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To the poor bastard that reads this,
If you’re reading this, you must be the person that is responsible for cutting me down from the ceiling or for disposing my body. Believe me when I say that hanging myself was not how I imagined my death. Like most, I thought that I was going to drift away peacefully in my sleep. But that hope, like so many others with me has been taken ever since that day.
When I finish this letter, I will leave this world, but my body will remain, enslaved by its desire to wreak death and destruction on those still alive. I hope that you’ve given me a good headshot or at least whacked my head off with a shovel. Both of those methods seem to be doing the trick. Like many others, I envisioned a bright future for me and my wife. We’d raise our little girls in a world that was going to take its first steps into a new age.
A manned space flight to another solar system, can you imagine the breakthrough? As a kid I often fantasized about traveling to the stars, visiting other worlds and meeting all kinds of life that was without a doubt waiting for us. I continued to have this child-like fantasies, this fascination if you will throughout out my adolescent and adult life. That is, until that shuttle exploded in the atmosphere, spreading an alien contagion throughout the world in only a matter of days. I can still remember the light, the debris spreading through the sky like fireworks. I heard the largest pieces fell into the ocean, but I’m not sure. Not that it matters now.
Hell, why am I telling you this, unless I’ve been hanging here for more than a decade, you’ve experienced it all for yourself. The outbreaks, the riots, the mass hysteria, it was something out of an ultimate worst case scenario. They say things will remain abstract unless you’ve experienced it first hand. I guess they were right. I’ve seen a lot of calamities on the television and even though they were horrible, there was not a single one of them that made me burst out in tears or tore me apart inside. Until one of my girls became infected.
She was just playing with her sister like she always did on those lazy Sunday afternoons until she started coughing and sneezing uncontrollably. This continued until she began spitting blood. I first heard her sister screaming that Mary needed help. Mary… … When I got to her, it was too late. Her heart had stopped beating and I held her lifeless, cold body in my arms, cradling it like I did when she was just born. She was so beautiful. So smart.
My wife was still hanging on the phone, blissfully unaware about the tragedy that befell on our family. She also didn’t know that we were not the only one facing similar crises. You’ve probably lost a few loved ones or friends. You must recognized the feeling of helplessness and despair. Suddenly, Mary started to shake and twitch. Her sister ran towards her mother saying that she was going to be alright, but by the time she got to her, Mary was lying on top of me, trying to claw my eyes out.
I avoided Mary’s snapping jaws and I was amazed that such a petite body could possess such enormous strength. She moved, she snarled, but her skin was still cold to the touch and I had yet to feel a pulse. Her eyes were unfocussed. My god, her eyes. No matter how deep I looked in them I saw nothing! Not a flicker of life. Nothing resembled the sweet little girl with an uncanny affinity for starfish and dolphins. With tears in my eyes, I kicked her off me, sending her flying across the room.
Mary smacked with her head against the coffee table, creating a large diagonal wound on her forehead. But the wound wasn’t bleeding, only a small dribble of coagulated blood oozed out of the tear, rolling down her once innocent face. My wife screamed at me, cursed me, but I managed to shove her out of the room as Mary regained her footing. The moment she got back on her feet and stared at us with those hollow eyes, staggering clumsily on her feet… it’s something I will never forget. I’ve tried every kind of liquor we have in the cabinet, but I can still see whenever I close my eyes. I closed the door of the living room, praying that she couldn’t open the door. It didn’t take too long before my other daughter, Michelle, also collapsed. My wife screamed at me to do something as she picked her up from the floor and I could only yell back that I also didn’t know what to do.
I still hear the endless sobbing of my wife as the realization of the situation finally sinks in. I gently hold her hand as I always did ever since we met at the carnival. Her green eyes, filled with tears are somehow grateful since I am here. I carefully place Michelle’s body in the bathtub, even though I only want to hold her close to me, whispering that everything will be alright with her mommy and daddy. As I released her cold, limp body, her eyes flutter open. They are dead. Like Mary’s. I turn around and close it without hesitation, clenching my head, covering my ears with my palms, but it’s not enough to block the sound of Michelle’s moaning.
My wife remained in the kitchen. She couldn’t bare it to see Michelle like this and I am glad that she didn’t had to experience this. The phone was almost glued to her cheek as she frantically tried to call family members and friends, but the line was engaged. Overloaded with similar calls from all over the world. Without us realizing it, the world was slowly crumbling, collapsing under its own weight. Structure, laws and rules were thrown out of the window as soon as it was clear that death was only the beginning. For the first time every since… Mary’s death… I heard sirens, screaming on the street and I smelled something burning. I remember calling my wife if she had left something in the oven, but she never responded to my calls.
I stumbled in the kitchen, finding Sarah lying on the floor. She looked as if she was sleeping, as if someone had switched her off or too out her batteries. It scared me to the deepest part of my soul. I fell on my knees and cried. I crawled towards her and held her hand for the last time. I pulled myself towards her and kissed her lips for the last time. I lay down my head on her chest, embracing her for the last time. I caressed her cheeks with the back of my hand like I did when we first made love. This all made me realize that no matter what happened, there was no one that could replace her. She was everything to me. Without her… I would be nothing.
I… dragged her body… to the bedroom and once again closed the door behind me. I, I don’t know how I find the strength to write this. If you could only see me know, writing this with trembling hands, with a bottle of scotch next to me, closing my eyes every time I hear them pounding on the doors. I don’t know how long it will hold, but I guess you’ll have to deal with them. Sorry if I put your life on the line like that, but I hope that you’ll understand that I can’t do anything to them. Not even when I heard on the remaining radio and television stations, that they can only be killed by damage to the brain.
The thought of doing something like that to Mary, Michelle and Sarah… is beyond words. It sickens me to my stomach. I guess that now you know their names, realizing that they were people once, would make things more difficult for you too huh? I’m sorry about that. I really am. I’ve waited for the embrace of death. Waited for the symptoms to appear, but unfortunately it seems that I’m immune for the disease and will only reanimate after death.
Again, I’m sorry to leave this world in such a hurry without cleaning up first, but I think that you’ll understand that I want to be with them as soon as possible. Maybe there’s nothing waiting for you when you die, but that’s still better then to spend the remainder of my life without my family.
I wish you the best of luck in your survival and I hope that you still have someone to care for or that you’ve met someone you care for. Please, promise me that you’ll keep him or her close to you. Never spend a day without telling him or her that you love him or her. Savor every moment you have. You’ll never know when it’s the last…