a continuation of Q is for Quarantine. These are all part of the new novella The Unanswerable.
Tim McGarth, the news anchor, shuffled through his
papers. “This just in, drop zones have
been announced. I repeat, drop zones
have been announced.” Everyone in the
cellar cast brief glances around. A
map came on the screen.
The dead center of Manhattan was blood red. It got lighter as it drifted out from the
center. The camera switched back to
Tim. He gulped audibly. He was still in the city, just like us. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. “Seems as if the only way to contain the
virus is to eradicate it. Everything,
folks.” He loosened his tie. “I must say, it has been fun, New York. You gave me the anchor position, and I tell
you, if I didn’t have to step on a few toes to get here, it wouldn’t have been
He ruffled his hand through his hair, messing up the perfect part. “I think everyone in the studio agrees with
me. It is now time to go and be with
your loved ones. By this time tomorrow,
our fabulous city might not have any survivors.
It has been an honor-" he choked on his words, "and a privilege to work
with all of you." The camera zoomed in
on his eyes, “I’ll be home soon, honey.”
Tim got up and walked offstage. A few people that worked in the studio
wandered aimlessly around set before a “technical difficulties” message popped
up on the screen.
There was an audible groan inside the cellar. “They can’t do this,” a man stood up. “They can’t.
We aren’t sick, none of us are sick!”
He slammed his fist against the wall.
Diane held onto our son with both hands. He tried to wiggle away, but she wouldn’t let
him. “We have to have some faith, Diane.” I leaned my forehead against her wet
cheek. “I love you.”
I couldn’t keep my own tears from coming to the surface
in my eyes. I had seen too many people
try to escape – too many people gunned down by the hazmat suits. You would think that eminent doom would make
someone risk it all, but I couldn’t. I
was too scared that I would lose them – or that they would lose me.
She pulled me into her arms along with our son. “I love you too, Matthew. I always will.” Her words escaped her mouth with heavy, thick
breaths. This was the beginning of the