The Craze – Proloque

I’m still stuck on my novel’s ending, but I needed to write something, so here’s something.

This is work in progress. I’ve decided to share it out in parts (up to a point) just to solicit feedback. I already have Chapter One waiting, so let me know if you want more. I’ve edited it some, but there are probably typos, etc. But, hey, it’s a freebie!

Let me know what you think in the comments (preferably on the blog page).

Length is 1234 words.


The Craze



Day 107

Dear Deadery,

See what I did there? This is my deadery, because everyone is dead. Or Crazed. And I may be slowly but surely joining them. The crazy ones I mean, not the dead ones. Although, that too, I suppose… but whatever.

I used to worry about surviving an apocalypse. My biggest survival problems were my health and security. Well, the apocalypse is here, and my health is good. I really don’t sweat security anymore either, except at night when I try to sleep. That’s mostly because of wild animals… and the occasional Crazy, of course. It’s amazing to me how people who are completely insane can manage to survive in a world with no infrastructure left. I guess it won’t last forever though. God, I hope not.

I haven’t seen or spoken to a sane soul in over six months now. The closest thing I have to a friend is Smurfy Smith. His blue paint is almost gone now, but he still rides naked on his big wheel down the road almost every day. I used to keep out of sight when he came near my place, but if I see him now, I wave. He just laughs like that’s the funniest damn thing that he has ever seen, and then he peddles like hell back to wherever he’s hiding from the dark. It’s a wonder the coyotes haven’t attacked him, with all the noise that thing makes on the asphalt. They’ve been getting bolder. I managed to trap one last night, but it chewed its way out of the trap before I could get to it. I wonder if a three legged coyote can survive in the wild?

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, going crazy. There was a big storm yesterday. It got bad enough that I went to the shelter and camped out. As I sat there in the dark, listening to the rain pouring outside, I felt like I was going to drown in the solitude. It really sucks. I’ve been a loner most of my life, so it was fine at first. Hell, worrying about starving to death or dying of dysentery after I finally got over the Craze kept me from thinking of people. But, I’ve come to the point now where I just have to wonder… why am I still here? What’s the point of it? My family is gone. I buried them myself, the ones who were nearby. My brother might be out there, somewhere, but then again, it’s been six months. So, if I’m the only sane being left on the planet, then what am I living for? There’s no point, right? Just survival isn’t enough.

So, anyway, I was in the storm shelter, drowning in loneliness. I had always been afraid of dying. But then, I wasn’t afraid anymore. In fact, I asked God that age-old question… Why Am I Here? The preacher used to say that as long as you were still breathing, it meant God still had something for you to do. So what is it? What am I supposed to do at this point? I can’t very well witness to anyone of his loving mercy if they are stark raving, slobbering, snot blowing idiots, now can I? So what then? Anyway, I’m writing all this down so I can remember it. I did something really dumb after that. I challenged God to a game of Russian Roulette. I know, Crazy, right? That’s what I meant before.

Anyway, I was thinking about how Gideon (that’s a guy from the Bible for all you heathens out there) did all the stuff with the fleece and the dew, to make really, really, sure God wanted him to do something before he did it. So, I figured that if God still had a purpose for me, then I would ask him to really show me that he did by letting me win five rounds of Russian Roulette. Did I mention that I think I’m going crazy? OK, good. Anyway, so I played all five rounds… without spinning the cylinder. I won, obviously. Then I fired the sixth shot out the door, but nothing happened. I opened the gun and the bullet had been in the first chamber. It had a dent in the primer, but was a misfire.

So, I may be crazy, but I chose to believe that there is still a purpose for me here, so I’m just taking it day by day. I put the bullet on chain to wear around my neck as a reminder. Who knows, maybe I’m supposed to wait long enough for my brother to show up. The last time we talked, he was still secluded on the top of a mountain in Alabama after the third week of his one week vacation to a cabin in the woods. He said he would try to make it home, eventually. That was six months ago, just before the power and cell towers went out. Anyway, I guess I’ll keep gardening and hope there’s five of us to feed by winter.

Well, the sun is going down, and I don’t want to waste any more candles, so… L8R



(not really my initials, but if you get the reference, you’re my bestest friend forever!)

P.S. – Just in case future historians (or alien archaeologists) are reading this, and don’t know what the Craze is… The Craze was an influenza plague, a pandemic, that was almost universally contagious and ninety-six percent lethal (so, as I write this, most of the world as I once knew it is dead and gone). They labeled it The Craze because it caused people to go crazy before they died from it. After they got sick, it took about two day, and then they get totally hysterical. They would have crazy-wild strength – which they tend to use to rampage and tear stuff up – for a few hours. Then they would just collapse and die as the fever fried their brain. Most of them did anyway. Only about one in twenty-five survived it, but their brains still got fried. They are what are known as Crazies. They are completely bug-nuts, bat-shit, ding-dong, zonkos. They all act different, like a grab bag from the local funny farm. Lots of them are just really confused – I feel sorry for those ones – but the majority of them are still on the violent side, so I keep my distance. I’m only one guy, after all. The only common trait they seem to share is that most of them are terrified of the dark. Don’t ask me why.

And then there are a very rare few like me. Only about one percent of those who do survive The Craze do so without permanent dementia. They are called Carriers, and I’m one of them. I’m a walking Typhoid Mary, along with all the surviving Crazies out there. There is some good news though. A very small percentage (about four in every one hundred thousand, I think was the number I heard on the news before the lights went out) are immune. That means that, if they can survive the fall of civilization, the human race could, theoretically, recover. I personally have my doubts.


P.P.S. – If you are an alien archaeologist, you should know that there was more information on the internet than just cat videos and pornography. Just FYI.

Edit: Click here to read more in Chapter One.