Every generation is defined by a moment, sometimes monumental and others stereotypical of the times. 9/11, hippies, the Kennedy assassination, the Harlem Renaissance, Apollo 13. Our moment? That fateful day when North Korea finally got tired of our shit and pulled the trigger. Some people will never forget where they were when John took the bullet or those towers kissed the ground; that’s this moment for me. The instant was burned into my mind when those sirens screamed. Tornado sirens, but that’s all the warning this one horse town had to offer. I was working as a graduate assistant in an intro level psych class taught by Dr. Some shit or the other with more letters after his name than the alphabet boast. Our fire alarm kicked as soon as distant wails bled through the intuitions walls, but this was worse than any twister or blaze. As everyone stood up, most groaning to announce their displeasure at being awakened, I couldn’t keep my historic irony to myself and yelled out, “kiss your asses goodbye! The Russians finally did it.” Well, the Russians didn’t do it and I gathered a few chuckling groans, but it was done none the less. Maybe to spite my communist humor.
That seems like it might have been decades ago, but it was only three long months. The memories that follow play through my head like a bad movie. It’s like watching someone else’s life flashing on a three d screen. My world is nothing like it should be. At least it wasn’t a nuke, I guess. We’re not experiencing a nuclear winter. That’s what we all expected, but it’s not what came. It was a virus. Biological warfare. Ninety-five percent population elimination. The remaining five percent held an immunity that scientist tried to isolate while the blood poured from their eye sockets. There wasn’t enough time.
I’m one of the “lucky” ones, my blood protected me from death. My name is Kale Reed. I used to be a normal guy, working my way through grad. School kissing the asses of moldy professors who didn’t know when to retire. They’re all dead now. My biggest problems were my dissertation and which cheerleader I was going to bang next weekend. Hah, I’ve got worse problems now.
They came in like locust, death dealing squads that sought to recreate the holocaust. Concentration camps, prisons, mass round up. American’s are a hunted species.
Three months ago we went to class, lived our lives. Today, we just hope to live until tomorrow.