I woke to a disgusting stench, feeling weak. The stench came from me. I had thrown up and used my pants as a toilet. My empty stomach heaved from the smell, but I had nothing left to expel.
I got out of my clothes, and hit the shower. I washed the smell and other things off of me. I threw the clothes away. I went to the kitchen and made some soup. I even managed to keep it down.
I sat and looked out the window. It was late afternoon, it was snowing and I had the plague. It had to be the plague. I had taken as many protective steps as I could, but living in the city the odds were you would get the plague. Damn, damn, damn!
I looked at my date time clock and noticed that two days had gone by that I had no memory of. I frowned. From the information I had, once you lost consciousness, you didn't recover. Yet I had recovered.
I still had some food left, and the power was still on. At least the city services were still operating. But how long would that last? The gas, water, and electric would go eventually. People were dying from this plague like flies.
What a time for a plague to hit, late fall. I turned on the radio and listened to the emergency broadcast system. The federal government was still trying to find something to treat the plague with, and we were all told to remain calm and to stay put. Same old message.
How was it I survived? While I was sure others had survived, I was not a candidate really. I was out of shape and overweight. I had already lost ten pounds and could stand to lose another twenty pounds. I had let myself go during the last five of years.
Here I was, recovered from the fatal coma that usually preceded death. As far as I knew it was rare to recover after reaching the coma state. I knew I had missed the day I was to report to the store for food supplies, so what I had would have to last me another week.
Well, I had been careful with my food supply, anyway. That was why I had been losing weight, I had been eating less than normal, lately. Well, less than what I considered normal for me, anyway.
Ever since I had been promoted to upper level management, I had really changed. I had stopped going on my camping trips, stopped working out, and ate the wrong way. Late hours and greasy food had put on the weight fast.
I started to seriously consider leaving the city. I already had an idea of where to go. I used to go camping just an hour and a half outside of the city, and I had run across a cabin in the middle of nowhere when I was hiking.
It was hard to get too, and more importantly, it looked like no one had been there in ages. Of course, the last time I had been there was five years ago. Still, there was no way I was going to stay in the city. It was a death trap, and the government knew it. I guess they wanted us to all die in place. Of course, I seem to have survived somehow.
The next few days I ate soup, and finished the last of my bread. I looked in the freezer and noticed I still had a small roast. Perhaps it was time to start on heartier food, now that I was no longer nauseated when I ate.
I heard a knocking from down the hall. I opened my front door, and looked down the hallway. It was one of the teams of people who went around checking on people and they did body removal. They were dressed in coveralls of some sort and wore surgical masks.
"I haven't heard anyone moving around down here for a couple days, now," I yelled down to them.
"Thank you. What's your apartment number?" came the response.
"I am in 1D. My name is David Ashby and I live alone," I responded.
They acknowledged me and checked me off a list, and then one of the guys with the team used a passkey I am assuming, to enter the apartment they were at. The couple in 1A was dead. Damn! I liked them, too.
They skipped one apartment and went directly to 1C. They got no response from there and went in with their passkey. This time there was no body present. That was strange, as Mrs. Hamlin was an elderly lady who never went anywhere except when her daughter came for her.
Finally it was my turn. The three men stayed outside of my door and asked me my name, occupation, and standard health questions. I did not tell them about my probable contraction of the plague and subsequent recovery.
"We have orders to consolidate survivors to other quarters in order to conserve resources. You will be notified as to when and where you will move. This section of town will have services discontinued next week," I was informed.
I looked at the cabin I had struggled to reach. It was a burned out shell. Great, my car had run off the road, I had hiked the last four miles to this place, just to find the burned out remains of the cabin. I had nowhere to go after all.
I took my backpack off and sat on it, thinking. I had to find someplace out of the weather, and quickly. There was about four inches of snow on the ground, and the place I had thought to live in was gone.
True, I had a cot in the trunk of my car, and a tent along with my sleeping bag and other supplies. Four miles away. I sighed. There had to be a place for me out here. "Think David, think," I muttered to myself.
I visualized the area in my mind. The campgrounds were just a memory. None of the buildings that had been there remained intact. Most likely scavenged. This cabin which I had been relying on was gone. So what was left?
I had been all over this area in my younger days. Then I had it! There was a small farm that was out of the way and if you didn't know it was there, you would never find it. I had stumbled across it myself, purely by accident.
The owners were an elderly couple, who only maintained a large garden. They had retired from farming years before. I had gotten some very cold water from them. I wondered if they were even still alive. Let's see, they had been in their late sixties, when I last saw them. I had found their farm while hiking.
I grabbed my backpack and made the long cold trek back to my car. I looked it over. I decided I could get it back onto the road, but it was going to take a bit of time. I got to work, and an hour later I had my car back.
I hated driving these roads. They were snow covered and the snow was pristine until I drove over it. I was leaving a trail a blind man could follow. I finally stopped when I thought I was close. I would go the rest of the way on foot.
Science Fiction /