From just within my hearing, the news anchor on channel 10 is panicking. You know the world is about to end when a news reporter stops speaking in that nonchalant way they always do, “Yesterday, a mother drowned her baby.” They would announce as if merely stating an obvious fact that the sky is blue and that grass is green.
‘Since early this morning, there has been a global attack on civilians by what seems to be zombies. Apparently, once you’re bitten you will also become infected. It has been declared a pandemic.’
The staff crowd around the television, whispering buzzes of concern and excitement. Trust university researchers to find an epidemic exciting. I watch from the corner of my eye as Phil continues working on his thesis. He has a severe case of workaholicism. Not a real word. But it should be.
Phil is a true sceptic. His philosophy, “Nothing is proven real until I see it with my own eyes.’ I hope we don’t get the chance to see the zombies. Our university is a private research institute that values privacy from the public. Our campus is surrounded by a thick brick wall and steal enforced gate that can only be opened through key cards. So we’re safe for now.
‘I bet it was the Chinese.’
I return my attention to the Vice-Chancellor. He came to the science department this morning demanding our attention. He has been speaking none stop since he walked through that door.
‘I bet the Chinese are at fault. They’re always up to something, inventing crazy contraptions.’
I think he’s referring to the Japanese.
‘Sir, that’s Japan.’
‘Or it could be those people up in Israel, Afghanistan. I bet it was the Taliban. Terrorism, I say.’
Images and shaky video recordings of people being eaten alive flicker on the television screen. I think this is something more sinister than terrorism.
‘Vice-Chancellor, I think the terrorists are also suffering from this pandemic.’
The phone rings and I instantly sprint for it. The orange blinking light indicates that the call is coming from the security office. My pulse quickens. This can’t be good. They never call us. I know that it’s regarding the pandemic.
‘Hello, this is Dr Kimmy Khang from the science department.’
I listen intently as the voice from the other end gush words out so furiously that they jumble. All of a sudden, I hear screaming and the line dies with that hollowing beep-beep-beep. I drop the phone, hearing it crash into oblivion onto the tiles like my heart that died with the screams of the security guards.
‘They’re here. The pandemic has breached our gates.’
A hush falls upon the office as people slowly digest the news. Silently, I pray to a God I never once believed in. But it’s too late; Hell has come to greet the living. We are that Hell. Humanity created Hell.