October 6th (Monday)

Never again will a single story be told as though it’s the only one. — John Berger —

October 6th (Monday)

I cannot sleep.

I still can’t wrap my head around the things that I’ve heard today. How can it be possible? We’re not living in the Twilight Zone, nor are we reliving the scenes from The Walking Dead. Even so, how do I explain what happened today?


An incident occurred over the weekend involving the son and daughter-in-law. There are a few variations depending on who you heard it from but all of them came to a same ending — death. It seems that their condition deteriorated during the weekend and at some point, both of them passed away, within minutes of each other, although no one was certain of that. Why was it so? This was part of a doctor’s life, to pronounce the death of what was once belonging to the living. Then came the unthinkable (there were a few versions of the story but here is my summary). Either one or both of them came back to life. Some of the staff swear that they weren’t dead yet, although some thought otherwise. Anyhow, that point was moot. In the aftermath of the confusion, most of the staff were either clawed or bitten by both of them, eerily similar to the scuffle during the flight. Both of them tried to flee the hospital grounds, and in the process, injured a few more unknowing victims. They were shot by the police, thus ending their escape. As it occurred in the middle of the night, the authorities managed to stop the news from leaking out.

Currently, almost all of those injured were sent home, except the doctor-in-charge, the sole eyewitness to the case, as she was the one who pronounced them dead (or did not). She is currently in the same intensive care unit as she worked, albeit as a patient now. Unfortunately, her evidence lay as silent as she was, having been sedated due to the grievous nature of her wounds.

However, that was not all. I met with the unfortunate orderly; he looked a pale shadow of his former self. He wanted something to help him sleep. He stared listlessly into space as he told me his story. It felt like all the life was sucked out from him. I would probably feel the same way too if I had suffered as he did. His grandparents have been deteriorating ever since the son and daughter-in-law was hospitalised. However, they refused to seek treatment. In a stroke of bad luck over the weekend, just when they received the call from the hospital regarding the unfortunate shooting of his relatives, both his grandparents took the news hard. But it wasn’t until yesterday morning when he found them, passed away peacefully in their sleep. He asked me to promise not to tell anyone what happened afterwards. As his family and the hired help were lowering their enshrouded bodies into the ground, they came back to life.

There it was, the exact same words again, except that it came from a different mouth. He couldn’t explain how it happened, but they were not the same. Some of the men were clawed including himself before they quickly removed themselves from the graves and started piling dirt on the still moving corpses. The local preacher couldn’t make sense of the situation but told the family to pray. My orderly told me he tried but he kept on seeing their faces, over and over again. I gave him the medications and told him to get some rest.

I called my parents to get their shopping list done and to do it fast. If word of this gets out, there’s going to be widespread panic. The dead coming back to life? That’s only in the movies or a work of fiction perhaps. Surely not this, surely not now?

The next person I called was my friend, Kim, down at the Pharmacy. I had to lie, told her that I wanted supplies for our health camp this week. Wanted antibiotics, painkillers, antiseptic wash, gauzes, syringes, face masks and even some of the IV fluids, as much as she could spare me within short notice. She said I could come over in the afternoon and she’ll have them packed in boxes. Nothing to worry. The government was kept busy with the arrival of the pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. Quarantine was in effect for those with signs of fever.

This further angered those who were waiting anxiously for their loved ones on home soil and those who were disembarking. The authorities were having their hands full covering the fallout from the incident. Unfortunately, the same situation was to be found at every airport around the world receiving passengers from the Middle East. This was fast becoming an epidemic and WHO acknowledged it implicitly.

Erin and her family was already at home when I arrived. They were unloading stuffs from their two camper vans. The whole family convened during dinner time in which I updated them regarding the current situation. The possibility of the dead rising was too remote to be true but even so, there was the quarantine situation that we have to look out for. I told them to head out to the shops tomorrow to stock up on food until this situation tides over, as of now; we have seven mouths to feed.

I never thought it would come to this but the late night newsflash showed a demonstration gone out of hand at the airport. The tension among the relatives and the government officers escalated and things got fiery. It seems that a couple of shots were fired and there was a commotion coming from the quarantine building. Why is everyone so angry? This is just a routine procedure. They had the same thing in place during the SARS outbreak and nothing of this sort happened.

stanleywc

The Suburb

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