The Beginning of SorrowsMature

"John, I can't stop crying. How much longer?" Kate said, as she cradled four month old Max in her arms. John, taking a final look behind him, closed the metal basement door and locked the deadbolt. "Only 11 hours," he said, "and then he can eat. I brought milk." Kate looked down at Max's body as he thrashed and wailed. "It's been 37 hours since he's eaten or slept. He just cries and it makes me cry because I can't do anything to help him. His stare is so blank. He's not even in there. And I can't do anything. "Kate began crying again. "I can't do anything!" she said. John put his arm around Kate and comforted her. "He won't die from this. You know you're lucky he's still just a baby Kate. If he was old enough to hurt you he would be trying to kill you right now. Imagine all the parents that have had to hurt their children or be hurt by their children. You're blessed Kate. When they find the cure, you will still have each other." Kate looked at John hopelessly. "If I make it." she said to John. John replied confidently, "You will. He will. We will."

Just as John spoke, there was a loud smashing at the door. They found them. Thankfully the gene didn't give the Migrarians super strength. After all, they were humanoids too; sort of. John pulled Kate closer and she lay her head on his lap. "See, I wasn't so crazy when I built this bomb shelter. They can't get through the lead walls and steel frames." said John, I love you little sister." Kate, feeling secure, closed her eyes and fell asleep holding Max as he cried.

Kate awoke to silence. "I overslept?" she asked. John replied, "Max just settled down. Poor kid. He just drank a bottle and he's asleep now." Kate looked down at Max. He looked human in every way. But he was not. He was half Migrarian. She never regretted that until now. But she didn't regret it for her sake. She worried for Max. He inherited the gene from his father, Yadi. Most hybrid children have some Migrarian features. But not Max. He was one of the 20% of hybrid children that looked entirely human. Until of course, the gene activated. Then he didn't look human at all. There was nothing human about losing all trace of compassion. But Max was her son. She couldn't stop loving him no matter what. And her only fear beyond her trouble managing his affliction, was her fear that one day she will die by his hands.

"They don't reactivate randomly. I heard it on the radio." John said to Kate. "Listen, they're replaying the broadcast over and over." John turned on the radio. Kate listens as the radio announcer explains, "The gene, which was one thought to activate randomly, seems to be activated in a pattern. In the same way that we can now estimate how long the afflicted will kill, we now can estimate how often they will kill. It appears the gene is activated for 48 hours every 40 days and affects roughly 1 in 12 earthlings with the gene in no more than a 2 mile radius. We've also discovered that there is a 1000 mile distance between hots pots. The hot spots are growing, but slowly. The only thing that can trigger the gene outside of this activation is eye contact between someone afflicted and someone who is not."

Kate felt relieved. She had 40 days to nurse Max back to health before the gene activated again. Still, deep in her heart she knew that scientists were theorizing. Anything could change at any moment. All she hoped for was that the change would come in the form of a cure that would disable the gene forever. When she looked into Max's face, he showed both relief and distress. "It must be like having a nightmare," she thought, "He doesn't know what he's doing." Kate snuggled up next to Max as John went to open the basement door. "You know you can come up now," he said, "Everyone is gone." She looked up. The morning light shone through the door putting a halo around John. For a moment she pictured John like an Angel, a Godsend. Every time she saw him her faith was restored. "I know," she said, "But I don't want to disturb him." John walked away smiling and leaving the door open.

The light cast down into the basement where Kate lay on the floor with little max wrapped in grey emergency blankets. The sound of ambulance sirens fill the air. John takes the backdoor into the house and exits to the front porch. Firetrucks hose blood down the sewers, cleaning the streets. Several body parts are found and a young Migrarian man fights with police as he tries to explain he doesn't have the gene. John overhears a car stereo radio broadcaster reporting the next affliction hot spot. It's in San Francisco. He walks back into the house, grabs his coat and keys and heads out the door saying, "Time to stock up on bullets."

The End

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