Wednesday, February 17, 2010


By Alastair Robertson
Photos by Alastair Robertson

“There is no fog, baby.”

 Alex turned to see a young woman. She was pretty.

 “It’s just ‘cause your eyes are changing.” She said.

 “Who are you?” He asked.

 “Lisa, baby. It’s me.” She was pretty but she looked sad.

“Lisa.” I don’t remember anybody named Lisa, Alex thought, but she seemed nice. He looked out the window again. The fog was getting closer. A wall of muted grey swallowing trees and silhouetting houses.

“There’s a fog coming in.” He repeated.

“You just can’t see as far as you used to, baby. You got bit.”

The pretty girl was changing a bandage on the back of his leg. Blood poured out of the wound like a damn had burst. The person started crying, saying something like they just couldn’t do it anymore.

“I’m bitten?” He asked. But the person he was talking to was gone.

The brightest sunlight provides no warmth in memories. A boy and his sisters running through the park, a man and his comrades running for their lives. The past gets jumbled. The reality is replaced with homes that glow white and sunshine pouring through mom’s hair as she holds an infant. A time when we were so helpless and fearful is made adorable and cherished. Does this mean we will sometime be nostalgic for now?

Alex watched as his sister cut her hair short, each lock falling faster until it’s just a blur and no one knows what she looked like before. He wanted time to stop, to keep her beautiful. To stop time and go backward, to keep them safe before the bad guys come.

There is a monster in the closet.

There’s a body on the bed. It was dead and Alex was very nervous. He approached knowing it could attack at anytime. It was an old woman, motherly and sweet in life he was certain. She hadn’t been turned. Possibly the last person to go from birth to a natural death. The monster that got her was time. And it is as unthinking, unfeeling, cold and relentless as all other monsters.

In that same room a scared little boy tries to wake his grandma and cannot. He wants grandma to protect him and explain why his mother, who once held him and let him play with her sun drenched hair, had changed. Why she couldn’t hear his voice anymore. Why her eyes changed from green and white that rewarded him with love to terrifying red and yellow that didn’t recognise him at all. For the first time in his life she had hit him. And it scratched his face so badly that he was bleeding. He was now doomed and too young to understand it. He would go from birth to unnatural, abominable  death in just 8 indifferent years.

His only instinct was to hide in the closet, to close his eyes very tightly, and pray someone big and strong would come. And someone did, but it was too late. His only instinct then was to attack and feed.

An outbreak in the dorm sent 11 young people out into the brave new world together. By the time they reached the farm house outside the city, there were 6. Alex had fought monster and man in order to protect his remaining sister and she would try her best to repay him after he was bitten. He had taken the group out of it’s way to find her, to save her. She owed him that much at least. Never mind he knew about the 3 week old life in her womb and had kept it from the group so she wouldn’t be seen as a liability, a burden, a selfish bomb waiting to drop.

His companions were already gathered at the van waiting to depart. He knew they would have to discuss shooting him.

It’s not fair he had to die for such a tiny wound. but it would bleed and bleed. It would bleed forever. Even after death as microbes started to manipulate the unconscious systems of the brain to make him rise and move, to kill and spread the virus, it would bleed. It would bleed through every bandage Lisa could put on it. And he would be a threat, an accidental saboteur, to his only remaining friends in the world. He stood stoic on the porch and everyone sensed something was wrong. They probably all had the virus too, dormant in their systems from environmental exposure, lurking in their hearts and lungs, waiting for them to die. Who were they to end his life? They were just as dead as the boy in the closet, the woman on the bed, the body under the ground, and the child yet to be born.

“I’m bitten.” He said, but the people he was talking to were already gone.

A paralysis was spreading through his body, and he fell writhing to the floor. He could only see about 10 feet in from of him, and only in black and white. Soon he wouldn’t be able to see anything really, just detect motion. Only to smell fresh blood, only to hear cries of terror, and to feel... nothing. Mind slowing, dying, the body turning to a shell. A spectre to haunt this place.

The barest fragments of a mind left, he saw something moving around him.

The bandage person?

No, it’s three people. Gas masks, goggles, guns... initials on their vests.


A fourth person.

Different from the shock troops.

Syringes, taking blood. badge...

Department of Post-Human Resources.