No one saw it coming until it was too late.
It was easy to miss. The first who got infected were the poor drug addicts. One of the earliest incidents involved a heroin addict named Earl who suddenly turned on his neighbor one night after he had his fix. He decided to go over and visit his pal Miles, He took his axe with him and chopped his way in the door. Neighbors finally called the police when the screaming wouldn't stop. It wasn't Miles screaming though, it was Earl. Miles had stopped screaming after the 3rd swing. The police arrived and shot Earl Dead when they found him sitting on his neighbor's chest. Screaming with each swing and still chopping away. He had pulverized poor Miles, went right thru him and now was embedding the axe into the floor...
Other reports involved prostitutes stabbing their pimps, teenagers killing their friends. No one noticed or cared when the bad neighborhoods suddenly became a little more violent. More reports trickled in of some heroin addict or crack head going psychotic and falling into a blind 'rage attack' on whomever happened to be in their path. It was a fury unleashed until their heart just overheated and gave out .Or until the police arrived and shot them down. Most of the victims were beaten to death. Any person who had been attacked was lucky to survive.
They blamed it on bad batches of drugs. They were right. The street drugs had been tainted. By whom, we never found out. The drug task forces and the news warned of the tainted street drugs, but despite all this, dealers were dealers and addicts were addicts. Life for the common addict went on despite the warnings. It just couldn't be stopped.
Then news of it happening in other major cities made it clear it wasn't just local. Reports popped up all over the country. In other countries as well.
Next it was the mental institutions that were being overrun by the patients who turned psychotic after taking their daily meds. Instead of a game of checkers in the recreation room the patients had finger painted the walls with the staff's blood. A few of the staff survived and got away to alert the authorities but by the time they arrived some of the patients had either escaped or were dead. Bodies were found burned beyond recognition, some were obviously operated on while still alive. Grisly accounts of the horrors they found .Most were found in a pile in the rec room, eyes gouged out, bites all over their bodies, blunt force trauma injuries and multiple broken bones. It seemed most just killed each other or themselves with their bare hands.
They tested all the medications in stock and found that Lithium and Thorazine had been coated with an unknown substance, a substance that could not be identified.
Still, no one seemed too shocked or concerned. For the next few months the world went on with a little less of the poor, addicted and insane of the world.
That is until the Prozac, Valium and oxytocin were tainted. Only when an executive or a socialite goes berserk does the world take action. Soccer Moms killing their children, Executives walking into their offices stabbing every employee they saw.
The Newspapers boasted headlines proclaiming the military was now involved and it was thought to be an act of terrorism. People were warned of the dangers of taking prescription drugs. Of any drug for that matter
By this time people were afraid to take aspirin. Drugs could no longer be trusted and pharmaceutical companies shut down. People began dying from infections, high blood pressure, heart attacks, even asthma attacks. Without medications, people were dying all over the world. Those who did take any kind of drugs risked getting the Rage,
The people who did get the Rage were living longer than a few hours, and they were more controlled. Which meant the killing sprees became much worse.
The "Rage” hit again. This time it was a virus. Sexually transmitted. No symptoms until body fluids were exchanged. You could be a carrier and not know it. That is until your partner tried to kill you. All over the country were reports of lovers who flew into the Rages, some while still in bed. Killing their partners, sometimes even each other, some would wander around afterwards stalking and preying on the unlucky person who happened to run into them next.
No one ever found out who started the Rage or why, but one thing was certain, they made sure the human race would be vulnerable to disease without medication or antibiotics and fear of infection through body fluids were keeping most from having sex. The population was slowly dying out.
Time passed. The first outbreak was about 10 years ago. But the way things are now makes it seem more like 100 years instead. Memories of simple life is almost like an old dream you try to recall. Days of trips to one of the many grocery stores, personal computers, cell phones, and hot water. Society as we knew it is long gone. The remaining survivors have made small villages out of the rubble of what were once big cities full of people. We sit around the fire and tell stories to the few young ones that are around. The Rage doesn't happen as frequently as it had in the beginning. We stopped using drugs and we keep a close watch on the ones entering puberty when the hormones are going crazy and the sex drive is the strongest. We all know that there is a real danger the goes with it... So we abstain until we are ready to try and reproduce. It’s a big risk to do this, the commitment to create life could end your own...
Last night my partner Lila and I decided we wanted to have a baby. We have both been locked in our room until morning and we show no signs of the Rage. I can hear the rooster crowing outside now. They will be coming to check on us soon.
Poor Lila she looks at me from the floor. Blood specks on her cheeks like freckles. I giggle quietly as I hold the broken chair leg over my head.
Ready to greet whoever walks in the door.
Rachel Villalobos lives in Central California and is currently working on her next Horror novel.
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