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When they first came, it was thought they were the victims of mass hysteria and then it was discovered that a pestilence had taken grip of them. As I have travelled through ghost towns, whose streets had become paved with masticated skeletons and half-eaten cadavers, I have grown to see them as soulless vessels of Abaddon’s locusts. They had come from the cities, from the slums. When I had left for the countryside, leaving my son in the care of my husband at our home in London, the newspapers had been filled with talk about a rise in reports of assault and molestation from the city’s working class. I should never have left him.

Isolated from the affairs of the outer world, I had only become aware of the nightmare that overtaken reality when the ravenous hordes descended on the village like the eighth plague of Egypt. Men, women and children hunted down to be devoured or mated with. Those unfortunate enough to suffer the latter would be left alone, I discovered later that it was to spread the satanic plague as they would after being violated become like the horde.

Having fled the village, I began my long journey through the harrowed towns and villages, back to my son. Fires started in the chaos wrought by the hellish horde had consumed many of the towns I passed through, the destruction causing my fear for my son to wax. Discarded newspapers were my only source of answers to the plethora of questions I had about the blight and its brutality.

I travelled with the knowledge in my heart that my son was most likely dead but I remained desperate, clinging to the false notion that the hell of reality was merely a nightmare. My false hope drove me forward, through the desolation.

Eventually, I did find myself in the necropolis that had once been London. It was as I saw the familiar Regency buildings burnt out and trails of dried blood coming from their doorways I burst down into tears. The tartarean transformation of once familiar sights had ripped the hopeful veil from my eyes; I had become for the first time confronted with the truth. After this, I was broken, continuing on only in order to provide myself with a sense of purpose.

My home had been spared the ravages of the fire that had devoured so much of the city. It had been fortified, with windows replaced by boards and an array of spiked bulwarks that served to force any group into single file. Yet, in spite of the measures in place to make the house secure the door had been left ajar. I tentatively stepped through the doorway, my nostrils becoming filled with the stench of copper; walking further in I became struck by a sinking sensation in my chest as I heard a squelching noise. Looking down I saw I had stepped into a pool of blood and viscera that was at the beginning of a series of similar pools that lead towards the drawing room. Following the tartarean trail I became beholden to a satanic scene befitting of Goya, I saw in the drawing room the emaciated form of my six-year-old son crouched over my husband who was the source of the sanguineous pool. So, overcome by the horror I could not help but let out a scream; no sooner than the shrill sound had escaped me my son turned to face me, his face smirched in gore. His father had satiated one hunger.

I turned and fled from him, my only child now my predator. Finding sanctuary in my bedroom, having fortified the locked door by moving a large mahogany bookcase in front of it. Not having the strength to, by means of murder, spare my son from the pernicious pestilence that now animated him. I looked out from the windows for some means of escape. No use. I was trapped, I am trapped. Even now as I write this, my story, out on foxed parchment I can him scratching at the door.