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Rage - The Infection

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Donny lived all alone in Ipswich, Suffolk, with his father and his uncle, Bert and Milt. They all lived above a restaurant which was always open and popular. Bert actually owned the place, but Milt, he was the landlord. So they all lived together, yet Donny was getting a little pissed off with Bert, thinking he was becoming a control freak. He would always snap at him about carrying a knife or other weapon when he came outside, saying the streets were dangerous and look what happened to his other uncle. So reluctantly Donny carried the knife everywhere with him although he'd chuck it in the dustbin if he heard sirens in the distance.

And there were a lot of sirens in Ipswich. One would hear at least ten major crimes a day - muggings, lootings, vandals.

Finally, defence arrived in the form of Bert's liver. His overdrinking down at the restaurant and the pub was taking its toll on the man. That, and the fact that extremely violent riots seemed to have started unprovocatively in London - all round the center, round the Palace, as a matter of fact. Angry crowds fisting each other and lashing out with feet at faces - armed and visored police marching through the City - the last riots had been in the 60s.

And so Donny pondered the cause of the riots but all he could find was that it was prompted by the Prime Minister refusing to send his homies support in the Middle East where he was launching an invasion.

'So, what's new?'

Donny muttered and stuck up his finger at the Prime Minister on TV when he was making a report on the News.

'Donny!' his father said. Just then his uncle, Milt, came in with a shopping bag full of food. Now Donny was an overeater, not grossly overweight, but overweight. He was a binge eater. He'd eat two hamburgers a day easily. No way he'd ever run a marathon.

Not that he ever wanted to.

Milt saw Donny insulting the Prime Minister and Donny and his uncle derived in politics - Milt was a straight-up Conservative while Donny was a Labour; they tended to clash. And this was somehow the last straw for Milt. He was like

'Why, you little - ' and ordered Donny grounded for the weekend.

When the weekend was over, this being the height of June, there were reports of extremely uncivil looters in Cambridge overnight. It was June 28th. It seemed to have started with no provocative cause. Just windows smashed, cars looted, houses broken into, people woken, and, in two cases - people beaten to death on the street.

'Youths today,' Milt muttered, shaking his head. But Donny scratched his greasy hair. Something not right about this.

The next two days passed without incident.

On the fourth day, there was a report of a massive disturbance in the outskirts of London - groups of people had been photographed, stampeding through the City, bowling people over, running as fast as they could, teeth bared, some of them, and heading for the center. They had been surrounding certain people and mauling them to death, snapping their necks with their bare hands and gouging out their necks. Not one of them carried weapons. They seemed more determined than any land army ever devised by, well, the Army.

And every single one of these people in the photographs showed them with the red-eye effect - but no, this was real. All these people really did seem to have red-eye. It was not bad photography. The camera seemed to be fine. It was just that the streets were being overrun. By red-eyed people.

Donny scratched his head in confusion, and ate a Twix as him and his dad and uncle sat down to watch the report.

'The surrounding areas are heavily overrun by this - this - Infection, some are calling it, and the following zones are determined by the Government as RED: TOTALLY UNSAFE. DO NOT ENTER. The whole East of England seems to be bombarded with attacks from these - people, and they seem to be flooding down towards the South Coast and down to London. We advise you to remain calm and do what we tell you. We have confirmed it to be some form of Infection.'

'Shit, is this real?' Donny couldn't wonder.

'Of course it is! Now get up to bed!' Milt said, still angry.

The next evening the News was more desperate.

'This is definitely not rioting or disturbance; it is a virus. An unknown virus, which can overwhelm a host in under a minute. We must advise you to avoid all contact with the assailants. I repeat: avoid all contact. Both physically and emotionally. Those Infected seem to be attracted to noise; so - the Infection is spreading down through to Suffolk...'

Milt and Bert looked at each other.

'Attracted to noise?' Bert gasped as he looked at the scenes of destruction the Infected had left behind them on the television, along with corpse-strewn streets.

'The TV!' Milt cried, turning it off rapidly, and the last human face he would see switched off from the screen, but then the window shattered, as two aggressive-looking men smashed right through it, clad in shredded clothes, bloody shirts, and bearing the vicious, rabid-looking crimson eyes.

The men smashed their way into the room and Bert had just questioned 'Donny?' when one of the men snapped his head round to sniff at him. Bert shoved Milt into them and ran upstairs as the shocked Milt had barely time to yell before the man in whose arms he dangled grabbed his head and twisted it a hundred degrees with brutal force.

Bert stampeded upstairs and Donny had heard all the commotion. Looking outside, he saw what looked like fun runners - except these were hordes of the Infected, only recognizable by their bloody, dishevelled clothes and their occasional glinting crimson eyes.

'Donny!' Bert yelled as he wrenched open his son's door. Donny was still angry at his dad though.

'Get lost, Dad!' he said. The Infected rushed upstairs behind him.

'Donny, let's go!' Bert said.

'Screw you, dad!' Donny said just as the Infected shoved his father aside and ran right into the room to tear open Donny's throat and punch a massive hole in his chest.

Donny didn't feel anything, despite these wounds - the only thing he began to feel was severe hate, as his blood boiled and he began to succumb to Infection. Soon it was everywhere, and his eyes glowed blood-red.

'Donny?' The Infected cackled and smashed through the window, jumping right onto a car roof and running down the street.

'Donny?' Bert hung in the doorway, unable to move.

Soon Donny felt no pain, felt nothing except complete hatred for everything. His hair was dishevelled, his shirt hung loose, his belt flapped round his knees. He launched himself at his dad and tore out his throat, beating him to death and throwing his body downstairs for good measure. It really didn't matter. In a way, Donny was almost doing his father a favour - he was already dying from drinking so what difference would a premature death make?

Donny shrieked with newfound glee and energy, and ran downstairs and into the dusk.

He had only run a few streets, enjoying this newfound relentless energy, when suddenly his overworked heart, already swollen from junk food and emotion, finally shut down and he swayed, his crimson eyes rolled, and then suddenly he fell down on the street, dead, one more victim to add to the mounting number of victims from the Infection which was swamping Britain.

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