The Scourge

An Episodic Short Story Serial

It had all happened so quickly; first, a few people started getting sick, then more and more, until the hospitals were overwhelmed. Just flu-like symptoms to begin with; lethargy, headaches, fever - but after a week or so, the victims started dying.

The Global Pandemic of 2012. It was likened to the “Spanish Flu” of 1918. The disease affected young and old alike, and nobody could be sure how it was spread. Every hour, every television and radio station interrupted news broadcasts with a message from the government warning people to remain indoors and limit contact with others. The world went into crisis mode, but at least they knew the cause. “Superbugs” – mutated bacteria that was resistant to antibiotics. They even found a cure, in the strangest of places: The botched lethal injection of an infected criminal in China. The sickness itself appeared to be unbeatable, but if the body died, so did the bug. Hospitals began dosing victims with potassium chloride infusions and ACE inhibitors in order to induce clinical death through hyperkalemia, followed by resuscitation. The treatment worked but it was risky, incredibly manpower intensive, and the sickness was spreading far faster than hospitals could cure it. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

Reports were spreading all over social media that the dead appeared to be experiencing auto-resuscitation. Lazarus Syndrome. That was the medical term for it, according to the newscaster. But they were no longer human. They were merely the shells of friends and family, driven only by a primal instinct to feed. The news stations were even calling them zombies. Then the electricity cut out.

Chaos ensued as the dead began to rise.

This is the story of a young Australian family's fight for survival.

Please note both Part One and Part Two have recently been critiqued by Angela Slatter as well as a number of local authors during a workshop but are still in the queue for editing. I haven't removed the drafts from the website but both stories will be updated in the near future, so you may want to give this page a miss for now and check back later.

Black Swan (2017)

Toucan Part One

Funeral and burial services are overwhelmed, power and mobile networks are down, and the dead menace the streets of Townsville. After being attacked in his own home, John evacuates his young family, heading to the water for safety.

Chief & the Toucan (2018)

Toucan Part Two