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A story set in the not-so-distant future, where global warming has taken over the world and everything has changed. Follow the story of Tor and Kris, a girl and a boy fresh from the horrors, and Kat and her gang, who, generations later, have evolved unusually.
Can you learn to survive in an apocalyptic world?

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5. NOW- Ben

I always suspected, deep down, that I had it, since the day that Rafe died. We had lived so closely together our whole time on earth, that whatever he contracted, I usually got as well. Flu, Rishen, and even Quat (my rashes were so bad I looked like someone had upended a bucket of red paint on my head), we shared in our pain.

But then a new virus appeared. No-one knows where it came from, but someone gave it a name: J-I-I-1. That name rings a death knell in my head whenever I hear it. Images of poor Rafe's broken body surface in my mind's eye, how he fell to the ground, babbling nonsense and flitting between life and death in every passing second.

It attacked his brain, ordering him to hurt himself, shut down, whatever it took to kill him. It attacked his organs, especially his stomach and heart, causing him to throw up anything bigger than a bread crumb and giving him small heart attacks every few hours. It attacked his limbs, flesh, he broke out in hives, dry skin peeling whenever he moved, and eventually I had to tie him to the ground to prevent him from breaking his own arms. 

Three days later, when I went off to search for fresh water to cool Rafe's fevered forehead, he jumped off the cliff. I remember the loud, maniacal howl that echoed through the woods as he flung himself off the edge. I rushed back to our small camp, checked where he was tied down and realised he must have physically pulled those wooden spikes out of the ground, probably breaking his own wrists and ankles in the process. 

How J-I-I-1 must have affected him to do that to himself.

And now I've got it.

I know this is the start of it: I have collapsed and am spewing out random nonsense whilst inside I am screaming but still perfectly logical. Next, my tongue will swell, silencing me, and my skin will be covered in large hives and rashes, but much worse than Quat. Afterwards I will constantly be sick, my heart will stop several times and I will feel like I can't breathe. Last to go will be my brain, and then I will die, either by suicide or because nobody will bother to do CPR when my heart stops.

Issi, that pretty girl from the village, is crying and shouting as she watches me writhe on the grass.

"The pool relaxes! Why won't every average connect the corridor? A percentage counts underneath a likely moan. The expert slaves around the creator! Should the doubtful voltage glow? Mary had a little lamb..."

"SOMEBODY HELP ME! THERE IS A BOY, I THINK HE'S HAVING A STROKE! PLEASE!" she wails as tears stream down her face.

"Issi" is the one clear word I say before they carry me away.

 

 

 

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