He gripped the hose tightly and moved it back and forth slowly, making sure it soaked into everything. The pile was larger, much larger than he expected, but that wouldn’t be a problem. He could still smell it, despite the mask and the oils, it still got through. The stink of petrol and the underlying scent of death. He turned off the hose and stood back, carefully checking himself for any liquid. Seeing that he was clear he moved away from the pile and aimed. The incendiary rounds did as they were supposed to and almost instantly the entire pile was alight. Thick black smoke billowed upwards carrying with it the stench of charred and burning humans. He moved from the pile and onto the next one. There were two more to do before he would be done for the day. Behind him ten similar sized piles blazed. The plague had taken them by surprise and this was both the safest, and easiest way to dispose of the bodies. The wind changed and the smoke washed over him, he coughed for a few minutes, eyes watering. He had goggles, but he had been running late this morning, so he had missed his chance to get a good respirator. They were supposed to get new ones in the next few days. They would be working for at least another month. More if the plague continued on as it had.
This was one of the safer jobs when it came to the bodies. He wasn’t in a hazmat suit, collecting them or arranging them into the piles. No, he just had to spray them down and burn them. Simple too. Hard to fuck up really. Though they had to be careful with the winds and where the petrol landed. Wouldn’t do to start a wild fire. When he was done his shift he’d trade off with someone else who would keep an eye on the fires, make sure they didn’t get out of control. As he doused the next pile he thought he could hear faint moans beneath the roar of the other fires. He ignored them. If someone was still alive in there, there was not much point in doing anything to save them. They’d be dead in a few more hours anyway. He sprayed the pile liberally, counting down in his head, making sure it had soaked through everything. When he was done, he set it alight. The flames roared, there were no screams. That happened sometimes. Not often, but enough to give you a good fright if you weren’t expecting it. He turned away from the pile, trying not to think too hard about it. After all, anyone close to death would be weak, the fire would be stealing oxygen. It would be hard for them to scream.