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Sleeping Pills and diatribes.
Short stories about drugs, monsters, serial killers, and poetry about fear and self loathing.
Plague Winds
Trudging through the landscape of dirt, ashes and rot, the figure stopped at a ridge overlooking the next abandoned town. The roiling mists buffeted at his robes, hood, gloves and gasmask like a violent swarm of hornets. The only thing thriving here were flies, rising in great balls above the town. After a while to catch breath, the man walked on. The winds were concentrating on this point of the valley. Once it had been a bustling town, full of life, noise and colour. Now there was nothing left that didn't have a sickly grey green patina contaminating the outer layer of it, buildings were crumbling, former homes torn apart. Businesses looted. Drawing a shortbow, this mysterious stranger walked in.

It had been less than a year since it happened. The final war. As the oligarchy had pushed the rest of the world deeper into poverty and squalor, they had been stoking the flames of conflict that had started to emerge. In their short sighted avarice they chose to create new enemies as they always had done. In the end, there were so many, no one truly knew or even cared now which of them had thrown the proverbial first stone.
Unlike the fears many envisioned the end did not come from simply one kind of weapon. The attacks had been nuclear, bacterial, chemical in varying measures. After the bombs had fallen many bio labs had begun to emit their contents. Various plague weapons, combined with the onset of nuclear winter and leaks of deadly chemicals into the land air and sea. The disruptions to the climate that came with it caused violent storms which allowed these elements to spread into the air.

Finding the town deserted, the figure was fortunate to find one of the sporadic safe rooms that had been built. After decontamination, the mask was removed. A young man, no more than 17 was underneath. His hairless face and scalp shone with sweat. He set down his backpack and began to remove his clothes, down to the shorts and long johns at his lowest level. Sliding the NBC suit and mask filter into the incinerator, he waited for it to heat up the water recyclers tank. He was greatful for the start of the heat it provided, since night was about to fall outside and the world was so very cold these days. Eventually he was able to take a shower, empty his catheter and bladder. Deciding to let the heat maintain for a while, he reasoned it would be better to refill his canteen in the morning. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and grimaced at the tattoo with his identity.

Robert Lodge had been approaching 16 when the plague wind came. He remembered the fractured window he'd had on the events of the time. He'd been in the cadets. At first he had been asked to provide extra logistical support to the national guard deployed in his town. Helped keep people feeling safe when martial law was introduced. Then it progressed rapidly. Helping to remove corpses from riot scenes soon became cleaning up after the executions. Eventually he'd had enough. Killed one of the serious soldiers, grabbed his survival kit and stole one of the special GPS units.

He thought back on all this whilst eating canned potato curry cooked on a hot plate. He had learned to depersonalise himself from what he had seen since.
People who had been wracked by the nightmarish diseases. The retirement home where they had drowned in their own mucus. The maternity ward which has been hit by an abortificant bearing cloud pouring itself through the cracks in the ceiling, violently killing mothers and children, nurses overdosing patients and themselves in mercy kills. The town where their skins had been flayed by an acidic mist and he had to euthanize them himself. When he finally made it back to his hometown his grandfather, his only remaining family even then was dead. His body bloated and bubbling into a mass of tumours, now rotting and crawling with beetles and maggots, blowflies marching over deflated eyeballs.
Shuddering back, he thought to the present.
There were two new NBC suits in the shelter and a weeks supply of gas mask filters. A couple cases of 9mm pistol ammo. Some dried food powder.
He took the handful of pills he needed to sleep this night. The pain. It was almost constant. He slept one eye open, always aware that there could be a scratching outside at any time. The swarms of mutated bugs which ruled this dying earth here nothing if not persistent, not to mention other humans.
He had a mangled hand and missing toes from his near death run in with a mad old scavenger dying of radiation sickness. He was thankful for his gloves, socks, boots when he was outside. The cold might kill where the plagues did not.
When he roused, he pissed again, then filled two canteens, swallowed his days doses of supplements and painkiller and began homing in on the location of the next shelter to the west. He hoped he would make it.
He trudged out in the new suit, slowly, silently. He hadn't spoken since it happened. No one had.

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