Authors: Samie Sands
I’m scrubbing my arm repeatedly, even though my skin is cracked and bleeding. I just
to get this virus off me. I can see it, I can feel it. It’s there, I just know it, and I can’t have it yet. Not now, not until I’ve found Leah. That was the
and I’m not quite there yet. I only stop when my other arm can’t take it anymore; the aching is too intense to carry on. My breathing is hurting my throat but my desperation to continue cleaning myself has taken over everything else.
My body falls to the hard, cobbled ground. I’m devastated, but unable to cry. I have no liquid left inside me, I’m extremely dehydrated. I can’t remember the last time I drank or ate anything. My skin is stretched so tightly around my ribs that it’s painful; my veins are all protruding, darkened and failing. I’m starving myself to death, I know I am. I’m just far too scared to let anything pass my lips. The OCD that was once a terrible problem in my life has finally overcome me entirely. That’s all I am now, all the rest of my personality has long gone. It’s disappeared along with my will to live.
I stay slumped against a wall for hours on end, my body too tired from all the fighting with myself to go on. My brain is screaming at myself to get up, that if I stay here then I’ll never get what I want. The infected will find me sooner or later, and my life will end of some crappy street corner, not too far from where I wanted to be. But for the very first time, my feet don’t respond to anything my mind is saying. My legs are too feeble, my body to frail. My eyes just want to sleep. I can’t listen to my doomsday voice, however much I actually want to.
My eyes start closing. I’m begging them to stop, to keep open, but they won’t. If I can’t see the danger, I won’t know that it’s coming. But then, maybe the time has come to give up and accept defeat. I’m done with this battle. Realistically, I knew it was unlikely that I’d manage to get to Leah, I’ve been far too weak for far too long. And there’s only so long I’ll be able to keep any of the rest of
away from me, I can only hope that I’ve got no idea what is happening when I die. I don’t want to feel pain. And if I
end up like one of those beasts, rather than simply dying, I hope someone braver than me puts me out of my misery, even though I don’t deserve it. I definitely don’t deserve it, but I can still wish all the same. I had two chances to put the people I love out of their misery, and I didn’t do it. I know I deserve the comeuppance from this, but I pray that I don’t get it all the same.
Finally I prise my eyes open, unsure if I’m still living. To my surprise I see someone walking towards me—an infected? No, I’m not sure it is. This must be some sort of hallucination. That makes a lot of sense; it was bound to end up like this eventually. I smile weakly at the man in front of me. He’s in military uniform and I can hear crackling voices. My mouth wants to speak, to say something, anything, but it’s too late, my brain has already made the decision to shut down, leaving me completely hopeless…
TRANSCRIPT OF PRIVATE BROADCAST:
PM William Parle and Corporal Thomas Cleary
Transcribed by Carla Barnes 28
April 10:30 a.m.
WP: “Corporal Thomas Cleary, are you there? Over.”
TC: “Yes, sir, I’m listening. Over.”
WP: “Okay, what I’m going to explain to you now is confidential information. For your ears only, so I need you to confirm that you’re currently alone. Over.”
TC: “Confirmed. Over.”
WP: “Okay. Things have failed on this end. We had some [
] issues with the scientist that couldn’t be resolved. We can’t afford another blunder after the Lockdown. The people who have taken control of other continents are assuming that we’ve become weak, and that puts us in a bad position for the future, if you understand what I mean. Rumour has it that a scientist in Russia has a cure. Our Intel hasn’t been able to confirm or deny this yet, but either way it doesn’t look good for us.”
TC: “What happened to the scientist, sir?”
WP: “He won’t be bothering us anymore.”
8 seconds of silence.
WP: “He had an idea that victims of the virus are weakening. We think this might be correct, so this is where you come in. Over.”
TC: “Understood. Over.”
WP: “We need you and your teams to conduct a final ‘clean up’ operation of the entire country, if you will. If the infected are dying out and easier to kill, it shouldn’t provide too much of a challenge for you. Do you follow? Over.”
TC: “Understood. Over.”
WP: “I want to make this perfectly clear. Every single person currently left in the UK is to be assumed infected. No questions asked. Do you read me? Over.”
TC: “Understood. Over.”
WP: “I’m trusting you on this, Thomas. I’m putting a lot of faith in your hands. We cannot have another failure on our hands. This has to be successful if we have any hope of ever rebuilding the UK. Don’t let me down, Thomas. Over.”
TC: “What will happen then, sir?”
4 seconds of silence
TC: “I just like to know what I’m fighting for, sir.”
WP: “We are going to start organising the UK first, mainly because it’s an island. Easier to keep anything ‘unwanted’ out. Then we will get everyone settled there as a temporary measure, whilst we get to work on the rest of Europe. This is going to be a lengthy operation, but it’s the only way forward. We’re hoping that the longer time goes on, the less work we’ll have to do in each place.”
TC: “Not to speak out of turn, sir, but why not stay where you are for the time being?”
WP: “For two reasons. One, it’s no longer safe here. We’ve lost a lot of our board members in an unfortunate [
]episode of late and a side effect of that is the camp is becoming unsettled. If I may be honest with you, Thomas, the issues are becoming too challenging to handle. The riots are becoming bloody and it’s hard to regain control afterwards.”
TC: “Sorry to hear that, sir.”
WP: “This camp is too small for all of the people it’s holding. These people need to be spread out and separated. The quicker, the better. I don’t know how much longer we can continue here. Government secrets are being revealed with unpleasant consequences.”
TC: “Are we still having a ‘government’ style system, after everything that’s happened?”
9 seconds of silence
TC: “Sorry, sir, I didn’t mean that to sound disrespectful, I just thought [
] with everything going on it was more [
]. Sorry, sir, I shouldn’t have spoken out of turn.”
WP: “The second reason is we need to show some sort of progress. For all the civilians, and to the other people in power. Europe needs to be seen as strong, as I’ve explained before. Over.”
TC: “Okay, sir, so just to confirm your orders, anyone left in the UK is to be seen as a threat and killed. Then we must remove all of the bodies.”
WP: “Burn all of the bodies. I need them disposed of in the most efficient way possible. I know it’ll take time but you need to make absolutely sure that there is no one left. Another outbreak of this virus will finish us off. All of us. Over.”
TC: “Understood. Your orders will be followed out. My teams will be briefed efficiently and I will keep you updated with our progress. Thank you, sir. Over.”
WP: “Good luck, Thomas. You’re going to need it. You cannot fail. Over and out.”
End of transcription.
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. Your kind words have kept me going!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samie Sands is a 30 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing.
She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She has also had a number of her short stories included in some very successful anthologies.
She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures. To follow Samie’s work, please check out her website