|Surviving the Flu
Author: GeniusWriter14 PM
When a plague threatens mankind's survival, it's up to a girl and her friends to save us. But can they survive the challenges they face on the way?Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi/Suspense - Chapters: 3 - Words: 3,910 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 04-20-13 - Published: 11-17-12 - id: 3075064
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I can pinpoint the exact day that it all began, and the horrifying collapse of society. It wasn't quick, the epidemic, it was slow. Like poison being injected into your bloodstream, one drop at a time, drawing out the pain, making the suffering and agony last, to the point when death seems like a blessing. In my case, it could have been.
The first day, it was just like any other day. I was just another teenager, spread out on the beach next to my friend in our bikinis, on a warm Californian day. Until she coughed. The first time, I took nothing of it. People cough all the time. But she didn't just cough once, nor twice, but three times without inhaling air at all. They weren't your usual run-of-the-mill coughs either, they were the kind that hurt, the kind that made you want to puke and shove something down your throat so that you couldn't cough anymore. Then I was concerned.
"Hey Denise, are you feeling okay?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine, just a bit of a cold." she replied. The coughs that followed proved her reply false.
"Are you sure? It doesn't sound too good." I said, sitting up in the chair, my bright red hair falling in my face just slightly.
"I said don't worry," she let out a lung-shattering cough, "I'm fine. Just need a bit of water." she got up and left for the drink bar. I followed her, she wasn't in good shape, and I didn't like the way she was coughing. I may struggle a bit in math and science, but I can tell when someone's not feeling well.
"What'll you girls have today?" the man at the bar asked us.
"She'll take a water." I answered for her when she burst into another fit of coughing.
The bartender turned around and filled a cup full of water and handed it to us.
"No charge, it looks like you have your hands full." he said kindly.
"Thank you." I replied when Denise continued to cough.
"Vanessa...It's so hard to breathe..." she said hoarsely to me as I guided her back to our beach towels.
"I know Denise, I know, just hold on for a bit longer, I've got some water for you." I replied.
She took it gratefully, her hand shaking as she took the cup and lifted it toward her lips. She drank some of it, her shaking hand spilling the rest out of the cup down her face and dripping onto the sand.
With my arm now around her, I helped her settle back down into the chair, hoping that she would be okay.
But of course, nothing would ever be okay again.
My worrying increased as she began to cough again, her condition worsening with each of her coughs.
"Denise, it's not getting better, do you want me to call your mom?" I asked, holding her while she continued to cough vehemently. She nodded weakly.
I reached into her bright blue bag and pulled out her cell, quickly selecting her mother from her contacts list and dialing her number.
"Hello?" asked a woman on the phone.
"Hey, it's me, Vanessa. I'm at the beach with Denise and she can't stop coughing, she might need to see a doctor. I wouldn't call you if it wasn't important, can you come pick her up?" I asked.
"Sure. I'll come right away." answered her mother.
"Great, I'll see you in a few." I replied, and hung up. "Denise, can you keep it together for a while? Your mom's coming to pick you up soon to take you to the doctor's."
I think she tried to reply, but anything she tried to say was covered by her increasingly fierce coughs. When she looked at me, I nearly stumbled backwards, her once curved, smooth features were now bright red with fever, and her beautiful green eyes were dull in color.
"I want my mom." she said weakly, her nose and throat congested with mucus.
"I know Denise, just hold on for a bit longer okay? She'll be here soon. Then you can go home and rest." I tried to calm her as she doubled over in another fit of forceful coughing.
"Vanessa, I'm scared. It hurts so bad." she said through her increasingly worsening coughs and sneezes.
"I know, I know, I am too. It's gonna be okay though, I'm right here." I said, my worry growing by the second.
She opened her mouth to reply, but nothing came out but a hoarse, weak cough, much more deadly, in my opinion, than the loud, throaty coughs just a few minutes before. Her face was paling quickly, her eyes tiring.
"Denise? What's wrong? Why have you stopped coughing? This isn't good..." I said the last part to myself.
"I don't know, but it hurts Vanessa, make it stop. I want my mom." she cried weakly.
My eyes watered at the sight of my friend so vulnerable. "It's okay Denise, your mom's coming, it's okay!" I tried to reassure the both of us.
I spent the next few minutes trying to make sure she was comfortable. What else could I do? I had no medicine, I can't drive yet, and she seems really sick, more than just a cold. Most people with a cold didn't have congestion that looks as bad as it does on her.
Relief washed over me as I saw her mom's van pull up in the parking lot behind the beach.
"Come on Denise, let's get you to your mom's car okay? Soon you'll be home and you can get better." I helped her to her feet, my long arms helping her weak body to where her mom had parked. Shifting her body to one arm, I picked up our bags and towels, and switched back over to help her.
When her mom caught sight of us, she quickly got out of the car and rushed over to help get Denise into the car. I sat her in the front seat next to her mom, and hopped in the back, shutting the car door with a slam, setting our towels and bags on the seat next to me.
As her mom pulled out of the parking lot, she asked me a few questions about Denise.
"When did she start to feel bad?"
"It couldn't have been more than 20 minutes ago, she just started to cough. It wasn't so bad at first, but it just kept getting worse." I replied.
"Has she been sick at school?"
"Not that I've seen."
"I'm going to take Denise home for a bit, get some medicine in her, and let her rest. I'll drop you off at your house first if you like?" she asked kindly.
"Yeah, that'd be great, thank you." I replied with a smile.
"Denise will be okay for now, she's with her mother, with some medicine and rest she'll be back on her feet soon." I thought.
Meanwhile, Denise continued to cough in the front seat. Her mother's brow furrowed in worry.
"Don't worry, she's going to be fine. She just needs some medicine and rest." I said, trying to calm her worried mother. I saw her visibly relax and give a small smile.
"Thank you, I just can't help it when I see Denise sick. She's my only child, it's a miracle she's alive today, after the trouble we've had with cancer in the past."
I remembered when she got cancer.
A few years back, I was going to school, one of my first days in middle school actually, and I became friends with Denise almost instantly. She was nice, funny, and played basketball like I did, so we spent lots of time together. Then, a few months after we had become friends, I remember Denise telling me with a heavy heart that she had cancer. It wasn't serious then, but seeing as I was 12, I was pretty scared for my friend.
It progressively got worse with time, we kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't. She went through intensive chemotherapy and radiation. That did help her, but she lost all her hair and became very weak. She was almost always sick, and nearly always sleeping. I spent lots of time with her at the hospital after school. I would bring her homework and we would work on it together, when she was awake.
Eventually, she began to get better. After nearly six months of intensive care, the cancer stopped growing and began to shrink. In the next few months, her hair began to grow back, she kept it short this time, she began to wean off the medications, and eventually, she left the hospital's constant watch and was sent home.
Now, she was a picture of health. Boys would fawn over her at school, I loved to tease her about it. She was pretty though, with short bleach blonde hair and bright green eyes. It was tough to see her sick again. Her cancer can't come back though, she fought it off once, and I don't know if she would be able to do it again.
Denise's mom pulled up in front of my house, a small but quaint beach house, not a mile from the beach.
"Thanks, call me when Denise starts to feel better!" I called to her mom.
"I will!" she replied, and drove off toward Denise's house.
I looked up at the darkening sky as small droplets began to tickle my freckled nose. I stopped for a minute and let the rain soak my long red hair and run down my medium-sized frame. Only when the thunder and lightening began to pound the Earth did I hurry inside.
So, newly revamped, how do you like it? Good? Bad? Better? Please leave a review and let me know, I'd love to hear what you have to say, unless it's mean. Constructive is good, great actually! Right, I'm rambling, I'll stop now.