Anaphylaxis and the Apocalypse: A Short Story

It’s mid November, a month ago people started getting ill and behaving oddly. The illness started with a sore skin and bleeding gums, then it moved on to bleeding from eyes, ears and nose. People would become more aggressive, starting fights in the street without provocation and eventually tearing each other apart. It didn’t take long for everything to fall apart: The zombie apocalypse had begun.

You heard what was going on and had seen enough zombie flicks to figure out the rest, you knew how this was going to play out so you made the biggest Tesco direct order of your life to tide you over, stocked up on tinned food and computer games to keep you going and boarded up the doors and windows.

For the next couple of weeks all you could hear over the sound of your TV were the screams, with the occasional passerby spotting the light from between the boards on your windows and slamming against the door for you to let them in before the savage growls and deafening silence took over. A couple of hours later you’d hear them get up and wander off, but this kind of thing hadn’t happened in a few days now and you guess there’s nobody left to scream at this point.

It’s been almost 4 weeks now and your food has run out (it hasn’t really but you ordered Tesco value rice pudding and you’ve starved yourself to the brink of collapse rather than live off that slurry), you need to go gather more supplies if you’re to survive.

You get in your car that you parked up on the kerb at the back of the house so you could jump in quickly… the fuel gauge is low but you have enough to make it to the nearest supermarket. You drive over there on fumes and pray that you won’t have to make any of this journey on foot, weaving between skeletal carrion eaters that are too lethargic and starving to really notice you roll by. It looks like you were right about there not being anyone left to scream – the zombies have run out of food and are wasting away. Funnily enough, you try not to notice that you have this in common and ignore the pain gnawing at your insides.

People have clearly looted the supermarket but there’s nobody around now, you can see that there’s still food on the shelves through the windows so you pull right up to the door, look around you to make sure it’s safe, then jump out…

You grab a trolley and head straight into the pre-packaged and tinned food aisle, as far from the rancid smell of rotting milk and meat that’s been left unattended in the fridge section. While you’re at it, you grab some books, torches and batteries – it’s a matter of time before the electricity goes out for good and your TV won’t be able to keep you company.

You’ve been standing by the batteries at the end of the aisle for a while now with your back to the tills, making sure you get the right size. It takes a while for you to feel your breath catching in your throat and your skin itching all over, you initially brush it off as exhilaration or maybe just a reaction to the stench coming from the fridges but you start to become aware of your heartbeat and it becomes difficult to swallow.

You’re starting to panic, you can feel it cloaking you and you start wondering if the infection has become airborne – is it THAT kind of story you’re living in? Your vision is starting to fade around the edges and your airways constrict into nothingness when you realise what’s happening and you’re glad that this way you’ll never have to starve to death or be torn limb from limb. You thought that the end of the world would be what killed you, not the world that came before.

The world ended on October 31st 2017. The halloween decorations and balloons are still bobbing blandly around the cashier tills and at the end of the aisles, they’ve shrunk over time and are pinched across the grinning faces printed on them. You haven’t got your epipen with you and your immune system is more afraid of jack’o’lantern balloons than it is of the undead.

Latex allergies are the worst.

Shark vs Avocado

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