Good day all.
So today is the day that I bring to you the first part of the story the great people Twitter chose the title of. I have enjoyed writing this and has spun some interesting ways in which to handle this. I hope you enjoy it, feedback is always welcome and please look out for the best part.
So here you go….
The day the world died – Janice David
It all started with Janice David, seventy days before the world officially died.
At this point, the world had already begun to suffer. Airborne diseases had spread across the world, killing millions in the first week of its existence, reducing many others to their sick beds or into comas.
The symptoms were erratic. For the pensioners, they would suffer heart attacks, strokes and fits without any form of viral infection. The middle aged men and women would suffer from influenza, blood poisoning and every other flu like symptom the world had ever known. Teenagers had the lowest mortality rate but they did not have it easy. They would suffer from seizures, skin infections, alopecia, and strains of flu and loss of mobility. Over time, they would all perish.
Janice David was fifteen years old when she was wheeled into Tankerton Mobile Hospital, with symptoms consisting of numbness in her limbs, skin irritation, fatigue and viral infection. Janice had no surviving family members or friends and in the panic of the operational needs and influx of patients, was discarded to the far corners of the tent to be seen to as mild priority. She was alone and had no person to comfort her. That was until Daniel Chadwick entered the unit.
“Excuse me sir, what are your symptoms?” A young brunette asked exhausted.
Her hair was matted, dark shadows spread across her eyes and her skin was raw. From the state of her, Daniel Chadwick knew she had only days to live. He had seen the signs and symptoms before. There was no good that would come from their persistence and fight against the infections and diseases. The world was dying and there was nothing they could do about it.
“I have no symptoms. In fact, I was hoping you could point me in the right direction. I’m looking for a Janice David. She was emitted earlier today. It is imperative I speak to her.”
The nurse sighed with exhaustion and pointed around the tent. “Listen, we have around fifty nurses and over a thousand patients crammed into this one unit. If you need to find this girl, then you gotta do the work. I’m a nurse, not a tour guide.”
She turned and headed off towards a young child that had just vomited blood during her righteous speech. The unit was a canvas tent and designed to fit five hundred people maximum. Hospital beds and mattresses were spread throughout; often so close they were on top of each other. The tent was bursting at the sides and in a matter of days everyone would be dead. Sickness and disease filled the air but Daniel Chadwick remained composed.
Sounds of pain and suffering spread throughout the tent and it was hard to ignore. As Daniel Chadwick made his way through the area, eyes focused on each passing individual, many reached out for him to end their suffering. Daniel ignored them; he had not time for good deeds. There was little time and he had other important business to attend to.
After fifteen minutes of searching the death tent, Daniel found the girl motionless on a mattress left to die in the corner. She was still alive though, he could tell that from her chest elevating and falling with each breath. He knelt down by her side, placed a hand in hers and breathed.
The girl stirred; her face pale, eyelids red raw and her lips cracked. Daniel smiled at her, knowing he had made it in time. Janice David looked up towards him, her eyes moving but no other muscle twitched.
“Are you here for me?” Janice asked, her voice cracked and wheezing.
Daniel Chadwick confirmed with a nod.
“Are you…are you a doctor?”
“Have you come to read me my last rites?”
Daniel smiled. “No. I didn’t realise people still believed in that.”
“Who are you?” Her voice was weak and Daniel wished he could do something about the pain. He couldn’t call a doctor over as that would cause a nuisance for him.
“I’m a nobody, a name not worth mentioning and a soul that has been unkempt. I am here to listen.”
Daniel gripped her hand tighter and placed a thumb on her forehead and left it there for a moment. He doubted she could feel it with the amount of discomfort she was in. Janice was young but had the heart and stoic nature of a warrior. He read her for the child she was, and not the adult society wanted her to become.
“I could have saved… my family. Been there the day they died. But I was too busy fooling…fooling around with Anton Claymore. I’m such…a…a…disgrace. Busy thinking about boys.”
Tears formed at the corner of her eyes and rolled down the side of her cheek and on to the make shift pillow. Daniel felt his throat lock up but coughed away any emotions that were surfacing. He wanted to tell her that no matter what she had been doing, they would have died. But it was something you didn’t tell a petrified and distraught teenager.
“I’m better off dead…with them…I can be whole again.”
Her throat clogged up and she could barely breathe but Daniel did nothing but wipe away his own tears. Her voice faded away but it didn’t matter. She had passed on to him what he needed to hear. He leant over, stroking her face and whispered into her ear. Her breathing subsided but she remained critical. It would be only a matter of hours before she passed on.
Daniel pushed himself up, flitted between doctors, nurses and the patients that were still lucid and out into the cool spring weather. He stopped a few feet past the door, removed a notebook and flipped it open to the last entry. There were hundreds of names throughout the pages and Janice David was at the top of the list. He circled the name with a red ball point pen and slotted the notebook back into his pocket. The grass was green and the flowers blossoming across the fields and farm yards. The cattle in the field remained optimistic and fed off what they could, but soon they would be gone too. Every human and animal would soon die leaving an empty world. But it was the only beginning. The fabrics and material, the grassland and nature would follow the fate of the breathing. Until then, Daniel Chadwick had names to visit and a list to finish. His work had just begun.
Henri Staten was the doctor in charge of the perimeter in the mobility unit. He had seen thirty seven children and eight men, and for all of them the outlook was grim. He noticed a man wearing a long black coat and grey trousers with a black trilby tilted to the side. Something about the appearance of the man made the doctor feel uneasy. He had no sign of illness or distress and had a confidence about him that many or all failed to have in the dark days of the illness.
Henri had first noticed him talking to a young girl in the corner, holding her hand and whispering in to her ear. He then left without another word. As a doctor, the patients always came first for Henri, but this time, his curious nature took over and he bypassed several sick individuals to attend to the girl. By the time he reached the girl, her eyes were open and her breathing was heavy.
“Hi, I’m Doctor Staten, I will be checking you over. Do you have any family here?”
She shook her head.
“The man you was just talking to, is he a relative?”
The girl looked up to him moving her eyes only. Her lips twitched and form a slight smile. “No, but he will be.”
Dr Henri Staten felt a chill run down his spine. “What do you mean?”
“He told…he told me that once the world had died…a new one will rise. The man…he said…that I will rise again. That I will lead.”
Henri felt his heart beat racing and his goose pimples rise across his skin. He took a deep breath and swallowed. “That you will lead what?”
The girl forced a smile, and in her response there was hope and pleasure. “I…I will lead…the Rising.”