01 Jul Self Preservation
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"Self Preservation"Written by
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Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
If you’re reading this, then I am hopefully long gone. It’s been… two months now since the meteor struck Mississippi. There was a lot of public interest in it, astrologers and the like all gathering around for a look. They took samples of the rock and shipped them all over the world to museums in every country. Hell, I almost made a trip to have a look myself, but I had an interview with a potential employer. If he hadn’t called me up the previous day, I’d be dead now. Three days later, after the initial hype died down, the news reported nothing on the meteor for a couple of days.
The next thing I heard about it was when I got home from the pub and turned on the late-night news. I was just in time to catch a breaking news article. The worried-looking reporter informed me that almost everyone who had been in the vicinity of Mississippi when the meteor went down had been hospitalised. Their symptoms were similar to those that a corpse experiences during decomposition. Ten people had already died, mostly the elderly and the very young. Scientists and geneticists from all over the globe were working frantically to try and find a cure. Being smarter than the average bear, I gathered some supplies and prepared for an epidemic. Years of being paranoid beyond reason was finally about to pay off.
The news the next day had a lighter tone. A Chinese scientist had worked out that the meteor had contained an alien strain of bacteria that slowly broke down flesh tissue. The scientist also remarked that the bacteria were only affecting humans. He had also worked out that if a victim consumed a living being, such as an insect, it would delay the progression of the bacteria, giving the scientists more time to figure out a permanent cure. Anyone who thought they may have contracted the infection was to eat as many live creatures as they could. The reporter also explained that the US Army was attempting to contain the infection.
Anyone who has read Stephen King’s book, The Stand, will have an idea of how the bacteria made its way around the world. It passed through the air, but to catch it, you had to be near someone infected. Because the symptoms took between three to five days to kick in, people didn’t realise that they were infected. In a week, Victus Somes Disease, as it had been named, was global.
I had barricaded myself in my house, with towels and blankets stuffed into every crack. I had the TV tuned to the news all day and night. The scientists had not predicted that the bacteria would adapt to the infected people’s efforts at trying to keep it at bay. Victims all over the world were claiming that the insects were no longer working. People were starting to catch small mammals and eat them.
As the days went by, people were slowly eating larger and larger animals. The first reported case of cannibalism was, ironically, the last broadcast made. The anchorman’s hair was falling out and he was missing three teeth. He nervously told America that there had been a reported case of cannibalism in Southern Europe. He also said that there would be no further broadcasts. All survivors were to lock themselves in their house and not let anyone in.
For the next week and a half, I watched the infected shamble up the street, knocking on doors. One of my neighbours, a couple of houses down from me, was stupid enough to open the door. Three people dragged him out and started biting his flesh. They started with his arms and legs, trying to keep him alive for as long as possible. They were crying as they ate. Their meal was shrieking in pain, and the three people eating him were apologising furiously through mouthfuls of his arm. I don’t think they were unable to control themselves; it looked more like they were disgusted by what they had to do to stay alive.
They tried to break into my house five or six days later, but my barricades held. They were outside, begging me to let them in. “Just one bite. Please, be generous.” I listened to their pleading all night, too scared to sleep.
I suppose I should explain why I’m writing this. I’m infected. Yesterday I coughed and lost a canine. I spent the night pulling out my teeth, easing them out one by one. It didn’t hurt; they just slid out, like pulling up carrots. Anyway, as I was saying, I’m infected. The bugs have stopped working, and all the wild animals have long since run away. I have decided to lure someone into my house and attack them. It sounds so wrong writing that out, but I don’t want to die. And I’m so hungry.
I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.
Credited to BananaCorn.
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