The Last Of Them

In an unknown city in the United Kingdom, a man lives by himself in an ancient, scenic city. An ancient, scenic city decimated by a fungal infection which has destroyed humanity as he knows it.

In the man's past is trauma and horror. The loss of family and friends and everyone he could ever think of meeting. Yet more importantly, in his past is the secret to where the world-ending Cordyceps fungus originated.


6. VI.

They sit in the kitchen shouting. 

Ged says that they should stay where they are. That they have a perfect place to survive, hidden, in a residential area where the houses will be full of food. 

Neville says that they should leave. That there will be better places out there, more secure. There might be more friends out there to band with. They should try to find their families. 

Doris agrees with him. They both feel the empty seat at the table.

Andy sits in silence on the kitchen counter. 

Neville is shaking. After several minutes he has to stand up and leave. 

He goes to the living room and looks out the window down the street. He hears a couple of sirens in the distance. The first two nights of the outbreak, earlier that year, there had been constant screaming and police sirens and ambulance roars in the distance. The media had no chance to keep up. By the time Twitter feeds and all broadcasting channels were sending warnings of safety and escape, electricity failed. Doris, Ged, Bronwyn and Neville sat terrified that the nuclear power station two miles away would melt down. 

After warnings began to air, many offices in high-risk areas locked down and refused to let workers leave. Bronwyn thankfully had a day off from her office across the city, which bordered on the developed centre, an immediately quarantined zone. Perhaps quarantine was too strong a term: an attempt at quarantine was put in place. It took very little time before the police and military and doctors themselves at the quarantine limit were gibbering and attacking each other. 

Months later, two families argue in the kitchen. Bronwyn had disappeared two days before. Neville stood at the window and shook. He needed to look for her, but they didn't know where she went. And a sporecloud was on the horizon.

A day later, Bronwyn returned. Neville hadn't eaten. He spent his time in the basement crafting weapons. By day he had travelled from house to house in the area killing any infected he found. 

When Bronwyn arrived she was quiet, with dirty hair slick with oil and sweat and, seemingly, blood. 

Her clothes were stained green. She told them not to go near the spores. That she had breathed some in.

They found out that she had gone to find a treat which she spotted in an industrial estate nearby. A birthday cake in a sealed box in a warehouse. However, a man had retreated to the building's bathroom, obviously after finding that he was infected soon after day zero. In the heat of the small bathroom, the fungus had developed. When Bronwyn opened the door, a puff of spores flew in her face. 

She sits at the kitchen table now, among the others who are silent. Later that night, Neville holds her tightly as they lie in the living room on the sofa. She doesn't move or speak. A tear occasionally traces down her face.

As the hours pass by, her breathing becomes increasingly frantic.

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