The rain poured down mercilessly, as if the sky was unloading a heavy burden. Fat angry drops of rain bulleting their way on to the parched earth. There has been no electricity for about a month now, no news or contact to the outside world. We had no clue of what was going on out there, were we winning the fight or were we losing? Our dog stared at the rain, little puffs of disapproval leaving his snout. I sat next to the window as the cool wet air hit me. It was still 3 in the afternoon but the gloomy sky made it seem like it was 6 in the evening.
Everything was in lockdown since the pandemic, all of us imprisoned in our own homes. It started in the East but came to us from the West. The disease causes loss of all inhibition, no memory, no control. Some die within a day, a few others become catatonic, and the rest lose function of their brain, only parts of the limbic system work with the reptilian brain taking centre stage.Imagine being completely taken over by your fight-or-flight response. No inhibitions, governed by fear, survival through any means possible is your first reaction.
I can assure you it is frightening, absolute pure chaos. Fear can either paralyse you or push you over the edge into violence. It has been a month since I lost my sister to one of those. She was ripped apart while I watched in horror, each bullet missing the mark until I was dragged away by my parents. They didn’t want to risk me contracting the disease, we mourned separately as we all self isolated for 3 days – that’s the incubation period of the virus – just 3 days. This brings us to the most lethal type, healthy carriers. No symptoms, no indication that they carry the deadly virus. There are rumours of it being a weaponised version of a naturally existing influenza virus. It was leaked out of a lab during an experiment gone wrong. Even the creation of a weapon is based off of fear. People think fear is a weakness, I think it is an underrated emotion that is more powerful than we think.
The rain was deafening, I couldn’t hear anything other than sheets of rain hitting the ground and, the surrounding trees and houses. My mother was most probably preparing tea by now, it was close to 5pm. I closed the window and headed downstairs, the dog went ahead of me. When I reached the last step I notice the windows are all open, the floor was damp. I thought how silly of my mother to forget to shut the windows. As I close them my gut keeps telling me something was wrong. The hairs on the back of my neck rose as I walk towards the kitchen as silently as I could. The whole time questioning why I was reacting this way. Paranoia is a funny little thing.
The kitchen door was wide open, I see my mother standing in the rain. My heart begins to pound rapidly against my chest as I get a sinking feeling in my stomach – is this heartbreak as I realise what is happening? No, it can’t be. Maybe this is a reaction to my sister’s death, my mother never really recovered from that. That’s when I notice the blood pooling around her feet, mixing with the rain water flowing away towards the garden. She turns around then, there’s blood on the front of her blouse and skirt, her eyes were glazed over, the rest of her face just as blank. I stood there paralysed, my feet stuck to the ground. I couldn’t scream or talk, my mouth didn’t know what to do other than just open and close repeatedly like that of a fish. The kettle begins to whistle, an announcement.
She inched forward, laboriously almost like she was fighting against something, her arms out stretched. Then things started to happen too fast, our dog pounced on her from the side, his mouth tearing at her arms as she wailed. The dog was a blur of growls and barks, attacking her repeatedly. Something suddenly changed in her and she started to fight back, her arms flailing, her teeth gnashing at the dog, feral growls coming from her throat. I started to regain control over my shocked body, I looked around the kitchen for something, anything. My hands frantically fumbling over the countertop trying to grab ahold of a knife as I hear my dog let out a whimper. I turn around to what was once my mother bounding towards me, I push one of the kitchen table chairs towards it to barricade myself. The thing throws it against the wall like the chair was made out of nothing but air, I try to push over the kitchen table only to fail as the thing slams into me hard.
Through the pain and shock I manage to scramble away to the other side, the knife still shockingly in my hand. The thing pounces on me, I block the face with my free arm pushing against the throat as it’s teeth gnash mere centimetres away from my face, spittle flying everywhere. I scream out to my dog hoping it’s alive as I begin to stab the horrid monstrosity on it’s side repeatedly. I hear the dog growling, my eyes are shut as I keep stabbing hoping I hit something. I feel it losing it’s strength as it’s wails deafen me. Finally I feel it being dragged away, I open my eyes to see my dog ripping at the back of it’s neck. I crawl over and grab a chunk of it’s hair and turn it’s head on to the side and drive the knife through it’s temple. Everything finally stops, but my dog kept biting down on it’s neck.
I turnover to lay on my back as I pant, fully spent. My brain still trying to grasp on to what just happened. I remember my father and try to run outside, falling as I feel a sharp pain on my left side where that thing slammed into me. I see a bloodied pile of flesh just a few metres away from me in the back yard and an arm clutching my father’s gun just a few feet away from it. I retch and vomit whatever lunch was left in my stomach. Tears begin to stream down my face and I let out a wail. I lay there curled up in a fetal position, letting the tears mingle with the rain till they disappear forever. The ground soaking up my sadness. I feel my dog’s warm breath on my face, he whines and licks my cheek, pawing at my arms. My hands still clutching the knife now washed clean of my mother’s blood.
I stare at my mother’s plants swaying in the wind replenished by the rain as the kettle still whistles in the background.