Nick sneezed, he pulled his hands away from his face and froze. Hundreds of little black dots covered the palms of his hands, he was infected. He had three days left, four if he was unlucky. He stood for a moment, just staring at his hands before a loud crash from outside startled him, he went to the downstairs bathroom and turned on the taps, there he washed his hands again and again, scrubbing at them with a nail brush until they were bright red and stinging underneath the spray of the warm water. He knew it wouldn’t make a difference, it was already inside him, but he couldn’t stand the thought of that black stuff on his skin. He left the bathroom and went to the kitchen, stumbling one or twice on the way. He sat down at the small wooden table and stared into the distance. Was this really how it was going to end for him? Alone in his house, unable to breath, to move. He got up from the table and filled the kettle, he needed something to calm his nerves, first he’d have a cup of tea, then he’d figure out a game plan. He still had the same food supplies as before, but well, now at least they wouldn’t have to be stretched as far.
Nick sipped his coffee, it was black, the milk had gone off the day before. The shops had been closed shortly after the first signs of sickness appeared and Nick hadn’t been outside since, not with the mandatory quarantine. No one was allowed outside their property and anyone seen doing so would be arrested or shot on sight if they appeared sick in any way. Nick had been lucky, he’d gone shopping only the day before it all started, he’d seen plenty of stories on the news of people going outside looking for food only to find a military patrol instead.
It had all started innocuously enough a week before, when there was a meteor shower, everyone had been outside watching, it had been billed as a once in a lifetime event and they weren’t wrong. What looked like millions of stars shooting across sky, visible despite the light pollution of the city. They had all stood outside, staring upwards completely unaware of what was raining down on them. Nick coughed, more black specks were on his hands, as he looked at them he felt tired, drained. The frantic urge to wash it away was gone as were all thoughts of a plan, there was nothing to do now but wait and hope that he’d be the first to survive.