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The Cycle of Man
Part I –Gas Cloud
It begins when Boy is not yet Man.
They say the Virus came out of the rank filth of human desperation. Boy tells Girl this, and that They said It was coming for them all. Girl tells Boy to shut his face, jerk, because death is no laughing matter.
Boy laughs it off and meanders his way on through life.
Meanwhile, death plagues the country side and the Virus creeps slowly towards the City, crawling, clawing through dirt, through small towns and hospitals and then to the city hospitals.
The Virus thirsts and hungers –and finds sustenance. It grows. It thrives.
Part II –Main Sequence
Yet, to Boy, the Virus seems like a distant sort of nightmare, one that perhaps someone else is living, but not him. He is naïve enough to believe that all will eventually resolve itself and fade away and he will rise from the ordeal unscathed.
For a long time, Boy doesn’t ever even see the Diseased. Of course he knows that they’re out there (somewhere), wreaking havoc in various darkened corners of the City, but they have yet to rear their jaundiced heads in Boy’s life.
There are whispers, of course –a friend of a friend speaks of a cousin’s girlfriend who was allegedly in the vicinity of an outbreak of the Virus and supposedly (might’ve maybe) heard the shots that put them down while they were watching television –that sort of thing.
All the while, the Virus flows through back alleys and the slums of the city and the Diseased rise in numbers, flourishing in the shadows. The sick thinker remembers two things: warm flesh –comforting, inviting –and a basic survival instinct: must find food.
The two concepts intermix to the rapidly deteriorating mind until the stiff, aching, rotting body of the Diseased rewire themselves to accommodate a side effect of a shattered concentration; they zero in on a single thought: find warm, soft flesh –eat it.
They begin their long trek to the heart of the population, slowly but surely. Those who attempt to hinder their steady procession are quickly consumed into the masses.
One day, when Boy is almost Man, the first of the Diseased stagger down Main Street and the screaming begins.
Part III –Red Giant
Boy becomes Man the night the Soldiers stop caring who gets hit in the crossfire.
Boy is Man when the orange sun rises and the City is smoking and the air is acrid with the stench of the blood and burning flesh and gasoline.
Boy is Man the day the Diseased outnumber the Healthy.
The City plaza is swarming with the Diseased. The majority writhe around like mealworms and are stuck in place, unable to really move anywhere in such a crowd, but some wander from the horde and begin trickling down side-streets, and through subdivisions.
Man runs with the Healthy when they spot the Diseased approaching. Buildings stand abandoned, all doors open, as he and she who can make an escape flee.
Man discovers that the wailing, hysteric men and women quickly disappear and fall behind. He spends his days darting between hideouts and his nights fidgeting sleeplessly. Eat, run, hide, run becomes his mantra, and in the end, he makes it to the very outskirts of the City, where it is silent and vacant and the Diseased are few and the streets are not crimson.
The sudden pause in turmoil is short-lived.
Part IV –White Dwarf
Chaos has a way of finding Man, and in life, he is just another ant in the flood during the storm.
Man has long since adapted to survive, and he fends of the Diseased with a multitude of weapons. But when one Diseased drops to the ground, the next one climbs over them, arms outstretched, hands grasping.
Dozens and dozens of the moaning, mindless creatures trail after Man and press against the windows of the shelter he has no choice but to enter. The glass remains intact so long as the Diseased are packed so tightly, there is no arm room to make an attempt to break it.
In the middle of the room, Man drops to his knees, trembling, defeated.
The window panes shatter by the sheer weight of the Diseased, and bodies tumble in and are crawled over. They scuttle in like a wave cockroaches and overwhelm Man in seconds.
Part V, Finale –Black Dwarf
The last thing Man sees is the gnashing teeth and filmy eyes of the Diseased. Their gnarled hands catch at his limbs and clothes with surprising strength and in moments, Man is ripped apart in a splattering of blood.
When his bones are gnawed to the barest, the Diseased move on, forever hungry, and always searching, but Man no longer walks on the Earth.