Family matriarch Jacqueline Spencer on the existential abyss that is the plague:
How deep would Sutr reach down into the fabric of what had been and tear with unforgiving teeth? How resilient was that fabric? Was civilization just a thin sheen of varnish over shiny, black claws of primal aggression? She knew Theo thought so, but she hoped her husband was wrong.
On a scavenging trip to the mall, a little band of explorers from the Spencer family encounters a wall with notes and graffiti:
A little further on stood several memorials. “Olivia, you were a good wife,” read one. That was in white and, unlike the others, writ large to fill the height of the wall for several concrete panels. The tribute had been painted with a wide brush by a tall man.
Another simply read: Andrea. Why?
Here and there, fading pictures of missing loved ones dotted the wall and fluttered in the breeze. A phone number was listed below a picture of a stunning redheaded woman wearing cat’s eye sunglasses. Heather Pritch, 29, separated at hospital. Came back for you. Will wait at train station. Tara.
The flyer, fixed to the wall with a scrap of twisted duct tape, looked like it would lose its tentative hold with the next breath of wind.
There were also a few with directions and warnings:
Todd, Meet Us At Deb’s, Love Beth.
Go around Chicago!
Detroit’s Burnt DOWN!
Army’s taken over Tahoe. They shoot all who approach.
Another read: Michigan has militia! but it wasn’t clear if that was a warning or a hopeful sign that somewhere there was order.
A more informative message read: Refugee Camps at NIAGRA FALLS has gone X. Many dead. Stay home and indoors. God bless.
Just before a gap in the wall ahead, a green winking ghoul admonished them with a pointing finger. ‘We want you!’ was scrawled over its grotesque head. Below a smeared wagging finger were the words: Not to Litter! Burn Your Evil Dead! It was signed, The Ungrateful Living.
At another spot, a column of numbers from one to 24 stood, each number exed out. The next number in the series jumped to 26. Beside the column were the words: Tally of Looters shot.
- The Sutr Virus: What happened? (thisplagueofdays.com)