He hid in a cave for three weeks. Fortunately, with this last biological plague, there was no more screaming coming from the valley below. Besides the water he had stockpiled, his most valued possession was his wind up radio, which didn’t need any batteries. The news had all stopped now, and he wasn’t sure how many people had died. But before the broadcasts had ended, he heard that there were a few people, known to have an immunity to the virus. Was he one of them? He wasn’t sure.
Should he go down to look around? The closest buildings were some houses, and further down the mountain, a small shopping center. After waiting two more days, he decided to give it a try, and spend no more than thirty minutes in the area, after which he would quickly retreat back to the cave. He was terrified he would catch whatever it was that had swept through the area so quickly, but his food had run out days ago. He started down the mountain, on foot.
As he walked past the houses that dotted the mountain, there was no one around. Were they all gone now? He stuck to the road as he walked, believing that if he went too close, or knocked on their doors, he would get a pistol or shotgun in his face. Nothing moved. There was only the wind, rustling through the trees.
Several miles later he made his way to the shopping center. He knew there was a 7-11, and a few small stores. Maybe he could get a sandwich at the deli. As he got closer, he could see something wasn’t right. There were clumps of something laying on the ground, he could make out a purse, next to a car with an open door. They were dead bodies!! His mind started racing, he wanted to run. But wait – there was no smell, and they weren’t quite dead bodies. What was going on here?
He noticed there was no sound here either, and the silence was heavy. He managed to calm himself down, as he carefully walked closer. His heart started pounding.
They were clothes, different piles of clothes, without anyone in them! People had fallen right where they were, shoes, belts, hats, all in a mostly neat row, making the outline of a person, but there was no body. Chill bumps ran up and down his spine.
It was very clear that whatever killed these people, dried them up so badly, that it turned their remains into dust, which then blew away in the wind. Would he catch the infection? He didn’t care anymore, he needed food, so he rummaged through the 7-11, and then the deli, loading up his backpack with as much as he could. He took off again, running up the mountain.
He felt horrible taking things that he hadn’t paid for, but he had no choice…….
To be continued.
Writing and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree
Peace and blessings to everyone.
“If you love nature, you will love people.”