Monday, 22 August 2016
The Purple Virus: The Purple Virus isn’t grey, nor is it a virus, says my teacher, but rather a large, rubbery tapeworm-like creature. It burrows inside its victim, incubates, forces its host – painfully – to do things in its interest, before one day entering its death throes, bursting into five or six smaller creatures which wriggle away looking for a host, leaving the original victim dead.
How do you know these things, I say? She ignores me, continues: Watch for people who do not laugh or smile, who cough incessantly, who always seem to be taking painkillers.
She begins to cough, and cough, and cough, doubles over and sweeps pens, paper, a vase, and all those stacked boxes of co-codamol from her desk.
And then she bursts, and tendrils fly from her body. I turn and head for the door, but the door is locked. Six or seven huge tapeworm-like creatures, two or three feet long, hurtle across the floor towards me – something dry and leathery grasps my foot.
I wake up.
The Classroom: I sit in an empty classroom somewhere in the university, with three or four other men and women I do not know. The fluorescent light flickers, supplies us all with an unhealthy pallor. Conversation turns around to what is happening outside: is there anybody left?
We have wifi, a PC: logging in, we check out site after site, all of which – no matter how frivolous – have now been twisted so that their focus is on the evil that is eating the world outside. And then there is nothing on the computer screen but an eye, green and malevolent, looking right back at us.
And we know that the endless scream that fills the world outside will soon come within, and we know that we are the last people, and that we are all doomed. And I know that this has happened to the world because of something I failed to do, this is my fault, due to my negligence, and this is the worst thing of all.
I wake up.