Well, yes, I suppose it does.
How did it begin? With my husband coming home, far earlier than usual from work, and ordering me into the bedroom. Normally, that would be thrilling, but it turns out, he wanted me in the bedroom so I could pack.
He wouldn’t explain why at first, just badgering me, over and over again, to pack some clothes and whatever I needed for a few days, while he frantically gathered bags from around the house.
I should explain. My husband is… to be polite, a very prepared man. To be less polite, he is one of those doomsday dudes, who is overly prepared for the apocalypse, except, this time, he was right, as he later explained. He had been preparing for every type of end of the world for years. I had gotten used to random bags throughout the house, full of supplies for the worst case scenario. Freeze dried food, survival equipment, weapons (I was VERY unhappy about that), and everything you can think of, for every scenario you can think of. It was just a cute and quirky thing about him. I never expected him to be right. I don’t think anyone did, but, he was.
He didn’t explain his sudden urgency until we were in the car. He was normally the calm and reasonable one, annoyingly so, but he was pale, talking so quickly I thought he would pass out. He kept mumbling about a virus. He worked at the hospital, so I figured it was probably related to COVID – 19. That had calmed down in recent months, and we had all been lulled into a false sense of security, so it made sense that it had creeped back.
“It’s not COVID – 19!” I remember that specifically, because he shouted it at me. Martin never, ever shouts at me. Other people, yes, because he’s a miserable, angry bastard (which I kind of find hot) but he never shouts at me. That was when I knew it had to be something worse. After having lived through various lockdowns, and the grief of losing so many to the virus, I couldn’t imagine something worse, but worse was definitely on its way.
As we drove away from the house, I could feel dread creeping in. Knowing that Martin was afraid, made me afraid. If the man who has prepared for everything feels helpless, you know you’re in trouble. He explained that there had been a rise in patients with weird symptoms. Fevers, vomiting, agitation, dehydration, aggression, delirium. Nothing had worked to relieve the symptoms. They thought it might be a new mutation of COVID-19 or something similar, but the recovery rate was through the floor. It would just take hold of someone, and kill them within hours, no matter what they tried.
The cases all had two things in common. The victims always had a bite mark, somewhere on their body, and the victims always came back. I know what you’re thinking. That makes no sense. It’s crazy. I thought so too, but Martin saw one come back, and when he described it, he looked haunted by what he had seen. I had never seen him like that. I knew he had seen some fucked up stuff, anyone who works in a hospital probably has, but he had never been like this before.
He told me about how they come back. They suddenly snapped awake, agitated, breathing weird, thrashing about, before becoming violent, attacking people, biting, tearing people apart. They were feral. It didn’t seem possible, but as we drove further into town, and I could see the chaos on the streets, it seemed inevitable that the impossible was in fact possible.
I didn’t ask where we were going, just staring, silently, at the never ending stream of fires, looting, and bodies, strewn across pavements and roads. Screams and snarls filled the air. It never seemed to end.
At some point, I fell asleep. I must have been out for hours, because when I woke up, the sun had risen again, and we were driving through somewhere remote and woodsy. It was quiet, and as I looked out the window, I saw nothing but trees and empty fields.
Martin mumbled something about the woods, and I just nodded. That brings me here. I don’t know when we will stop driving. I don’t know what happens next, but, I’ll keep you posted.