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Quarantine Zone
(© William Estes)

Page 1

Bryan remembered the noise. At first itís absence seemed like a blessing. He realized how wrong he was. Laying in bed he hoped to here something else that wasnít a bird chirp or a squirrel run across the roof.

He sat up. Nothing. Seeing his clock was still on he had at least the satisfaction electricity still worked. Getting out of bed became harder each day and he didnít know why. Maybe it was his age or the amount of time he spent on his feet.

He turned on the radio. Luckily he would be able to find out how far it spread. Bryan he listened. Static filled his ears. Shaking his head he turned on his computer. It had a limited battery life and he knew it. A button flashed on the screen Bryan clicked on it.

"Iím glad to see youíre awake," said the soldier at the other end. He was one of the three people he talked to outside of the zone.

"Well, itís hard to get up when all I have to do is check the meters and gather food from a store," said Bryan.

"At least you donít have to work," said the man. They paused for a moment. It lasted almost a minute. "Is something bothering you. You donít sleep in this late usually."

"I thought I saw someone yesterday," said Bryan.

"Thereís not supposed to be anyone else in the town," said the man on the other end. "Well. Get to work and Iíll see if thereís anything I can do on my end."

Bryan wandered the small town. Several locations had sensors for the fungus spreading across the area. One of the few people living the in country Bryan was stuck completing a job assigned to him by the military.

Months ago a space probe crashed into central Texas. On it was a purple fungus that quickly spread across several counties. Most people who werenít able to get out of the county within a few hours died. Bryan was one of the few people trapped.

Checking the next few meters he walked to the liquor store. A meter was set across the street from it. Bryan walked into the store. Like most of the stores in the town electricity still ran. He stepped out with a twenty-four ounce can of beer.

After taking a few swigs he walked over to next meter. He checked the fungus level. Green vines with purple leaves wrapped itís way up a sign. Purple leaves replaced green leaves on most of the plants. It was a sight he was becoming used to seeing.

Bryan checked the next meter and then headed to the middle of town. The last two meters he was going to check were located at bridges over a creek. That round between the north and south sides of town.

He stopped at the next store and pulled out a liter fountain drink. He drank it slowly as he walked along the square. Most of the good shops long moved out of town before the satellite came down with the fungus.

Purple flowers grew from vines that wrapped around lampposts and columns Bryan stopped and starred at a window. Inside were book shelves. He saw them before events took place he wasnít impressed enough by them to break inside and steal them.

The library was broken into during the first couple days of it happening. Bryan took out many books to read later. It was after he discovered that internet service would be unreliable at the beginning and dwindle down to an hour before and an hour after they wanted to talk to him.

Bryan checked the last two meters. They showed what he expected, but they were higher what he saw. He knew why. Each meter was on the end of bridge over the creek. Purple and green plants grew in and around the water. Dark shapes floated in the water. He figured without anyone around fish were able to grow and multiply.

Bryan looked pass the bridge. Movement caught his eye. He wondered if it was her. A second later a bush shook and the movement disappeared. Bryan wondered if there were more people in the town or just the one person he saw during his whole time.

Bryan turned on his laptop and the satellite connected to it. Luckily didnít have to worry about extra power going out. Solar panels and batteries allowed him to keep it charge up for us. He brought the machine and turned on the connection.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:Science Fiction
Type:Short story
Rating:3.88 / 10
Rated By:13 users
Comments: 0 users
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