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An Impossible case
All that is known is that the following events happened in a small but substantial suburb in Sydney’s west. An American family moved into a house on a lonely street, bringing with them two dogs, a cat and a bird. They never conversed with their neighbours and barely left the house. The only thing that announced their existence to the street was the dogs that growled to their hearts content.
The epidemic started with a mailman. As he rode his motorbike up to the letterbox of the American family, one of the dogs managed to slip under the fence and bite him on the leg. The mailman never returned to his work, and it is rumoured that he slept during the day, afraid of the light. His death was announced two weeks later, apparent suicide, when the body was found lying in the lounge room, burnt and stinking of petrol with a cigarette lighter by his feet. His last words were to his sister. “I am changing.”
A month after the mailman’s death, growling could no longer be heard from the house of the Americans. The cat wasn’t seen prowling the neighbour’s fences and the family wasn’t seen leaving the house. No car, curtains drawn, no noise.
A year later, a resident of that lonely street saw the dogs running around in the dark.
It was noon during the middle of summer in Sydney and Erin Summers was trying hard to concentrate on the words of her uni teacher than the thought of sitting in front of a fan and falling asleep. Usually the lectures of strange European cults and African mythology excited her, but the Australian heat was getting to her head.
She was dismissed at two in the afternoon, glad that she could finally be going home. She had an assessment due in a month and she wanted to visit the library before it became packed with school kids.
As she stepped out into the blinding sun, she was stopped by two men in black suits and a tweedy old woman in white. The men looked like they were not affected by the extreme heat. Instead they stood before Erin like bodyguards, protecting the woman that stood behind them.
One of them flashed a card at Erin then his it before she had a chance to see it. “Erin Summers?”
“We are agents of Paranormal and Medical Science. We need you to come with us.” The guard was blonde and wore no expression. His brunette partner, on the other hand, had an extremely worried look on his face.
Erin tucked a strand of black hair behind her ear. “Why do you need me? Have I done something wrong?”
The brunette stepped forward. “No, we are just in need of some assistance and we heard that you could possibly provide us with some.
Half an hour later, Erin stepped out of a black Mazda to find herself inside a sterile silver garage the size of an aeroplane hangar. She was led down a hallway into a room, dark with the only light coming from a single window. She edged closer towards it.
“This is what we have brought you here to see,” the blonde guard said from behind her.
Erin was almost at the point of having her face pushed against the glass. After a few seconds of letting her eyes adjust, she stepped back and gasped. “That’s not possible.”
Through the window, in another room, was a police officer chained to a metal chair. He was thrashing about violently as he snapped and snarled at the window. The guard reminded Erin that there was mirror on the other side, but that did not make Erin’s heart stop pounding. She stared at the officer with wide eyes. He was frothing from the mouth, clawing at the chair until he bled from the tips of his fingers. His eyes rolled around in his head, like any moment he was about to slip into a trance.
“Do you know what it is, Miss Summers?” the old woman asked.
Erin could barely get the words out. It seemed impossible. “It looks like rabies.”
“But we don’t have rabies in Australia.”
She couldn’t move. “I know, but I can’t think of any other explanation.”