An unknown disease called the Venera Virus is spreading rapidly through the entire world that guarantees a painful death in the months that follow. People are desperate to find a cure for this mysterious and highly contagious disease but all the hospitals can do for now is help the pain of those infected.
Shiko Nakayama is eight years old and he’ll be turning nine in October. He loves to read books and watch nature shows.
And he is one of the children who’s contracted the Venera Virus.
It’s here! It’s done! The Children at The End of the World, I’ve been editing this all through spring and it’ll be officially released on March 22nd, put in your order here!
For a bit of background, I work at an insurance company. I’m not exactly changing the world, but it pays well and it’s usually pretty chill. Except for yesterday, which I just really need to rant about. It was a bunch of little things that stacked up to my… almost explosion.
The water cooler was dripping nonstop. Citrix servers had gone down and that was the main program I use for work. I had a pounding headache from the bright lights in the office and my skin was all dried out from the artificial air. And for fuck’s sake, Barbara would just not leave me alone.
When I first saw I was getting a call from an unknown number, I thought it was another sales call. I only answered it on the off chance it was from my friend Irma, I knew she’d gotten a new phone number.
It was quiet except for someone breathing on the other end. I frowned but tried again. “Hello, is someone there? Or is this another robot telling me I’ve won a cruise?”
“Listen, the kids are tired, how about I take them home while you go home with your sister when you’re ready?”
Amanda snorted but I caught a glimpse of amusement in her eyes. “Like you’re mister innocence over here, trying to be a good guy,” She replied. But she didn’t object. “Go, you’ve endured my family long enough. I think Audrey’s about to revolt anyway. Do you have Donnie’s cold meds?”
I lifted them from my pocket.
“And did you take some of the leftovers?”
I laughed. “Amanda. I have enough leftovers in the cooler to feed your whole family all over again. We’re fine.”
My wife smiled and kissed my cheek. “Drive safely!” She said.
Everyone has a way they’d absolutely not want to die.
I remember my mom telling me about when she almost drowned as a kid. Since then she’s been afraid of deep water and would rather walk through fire than drown. My kid brother’s terrified of getting cancer. He saw it take our dad. It was slow, painful, and we went through every moment of it with him.
I had a strange one. See, I’m scared of snakes. Always hated them. Especially pythons. Those fuckers can swallow a crocodile whole. I’m not the size of a crocodile. I would be lunch. I cried when my mom read Jonah and the Whale for the first time. Imagining being inside the belly of a beast gave me nightmares for weeks. So that’s how I wouldn’t want to die.
I’m the worst kind of monster out there. I’m confessing now that I did not hurt those girls, I did not torture them, and I did not kill them.
But I did bring them to the one that would.
I met Edward Clancy when I was seventeen years old, he was twenty six. When we dated, he was sweet. Sex was always a bit strange, with how he’d insist on gagging me and tying me up, but it was a fun game, at least at first. After dating came marriage, when the game stopped being fun.
Briar Elementary and High is a small school of just under three hundred students, from first grade all the way to senior year. It’s spaced between two buildings and has been running since the early 1900’s, although it was just a high school academy back then.
And apparently there’s a monster in there now.
It’s just little things that leads people to believe there’s something supernatural lurking in the halls. The things that would go missing, only to turn up later caked in muddy finger prints. The food theft, mostly lunchboxes, but sometimes whole pizzas would just vanish into thin air. Hearing something crawling under the floor. And the hissing you can sometimes hear while in the girl’s bathroom in the highschool. If you go in there alone, sometimes you’ll make out whispers.
Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not here to kill you.
I’m here to give you immortality.
Here’s where fiction tends to get it wrong, my friend. It’s not ‘vampire bites person, person turns vampire, rinse and repeat’. It’s more along the lines of ‘vampires bites person, person becomes vampire, previous vampire becomes a human’. Explains why you don’t see the overpopulation thing becoming a huge problem.
Whoa, I am so glad this bullshit is over with. These has been, by far, some of the worst months of my life. Of my life! This is including the summer when I was fourteen and I got mono. I mean, I was laid up for a month and felt like absolute garbage… but I mean, at least people didn’t die, you know?
Lemme start over and say that this all started because someone threw up a frog at lunch.
It was a pretty nice day out, sun was shining, teachers weren’t going crazy with the homework load yet. We were all in high spirits. I was making a quite impressive statue of mashed potatoes on my tray when Simone began choking.
Two months ago we moved into our new place. It’s honestly amazing, huge property, beautiful forests, and an old barn out back that my wife Lydia hoped to remodel into a workshop. She loves wood carving.
We have two sons and a daughter. Elliot is ten, Joey is eight, and Samantha is five. The old house is big enough for the kids to have their own rooms, but Joey gets night terrors still so he bunks up with Elliot. Elliot doesn’t complain, he’s a solid big brother.
Course, no move is without its difficulties. The kids miss all their old friends, they’re still adjusting to a new school, a new schedule. The job I had lined up told me I was no longer needed so things went belly up there. Bills got a little tight.