Patient Zero

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“Patient Zero” The child of shellshock.


Many years ago, in the town of shellshock, a deadly virus spread through the streets. Shellshock was just a minor settlement back then. With a population of 80 people working togeather to build a safe haven in the wasteland. One day, a traveling doctor came to town. A calm and elderly man who talked with a lean voice and always had a inviting smile on his face. Shellshock, who did not even have a small clinic back then welcomed the old doctor and his services. He moved in to a small toolshed in the center of town and set up a small shop where he treated townsfolk with minor injuries. It was small things, removing splinters, patching up scratch wounds and pulling a infected teeth or two. People was very happy with their new doctor.

One day, the plague came to shellshock. A virus that blew in from the wilderness. Where it came from, no one knew. It infected the children first. The first child to become infected was little Robin. Robins parents pleaded to the old doctor to help their child. The old man took Robin to the makeshift townhall and did his best to give treatment. He worked day and night for weeks. During that time, the sickness spread to more and more children. The kids developed fevers and dark moist molds. Their eyes became gray and their skin became stiff as leather.

But the condition of the children was not the most horrifying part of the sickness. It was how they all died in the end. Each and every night, when the town was sleeping, some of the children awoke and rose from their hospital beds. One by one, they walked outside and into the night. Next morning, they were found outside the town, sitting down on the ground, like small statues. Everyone with their grey eyes open and with dreamy looks, always staring west; into the wilderness.

The grownups of the town got scared. No one dared to interfere with the walkers of the night. They tried to lock the door to the hospital but the children always found a way out. They tried to tie them to their beds but they somehow managed to escape their bonds. Some times, a grownup staying up late could catch a glimpse of children walking through the streets, slowly stumbling out of town. Stumbling out to die. Everyone was too scared to interfere.

In the end, every child was gone and the town was in despair. Anger took the better of the townsfolk and soon they accused the old doctor for not trying hard enough. The anger turned to hatred and a few nights after the last child had disapeared. So did the old doctor. He left the town with a rope around his neck and a bag over his head. The townsfolk mourned.

After two days, some people decided to enter the townhall to stash away the old doctor’s belongings. They went into the room which had served as a operating room.

It was there they found Robin. Or rather, what was left of the child. Robin had grown, just in a few weeks the child had grown into the size of an adult. The brain had grown out of Robins skull and his face was deformed. What lay on the operating table before them was not the kid once known as Robin any more. It was a monster. A creation of sickness and madness.

Beside the child, on a small table, lay a notebook. A notebook containing the log over the hideous operations carried out by the doctor over tha last weeks. Most of the papers were just smudges of blood and crazy rambles, probably caused by stress that had filled the poor old man.

Some notes could still be made out.

“The virus only seems to infect humans under the age of 9… and it causes a strange illness that starts with a fever…”

“...Third stage of infection: Blindness. After the host becomes blind, the fever gets worse and the patient becomes unable to retain fluids.

“...fourth stage of infection: Unresponsive to light. The patient enters a dreamy state which the patient can’t escape.”

“...i have trated the patient with everything from growth hormones to steroids. My theory is that if the patient can be held strong enough and attain a bigger body, the virus might become dormant. Maybe it will read the patients body as an adults and maybe then I can find a way to cure the infection…”

They looked at the twisted figure that was once little Robin. Strapped to the operation table with a note pinned to the shirt saying “Patient Zero”. They loosed the straps and Patient Zero started to gnarl and twist. Patient Zero then quickly got up, grabbed the towns watersystem manager, Tessy.

...T..t… Traaains? Hissed patient zero before rendering poor tessy to shreds with inhuman strenght. Every one got scared and backed away.

The monster started to slowly walk towards the door.

B..B Biiirthdayy!! Patient zero gnarled loudly into the air. Scaring people even more.

It walked outside, and started to head west, into the wilderness. Never to be seen again.

This was many years ago in the town called Shellshock. Since then the town has grown. The old townhall still stands in the old centre. No one enters any more and the doors are shut tight.

Every now and then the children sneaks around the house, intrigued by the ghost stories of the makeshift clinic, looking for ghosts of the vanished children. Some times, when the wind blows, kids claims they hear a whisper coming from the west. “T..t Traaaains?”