Word Count: 728
The kid sprung back up off the sofa, coming straight for me again. We didn’t have time for this bullshit; I was crashing big time, and for a few seconds, I genuinely thought he was going to kill me.
I’m not sure when the gun came out, but it was pointing straight at his head. My hand was shaking, my heart was racing so fast it was tripping over its own feet and the kid just stood there, arms out, welcoming it.
“Go on then,” he yelled at me. He wasn’t going for me anymore, I didn’t get it. “Go on, pull the trigger!” I lowered the gun. I hadn’t even taken the safety off. The kid blinked. Suddenly, he seemed to realize what he was doing and staggered back a step, taking in a deep breath.
“Let’s just… let’s just watch some TV, yeah?” I said kinda shakily, flipping it on at the wall. I’d sort of hoped – apparently in vain – that they might still be playing reruns of sitcoms and stuff. I would, if I was in charge of a TV station. Playing stupid old comedy shows would stop people panicking, right? Instead that stupid broadcast from before was just being repeated over and over, telling people to bring our sick to these safe havens where they would be treated. “STOP LYING!” I screamed at the TV. It was just lies, all of it. There was no treatment, there was no cure, or vaccine. I was probably going to turn into one of those things soon enough, I mean, fuck knows what they were doing to me in that hospital.
I could feel the kid just staring at me, giving me this look like ‘how did I get stuck with the crazy one?’
“Lying?” he asked.
“There is no cure, like they’re promising,” I took a deep breath to try and calm myself down a bit. “They haven’t got anything for this. I was part of one of the drug trials in the hospital nearby, and-” I ran a hand through my hair; I still found it hard enough to believe it had happened at all, let alone that Iw as going to say it to someone. It didn’t feel real, like someone had planted a memory in my head that had happened to someone else, but it couldn’t have happened to anyone else, could it? “And no one made it out of there alive, except me. As far as I can tell. They have no idea what they’re dealing with.” I was trying not to let the fear show, but how could I hide it?
“How did you get out alive? How do I know you’re not going to turn into one of them?”
“I don’t know,” my hands were shaking. “I don’t know. I was locked in a room on my own with some keys and a note. The military around the hospital came in and killed everyone, but they couldn’t get in my room so they just left me there.”
“A note?” he asked, leaning forwards a little, “what did it say?”
“Fuck, I dunno, kid. I can’t read.” He arched an eyebrow.
“You can’t read?”
“You heard me the first time,” I growled, defensive.
“Okay, okay. Do you still have it?” he asked.
“Um… Yeah,” I mumbled, looking through my bag, my fingers closing around the crumpled scrap of paper. “What’s it say?” I asked, handing it over.
“The last batch of vaccines went wrong. Everyone in the wards at the moment is infected. We’re overrun with the dying and the dead and the tiniest bite or scratch from these patients infects another person. The military have come inside, they’re slaughtering everyone, infected or not. Better safe than sorry, right? I’ve locked you in with a spare set of keys, that’ll get you out of here. The trials were nearly a total disaster, but you are the closest thing we got to finding a cure or a vaccine. We think the virus is water and blood borne. Don’t drink any water without sanitizing it first, don’t let anyone touch you. The virus has mutated, it’s become faster acting, and more deadly.
If you have to kill any infected people, go for the brain. Nothing else will kill them.
Please stay safe. God be with you.” He looked up at me.