The same thing every day.
Turning on the TV.
Watching the news. Scanning for details.
Wondering when it will be over.
“Scientists have now discovered that all animals are immune to the deadly bug that has been threatning mankind for nearly a month now. After running tests at their main lab in Canada, they have realized that dogs and other animals cannot feel the bug, therefore are perfectly safe to wander the streets. Scientist Sandra Pilkings said...”
I turn off the TV. So that explains why that dog has been walking past my house for the past week or so, completley unharmed.
I look out of the window. I see men walking past in huge suits, the type you see in all those scientific TV shows. It scares me that things have got that serious.
Approximately five days until my baby’s born, and I have no idea what to do. Thoughts spiral round my head like a toddler on a merry-go-round. What will happen to the baby? How will Ella get to hospital? How are we going to feed it, let alone ourselves.
I drag myself upstairs into the spare room, which will eventually become the baby’s bedroom. I remember five months ago, spending an entire week painting it yellow, sticking up pictures of Winnie the Pooh, covering the place with toys, trying to make it nice.
I feel pride for buying the furniture early, because if I’d left it to about now, we’d have nothing.
Afterwards, I creep back to my room and check on Ella. She’s lying on her back, snoring gently. Then she opens one eye.
“Sorry – did I wake you?” “Ur, yeah, you did.” She rubs her eyes and sits up gently, stretching. “Sorry,” I say again. “Nahh, don’t worry. So did you watch the news yet?” “Yeah – apparently animals are immune to the disease.” “What? That doesn’t seem very fair, considering we are technically animals.” “Yeah...” “So did they say WHY animals can’t get the disease?” “Probably. There was an interview with this woman, but I turned it off.” “Well turn it back on!”
We walk (well, I walk, she hobbles) downstairs and turn the TV on again. They’re just talking about politics now, so I change the channel. Predictably, the news is on again.
“And now, an interview with Professor Sandra Pilkings, live from her lab in Canada.”
The screen splits into two, showing both the face of the reporter and the Professor. Her face is unsmiling, expressionless; much like Ella’s when I showed her the death list.
“So thanks for talking to us today Sandra.” “No problem, Cerri.” “Now, new research carried out by scientists at your labatory suggests that animals might not be able to pick up the superbug – why is that?” “Well, Cerri, our evidence shows that the bacteria – which we are calling the 2056 Bug – is unable to feed off of animals as they have fur covering their bodies. Despite the facts that fleas and ticks are able to feed from the fur, the 2056 Bug seems unable to. It needs a direct link to the heart in order to feed.”
I’ve heard enough. I go and prepare mouldy cheese on toast.