Those are the three words I never will forget their meanings even during my after life; that is if there is one. There just has to be one. I didn’t get to enjoy much from what life had to offer after all.
With a smile that brightens up our home and the scent of old burning wood faintly clinging to her, my mother moved from room to room asking each of us what we wanted her to get for us. I remember asking for a blanket as the rainy season was about to be ushered in. There was nothing peculiar about her annual trips overseas to get wares for her supermarket; nothing peculiar about it until she returned. That was when it all started.
The silence was more than I could take. No one understood what was going on or what we could call it. It was like a beast feeding on human blood for survival. Rachael’s piercing scream only seemed to aggravate the beast as it ate deeper into her. My sister soon gave up on screaming as there remained no open pathway for oxygen to travel to her lungs. I watched her battle with the beast daily, knowing it was one battle she couldn’t win.
It was all on the news. The beast ravaged people out there leaving only the lucky ones unharmed. The whole Earth was sick and reeked of death. My mother looked on with remorse and guilt all over her face. If only she had listened to my dad and skipped her journey for that year to attend to his needs. Still, there was no strength to vocalize her thoughts. We all saw it in her eyes.
The government finally decided to do something about it. They came over to pick my mother and Rachael, leaving us in the dark. They told us research was ongoing. I wondered who carried out those researches. The daily news reported that more than half the world’s population had been made captive to this beast. I kept my feelings to myself and watch it eat me up faster than the beast ever could.
Our dinner table was bereft of every life and vigour.  My father and I watched each other from our shadows, fear written on our faces. It took just two weeks to turn our very happy family into that. It took even less to turn the whole earth into ashes.
No one was allowed outside. I couldn’t even go see my mum and sister wherever they were being kept. Soldiers were on patrol every minute of the day. The beast didn’t spare them also. One by one, they deserted leaving the streets unguarded. They were not needed anyway. The fear of the beast alone kept everyone indoors.
Fourteen days later, my father complained of a fever. I was scared the beast had won again. Again, I kept my feelings to myself. Pain relievers seemed to give a momentary relief but it came back harder the next day. He complained of a sore throat and soon enough became the image of Rachael, waring relentlessly with the beast till the battle changed into him waring with his breath.
The government officials came again. They told me about the deaths of my mother and sister as they took my father away. The weapon the beast feared had not yet been devised. He was still roaming freely. I feared he would get to me but I seemed to have gotten use to keeping my feelings to myself.
They took samples of my blood to be tested. I wasn’t surprised the results came out positive. The houses around had become vacant and I was beginning to get eaten up by myself. The tension gradually eased for me as I watched them enclose me in a white casket and drop me six feet below a month after. They said I had put up a good fight but the beast was stronger. Little did they know that I only stopped struggling with the beast so he would have more time for the earth. We lost this time around!

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