The last day on earth

Before I jump in to the events that led up to the final events of this story I should explain a couple things.

The first is that we really should have seen these events coming. We had all heard about the strange stories on the news, higher numbers of physical attacks, hospital overcrowding, and communications breaking down. I’m sure people suspected the truth, but nobody took it very seriously. Everyone wanted to believe that these were just coincidences and that there was some logical explanation. As time moved on though you could see people starting to get nervous, visiting the ammunition store, canned goods selling out, the mad dash to buy Twinkies. A few people left town to visit relatives, or boarded them selves up in cabins on the outskirts of town.

The second was noticing the increased number of what appeared to be animal attacks. There was a large influx of people coming in with strange bites, and scratches but all of the people that were brought in were unresponsive or so distraught by what had happened that they couldn’t explain anything to us. We patched up everyone we saw and had them taken home, this was a small hospital so we didn’t have the means to keep everyone for observation. Besides, they just looked like animal attacks so a shot and a bandage and we figured everyone would be better in a couple of days.

Even with all these things happening I never could have expected what was coming.

You could tell right from the beginning of the day that something was wrong. There was terrible traffic in the morning, more than the usual anyways. By ten in the morning though you could tell something was going on. People were abandoning their vehicles and just running out of town. It wasn’t long after that that we started to hear the gunshots coming from the distance. Police were everywhere trying to gather people up.

Things in the hospital weren’t going any better either. There had been some kind of incident in the morgue the night before. I had heard a couple of staff members were killed and some bodies had gone missing. The police had come by to investigate, but with all the craziness around town they didn’t stick around for very long.

At some point in the afternoon things started getting really bad. I was sitting in my office doing paperwork and listening to the radio when the sheriff cut in and told everyone that there had been some kind of viral outbreak and that people were not acting like themselves. He didn’t know how the infection was spreading but assumed it was either airborne or caused by infections through physical wounds. The last thing he said before the radio died was that everyone should find some way to arm themselves and prepare for the worst.

Then things went from bad to worse.

From my office I could hear screaming coming from around the hospital, it sounded like absolute chaos had broken out. From my window I could see patients and staff running out in to the streets. To my shame I hid in my office for most of the day. I didn’t want to look outside, hearing the screams was bad enough, I couldn’t bring myself to take a look. All I could think about was how everything I had done was meaningless. All the hours wasted alone for nothing. I couldn’t help but think about my family for the first time in ages. I wasn’t sure I even knew what they had been up to recently. The only family member I had kept up with my my sister Felicia, who I knew was vacationing on the beach the last time we had talked. I hoped her and the rest of my family were able to make it out of this alive.

Later in the evening I finally decided to take a look out the window, the screaming had died down so I thought everything might be over. This was probably the worst decision I had ever made. The minute I looked out of the window I saw Anna being ripped apart trying to get to an oddly placed truck parked in the center of town. That was when I started to feel like I was losing myself. I wasn’t feeling like myself, like I was no longer in control. I snuck out of my office to try and find a way out of the hospital, but couldn’t. It seemed that in the confusion one of the security guards had put the building in to lock down and locked all of the exits down.

Not knowing what else to do I pulled the gun off of a body that was laying on the floor. I was never very comfortable around guns, but I knew how to use one. I had gone to the range a few times since I had moved to town, but didn’t think I was much of a good shot. I decided to check the hospital for other survivors, or any supplies that I could get my hands on since I wasn’t sure how long I would be trapped in this building. By then I probably should have realized what was going on and not gone down to the morgue.

However, as I approached the morgue I could hear what sounded like feet shuffling and moaning. What I saw would stick with me until the day that I died. When I looked inside I saw one of the staff members who had been killed that morning hunched over another body and he appeared to be eating some leftovers. I tried to slip away but I guess I had made an audible gagging noise and the next thing I knew he was on top of me. I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t push him off of me and it was taking everything I had to keep him from biting my throat out. All I remember is the bang of the gun going off and the body falling off of me.

Instinctively I went in to the morgue and jumped inside on of the empty containers. Some part of me knew that the sound would draw unwanted attention to my location, and all I could think about was survival. I’m not sure how long I was in there, but it felt like an eternity. After however long it was I decided that since I hadn’t heard anything that it was safe to get out of the morgue and try to get back to my office. I can’t really much about what happened from that point to when finally got back to my office. When I finally got back I felt a little tired, like I had been running around longer than I had realized.

At that point I figured if I was going to die I wanted to put my final thoughts down for other people to read. I wanted people to know who I was, that Dr. Hannah had existed.

As I sat thinking about what to write I noticed a handful of people crowding around that oddly parked vehicle in the town square. It looked like they were trying to fight their way out of town. I saw one of them, it looked like a high school girl, get swarmed and killed by her attackers. I could see one of the hospital nurses in the truck, and a couple others in the truck drive off.

I realized that I was pounding on the glass screaming for them to stop, that they weren’t the only survivors.

I was still alive.

I mean, it was just a scratch.

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Dr. Hannah M.D.

After graduation I had a couple months before starting up medical school. Most of that time was spent working so that I could save up for my expenses. Unfortunately the cost of medical school was quite a bit more than I was making working at my regular job so I was forced to take up student loans. I figured that in the end as long as I wound up with a decent residency that I could pay them off within a couple years.

Once medical school started up I noticed that there were only a couple of faces that I recognized. While only a handful of people had made it through the program, few of them decided to either continue on or to do their medical school at SJU. I probably could have gotten in to something a bit more prestigious but I didn’t want to have to go through the admissions process, and also tuition costs.  At the time I felt that medical school was medical school so it wouldn’t matter in the end. Maybe things would have turned out a bit differently if I had made a different decision.

Unlike my undergrad years I don’t have much to discuss about my time in medical school, so I will be condensing it quite a bit.

For the most part my time there went by without much thought. I didn’t spend a lot of time with other people since I felt it was better to be a bit detached when it came to other people. I felt that if I didn’t care as much about anyone that it would make being a doctor easier on me. I had heard stories of successful doctors who had turned to alcohol or drugs to ease their consciousness’ after losing patients.  You see a lot of things during this time when, and having seen the effects on the body from substance abuse I didn’t want to meet a similar fate.  Distancing myself seemed like the best choice I could make, and I didn’t regret that for some time.

The four years I spent at medical school seemed to fly by. I guess you don’t notice as much when you have your face in a book all the time and when you aren’t studying you’re working. After a while people stopped trying to invite me to parties or any other social event. I overheard several people refer to me as a zombie though I never really understood why. The only things I could think of was I spent a lot of time with the cadavers, and I shuffled my feet a lot when I walked.

After I finished up with school I took a two year residency in a small town called Woodenvale. I didn’t realize it for some time but my old college sweetheart Anna was the local school nurse. I knew that when she left SJU she had gone back to her hometown, but I didn’t realize it was the same place I was doing my residency. We eventually crossed paths walking down the street one day, and commented on the strange coincidence that we would wind up in the same town, almost as if being controlled by some unseen force. At the time I wasn’t sure I would be sticking around after my residency so we decided to just remain friends and would grab a bite from time to time.

Over time though, I grew to like the small town life. Considering all the goals I had set for myself I was slow coming to that realization. I really didn’t realize it until I was offered a staff position at the local hospital, while at the same time being offered a job across the country in Atlanta. After thinking about it for a couple weeks I decided I enjoyed working in a small town. Everyone was friendly and while it wasn’t small enough that you knew everyone, you ran in to a lot of the same people out on the street.

Before I realized it I had been living there for five years, and was one of the more respected doctors at the hospital. I had a lot of regular patients come in, usually minor injuries but I kept busy. I had formed a good working relationship with most of the staff, as well as the local sheriff and a few others. I wasn’t really the same person I was when I came to town.

For the first time in a long time I felt alive.