The Plague Diary: First excerpt
I am a survivor.
I don’t know how or why I survived when nearly everyone-certainly everyone I loved or even knew-succumbed in one manner or another to the plague. Hell, I don’t know if it was the right combination of proper genetics or just lucky circumstance or a simple and cruel twist of fate. Maybe it was all of them; then again, maybe it was none of them. I don’t know why most people who contracted the virus died; I don’t know why most of those who contracted it but didn’t die, changed into something … else. Either way, I am still here and I am still alive. And I am not one of them.
I survived the plague that ravaged mankind and brought about the end of civilization, the end of the world. And that’s why I write these words.
Maybe in the future, years from now when the world has righted itself-if the world ever rights itself-they will mean something. They will be a record of what transpired during these dark and nightmarish days, documented by someone who actually lived and survived them.
Or maybe these words are just the self-important ramblings of someone who is doomed to be among the last of his kind. I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter because I write them anyway …
The Plague Diary: Second excerpt
While there is much I don’t know, one of the things I do know is I didn’t get so much as a sniffle during the plague days that instigated The Collapse.
All around me tens of thousands and throughout the world billions of people contracted the plague and suffered through its horrific effects, and all the while I didn’t so much as sneeze or cough a single time. Civilization spiraled violently down through all Dante’s rings of hell in a matter of a few months, and, me, I was as healthy as ever, physically unaffected by the viral scourge of humanity.
Am I blessed or cursed?
I know it was a particularly nasty-almost predatory-virus that made no social or economic or racial or religious distinctions among its victims. It was an equal opportunity assailant that spread misery and anguish throughout all strata of mankind.
No one was truly certain when it started or exactly where it came from. Did it come from the monkeys or great apes of Africa? Maybe the birds of Asia or the soils of the Indian subcontinent? How about the unknown recesses of deep space, trapped in the frozen dust of an interstellar comet that unobtrusively passed through our solar system? Or was it a man-made abomination that escaped from a military lab? Maybe just a horrendous fluke of nature?
We’ll never know, but I don’t think it really matters now …
The Plague Diary: Third excerpt
By the time the true nature of the plague had revealed itself, it was already too late. We just didn’t know it. In no time, the plague had firmly sunk in its microbial claws and waged a winning war on the physiology of man.
Civilization deteriorated rapidly as the dominoes of polite and regimented society fell in succession. Hell, it happened so fast we didn’t even have ample time to give it a catchy nickname. It was just simply known as “the plague.” I know, I know, it must have really affected the PR shills and run rampant through their ranks.
Although no one is certain, it is believed to have radiated out from multiple hot spots in Asia and Africa, inexorably spreading like a forest fire spurred on by the tornado-like winds the flames themselves had generated. In a matter of weeks, the plague raged out of control, and billions died horrible and ghastly deaths throughout Asia, Australia, the Indian subcontinent, Africa and Eastern Europe. The rest of Europe was doomed but held out bravely and valiantly. In the end, it too succumbed to the unrelenting and inescapable onslaught of the plague and endured a fate that neither The Black Death nor two world wars and countless smaller ones could impose on it.
The Western Hemisphere avoided the initial blitzkrieg of plague deaths, but, in an inherent age of globalization, it was merely living on borrowed time. As if carried on the winds of the jet stream or perhaps in the passenger compartment of a jumbo jet, the plague reached the shores of North and South America from both east and west.
The myriad of bio-security measures carefully and methodically initiated by Homeland Security was commendable, but in the end they were ineffective at best and utterly useless at worst. Even the highest high-tech innovations of man were no match for these invisible predators.
Bureaucratic bastards! We had put our fate in the hands of people who attained their lofty position by political or family connections rather than talent or ability. How’s that for irony?
Still, I don’t think it mattered either way. We were doomed …
The Plague Diary: Fourth excerpt
The final collapse of global civilization was inevitable.
It came down in predictable death spasms of desperate violence as mankind frantically grasped for and clutched at any and all straws of salvation–religion, sex, drugs and alcohol, ignorance–but found none could halt the assault of infinite unseen villains. The final verdict was never truly in doubt.
It was a remorseless death sentence.
As wretched and horrific as that death experienced by billions was, they were truly the fortunate ones. They got sick and died within a month of the onset of Stage One symptoms. Adios amigos, see ya on the other side. It was over for them.
The less fortunate ones got sick, but they didn’t die. Oh, sure, there were reports–rumors, really–that a few recovered as if nothing had happened to them but most became something else entirely. They had survived, but the plague had exacted a heavy, heavy toll from them.
I personally don’t think you can say they are human. Not anymore, not really. Their bodies seem to function in a mostly primal capacity, and, thank God, most of them seem to have only a predatory animal intellect and cunning. These survivors have changed. They have mutated into something else entirely, something more beast than man …
The Plague Diary: Fifth excerpt
I know there is an urge to call them what they appear to be, but I just can’t bring myself to do that. I can’t! They are not supernatural; they’re not the stuff of ancient myth and folklore.
They are not legend.
No, to me, they are nothing more than non-human creatures. To me, they are walking and breathing and eating abominations of man, mocking the divinity of God’s creation. Nothing more, nothing less.
The creatures’ numbers are staggering. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of them in this city alone, and so few of us here; less than two dozen by my less than scientific and unofficial census. Although, I have to admit, I haven’t been out and about much lately, so my estimate is questionable.
Still, I continue to hope that I will encounter more people like me, survivors physically untouched by the parasitic ravages of the plague and somewhat mentally coping with it. I know–I have to believe!–there are more of us out there, if not in this city, then in others or in the rural towns throughout the country. There has to be more survivors, there just has to be. There has to be!
However, I have found so few like me but encountered so many of … of them.