Rabies is a terrifying, life-threatening condition that kills over 55,000 people a year. Without treatment, the infection is nearly 100% lethal.
Nightmare symptoms include confusion, uncontrollable rage, hallucinations, excruciating pain, hypersalivation, difficulty swallowing psychosis, terror, convulsions, coma, and death. The incubation period is from 10 days to one year.
To spread the infection, the host's brain is "rewired" by the intelligent virus to bite other victims. - excerpts from nationalgeographic.com/news, redorbit.com/news, and motherboard.com
What if rabies became airborne? What if to be airborne it mutated with a flu virus?
The deadliest flu virus known to man.
Killing 50 million to 100 million, the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic made its victims suffer. Within hours of feeling the first symptoms of extreme fatigue, fever, and headache, victims would start turning blue. Sometimes the blue color became so pronounced that it was difficult to determine a patient's original skin color.
The patients would cough with such force that some even tore their own abdominal muscles. Lungs filled with so much liquid, they would suffocate - to death. Foamy blood exited from their mouths and noses.
To this day, no one knows why the flu virus suddenly mutated into such a deadly form. Nor do they know how to prevent it from happening again. - excerpts from Thoughtco.com.
This is the story of that possibility.
What would life be like?
What would you be like?
This book, including its plot, places, and characters, has been created exclusively by me. This book, whether in whole or in part, may not be translated or copied electronically, on paper or by any other means available without my permission. This book may not be translated into any other language and then copied without my permission. © MAIRA DAWN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
She felt desperate. She had to get to the boy, that she knew. How much time she had, she didn't. Things were changing at such an alarming rate. So much worse, so much faster than anyone thought they would.
As she ran through the spacious rooms of her house to her bedroom, her heart tapped a rhythm as fast as her feet. The events of the last couple of months tore through her mind.
My stupidity has gotten me here.
Focus. Skye's mind felt like a Tilt-a-Whirl as she tried to think of everything she would need. First things first. Clothes, pack some clothes. Pack, ha! More like just grab some clothes.
Her dark hair bouncing against her shoulders, she quickly scanning the area and spied her moss-green backpack shoved into the corner of the room. Grabbing it, she hurried over to the dresser and threw some jeans, shirts and other essentials into it.
Good enough. Hurry, hurry! This should have all been done, it could have all been done. If I had only listened to what I was told and didn't put it off. And now they are coming!
Her feet slapped on the cool stone tile floor, as she rushed into the bathroom, and threw some personal items into the backpack.
I might have just procrastinated myself to death.
A bead of sweat started to slid her back as she ran to the kitchen. Food. Her green eyes scoured the room, opening and closing the pristine, white kitchen cabinets.
Peanut butter, protein bars, definitely yes. Fruit for a few days. Water! Yes, yes.
Hands shaking, she laid out these items on the marble countertop before tossing them on top of the pile of clothes in her backpack.
Gotta go, gotta go! Wait. A weapon. The sudden, harsh thought shocked her into a complete standstill before she brought a hand to her face. A weapon? For what? For who? I don't know, I don't know.
How did this happen?
Stop, stop. No need to think of this now. And no time. I've got to get out of here before it is too late. Take a knife. A knife will be good for a lot of different things. Yeah, a knife.
Her hand wrapped around the smooth, wooden handle of the large kitchen knife, and she swiftly drew it from it from the butcher block. It made a swoosh as it went into the side pocket of the backpack.
She grabbed up the increasingly heavy bag, ran to the hall and snatched up her purse with her keys on her way. Out of habit, she twisted the lock of her stained glass front door as she went. Stupid. Obviously can't come back here ever again, not after what I am going to do.
Finally, Skye crossed to the hard concrete of the garage floor. She yanked open the back door of the Jeep, threw her backpack and some unopened camping gear into it. Leaping into the Jeep, she slammed the key into the ignition and turned it before she even hit the seat.
Hands tight on the leather steering wheel, she rapidly backed the car out of the garage. Tires squealed as they hit the road's pavement, but at last, she was speeding down the road. Her foot pushed the gas pedal as far as she dared given the curves of the road.
One last panicked look in the rear-view mirror told her she had made it out just in time. She gave the historic town she sped through a silent, sentimental goodbye.
One way or another, after today, my life will never be the same.
One Month Ago
Dylan and his brother Wade woodenly stood at the end of the hospital bed and watched as the man they had called Father struggled for breath. Wade's clenched fists stuffed deep into his jeans pockets, while Dylan held one muscular arm across his body and the other at his teeth as he chewed his thumbnail.
Dylan heard the bed rattle slightly. His father's body shook and quivered with the immense effort of hauling in air. Still, the ill man hung on to what little life he had left. Just go. Leave.
He had thought it a million times. What was one more?
He pressed his lips together a few times before raising a hand to rake through his dark, shaggy hair.
Studying the man, he saw the damage the illness had done in just these last two days. His pale ashen skin made his blue-tinted lips seem more vibrant in color than they really were. The red-tinged foam that escaped each time he tried to exhale ran over the side of his face. His limbs, taut and awkward, were almost unusable.
The monster he is on the inside has crept to the outside.
Dylan gave a long audible sigh and raised his blue eyes to skim over the others laying here in this room. Has to be a couple hundred here.
The sick had overwhelmed the town's small Doctor's office within days. So the authorities had closed the school to classes and opened the gym to the ill. All were in various stages of the disease.
At most of the beds, loved ones gathered around the ill, gowned and masked, some offering comfort and some just weeping.
Dylan drug his eyes to his brother, who stood with his hard gaze on his father. Stone-faced and cold. Just like me. It's what he taught us.
He looked again at his father who had tears in the corner of his eyes. He shouldn't be surprised.
The nurse came to check on him, adjusting his IV, upping the dose of pain medication in every drip to ease his passing. He don't deserve the mercy. He never gave mercy to nothin' or nobody his whole life.
She came closer to the men and whispered, "It won't be long now." She went on to the next patient without giving her customary words of comfort or even a sympathetic squeeze of the hand to this one.
She knows what he is. Dylan scanned the room again, taking in the many faces turned toward them. They all know.
After a few minutes, the frantic gasping stopped. His father seemed to lift his hand slightly, as if in supplication, and then his head slowly turned to the side, lifeless.
The brothers looked at each another as twin weights shifted and rose from their shoulders, easing them of a burden they had known from the moment they were born. They acknowledged it with a small nod. It's over now.
The nurse made her way back to them.She started to explain the instructions placed on the medical staff by the CDC on how to care for the dead. Wade interrupted, "Do whatcha gotta do, it don't make no never-mind to us."
"Will you be staying?" the nurse asked.
"No," Wade replied shortly, "We're already gone." He turned and headed out the door. Dylan thanked the nurse for her help and then followed him.
Outside, the men peeled off their protective gowns and masks, then shoved them into the garbage can that stood by the exit of the building. Wade looked at the sky, before turning his eyes to Dylan and asking, "How long do ya think it takes to get to Hell anyways?"
Dylan let out a long sigh. "The way he was, I always figured he was already there."
They were silent as they walked to their aged red truck. Dylan took the worn driver's seat, turned the ignition key and sat for a minute, before giving Wade a questioning look.
Wade gave him a small nod. Dylan pulled out onto the road and headed for the one and only place either man had ever considered safe.