiful thing left in this world.
I call out again. I might as well give up, no one’s coming.
I hear the banging of a door, and I see a boy around my age, running towards me from a house.
“Oh God!” he screams, “I’m not alone!” He whoops with joy. He runs up and hugs me out of relief, then gingerly steps back, eyeing me.
“No, I’m not sick,” I tell him, “But what ’bout you?”
He shakes his head with a smile. “I’m Jack.”
I smile at him, “and I’m Astrid. Excellent timing, I didn’t want to have to spend the night alone.”
“When I heard you calling out, it felt as if I was listening to the songs of the angels. Not because of any beauty of your voice, but because I’ve found someone” He explains.
“Everyone dead?” I ask him.
“Yup” He swings his arms together with a clap.
“Thought so,” I reply.
He invites me in and asks if I have any food. I pull out a large tin of peaches in syrup and we share it between us.
He tells me that his parent went out on a week-long business trip, and never came back.
“When they didn’t come back, I hid in our house, then the power cut off, the tubes stopped working and I got real scared. I’ve watched out the windows the whole time, seeing people fall to the ground, dead.” he explains, “thanks for the food, by the way. I ran out of food two days ago, and I’ve been rationing my water.”
The sun goes down, the night gets cold, and we decide to rug up.
“Lets light a fire, the heaters aren’t working, so we might as well put up a tent in the back yard by the fire. We’ve got one in the shed.” he says, jerking his thumb over his shoulder towards the back of the house.
We pitch the tent and light the fire. We grab all the blankets in the house and put them in a cosy pile.
We snuggle up together, too cold to be embarrassed of the closeness.
“So, this is what the end of the world is like.”