This was written for the Queer SF group flash fic contest, but it didn’t win or even place. I was told they enjoyed the story, but it was fifty some words over the 300-word limit. Meh. I tried cutting enough to qualify, but it simply could not be done. Every single word is necessary.
The theme is “Endings.”
“Bad. The bodies are piling up, and half the people who still live have barricaded themselves in their houses while the rest are looting and pillaging. Consider yourself lucky not to be part of that.”
“Tell me again how this had to be done? How we had to get rid of at least half the world population so the rest of us would survive?”
Nelson sounded upset. John didn’t blame him. When it had been decided to let lose a specially created virus in the general population, everyone involved had had second thoughts, but there was simply no getting it around it: there wasn’t enough any longer, and so they’d had to take steps.
“Just stay inside for a few months, let this thing run its course, and you’ll be fine.”
Those members of their group who had been part of making this decision had prepared well in advance, stockpiling enough supplies to last six months or more. It had been no hardship, as they were all, to the last person, wealthy beyond belief. The fabled 1 percent.
Someone knocked at the study door, and John quickly said goodbye and put down the phone. “Who is it?”
Riley was one of his guards. He patrolled the perimeter of the gated property with many others, all of them loaded to the teeth to stop anyone from entering the compound. “Come in.”
He entered, rifle slung over his back, a small bundle in his arms. “Someone left it at the gate,” he said. It mewled softly, and John crossed the room to look. He liked cats.
It wasn’t a cat though. It was a baby, and he saw at once it was very sick. It coughed in his face, spewing a foamy red froth.
Filled with panic, scrubbing at his cheeks and lips, he stumbled back. “Get rid of it! You imbecile.”
The next morning when he woke up, there was pressure in his chest, and his eyes burned with fever.
He coughed, spraying blood across the hand he raised to cover his mouth.