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I should tell you about it. Maybe you know it already—the rise of the number of suicides, the homicides, the murders. The crazy people. And then those shambling things that came afterwards.
I was there when we discovered the spores that started this whole mess.
In the 1980's, an independent group of scientists, myself included, embarked on an expedition to Africa to search for a notorious, maddening substance only known to locals as waansin. Apparently, this substance was spread through beautiful blomme flowers, which were found around the area.
When inhaled, the waansin spores cause madness and/or dementia in the natives. The effects vary, though most of the time; they turn mad and seek a desire to murder others. I saw them stab themselves with spears and sticks and such, bashing foreheads as they went. They inflicted wounds into themselves. Some injuries were enough to kill them, naturally, but they still kept on moving.
We studied a victim in a lab west of Kijuju, sealing him in a plate-glass sealed room with one-way mirrors. We left him adequate food and water and sealed him inside. From him we learned of the necrosis that was happening to his skin.
First, the skin pales—in this case, the native turned his otherwise dark skin into a dry, cracked gray. Blotches start to form, then sores. Through weeks of isolation, we saw the skin turn into a gray, cracked husk into greenish sore, blabbering on in Afrikaans.
Days later, the man self-terminated.
As he was being prepared for burial, we noticed that the corpse was twitching rapidly. It was too strange to be called necrotic twitching, it was as if the corpse still wanted to move. After a rapid succession of twitching, the corpse simply hung limp.
We attempted another experiment. Apparently, that led me to my second discovery. The spores induce mutations in the body if tissue damage was severe. Apparently the spores induced cellular reproduction within the bloodstream, creating cell-after-cell-after-cell. We knew something was wrong.
A heavily wounded man exhibiting the symptoms of the blomme spores started to grow an inhuman amount of muscle and tissue around the injured parts of his body. We sedated him and placed him in an isolation room for study. The results were astonishing.
The waansin spores regenerated parts of the wounded man’s body with a red mass that gave a red pigmentation on the person’s skin.
The infected showed signs of an intense wendigo psychosis—an insatiable desire to feed on a human’s flesh. As the days passed by, I started to get weary and tired. I was also frightened.
The other scientists were getting weary, too. When the screaming started, we were onto our knees.
The man screamed his ears out.
The screaming went on for days, until we woke up, heard nothing, and saw a bullet hole in his chest. The reddish man lay there. I asked Peters, our hunter, if he had done the euthanasia. “No,” he said. “Angel grabbed my gun when I was sleeping.”
We saw Angel, the researcher, curled to a fetal position in a corner of the lab, gun in hand.
She was sobbing and whispering. When we examined her for cuts and bruises, we saw a bite mark embedded in her arm.
“It bit me. It bit me. I can’t believe it bit me,” she whispered. “I wanted to take a blood sample from him and he bit me. So I shot him. I shot shot shot him. Through the chest. That sick bastard. That sick sick bastard.”
We had taken every precaution not to get infected with the waansin agent, to the point of sterilization. Angel was obviously harboring the stage-one symptoms of the waansin complex. As we came closer to restrain her, she knew of our intent, and simply shot herself in the chest.
Not in the forehead, where the brain will forever slumber, but the chest.
After that incident, we decided to get the hell out of there.
We gave them proper burials, and left Africa. Due to my colleague’s Native American ancestry, we decided to name the condition as the Wendigo complex.
But the thing was, the case was far, far from over. There was a final symptom discovered, and out of the four, this was the worst.
The necrotic twitching I spoke of before? It gets worse.
A waansin—afflicted man was witnessed killing himself. As the coroner prepared his tools for the autopsy, he found the man shambling towards the door, ribcage exposed. The man, gray-skinned and pupil-less, let out a long moan before falling to the floor, viscera spread all around.
We were frightened with the news of the reanimated corpse. Frightened beyond comparison, to say the least.
But, I suppose, it was already too late for us.
Spreading the agent would only happen one way: through inhalation of spores. But with the outbreaks of Ebola near Blomme—infested areas, the spores… adapted— assimilated the characteristics of the virus, turning it into a deadly, agile weapon. The agent could now spread through the blood. As such, the occurrences of the infected were spreading, but the virus didn’t spread enough to gain people’s attention, until two months later.
Bizarre murders occurred around the region. People were apparently eaten. Sightings prevailed of groups of people eating other groups of people. It was mad. Insane.
To the few who knew about the Wendigo Complex, this was a depressing thought. Through the months until the revelation of the massive Wendigo outbreak, I’ve lost almost all my colleagues. They died by their own hands, guilty of the monsters they have become.
The first official sightings of the now-named Wendigo Men were in a small Floridian island, Casey Key, but by that time, the virus was already spreading across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa through birds and the like. Innocent people around the world became insane.
The Wendigo Men didn’t stay for long, but their slow, shambling relatives took their place. We, the remaining scientists who first discovered the Wendigo virus, hesitated to call them what they really were.
The Living Dead
Just like in the movies.
The virus was smart. The whole purpose of the symptoms was to turn the person into those freaks. Apparently, the virus not only causes necrosis, but causes already-dead tissue to re-animate. The blomme-waansin spores were acting as some kind of reanimating reagent.
It was terrifying to think that almost everyone in the world was shambling stupidly, craving for the flesh of the living. But the virus was airborne, and the majority of the population had turned into the Wendigo Men.
I don’t know why I survived.
The surviving group of scientists, I included, were escorted by the convoy of the President of the United States towards an underground bunker in disguise of a farming ranch. We huddled up there, waiting for a miracle.
I still remember the courageous, ambitious look on the President’s face, a decade ago. He was unfazed from all the horrors that happened around him. The soldiers looked up to him as a true leader of this band of Americans-that-were.
He’s dead now.
Every year, his strength waned. The moans of the living dead echoed through every night we spent under that concrete bunker. One half-baked soldier grudgingly placed a microphone towards a horde of the undead. The moans echoed through the military bunker. Every year there seemed to be that one person that flips out, and our numbers were steadily decreasing.
Gradually, the beasts got in. The President, tired and weary, embraced the freaks with open arms. I killed him myself. He got a chunk of my flesh while I killed him, though.
Shit. I just coughed. Well. The necrovirus just spread through my lungs, I suppose. I wonder why I’m not going crazy.
Just remember. When one gets infected, he is not the same person as before. The person’s dead. This is just his body. Shoot him in the head. Be careful of the water, too. Drink bottled shit. The virus is waterborne in some parts of America.
The Necrovirus usually causes Necrosis. I said that before. Just watch out for patches of skin that seem odd. Dry skin. Itchy skin.
If you read this.
If you read this…
I cannot tell you how common those words were. But I don’t know. I’m afraid to say the other lines. I can’t speak of them—it’s too horrible. I can’t. I just can’t. What I’m going to become is ten times worse than anything ever imagined in this world. I could feel it eating away my body now. I’m dying.
And I can’t whimper.
All my strength has gone to locking myself up—it’s all for you. I stocked the closet at the back with supplies—a week’s worth of food, my remaining boxes of shotgun shells, pistol clips, ammo, and ten days worth of gas. Drive as far as Mexico, whoever you are, because they’re going to spread. And then go to Antarctica.
As for me, I don’t know. Still, I’m dead. Deader than dead.
O pistol. You were always there for me.
Its muzzle was caked with blood. I tried to shoot myself in the head, just a few hours ago, but I decided not to. I’d shot one of those things in the face first, and when I pushed the muzzle against my temple, it was still so hot that it branded the skin of my forehead with a penny-shaped hole. I winced a bit from the pain, though I thought of you, and I guess my pain didn’t matter anymore.
What mattered was the pain I’m going to cause to you.
I don’t know how you...[Unreadable text due to blood spatter].
There goes my uvula. Look at that thing. Throbbing its last. It doesn’t even hurt a bit, even though blood just wells inside my mouth. I just need a little water or something. I’ll wash that off.
I’m so itchy, damn it.
My right arm is all dry and patchy at parts. Wait. I have to scratch.
There. Itchy gone.
I mean, the itch is gone.
Maybe I’ll just sit here and wait for it to get me, I can’t pull the trigger, I want to die but I can't.
I scratch I scratch itchy not gone.
Pepl tasty peple tasty.
mihgt ass wele go there n eat dem.
I et n et n et n et da dead don c me.