Authors: D. Manuel Mendonca
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
D. Manuel Mendona, All Rights Reserved.
Omega virus revisited.
Published by Createspace and Archer publications
Edited by Cynthia McGrail.
Cover designed by Fayefayedesign
For more information contact
This book is dedicated to all my friends. You’ve all been in my corner, cheering me on
And supporting me no matter how crazy I’ve been. Life would be a lot less fun
Without any of you. You have all been like family to me and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for any
"The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival." Morris K. Udall
Quick shout out to my aunt Cynthia who dedicated her time and energy to help me make this book all it can be.
It’s been years since the world has been safe. And for those like me, growing up knowing how to protect myself was a necessity. Hunting, cooking, anything to help me survive, all drilled into my head since birth. Hell I was taught how to handle a gun before I was even able to walk. You see years ago a virus mutated and brought about the end of the world, as it was known. I was born here on this island, one of the first since Armageddon. My parents have long told me of how the world used to be, before those creatures rose up and attacked. They told me about how they would leave the house without fear of death. How they would go out and have fun. Sometimes I just wish that I could go out, feel the breeze blowing through my hair, then lay on a hill with the hot summer sun warming my face. I guess that’s just a fool’s dream though.
“Hope!” a male voice calls from behind a closed door.
“Yeah?” She calls back, closing the small pink book.
The door opens and a man stands in the doorway. He is in his late forties, the sides of his hair gray with dark brown on top. His face is sad and wrinkled, a tired look in his eyes. It’s Damian one of the few survivors. “Hey honey are you ready for tonight?”
“Almost,” she says getting onto her feet. “I just need a few more minutes.”
“Alright. I’ll be downstairs waiting,” Damian says forcing a smile.
“Ok,” She says walking him back to the door her hand waiting on the doorknob as she readies to close it.
“And happy birthday,” he says as he backs out of her room. Hope closes the door behind him, her back resting against it as she lets out a deep sigh.
She walks over to a small mirror resting on an old wooden bureau. She picks up the mirror carefully with both hands and examines herself. She looks to be pretty young, around sixteenish. Her hair is long, flowing down toward her lower back. The sandy blonde color compliments her soft brown eyes. She has on a faded blue t-shirt that is at least two sizes too big. The lower part of the shirt flows over the torn jeans that fit tightly around her legs and waist. Black army boots wrap up around her legs, the laces bound around the leather multiple times. She brushes the few stray hairs that run down the front of her face before placing the mirror back on the bureau. She closes her eyes and lets out a deep sigh. She regains her composure and grabs her pink book off her bed, folding it and placing it in her pocket before she walks out of the room. The hallway outside her bedroom is dimly lit with just the few stray beams of sunlight shining in through the windows. She walks slowly down the hall, stopping at a random picture hanging crookedly on the wall. She gazes at the old picture, Damian and Woman beside him and a small group of survivors behind them.
“I remember the day that photo was taken,” a soft-spoken female voice calls out from the stairway behind her, “that was the first happy day I can remember from this Hell stricken world.”
Hope turns around, a smile growing slowly on her face since she heard the voice, “Fanny!” she says excitedly embracing her tightly almost knocking them both down the stairs, “I didn’t know you were going to be here.”
“I wouldn’t miss the big day of my favorite little muffin,” Fanny replies with a wink. Fanny is roughly twenty-eight with bright hazel eyes that almost seem to reflect Hope’s face back to her. She has shoulder length blonde hair that rests softly on the worn out pink sweater that she fills out perfectly. Her gray jeans with worn down spots and tears, stays on, thanks to a black belt.
“Fanny, I’m sixteen today,” Hope says pushing away, a look of contempt on her face.
“I know,” Fanny says with a huff. “It’s just so hard thinking of you all grown up.”
“It’s not so hard for my father,” She huffs. “He’s been reminding me of this for the last month.”
“Don’t be too hard on him,” Fanny says her hand resting on her young friend’s shoulder, “he has a lot to deal with you know.”
“Now you’re going to lecture me?” Hope whines.
“No I’m not going to lecture you,” Fanny reassures, “trust me, there are plenty of people who are willing to do that. I just want to be that friend who gives you gentle reminders.”
“Thanks,” Hope replies with a smirk.
“Now come on, we don’t want to be late right?” Fanny says tugging her arm.
“Well seeing as how they can’t start without me, there is no way I could be late,” Hope laughs.
Fanny gives her an unimpressed look as she urges her down the flight of stairs. She turns back taking in one last look at the picture before following Hope down the stairs. The first floor of the house is full of a lot of hustle and bustle with several different people standing around talking to each other. Each one stops what they are doing to wish Hope a ‘happy birthday’. She smiles back halfheartedly nodding or just mouthing ‘thanks’. The two girls make it through the crowd into the quiet retreat of the dining room. In the center of the room there is a long rectangular wooden table with twelve high back chairs around it. Most of the seats are filled with familiar faces. Fanny takes a seat close to where they stood while Hope stands in place with an uneasy look on her face.
“Please, have a seat,” Damian says near the head of the table.
Hope walks slowly around the table, butterflies fluttering heavily in her stomach. She pulls out the seat to the left of Damian. Her mother and Penelope are on her right. Penelope looks to be a few years younger than Damian, her skin pale white with cuts and bruises across her face. She has on a gray sweatshirt, her brittle hands lowering the hood as her daughter flashes her a smile.
“Happy birthday baby,” Penelope says holding her hands.
“Thanks momma,” Hope says with a teary eyed smile.
A large male stands at the other end of the table, clearing his throat and gaining the attention of the others. He has snow white hair that is starting to thin in the middle. His face is clearly defined by the wrinkles that give away his advanced age. Despite his age he still commands a sense of importance inside the room.
“I’d like to start by wishing Hope a very happy birthday,” the man says. “This is a proud day for our little community. While she may not have been the first to reach our legal age of sixteen on this island, she is the first to arrive at that age after being born here. As leader of this small society, I, Joshua Rigor, would like to take a moment of silence to reflect on this day.”
A hush falls over the small crowd. Hope rolls her eyes and lets out a sigh. Penelope slaps her arm softly, her eyes still closed. Hope closes her eyes reluctantly, waiting for Joshua to speak again.
“Thank you,” he says. He clears his throat before he speaks again, “now Hope, I assume you have been debriefed as to what is going to happen today?”
Hope is caught off guard, unaware that she was going to be singled out. “Uh, yes sir,” she begins catching herself, “my parents have informed me.”
“And what exactly have you been told?” Joshua asks with a sly grin. “Enlighten me.”
Hope forces herself to contain her resentment toward Joshua. “I was told that on the day of my sixteenth birthday, today, I would become what our society deems legal age. With that I would have to choose a career that best suits my abilities. I would also be expected to fulfill my job and earn my keep. If I am not able to fulfill my duties, barring medical or conditional reasons, then I shall be disowned by the members of this island, an outcast.”
Joshua looks at the small family, his eyes stopping at Damian’s before he offers a slight nod. “I’m glad to see you understand our ways.”
Damian and Penelope smile and nod as they listen to their leader.
“And we thank you for taking us in and making us a part of your family,” Damian speaks up, raising his glass to his older friend.
“It’s the least we could do.” Joshua replies raising his glass back. “The least we could do for what could possibly be the last of the human race. But here we are. We may only have a small island, but we are thriving. And while it is true that the first few years were tough, and scary at times, we proved that we were not ready to back down, not ready to give up. We as a race will find a way to thrive, to work our way back to the top, to be the dominate ones once again!” He slowly makes his way around the table, stopping behind Hope’s chair, his hands massaging her shoulders. “This right here, is what we strive for. Hope. Literal hope. Proof that we will continue on because we are survivors.”
“Amen,” Penelope speaks.
“Now child, tell us,” Joshua says walking back to his seat, “what career path have you chosen?”
Hope takes a staggered breathe before rising slowly to her feet, “well, I, uh…” she stammers unsure how to answer.
“Sir, I have news,” a small man shouts bursting through the door stopping only to catch his breath.
“Stan!” Joshua says getting to his feet and rushing over to the man, “what’s happened?”
“The radio,” Stan says between gasps.
“What about the radio?” Connor asks getting to his feet. Connor stands in front of his seat, his left arm missing, and his dark, wrinkled skin is all marked up.
“Communication came in,” Stan says after taking in a deep breath, “from the main land.”
“What?” Fanny gasps.
“That’s impossible,” Damian adds.
“No one has made contact with us in years,” Joshua says.
“Could it be possible?” Natalie asks. Natalie looks to have barely aged over the last few years. Her black hair still shines, her face free of wrinkles.
“I’m not sure,” Joshua says taking his seat once more. “I mean, there is still a chance that somebody survived. Impossible as it may seem, we do have a duty to our fellow humans to at least try.”
“That’s suicide,” Penelope says rising up out of her seat.
Damian looks at her and nods, lowering her back into her seat. “She’s right. As much as it pains me to say, I don’t think it’s worth it unless we have definitive proof.”
Joshua looks down at the table, thoughts of what to do racing through his head, “We try to make contact. If we get a response then we know that the crusade will be worth our time.” He rises to his feet, “Hope, I’m sorry to ruin your big day.”
“Its ok,” she responds, “I understand.”
“Thank you,” Joshua says with a smile, “Damian, Connor, if you wouldn’t mind joining me?”