P.B Simister: The Final Diary

P-B-Simister

Wil­liam Daniels is suc­cess­ful author of children’s books, a lov­ing hus­band and a caring father. His nor­mal, happy life is turned upside down when an infec­tion turns nor­mal people into bloodthirsty anim­als who want only one thing, human flesh.
Wil­liam learns a lot about him­self and his fel­low man in this bleak and deadly new world.
This is his diary.
This is The Final Diary.

Entry One

My wife tried to kill me last night.
It’s not what you think; there was… is… some­thing very wrong with her.

When Holly (my wife) came home from work yes­ter­day even­ing with tears stream­ing down her face and her skin look­ing pale and clammy, I hugged her, sat her down on the couch and asked her what was wrong. I have to tell you that I did not fully believe what I heard next, even as I begin to explain it to you, diary, it seems like a night­mare that I can’t wake up from.

As she walked home from work, actu­ally, let me just stop there, as I would like to add that Holly work­ing is a bone of con­ten­tion for me. I’m a suc­cess­ful writer of children’s fic­tion and she doesn’t need to work in the first place. It’s caused many argu­ments, most of which were Holly try­ing to explain that she wanted inde­pend­ence and most of all; she wanted some­thing to do rather than sit around the house con­stantly bored. She had a point and so she kept her job at the local travel agents. Right now though, I hate that she has a job, I hate that she walks home and I hate that she’s a genu­inely nice and help­ful per­son.
So then, there she was, walk­ing home from work.

“I heard a scream com­ing from the church­yard.” She told me. I knew before she even con­tin­ued that she had gone over to help.
“So I walked over to see if I could help”

Oh, my stu­pid, won­der­ful, brave, Holly.

She sobbed again and looked into my eyes, her gaze full of sad­ness and horror.

“There was a man, he was home­less, I think. He looked very dirty and very drunk.” The church she was talk­ing about was a well-known drink­ing, drug using spot for the dregs of soci­ety, but my Holly wanted to walk right in there and help.

“He was attack­ing a woman, that’s who was scream­ing” More sob­bing and a fresh flood of tears streamed sad rivu­lets down her cheeks.
I asked if the woman was also dirty and very drunk. Holly shot me a look that seemed to ask, “Why the fuck would that make a dif­fer­ence?” and shook her head.

“No, she was well dressed, a little older than me.” At this point Holly threw her­self into my arms.
“Oh God, Wil­liam!” She bur­ied her face into my chest and screamed. Even though my chunky brown sweater muffled the screams, it was still so loud that I was start­ing to worry what the neigh­bours would think. To be per­fectly hon­est here, diary, I did not have a clue what to do next so I just sat there and held her.

After a few minutes had passed, she lif­ted her head and looked at me. Snot and tears were plastered across her face and her skin was so pale now that it seemed like some kind of eth­er­eal por­cel­ain. Some­thing was very wrong with her.

“He killed her, Wil­liam.” She stammered the words out between sobs and I stared down at her incred­u­lously.
“He bit her throat out.” Holly con­tin­ued. “Right there in front of me. He just ripped her neck apart with his teeth and groaned like a per­ver­ted maniac while he was doing it.”

I really didn’t know how to respond. This was without a doubt the strangest “Guess what happened to me today” story I had ever heard. I didn’t believe it. How could I? It all soun­ded like some­thing from a bad hor­ror movie. She hadn’t fin­ished yet though.

“I threw my shoe at him.” She said, nod­ding her head as though affirm­ing her bravery. I looked down and sure enough, her left shoe was miss­ing and her slender foot looked beaten and bloody.

My fool­ish, brave, shoe­less Holly.

“It just made him angry, Wil­liam. He came right at me but,” She paused to choke back more tears before con­tinu­ing.
“Some­thing was wrong with him, his eyes were glazed as though all the life had been sucked out of them and his skin was grey.”

Now it was really sound­ing like a bad hor­ror movie. She must have seen the doubt in my eyes because she sud­denly pulled away from me and res­ted her head in her hands. That was when I spot­ted blood seep­ing through the sleeve of her jacket. I reached out to touch it but she jerked her arm away.

“It hurts.” She told me. “He bit me when I tried to run past him. He grabbed my arm and took a fuck­ing bite.”
With a ques­tion­ing look she added, “Who does that, Wil­liam? Who does that?”

I was now even more inter­ested in the bite and asked her to take off her jacket. It was a struggle for her but she let me help. Under­neath, she was wear­ing her short-sleeved, royal blue travel agent uni­form blouse, with the words “Come fly with us” proudly emblazoned in yel­low just below her right shoulder. I looked down at the wound.

It was bad. It was very bad.

Teeth indent­a­tions were clearly vis­ible in the angry red wound and I could see what looked like black veins spider­ing their way up her arm. I rushed into the kit­chen and grabbed the first aid kit from the cup­board under the sink. I then poured some warm water into a bright blue break­fast bowl and scowled at the yel­low smi­ley face star­ing up at me from the bot­tom of the bowl. I hur­ried back to Holly. She looked as though she were about to pass out, and an insane amount of heat was start­ing to radi­ate from the bite.

She didn’t even seem to notice me clean­ing and bandaging her wound. Her eyes were open but she looked vacant, dazed. “The lights are on but nobody’s home” as my Father used to say. I needed to call for help.

I dialled the num­ber for our local doc­tor but it was busy. I then dialled the num­ber for the hos­pital. After curs­ing at the ringing tone for what seemed like an etern­ity but was in truth, only a couple of minutes, I finally got an answer. I should tran­scribe this word for word so that you, dear, all know­ing, diary, might under­stand it bet­ter that I can right now.

H is the woman who answered for the hos­pital and WD is me, Wil­liam Daniels.
H: “Royal County Hos­pital, how can I help?”

WD: “My wife has been bit­ten by some crazy guy. She’s in a really bad way. We need help.”

H: “Have you been bit­ten or scratched in any way, Sir?”

WD: “No, no. I’m fine. My wife saw the man kill another woman though, in St. Peter’s churchyard”

H: “Where is your wife now, Sir?”

WD: “She’s sit­ting on the couch. Look, should I just bring her to A & E or will you send someone out?”

H: “Sir we have been told to advise that all bite vic­tims be placed in local quar­ant­ine. Is there some­where that you can safely lock your wife until the
mil­it­ary can get to you and assess the situation?”

WD: “Lock her up… Mil­it­ary? What the fuck is going on? She needs med­ical attention.”

H: “I’m very sorry, Sir, that’s all I can tell you right now. I strongly sug­gest that you restrain your wife as soon as pos­sible and keep her away from any
other fam­ily members.”

It was at this point that I real­ised Gemma hadn’t come home from school yet.

WD: “Oh, shit. Gemma.”

H: “Sir?”

WD: “Gemma, our daugh­ter. She should have been home from school by now. She’s only fifteen.”

H: “Sir, I must advise that you do not leave your home until fur­ther notice. The gov­ern­ment will be keep­ing every­one updated on TV and radio so make sure that you have one on at all times.”

I was almost afraid to ask. Almost.

WD: “Updated on what? What’s going on?”

H: “You need to restrain your wife imme­di­ately, Sir. Prom­ise me that you will do that right now.”

WD: “I… okay.”

H: “Thank-you. Help will come, Sir. We are work­ing as hard as we can.”


The line went dead.

I looked over at the couch. Holly had gone.

I shouted out her name and heard foot­steps going up the stairs. I shouted her name again whilst mak­ing my way to the bot­tom of the stairs. There she was, halfway up and look­ing like someone who had just dropped a boat­load of acid. I asked if she was feel­ing okay and my heart sank when she turned to face me.

She looked like a corpse.

Her skin was grey; her lips were dry, cracked and dis­col­oured. Worst of all though, was that the bright blue eyes that I had fallen in love with were drained of all col­our. I rushed up the stairs, grabbed her by the shoulders and yelled her name but there was nothing.

No recog­ni­tion, no answer, no life, nothing.

What happened next is blurred but I’ll do my best to recount it for you, diary. I’m cer­tain that your blank pages are aching to be filled with this sick, awful tale.

Holly was look­ing down at the car­pet when her head sud­denly snapped up and her col­our­less eyes gazed hun­grily at me. She took a step for­ward and lunged at me, snap­ping with her teeth. My wife was try­ing to bite me, and not in a sexy way. I stepped back to avoid her teeth and lost my bal­ance, but kept my grip on her shoulders so that as I fell down the stairs she came with me. The noises she made were ter­ri­fy­ing, like the snarls of an angry dog but even more feral, more primal.

We twis­ted and turned, our com­bined weight smashed into each step heav­ily and pain­fully (for me, at least) until we both hit the white marble floor with a sick­en­ing thump. I’m pretty sure that I heard Holly’s arm snap but it didn’t seem to faze her. I was try­ing to regain my senses when she leapt on top of me, with her teeth chomp­ing, snap­ping at me, a low gut­tural growl­ing rever­ber­at­ing in her throat.
I man­aged to shift my weight and push her off; I scrambled to my feet, ran past the stairs and through the door that opened into the gar­age, quickly hid­ing myself behind the now open door. I heard Holly jump to her feet and then the unmis­take­able sound of one shoe click-clacking on the marble floor, closer and closer until I could hear her breath. She walked through the door­way and just stood there. I needed her to go fur­ther into the gar­age and remembered the car-key in my pocket. I moved my arm slowly and silently and reached into my jeans but Holly must have sensed or heard some­thing as she grunted and her breath­ing got faster, more excited.

Click

The sound of her shoe echoed around my head and froze my blood. I held my breath. Her face must have been just inches from mine with noth­ing but a door between us.

Clack

She stepped away from the entrance and a little fur­ther into the gar­age. I breathed again. What the hell is wrong with her?
Deep down I think I know, but that can’t be, it’s just not pos­sible.
Fear gripped my belly with icy fin­gers and squeezed, urging me to choose flight over fight. I thrust my hand into my jeans pocket, pulled out the car-key and smashed my thumb on the ‘unlock’ but­ton. Our red Ford SUV made its famil­iar boop-beep noise, the lights flashed and the doors unlocked. Holly growled and ran towards the SUV, as she did so I jumped out from behind the door, rushed back into the house, slammed the door closed and locked it.
“It won’t be for long, Holly.” I remem­ber telling her from the safety of my side while she scratched, punched and kicked the door. “Just until help arrives.”

I crumpled to the floor in an exhausted heap and cried like a baby until the sweet arms of sleep embraced me.

This morn­ing I awoke with a startle to the sounds of Holly scrap­ing and snarling at the door.

Gemma still hasn’t come home and isn’t answer­ing her mobile phone.
I’ve tried call­ing her three times so far and just get her annoy­ing,
“Hello?” Fol­lowed by a pause long enough for the caller to say who they are and then the time­less, “Ahh­h­h­hhh got ya! Leave a mes­sage, mup­pet!” answer ser­vice message.

I looked out of the win­dow just before writ­ing this but there are no signs of life, although that’s hardly sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing the cul-de-sac we live on is pop­u­lated by eld­erly people for the most part, it’s why we bought the house. We like the quiet.

I can hear sirens in the dis­tance, diary.

I hope Gemma is okay. Should I go find her?

The hos­pital woman told me not to leave the house. That help would come. I don’t know what to do other than hope and wait, so here I sit, scrib­bling in a diary instead of tak­ing decis­ive action. Maybe I should put the tele­vi­sion on, see if it can tell me what to do.

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