Nursery Crimes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


A short story inspired by 'Ring A-Round The Roses'.

Chapter 16 (v.1) - Fever-Pitch

Submitted: April 14, 2018

Reads: 190

Comments: 5

A A A | A A A

Submitted: April 14, 2018

A A A

A A A

Ring a-round the roses

A pocket full of posies,

Ashes! Ashes!

We all fall down.

 

Ring a-round the roses,

We need to hold our noses,

Ashes! Ashes!

Until they burn.

 

Fever-pitch.

So many were sick now, especially the adults. For some reason the children seemed to have more resilience against this strange and sudden fever. Not that they all escaped, by any means, but the adults seemed to be dropping like flies. There were hardly any uninfected left.

The children did what they could to help, trying to bring what food there was to strengthen their weakened parents. They would fetch water but would never think to boil what was becoming more and more contaminated.

As time went on the smell of sickness drove the children out from their homes and on to the streets. Many would choose to spend the night outside too, finding shelter wherever they could. Within weeks the only healthy people seemed to be six years old or less, and it was too much for them to cope with.

Could anyone blame them from wanting to stay away from the parents who had always looked after them but now could barely move. It was almost as though they were rotting where they lay, and the children were too terrified to go near.

Scavenging for food and for drink, the children that remained clung together. Playing was all they knew but it was becoming harder to do. The oldest one felt responsible for the youngest, tried to banish their tears but that was pretty much impossible when their own were falling too.

Then one of them spotted something strange, a vehicle and a couple of men. They were strangers, definitely, and most remembered the ‘stranger danger’ that they had been taught. Avoid them! Hide and run and never ever go with someone that you do not know.

The children were all pretty small and knew the best of hiding places. They could keep themselves hidden from people that knew the town as well as they themselves did, let alone a couple of outsiders. They ran and hid, made keeping quiet a game.

The soldiers skirted around the edge of the town. There had been no contact made for weeks now, no messages going either in or out. They knew of the fever, were not going to get too close, just check for any signs of life. No sound, no movement; not even the bark of a dog. The town, they decided was dead.

For a second, one of the soldiers held back, thinking for a moment that they had spotted someone in the distance. Someone small, a young child maybe. While he waited, he saw a piece of cardboard blow down the street, dislodged from somewhere by the breeze that had picked up. He shook his head, imagining how well it would have gone down if he had aborted the operation over a piece of card.

Okay, it’s dead. Give us a few minutes to get clear then burn it,” he spoke through the radio as the driver began to back up, to turn around. The plane was already making its way there with its lethal cargo.

The children were oblivious to the threat but watched in wonder as the plane approached. It had been a while since one had been seen. Maybe it was bringing doctors, medicine.....food! Should they come out of their hiding place, go to join it?

Before they made a decision the flames erupted all around and very soon every single part of the town was nothing more than ash.

 


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