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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

It was odd that the miracle started with a plague. Nobody was sure what was coming but they knew it wasn’t good. It seemed like only a few years but the future was not looking so bright. On that cold Chicago day, the prison cells were overcrowded and full of criminals. What was amazing that it hadn’t happened before. All those bodies close together, fighting for food, space, and dominance. A plague in the middle of the prison cells.

The CDC stepped in right away to see what could be made of the situation. There were no marks on the bodies. There were no indicators that they had anything more than a common flu. One doctor suggested heart failure, but as a guard laughingly said,“ these brutes don’t have hearts!“.   That was where it started, with the dangerous cases, the criminally insane. At first it was only one or two prisoners, the most threatening sorts. Death row got hit very hard the first two weeks. Then the lesser criminal population started to fall out. Those wanted for crimes of rape, passion, and strangely enough usury.

Then it seemed to migrate into the regular populations. It moved into the ghettos, the slums, the back alleys were no one would go. It seemed targeted but no one could find out how it was moving. It wasn’t transmitted by the air. Then the mob bosses started to fall. It wasn’t transmitted by hand contact, although heaven knows those types of people were in frequent contact with each other.  It went through all major families. It went to the Communists, Islamic extremists and the child raperers. Finally, it seemed like no one was dying anymore, if only because there was no one left to die.

Over all about a third of the world population was dropped. It seemed like everyone noticed for a while and then they all just got on with life.  It wasn’t something they could stop or look into.  The CDC investigated for awhile.  They told us to wash our hands carefully. Yeah, like that would have helped anything. People believed because they wanted to believe they still had control.  It was bad but in a good way.  If someone had to go, it was the undesirables.  The ones no one would miss.  If a few politicians and entertainers had disappeared, well, nobody wanted to ask any questions.

After a few months the whole thing died down.  People stopped being cautious and started being lazy again.  By six months out anyone would have thought the whole thing was a mass hallucination.  Of course there’s always one or two that will spout crazy nonsense about the end of days and alien invasions.  I wonder now that they stopped coming forward.  Was it their choice, or were they eliminated in the plague?

People started letting their guard down.  We went back to our normal lives. My normal life was a little harder to go back to then most.  I was a P. I., Private investigator.  Believe it or not, a lot of my work came from cops looking for tips.  With a large percentage of the criminal population down, I was hurting for money.  I still got occasional work from lovelorn wives and husbands, the more rare “I think someone is trying to cover up my dear departed” murders, and a few missing pets.  I admit it. I was bored shitless.

I started looking in to some odd occurrences that began to pop up.  It wasn’t mentioned on the news because good news never is.  It seemed that overnight the dirtier parts of town began to clean themselves up.  The graffiti was missing, sidewalks straightened themselves, and parks bloomed like a master gardener had planted them. No one was reporting this but no one was complaining either. I decided to do a little digging to see what I could find.

I walked into the station in good spirits with a smile on my face.  It never hurt to sweet talk my contacts at the precinct. “Yo, Johnny, what’s the good word?”

“That you’re go out with me Saturday, sweetness.”  He had no doubt in his voice. “I know the most out the way little Italian restaurant.  We could have vermillcelli and get wasted.”  Johnny was also not eloquent.

“ I don’t think so buddy boy. But what’s the word on the rapturists?  I heard they struck again in china town and the residents weren’t too happy.  In fact, some of the locals set fire bombs to the gardens.  Any way I could get a look a the crime scenes?”

“What crime scenes? As far as the chief is concerned, the residents were redecorating and removing weeds that grew up overnight, but the mayor has recommended a voluntary evacuation of the effected area if anyone wants to leave.”

“Why? I mean it’s not like there is radiation or something, right? It’s just someone improving the curb appeal.” I had a wicked sense of humor.
“You’re kidding me right! You haven’t heard the latest one? Everyone in the projects that had cancer overnight has no traces of it. Poof! Not even a drop.”

“ No, Shit. Really?!” This was looking interesting. “ Are the house prices skyrocketing?”

“No there’re keeping it quiet for now, but what kind of chemical or radiation would do that? I mean I wouldn’t want to find out six months later that you gonna die horribly or something, you know” He did have point.

“ I be careful, I promise but this is too juicy to stay out of now.  What is those nut cases are right and this is only the beginning?” If only I knew how right I was.  {END OF SAMPLE}c2012 Jamie M Zalot