“But as we got closer, we realized he looked dead – but he was alive. His body made spastic movements, going crazy for sure. So we grabbed a bottle of gas and began walking back to the car. But when we looked behind us, he was slowly following us.”
The glass shattered. The clock stopped. It felt like the whole world stopped. It was the end — game over. First, the lights went out, and then, the cars stopped. Next, the weapons broke in half and, as the disease spread, the virus hit the people nearest to it first — spreading forward, backward, and all over.
People started to run like the wind, and they didn’t stop until they got to where they were safe.
* * *
It was the smell that woke Jeff up every morning. He wished that he didn’t have to wake up, that he could keep on dreaming. He wanted to keep on dreaming about the way life used to be, instead of laying on the floor of his school gym with at least a hundred other people who hadn’t taken a shower since they had locked themselves away in the school.
He didn’t understand how his parents and the other grown ups could tell who had been infected with the Merde Disease or not – for all he knew, the person next to him could be infected, or HE could be himself. He also didn’t understand why they all had to lock themselves in the gym and huddle together at nighttime when, during the day, they could roam the school. He DID know that some of the grown ups were arguing that they needed to go out and scavenge for food and another water source – Jeff couldn’t argue with that. All they had been eating were the very moldy and old, canned dog food and beans, and they were drinking the salted and rusted sink water.
So, of course he wanted to go with whoever volunteered.
Who happened to be his own mother.
When the virus from the Merde Disease infects a body, it looks as if leeches are covering its face, arms, and torso – and each of the leeches have two brains. It’s a fact – so that’s double, evil brains. I know, it’s horrible, and I wrote this for you future guys. And you’re lucky you have fresh water and a real bathroom, and I bet the 21-year-old Maserati Project is done.
Anyway, back to the story of Jeff, who also happens to be me if you haven’t figured that out by now.
My mother wasn’t too keen on letting me come along. After all, I was only eleven.
“But mom – I’m dying in here! And I can help – you know I can.” And nobody else had volunteered.
“Oh, let him go Giselle,” my dad said. “We’ve got a 50/50 chance wherever we are.”
My dad walked us down to the front doors and unbolted them. We stepped outside and breathed in the delicious fresh air — the world hadn’t quite ended, just as I’d suspected. Still, my heart gave a little jump when I heard the door lock behind me.
“Ready, Jeff?” Mom said.
“Ready,” I said firmly.
“There’s the car,” Giselle said.
“Yup,” I said. “That’s the car.”
“Oh.” There really wasn’t much to say.
So, we drove around, hoping to find some water and food. We had already scavenged our town, so we had to head over to the next one. After driving for a long time, we saw a broken deli with the roof blown off and the windows cracked and shattered. We got out of the car and started walking towards the store. I looked at the windows, and I saw my reflection – my orange flat hair and my freckles looked darker than ever, and my skin was so pale because I was too nervous to be hopeful. We peeked into the store, and I fell to my knees with joy because I saw candy and milk, and no zombies. I dared to hope that there were other supplies as well. The refrigerators were broken, so we didn’t want the milk, but there were plenty of bottles of water. Looking around some more, we found a few bags of chips and several cans of tuna, along with the water and candy. We went back and forth a bunch of times to the car to get as much as we could. On my last look around, I heard a sound and went in the back of the store. There was a scrawny, black alley cat meowing. I picked him up, and he had a collar on. TIMMY, it read.
“Hey, Timmy,” I said, and he purred.
My mom was taking money out of the cash register. There was only about $50.
“Yeah, we don’t use cash anymore, but you never know.”
Then, she saw Timmy in my arms and raised her eyebrows at me.
“We’re keeping him.” She just nodded. We got back into the car, and Mom started driving.
Soon, the car sputtered.
“Oh darn. We must need gas or something.” The odometer had been broken, so we never knew how much gas was in the car. It came to a complete stop.
“We saw a gas station nearby, didn’t we?” I asked Mom.
We got out of the car, and as I closed the door, I saw Timmy’s pouty face and big cat eyes. I couldn’t leave him behind – what if something happened to him? So I picked him up, settled him in my arms, and we started walking, hoping to find a gas station. Fortunately, it wasn’t far, and it looked like someone was there.
But as we got closer, we realized he looked dead – but he was alive. His body made spastic movements, going crazy for sure. So we grabbed a bottle of gas and began walking back to the car. But when we looked behind us, he was slowly following us. But then he started running, so we ran as fast as we could back to the car. He was running fast for an infected person. I was terrified, and Timmy was shrieking, but then he fell down and scraped up his face which slowed him down only a little.
In the meantime, my mom was able to quickly pour the gas in the hole of the car. We were able to get away and drive off.
By the time we got home, everyone was so happy to see us and the food. However, a few members of our community had passed. I started looking at everyone closely for signs of infection.
But we still needed to celebrate, so we had a big feast.
But before we went to bed, Timmy and I had an idea to go out alone and try to find a cure for this sickness before everyone got even more infected.
So when we went out in the morning, Timmy started sniffing the air right away, and then, he started to lick me! I knelt down to pet him, and he licked my arms and hands. I started to walk out, but Timmy wouldn’t budge, so I decided to stay back yet another day.
People were really starting to get sick and I didn’t know how long we were going to last. Timmy licked my mom, but he wouldn’t lick anybody else. (Well, he tried to lick my dad, but my dad pushed him away saying, “I don’t want to be licked by a stray cat!”)
The next morning I woke up and started to wake everyone else up. After that, I asked my mom if we could go out and take a walk to just get to know everything.
“Yes honey, just stay close.” So, we walked out with Timmy following us and met a man. Although he looked okay, I stayed away. Then, I recognized him — it was the crazy guy!
“Mom! It’s the guy! Let’s go!”
We started running, but he was prepared this time. He had a knife and started slashing at us. He missed and then threw it at Timmy! Right in the heart!
We picked Timmy up and ran back inside.
“Timmy! I’m sorry are you okay?” I said, holding him in my arms. When I looked at Timmy, his eyes were still open and his heart was pumping, but he had metal sticking out of him.
“Is that the knife?” My mom asked.
“I don’t think… Wow!” I took out the piece of metal and realized that Timmy was a robot. Timmy was made of metal and covered in fur. But he was holding some kind of blue poison or liquid which was leaking, so I opened it more (it was strange to think I was opening Timmy!). I saw that he was kind of like a case protecting the liquid, so I thought that maybe the liquid was very important. On the case was a label that said: ANTIDOTE FOR THE MERDE DISEASE!!!
My mom was so surprised that she started jumping and yelling. “Everyone! Jeff found a cure! Jeff found a cure!”
“I think the way to be cured is through Timmy’s saliva. So, we should put the antidote back in him and let him lick everyone.”
My mom responded by giving me a big hug.
It was a good thing I did, too, because Timmy had been frozen when I took out the case. When I put it back in him, he was back to his old self. “Ready to save the world Timmy?”
Everyone gathered around, and Timmy started licking them. But I wondered where dad was, and we looked everywhere, but we couldn’t find him. In the last place we looked, we found him he was in the bathroom, dead. He was 100% D-E-A-D.
At least, I had my mom and a billion dollars for finding and duplicating the cure for the world. I lived the rest of my life knowing that I saved the world.