Mysterious fatal disease appears, surprising the world and taken the lives of millions.
Reaper’s Kryptonite: Preface
By: Keily T. Ruiz
When it comes to happy endings, I can’t make any promises. They’ve never really been my forte. But as far as knowing well to start, well, there are no problems there. Where else would I start other than the summer following senior year? Now, I know what you’re probably thinking…another story about how some teenager screwed up. Well, believe when I say that if I’d have to choose between having screwed up and what actually happened to me, I would have preferred the latter.
So here’s where I’ll start. After being taken through the emergency room due to sudden heart failure and a very terrifying heart attack, I gave in to having them do some tests and scans on me. I’d be a fool asking for her own death if I didn’t. Much to both mine and my granddad, Lorenzo Rosseli’s surprise, it was more than just a simple heart disease. It was neither simple, nor a disease. Although the scientists and doctors classified it as such, this…was a monster; the same monster that took the lives of millions around the world without warning, including the lives of most of my family members. Aside from my granddad, everyone in my family had fallen victim to the monster…and now it was my turn. Although, at first, I did feel a certain sense of relief, it wasn’t long until panic sunk in. Dying wasn’t my biggest fear, in fact, I kind of wanted to in a way…but leaving this life meant leaving my grandpa on his own.
What is, after I was gone, he’d have to face the same fate…but all on his own. I still shutter at that thought. Now, don’t get me wrong; at 76 years old my grandpa was still as strong as ever and the bravest of the brave, but I, being Aria Rosseli, his granddaughter, always insisted on taking care of him. Especially now that he was all I had left.
The monster never rested, always looking for a host. It was known on the streets as “Reaper’s Kryptonite”, earning it’s name after having successfully taken more lives in the first month than the man In the black robe himself could’ve taken in one year. And although its cause, origin and real name was unknown to all, the simple mentioning of its name made the strongest weak at the knees. We were captive and lived in complete fear of this monster. It wasn’t contagious by touch or smell, yet everyone at one point had the misfortune of being it’s host. It wasn’t gruesome, or made anyone hideously or even slightly deformed. In fact, rumor had it that an early sign of being it’s future host was a noticeable improvement in the person’s appearance. Yes, you’d be dying in just a short period of time, but you’d look damn good while doing it. This is what made the monster so deceiving and misleading. Kind of like a bad cliché; beautiful on the outside, but rotten on the inside.
So what exactly did it do? Although, it doesn’t do it any justice, I’ll give you the official definition…
A very common fatal disease, which has become known worldwide. Although it is mainly seen in victims of ages 15-85, it has been known to take victims as young as just a few months.
RK mainly takes hold of any vital organ within the victim’s body, slowly freezing it until it no longer functions. From there, it proceeds to infecting the rest of the body, until the host is left in a paralyzed state. It generally leaves the brain and heart for last, making is a slow, yet painless death due to the victim’s lack of brain activity. However, very few rare cases have been known where it begins and ends at the heart making the victim’s death significantly faster, but also greatly painful. Victims who suffer from the typical cases of RK normally have a life span of 3-4 months. However, victims who suffer from the rare cases of the heart normally have a life span of 3-4 weeks,
As you’ve probably guessed by now, I was one of those rare cases. Which means that by the time I listened to by body’s warnings, I had a very short period of time left. There was no way of knowing exactly how much time, which is what made it such a nightmare. Which is why when my grandpa told me what he had in mind, I didn’t hesitate even a bit.
First, let me rewind a little before I drop the bomb. You see, back in 2020 when the monster first arrived and grabbed humanity by the throat, doctors and scientist alike were desperately searching for answers to all the questions that came along with it, The search also went of for any possible cure, but regardless of how much time, money and efforts went in to it, they always came up empty handed.
Then, when 2023 rolled around, the cure seemed to appear out of thin air, almost as if by magic. And by “cure” I mean the mysterious beings that claimed to have it. They went by the name of “Jackles” and although they had absolutely no reference to what it meant, the name seemed to strike fear into the people. They were the most beautiful, graceful creatures that anyone had ever come across. Their divine features made it almost next to impossible to not want to worship them. But aside from their beauty, they appeared to have miracles by the dozens.
The Jackles arrived at our city, Verona, Italy, in plain winter and it was as if the entire place suddenly lit up with hope.
They immediately began arranging trips to a place only rumors could describe. The people of Verona, much like everyone around the world I supposed, had their doubts and suspicions at first, But once their mentioned “cure” proved to be true, the entire world threw themselves at their feet. And trust me, the Jackles never complained.
So there I was, two years after the Jackles arrival finding out the news that would change my life dramatically. Only a couple of hours and a short plane ride away from getting to that place known only to the Jackles. Or, as my grandpa put it, just a couple of hours and a short plane ride away from being the first to come face-to-face with the monster, fight it…and win.