Writing Exercise - The Cough of a Child

The Cough of a Child


Animal noises echo down alleyways and empty streets, a wild symphony playing to an empty house. The stars in the sky shine their light down on abandoned cars and fields that were long overgrown with weeds, nature retaking what had so previously been subjugated by mankind. Now though that subjugation had come to an end, mankind's grasp of nature had been loosened by events that the survivors described as 'mundane' or 'unassuming'. 

See the end of man was not heralded in by the great boom of explosions ripping apart the countryside, nor the ripping and rending of flesh from some half-imagined the horror, no the end of mankind was heralded in by a child coughing. 

Some believed that it would be a virus that would wipe us out in the end, and some believed that we would make it, however, no one thought that it was something that was with us the entire time that would end up taking us out. 

It was the common cold. 

More accurately it was a mutation of the common cold. Scientists laughed at first, but when the first child was submitted to a hospital with a cold that simply wouldn't go away they were stumped. Not worried, simply stumped. As if this child's illness was a puzzle for them to solve in between real issues. However as more and more people rolled in, the elderly, children, people with low immune systems, all walks of life were soon struck with this 'Super Cold' scientists amusement grew to worry. 

The 'Super Cold' as it was called would start innocently enough, a runny nose, coughing, sore throat, everything typical of a normal cold. It would persist for weeks however and eventually more symptoms began to appear such as insomnia, high fever, severe cramping, and muscle spasms. Not to mention anyone who came into contact with an infected person was bound to catch it, it was the common cold after all. 

Well almost everyone. 

Nicknamed 'Angels' there were precious few who were immune to the disease outright, and those people were begged by the masses to give blood and volunteer their time to aid who they could and help try to find a cure for the 'Super Cold', however the discovery of the 'Angels' happened too late, and by that point people had developed the third stage of the illness, nausea, vomiting, and internal bleeding. Those who made it to stage three were written off as lost causes as more and more people developed stage one and two 'Super Colds'.

'Angels' worked tirelessly for the most part, donating time and blood to try their best to cure the disease but when their efforts were beginning to show progress the fourth and final stage of the disease began to show. 

Delerium, convulsions, and death.

Humanity tried, it really did, however, humanity just wasn't meant to last. 

Now that those who were infected have entered the final stages of the diseases the Angels wander the empty streets, walking and wandering in lost attempts to find each other and regroup for the sake of the species. It will be an uphill battle, but those wandering 'Angels' are all that are left. Lonely footsteps their only accompaniment and death their only true companion as the rest of the world falls apart around them. 

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