Mark Benjamin commented on a post on Blogger.
THE NEW PLAGUE

Joe ran out the house, clutching the book tightly in his hands as he locked up. Turning to dash to his car, he paused as he looked at the garden. Mary would like some flowers, he thought. His wife had always loved gardening, even from before he meet her, she loved tending to flowers. Bending, he plucked a few, his heart beating, tears filling his eyes as he remembered his children. Tommy, aged twelve; Susan, aged eight; and little Charlie, aged five. All dead. All taken from him by the New Plague last week. The same disease that now affected his wife, leaving Mary in isolation at the hospital. Joe shook his head, clearing his thoughts, and continued his dash to the car.

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"I'm sorry, sir," the soldier said to him, holding his machine gun with both hands against his chest, ready. "I can't let you in without clearing."

Joe sighed, exasperated. He showed the soldier his pass, grabbing it from his jacket pocket, which displayed his status as one of the few Untouched...those who could not get infected. The soldier let him through and he sprinted in, not daring to wait for the elevators; he had no time to waste. Mary could join their children any moment. Don't think that, he scolded himself. For all he knew, she could be better.

As he reached the outside of her quarantined room, he saw doctors and nurses carting away a stretcher. "Mary's fine? That's why you're moving her out of quarantine?" Joe asked, his happiness unbound. Mary was going to live. Live! She had fought the fight and won!

The male nurse put out a hand to stop him. "I'm sorry, Joe. She passed on a few minutes ago. Once your kids died, it seemed she lost all will to live."

Joe smacked the nurse's hands off and followed through with a punch which floored the nurse. "Don't touch me. Don't call me Joe. Don't talk about my wife that way again." He walked towards the stretcher, the medical staff moving out of his way as one doctor motioned to the armed soldiers not to come closer. Joe didn't care.

He lifted the sheet and looked at his wife, his tears falling down his face freely. He bent down and kissed her cold lips. She had fought the longest out of all the infected. Two weeks. Joe slowly placed the flowers in her hands, as the staff covered her again and wheeled her away.

Leaning against the wall, he slowly slid to the floor, his anguished sobs wracking his body.
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