Sunday, November 19, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 3

Hiromi Kato

My hands shake. Kenji should be here by now. I sit down on top of a concrete picnic table next to the playground and then scan the empty park for any sign of Kenji. The swing sets sit empty, slowly swaying in the breeze. No one’s outside laughing or chasing each other around the jungle gym. After the attack at the hospital, I’m sure most people would want to stay inside. As if concrete walls kept anyone safe from the virus. A few cars drive past on the main road outside of the park followed by a produce delivery truck. Despite the outbreak scare, we still need to eat.

I scan the deserted park once more. If it wasn’t for the bright green trees and pale pink sakura petals, this would make a perfect nightmare.

I shove my hands under my arms to keep them from shaking. If anyone were to see me, they’d probably think I was freezing by the way I’m sitting. It’s funny because I’m wearing a short sleeve tee shirt. Where is he? I wonder. The wind rustles the trees and for a short moment, I swear I smell death. Rotting flesh from over the large wall most likely.

Footsteps crunch on the gravel walkway. I spin around.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 2

Kenji Higa

The day I joined the Eradication Squad, I was promised a role in protecting the city. If I had known that included staring at a fifty-foot high, brick wall all day, I would’ve become a researcher instead. Okay, maybe not a researcher—I don’t have the patience to stare at test tubes or listen to scientific lingo. Waste management is probably more suitable for me. It’s not all bad, though. Most days we have to save the city from a rogue squirrel. Today, however, our main mission is to stand here, at the wall, all day. With half the city in a panic over the virus and the other half fleeing to the outskirts of the island, there’s not much happening.

The lonely streets are peaceful in a way. It gives me time to daydream about being a waste management supervisor and saving the city one trash can at a time. It’s nearly silent other than the occasional sound of a truck rolling past or the construction workers drilling down steel beams in the tall unfinished buildings. It’s as if the city officials held a meeting and said, “People are dying from the incurable virus, so let’s build yet another useless building to block out the sun.” I cringe thinking about it. They’re too busy trying to set new regulations than to be seen rubbing elbows with the locals.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NaNoWriMo - Chapter 1

Hiromi Kato

Over seventy-five people died this year, and it’s only June. Last summer, we lost sixty people. The year before that, forty-five.

“If it can be created, it can be destroyed,” I mutter, staring at the large digital screen above my crowded desk. I’m sure the gods said the same thing about us.

The analyzer beeps, flashing little sparks of light over the small screen. A cutesy melody plays to get our attention. Some of the other researchers think it’s a nice way to brighten the outcome. I think it’s playing the tune of our defeat. A list of results prints out of the front of the machine riddled with red marks. Anette glides over to the long, glass-top metal table using her desk chair. One of the plastic wheels clicks as it rotates. A low sigh exits her mouth. She looks over her shoulder at me and shakes her head.

Another failed test.

“Do we have anymore Konadai samples?” Anette pushes away from the analyzer toward the small, sterilized refrigerator. She leans down and swings open the door. A poof of cold fog swirls out, dissipating into the air.

“No, that was the last batch we had.” I jot down a few notes. “We should have some of the first and second stage samples left over.”

Anette closes the refrigerator door, tapping her fingers on the side. She removes the blue latex gloves from her hands and scratches at the hairnet covering her short, tight-coiled dark hair.