“This snarling child is going to kill me!!” The thought barely had formed in Janisa Perez’s mind as the child pounced on her face. As it ripped her scalp from her skull, time slowed for Janisa. The child had landed on her hard, it’s tiny fingers dug into her scalp as it tried pulling the skin from her skull. The pain faded , Janisa’s mind replayed the nightmare that had led her here, to her death. It was supposed to have been the greatest triumph of a life well lived. Janisa’s daughter Annalisse bought the plane ticket for her mom to attend the family reunion. Christmas in New York City would serve as the backdrop to the Perez family as they celebrated their family’s incredible journey from poverty to prosperity. It turned from triumph to tragedy in the blink of an eye. Even the first day as they all gathered together amongst Christmas lights and candle smells, someone brought up the news from Japan. The riots seemed to erupt overnight and while the news called them civil unrest no one seemed to believe it.
But that was just a curiosity on the news. A tragedy a world away that really didn’t matter. So the Perez family went on about the business of reunion. Bragging, gossiping, sharing, and laughing, those things that make life fun. The second day things changed. Something was wrong, Janisa could smell it in the air like an approaching storm. Riots had broken out in major cities around the world, Berlin, Cairo, Moscow, all had massive uprisings. The news said there was a madness, a contagious madness, infecting populations worldwide. It was a lie, Janisa felt in her bones it was worse than that. The first attack in Times Square that afternoon put the city on lockdown. The ‘riot’ was horrifying. The madness was a lie. These people were a late night movie nightmare brought to life. Some shambling, some as fast as a cheetah, were biting people. The mind numbing reality that zombies had jumped from fiction into fact was inescapable. The end of the world had just arrived.
The Perez family hunkered down. They were safe, everyone in their building was healthy and working together. Janisa saw the true face of New York as they rallied against the inevitable. Kindness and bravery filled the souls of that city’s populace. Arming themselves they vowed to take care of each other. Neighbors who had done nothing more than nod at each other on the building’s elevators were now acting as if they were blood brothers. When attacks occurred on the streets people flooded out of their buildings to join the fight and rescue the healthy. The nightmare got worse as people started getting sick. Suddenly half the people in the building the Perez’s were in had severe flu symptoms. The sick were locked in rooms, or outside of the buildings. Comradery had given to survival. Janisa thanked Jesus again and again that her family was healthy. Back then, when she still believed in God, she prayed a lot.
Now as her mind wandered and the vicious little boy was ripping her flesh from her skull, slowly she had given up that fairy tale. “What God would let this happen?” she thought. The little boy began ripping a piece of flesh so loudly, her brain jumped back out of her present imminent death, back to the nightmare that dumped her here on this river bank. The emergency broadcast system blared the alert on the Perez’s living room tv. The woman wearing full combat regalia swore they could win, and then gave Janisa and her family a death sentence. The words rang in Janisa’s memory loud enough to push out the savagery the child was currently committing on her. “The contrails you see overhead are from the nuclear missiles launched at the ice caps. The cities are lost, the government hopes the tsunami’s will wash the dead out to sea.” The TV went dead. “The streets are flooding.” Janisa’s grand-nephew was only 4 as he yelled ,what he thought was exciting news to the family. He felt awful when his family all started crying.
The boy had been pulled off of Janisa by a girl. Janisa’s eardrums were badly damaged making her effectively deaf. The boy picked up a stick , his eyes filled with tears, just like her nephew’s were. Janisa’s heart broke for this child that was about to poke a stick through her eye, piercing her brain and ending her hellish afterlife. The wave hit the building pulverizing it. Janisa was tossed by the current, battered by debris. But she did not lose consciousness, she did not die. She watched her legs ripped off by debris, she felt her neck snap while feeling the flesh rip as her torso and her head separated. The wave carried her here, a muddy riverbank where these two children found what was left of her.
The tear that came out of Janisa’s eye just as the child was beginning to shove the stick through it, was a tear of joy. “These poor kids…kids…OH MY GOD!! KIDS!!! PEOPLE SURVIVED!!! THERE’S HOPE!!!! THERES The stick pushes into her brain. The little boy for the first time is able to cry for all those he lost to these monsters.