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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2077083-Brightly-Burns
Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Dark · #2077083
An alien virus infects the world battle of the brightest ensues.
         A small asteroid burns brightly as it descends through our ozone. Just a few small  pieces make it through, mostly just dust, a dust carrying a terrible alien virus. Just enough of the virus to infect the world. All over the world violence erupted, slowly at first the air borne pathogen infecting all higher functioning life. From mice to men, the neurotropic virus assaults the brain causing paranoia, hallucinations and extreme aggression. The more intelligent the creature the longer the incubation period and in extreme cases of the hyper intelligent it lies dormant long enough for the body to expel or destroy the invader, this happens extremely seldom.



         Arthur and Sophia rode in the back of their family Jeep between them sat their middle brother Eugene. The family car trip had a whimsical air about it the family was driving to their summer home in Ontario. Being the CEO of a large company had it’s perks. Everyone had an extraordinarily amazing year, The father had given himself a huge bonus because profits were up. The mother’s charity work had exceeded all of that years goals. Arthur had for the third year in a row taken first place nationwide in fencing, there was talk of a full ride fencing scholarship and maybe a spot on the American Olympic team. Eugene had written a young adult fantasy novel called “A Boy and His Imp” it received numerous awards and one of the late night talk show hosts had given  it a glowing review.  Lastly Sophia despite being 4 years younger than Arthur, who was a junior in high-school, had just started her first year of university. There was no bitterness or rivalry between them, they all understood that they had different skill sets and reveled in their unique accomplishments. The charmed life they so enjoyed was coming to an extremely violent and abrupt end. Sophia leaned forward and tapped her father on the arm “Father would you please put on my cd?” She held forward a disc she had pulled from her bag. Her father grinned delightedly “I thought you’d never ask!” at that moment the dog began to bark and growl. 



         Seconds before the attack on the vehicle the family dog went nuts. Barking and clawing at his cage he seemed to be enraged. His behavior had been strange for the last few hours, he was usually a jovial beast and he had been extremely despondent and the family had assumed it was just the car ride. When the dog finally snapped was around the same time a huge flock of crows that had been flying over the vast forest spotted the car and had began their descent towards the interloper. They dived bombed the vehicle and  they quickly blanketed it. The birds would never understand the concept but the laws of force were on the side of the jeep. The car plowed through the flock of birds like a baseball bat through blood-filled water balloons. The crunching sound seemed to continue for eternity, and so did the screams. Her view completely obstructed by the flock of crows, the mother, steering from the passenger seat, never noticed the curve of the road. The family's Jeep slammed into the steel barrier with enough force to tear through the metal. Sliding over the edge they began to roll, down the steep, tree-lined mountain side. Most of the smaller trees in the Jeep's path did nothing to slow them. The hood of the Jeep hit a rather large tree that stopped them from rolling. Instead they flipped end over end, once, twice, then the vehicle  became wedged between two trees about fifteen feet off the ground. Of the family of five, two survived. The oldest boy, Arthur, and the  youngest daughter, Sophia. The middle brother, Eugene was only with them a very short time; a large branch was wedged in his skull, pinning him to the seat behind him.

         Before the crash, the father had suffered a heart attack when the crows began assaulting the vehicle. He hadn’t been in the best health recently was told not to exert himself. The sudden crack of flesh on glass causing him to gasp in fright and immediately grab at his chest. His breathing became labored and strained it sounded diminutive compared to the cawing and the crunching of the murder of crows.. The mother, who had been attempting to steer the car after the father's cardiac arrest, had undone her seat belt to reach across, and when they hit the barrier she had gone out the window and into a large stand of trees. What was left of the flock of crows had already begun their meal on the mother. Several feet away from the mother, lay the unbroken gore specked dog crate.

         The first thing Arthur noticed when he gained consciousness was a dripping feeling on his cheek. Without thinking, he wiped it off and looked down at his hand to see it was covered in a bright red substance; blood. Looking to his left, which is also up, he sees his middle brother pierced and convulsing. The convulsions were causing the blood to splatter around the interior of the vehicle staining the seats a bright red..  Arthur, seeing his brother's flailing body, began to struggle with his seat-belt, he couldn’t stop staring at his brother’s frantic twitching and just as he got it undone, he finally managed to tear his eyes off his brother to check to his right which was now down, and saw that the door of the car was torn off. With a short scream he tumbled from the car. The landing was surprisingly soft; the moss and pine needles cushioned the fall. Arthur was laying on the forest floor trying to gather himself when he heard his sister screaming. He quickly stood and began stumbling quickly toward the screams, and the growling.

         Sophia had never lost consciousness when the Jeep rolled. She had seen them crashing  through the trees, end over end, until she felt them come to a stop, as the car was wedged into the trees. She watched as the tree limb ruptured the hull of the car and then pierced her brother's skull. She began crying and begging someone to answer her. No one answered her calls; they were all dead, except Arthur, who was unconscious but to her untrained eyes he might as well be dead. She didn't wait to check on anyone. She unbuckled and fell against her middle brother, who then began to convulse, flinging blood. His mouth opened and closed but nothing came out. She quickly climbed up and out. Climbing slowly, with each step being carefully thought out, she slowly descended. She made it just out of eyesight of the horrifying coffin she had just left, when she saw the dog's crate rocking back and forth, the door stuck on a thin branch while the family's much beloved dog was slamming it's head into the door trying to force it's way out, snarling constantly it continued to batter at the door despite the blood and bone she could see clearly through the grills. She rushes to aid the dog, and the closer she got to the cage the more agitated the snarling got, she struggled with the branch trying to free the dog that she had know for years. She had no idea what had him so agitated she just desperately wanted to help him.

         Arthur rounded a large stand of trees to see the family dog dragging its shattered body after his sister, snarling the dog lunged over and over at his sister. She had climbed on top of a tree stump and was trapped there by the enraged dog. Arthur reached for a large tree branch covered in moss that was across the path. Arthur called out to the dog hoping to calm it. The snarls immediately stopped and the dog turned it's shattered muzzle toward Arthur and began inching it's way towards him, the growls started up again. Arthur began backing up slowly as the dog slowly crawled forward, it's jaws snapping open and shut over and over. The sounds the dog's jaw made were wet with blood, and it leaked out of the dogs mouth onto the pine needles in scarlet gushes. Arthur's could feel his back pressed against a tree's rough bark and yet the dog continued to approach, until it's snapping jaws were just inches from Arthur's legs. Arthur didn't think he just swung the branch as hard as he could, if the branch hadn't of disintegrated he would  continued to swing it. Instead he just stood there in shock, with the family dog laying dead at his feet.

         Sophia jumped off the stump and ran to Arthur, she threw her arms around his neck and began sobbing into his shirt. They just stood together for quite some time in the unnaturally silent woods and finally the agreed that it was time to find help. As they walked back towards the road, they began to hear the snarling of many different animals and sounds of fighting. They could hear something very large crashing through the trees and they quickly hid. From their hiding place they saw something they couldn't explain, a full grown black bear stumbled pass their hiding place. The bear was covered with wounds and surrounded by animals of all kinds, birds were swarming it, small animals jumping onto, all of them biting and scratching at the bear and each other every time the bear killed something two more leaped on to take their place. Arthur and Sophia stayed hidden till the area around them cleared up and they began hurrying to the road and hopefully help...

    They slowly climb back up to where the car first began its descent. The snarls and howls of the woods chased them up to the street. The sounds echoing off the mountain's sides making it seem like they were surrounded by the beasts luckily they encountered nothing. When they reached the street it was deserted even the crows had disappeared. Arthur and Sophia began walking down the street towards civilization. They walked for almost an hour when a puttering old pickup came into sight heading in the same direction. There was a huge dent and blood covered the bumper, when the truck pulled up to them, they saw a shaken elderly couple. Arthur was afraid to flag them down but he had to, Sophia was shaking and couldn't stop crying. After a brief exchange Arthur found out that they had been driving when they had hit a group of deer, who had seemed to ran directly into the truck. “My name is Ed and this is my wife Marilyn” The old man introduced them. “Hello sir, my name is Arthur and this is my sister Sophia.” Arthur replied with a smile. He’s upbringing showing through despite the day's events. “My names Marilyn!” The old woman said with delight. Ed gently hushed her. Sophia extended her hand to Marilyn. “Pleasure to meet you” The old lady looked at Sophia’s hand for a moment then giggled and pulled back demurely. Ed sighed “She’s a little shy.” he looked up and down the road for a moment. “Where are yer folks? Arthur’s smile fell away and he stared down at the ground. Ed nodded slowly “There’s no way way I can leave you kids here, it’s a four hour drive to the nearest town.”  He spit out the window. “Hell we got about an hour before we get to our place but you're more than welcome to stay with us tonight, I need to go into town in the morning and I can take you younguns with me into town if you're inclined” He reached through the window and gently pulled Arthur close. “You can’t expect a little girl like her to sleep out here can ya?” Arthur looked at Sophia, she was staring longing at the bed of the truck. “We really appreciate your offer sir, we will definitely take you up on it. With a quick movement he lifted Sophia off her feet and over the lip of the bed. With a girlish squeal Sophia landed softly in the bed of the truck. The sounds of her squeal and the moving of the truck frightened Marilyn and she began to rock back and forth in the cabin. Ed put his arms around her and gently cooed in her ear softly petting her hair as he slowly calmed her. Arthur gracefully jumped into the bed of the truck and after a few movements the only sounds were that of the tires scraping across the gravel. Animal bodies littered the road sides and some even on the road. Seldomly they caught glimpses of bloody and torn animals standing or peering at them from the forest. The setting sun reflecting off their crazed eyes. 

         They arrived at a quaint little cabin in the woods. It was made of logs and when they stepped out of the car. The forest was eerily silent. There were random patches of blood but not an animal in sight. Ed quickly ushered the children and Marilyn into the home. Marilyn immediately began bustling around the kitchen putting away the groceries they had picked up in town that day.



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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2077083-Brightly-Burns