flash fiction by Jason Allard
* * *
Everything seems so dirty now. I can't remember the last time I bathed.
The air is thick with smoke and dust. It doesn't bother me. I have
more pressing concerns.
I'm so hungry. I feel like I haven't eaten in months.
I know things haven't always been this way, but the past seems so long
ago. Things were once clear and neat and ordered. I had a house, with
a dog and a white picket fence. The first of our 2.5 children was on
the way. Then came the news of the virus.
News may travel quickly in a world filled with internet-connected
computers, satellite television, and a cellphone in almost every pocket.
Rumor has it beat, hands down. Thousands died before anyone had a clear
idea what was going on. Suicide, the airing of long-held grudges, witch
hunts and mistakes took their toll before most people had even seen on
of the infected.
Unfortunately, the first people the virus took were its creators. They
could've saved so many, if they could've just told us how it was spread.
We still aren't sure. One guy I had seen torn to pieces had sworn it
could be transmitted by mosquitoes. I prayed he was dead wrong. Well,
I got half of that, at least.
Am I infected? I don't know. How could I? It seems the mind is one of
the first things to go. I could be infected and insane, and just
fooling myself into thinking I'm still myself. Or I could be me, and
driving myself insane thinking that I'm not. Vicious circles. If I
hadn't lost my gun, I might have ended it by now.
Oh yeah, I'd run out bullets already. Never mind.
I see someone at the far end of the alley. He's not infected. He moves
with purpose. He's trying not to be seen by those that still wander the
streets. He hasn't seen me, standing near a dead junction box. I
wonder if he has anything to eat. I'm so hungry. I'm afraid he'll hear
my stomach rumbling before he gets this far down.
I'm so hungry.