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!
I think every straight guy in my school had a thing for Miss Bell.
I’m the last dude you want to come to when it comes to judging ‘female beauty’, but even I could admit she was pretty. Blonde hair usually drawn back in that messy bun style, a bod that would make Venus jealous, and a round face that was nearly always smiling or laughing.
She was our English II teacher, she’d just transferred in that year from California. During our first class, she told about going to college and how she used to surf on the weekends. My friend Sean elbowed me and whispered about how she’d look in a bikini. My practical ass said that she probably was wearing a wetsuit when she surfed. This got the back of my head punched and Sean whispering ‘Gaaaaaaaaaay’ into my ear. I mean, really not inaccurate, but the punch wasn’t necessary.
I suppose it started small, like all addictions do. I was in the first grade, having some corner time because I threw a crayon at Brandon’s head. He totally deserved it but that’s another story for another day.
Anyway, I was facing the brick wall, imagining horrible fates for this jerk of a classmate when I heard a quiet buzzing. I looked by my feet to see an old cobweb, spider long gone but the dusty threads still managing to capture a fly. It wiggling and squirmed and if I hadn’t interfered it probably would have gotten loose and carried on with its life. But before I realized it I had plucked the fly free and placed it in my mouth.
Down a long dirt road, past a mile or so of forest, there’s a girl that lives all by herself in a big house. All of her relatives have passed, leaving her a treasure trove of valuables and money that she keeps on the property. There’s not even a dog to keep her safe from people who would take those things away.
And when the wrong ears hear all those things, their eyes fill with dollar signs and they decide to make the trek.
They always make the same wrong assumption though-
I think the whole street breathed a sigh of relief when we saw the EMTs take a body bag out of the Ferguson house. I was only about ten or eleven at the time and it’s been a while so some details of my childhood are lost to time, but I can’t forget Mr. Ferguson.
There was never a Mrs. Ferguson in the picture, as far as I know. He lived in the house on the corner, the one with the bright yellow shutters and the gorgeous garden out back. The garden didn’t make up for the rotten old bastard he was. I wondered once if he was nicer when he was younger, when he didn’t have to walk with a cane and could actually get around without help, but my dad set me straight on that one. Mr. Ferguson had always been a terrible person and the neighbor from hell.
My husband Shaun and I love… well, loved, camping. We would go all year around, snow and rain was no object. We didn’t have kids and our trips didn’t have to be long, we’d pack up on Friday and be back on Sunday night when we couldn’t get any time off.
Last July we’d managed to scrounge up enough PTO for a whole week trip. We were heading down to Tennessee and it was going to be one of our best trips yet.
I’m never going to complain about working at a daycare, it really is my dream job. I love working with kids and seeing how they grow up, when they learn to talk and walk, when they learn to string together sentences… It’s the best.
However, there are some kids that drive me up the wall.
“Hello! It’s Laura! We hit a thousand, babes! We did it!
Laura was just another small time girl trying to hit it big with YouTube. There was hundreds of Youtubers like her out there. They put on makeup. They play video games. They review movies. They vlog about their day. They try weird products and make comedy shorts.
I found Laura on a late night. She’d made a comedy short with Katherine Short, a YouTuber I had followed for a few years. Laura caught my attention with her low voice, sweet smile, and odd eyes- she had heterochromia. One eye was dark brown, like her hair. The other was like a husky dog’s. Piercing blue.
It was what it was, it wasn’t openly talked about but it was gossiped about during Saturday afternoon barbecues and whispered after the church service. Other than, ya know, growing up next to a cult, I lived a pretty down to earth life.
These guys were known as the Flyaway Colony. The leader, Douglas Luther, believed that he was sent by god to lead people to the cause and that one day he’d take them all away by levitating them to heaven like Jesus in the new testament. Yeah, pretty basic crazy cult crap. They lived off the grid for the most part, the followers camped out in tents surrounding this old farm house where they’d eat and worship. You could always tell if you ran into someone in town was apart of the colony- they wore plain brown clothes and smelled kinda ripe. The men always had beards. If one of the women was in town, they’d always have one of the men with them, probably their husbands.
And now that I think back on it, I never saw any of their children. Not once.