Jack was four years old again, that age between toddler and child. The virus didn’t care about his innocence. Just as it hadn’t cared about the numerous lives it had already taken and somehow in Jacks’ young mind he understood this. His entire body felt as if there were millions of little matches lit underneath the skin. The fever in him was so high that his little brain was sure it was literally being cooked.
“Ayub! You must drink.” His aunt said as she seemed to appear magically before him in his fevered haze, like an angel from heaven. His mind wandered to Angels, to God, and Jesus, and to heaven; his daddy had taught him all about it. His daddy was the gorgeous American, the reason that all the other women in the village had been jealous of his mother, and then his aunt. This is where Jack had inherited his blue eyes and light complexion from. His daddy had promised to return to take Jack and his aunt to America. That was before the fever had come again, before everyone had begun to die, just as it had happened when Jack was born. Jack had been told that this fever was different from the one that had killed his mother while he was still growing in her womb. Jack had been a miracle baby, surviving being cut out three weeks before he was even supposed to take his first breath. None of that mattered to Jack, all viruses were the same. They killed everyone around him and left him all alone. Maybe not this time, this time Jack didn’t think he was going to win the fist fight with this fever. Jack was sure this time he would perish along with the rest of the village.
“Ayub, you must drink!” His aunt said again, this time more firmly, pulling him out of the long tunnel of warped feverish consciousness. He felt her hand behind his head and then she was pulling it up causing the hot muscles in his neck to spasm in pain which threatened to push him back into unconsciousness. “Drink!” She demanded bringing a bowl to Jack’s lips.
Jacks mind questioned where the water had come from, even through his fevered thoughts he knew that the nearest well was twenty-four kilometers from his village and there was no one left strong enough to make it there. The well in his village was poison and his daddy had made him promise to never drink from it. When the water began to pour past Jacks lips and down his throat it was soothing, but only for a moment, once the water hit his stomach his gag reflex kicked in.
Jack woke and raced to the bathroom barely making it in time before his half digested dinner was spewing out of his mouth. Two more gags and his body finally recovered from the psychokinetic poison of the long dried well of his childhood. He glanced at the clock, it was four thirty in the morning and it was pointless for him to crawl back in bed, his alarm would be going off in twenty minutes. Instead he changed into his running clothes, rinsed his mouth out and headed out the door, deciding to take advantage of the time and get a little longer run in.
Circling the block one more time to ensure that there was no one around to see, Jack slid through the fence, something he had done numerous times throughout the last year. He didn’t believe in paying rent when there were so many abandoned buildings available. He jogged around to the back of the building and descended the stairs to the basement of the old clothing factory that he had turned into his living quarters. He did his morning routine, checking the small generator that kept his mini fridge going in turn keeping his food from spoiling, and checking his potable water supply. He then grabbed his Smartphone to check the news as he turned his hot plate on and began to cook the fresh eggs he had purchased the day prior. Today was a work day; he had fifteen minutes to eat and then head to work on his bicycle. Once there he would have just enough time to get a quick work out in and then shower. He had chose to work at a gym for two reasons: (A) was because he got a free membership and staying fit kept him alive; and (B) because he didn’t need to worry about taking showers at his house, the less water he used the less possibility of drawing any unwanted attention. He skimmed the health pages of all the local, national, and international news companies. Sighing he sat the phone down and flipped the egg. Nothing new to report, he would have to find someone with the flu to expose himself to, there were no new viruses to hunt and down and destroy.
(c) poffpublishing 2015