Friday, November 23, 2012

Information Rot

The plague was information. That's what dad said to me back at his laboratory.
In my opinion the plague was evil. Pure and simple. The plague was hell, or God's wrath.
That's what the survivors would say as they held each other for all the remaining warmth in the world.
The plague was information, written by me. I knew it and I suspected some of the survivors knew it too. The way they looked at me . Forced admiration for something so utterly incomprehensibly powerful behind a glaze of terror in their eyes. There was a time when they wanted this.
When they found me naked in the rotten office building, I knew that she knew as well.
"Hey El-Tee!".
"It's kkkkzzzkrzzz. He's still alive! In here!"
She must have said my name, but where I was now, it didn't mean enough anymore.
The rest of them came in through a door that used to be solid, now resembling wet cardboard as they easily pushed it out of the way. They gave me that glance that starts at your feet and measures you up to your eyes. It said enough about what they thought of me.
"Where's your weapon?"
"...and clothing?", The girl added.
I look around and spot a pair of ripped and torn BDU's heavily patched with scraps of cloth. Held down in a pile by the butt of my sub-machine gun, as if rats or some dark wind might carry them away.
"My sub-machine gun?" That sounded wrong. I never wore these clothes, I never carried a weapon for any military. This person whose name didn't matter was not me, but here I was anyway.
The way the girl kept staring at my face, she loved this person once, but she could tell something was wrong. The way she stared and said nothing said it all.
I wonder, the real me wonders, why we need guns at this point. Survivors had to be few and far between and anyway, I had done a decent job of driving the fight out of them.
We headed out and began to kick through scraps that could have been paper once or could have been steel once, it all rotted the same in the plague.
I stop and wonder at the girl's lack of despair at finding her lover naked in a rotten building, obviously something very wrong had occurred. Then I realize it's the real me that she loves. She knows.
Together we find a room that is intact enough to seal off in. We fill the cracks around the door with the scraps of paper or steel or whatever other unfortunate matter was caught in the last storm.
We sit together in the dark, waiting for the air in this refuge to get too stale to stand anymore and I run my hands down her body and hold her against me as the plague outside makes that horrible screeching wail as it turns everything it touches into nonsense and insanity, then back to scraps of dust, ash and debris as it passes.
I see and feel this all happening despite the walls and airtight seal around us. It makes me wonder like the survivors sometime do. Such incomprehensible violence. Once mankind uttered the phrase "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds," when they thought they knew what violence really was. They didn't know the plague. They were driven mad by it and no one once thought to take credit with woeful quotations.
Although it was me, I spared others the poetry.
Together we drift towards a release that might have been sleep once, but now it never comes. The forgotten instant of darkness and peace is now a jolting terror that you might be staying in one place too long, that the plague will take you if you rest.
We feel each other jolted back into the nightmare at the same moment and say a few words that don't mean anything and are all important. The last two lovers on the planet, still talking bullshit to each other. The lover's language of nothing.
The others sleep somehow sleep and mumble, terrified yelps that might be the names of their lost loves. In a while we'll wake them, because the air is getting stale here. The ash and dust around the door keep the good air out with the plague, which has passed for now.

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