A mystery illness has hit the world. A select few people, known as cures, have the ability to save sufferers but most doubt their methods, many are trying to kill them. How do you save those that are intent on stopping you?
I know this laneway. It’s in even worse condition than it was the last time I saw it. I’ve never walked it before. I was on it in a car before, in another life.
I don’t know when I was last this close to my hometown. It’s been at least a year. I avoided it intentionally for a few months. Too much pain to see any familiar roads. But that was back when I had some degree of control over where I was going.
I dodge around a dead animal. Too long dead to identify what it might have been, just a pile of bones with the last remains of flesh clinging on. Strange it hasn’t been picked clean. Not many things left living around here to eat it, I suppose.
I can see houses ahead of me. Occupied or not, I'm not sure. One of them might be. One of them could be my destination. Or maybe not. Maybe I was still some way off. Hard to tell. I could be very close to an early case, or I could be far away from a well-advanced case. Impossible to tell until I was right on top of my target.
Of course, just because a house was occupied didn't make it my destination. If it wasn't one of those houses I was heading for then I could only hope they were empty. Of the living, at least. People didn't tend to be all that kind anymore, especially not to wandering teenagers with questionable motives. People would only let me do my work if they were desperate. Sometimes I would have to lie in wait for days to treat someone if they weren't showing symptoms yet. They never took my word for it they were infected. Then again, some still didn't believe there was an illness. And, therefore, no cure. And, therefore, no reason not to kill me for the little food I was carrying with me.
I check, for the millionth time since morning, my slightly bulging pocket. Food still there. Hasn't fallen out. Hasn't been eaten subconsciously. That might sound insane, but I have caught myself about to eat all my supplies in one mouthful before now. My body disagrees with the level of rationing I've reached. But it's necessary. My last work went unpaid. The last work before that paid only the food I stole before I was thrown out. I can only hope I have better luck this time. A nice, straightforward and quick cure, well-paid.
It's not too much to hope for. But it's too much to expect to get.