Saturday, November 22, 2008

Plan D

Plan D
By Scott Wilson
Word Count:879

Judith went into the doctor surgery with her husband, trembling with anticipation at the thought of a long term fix for her type one diabetes. She was selected to participate in the test pilot group for the new drug destined to change the medical world. The drug would replace the need for someone with diabetes to inject themselves with insulin daily. One injection would repair the pancreas, enabling it to produce insulin again.

“Okay Mrs Smidt, this is going to be a great day for you.” Dr Samson said.

“Are there any side effects that I should be worried about, Doctor?”

“It is still in the experimental stage, but there have been no adverse effects in the animal trials.”

“I can’t wait, Henry.” Judith said, turning to her husband. “No more blood tests, no more injections three times a day.”

Henry took his wife’s hand and squeezed it lovingly.

“It will be good, won’t it?”

Dr Samson opened the bar fried under his desk and took out a vial of clear fluid with a slight milky tint. He drew ten millilitres of the fluid into a hypodermic needle and tapped the air bubbles out. This was the hundredth patient Dr Samson injected with the trial drug, making it the last of the subjects for his surgery. Across the country, a select group of medical clinics trialled the new drug on one hundred patients; a total of two thousand subjects. Judith was the last.
Judith felt slightly nauseas immediately after the injection and had a faint headache swirling around the back of her head like whirlpool. Only a few minutes later, the pain and nausea dissipated and she felt better than she had in years.

“The feeling doesn’t stay with you long.” Doctor Samson said reassuringly. “I’ve been told it is the serum entering your system immediately and beginning its repairing process. You won’t feel sick again, from the feedback the other patients have given me.”

“Thank you Doctor.”

“We will see you again in a week to check you travelling along well. I’m not expecting any problems, though.”

Judith and Henry left the surgery and drove directly home, just in case there was any ill effect from the injection.

Henry was worried and nervous. After forty years of making sure Judith took her injection before breakfast, lunch and dinner, it was quite unsettling, not having to be so vigilant. He could not help but think Judith would go into a diabetic coma if she ate her lunch without the insulin. By that evening, Henry was a nervous wreck. By the end of the first week, Henry was only slightly used to not checking up on Judith’s medication around mealtime. One month after the injection, Henry finally stopped going to the fridge to retrieve the small vial of insulin for Judith.
Judith enjoyed the freedom of eating whatever she wanted to without fear of going into a high from too much sugar in her blood. She didn’t realise how painful the daily injections were until she stopped needed them. All was going well after one month, and Judith was glad she volunteered to be part of the trial. It was not until exactly thirty-one days after the injection all hell broke loose.

Henry was sitting in the downstairs lounge room, watching the midday news when the phone rang. He was engrossed in the story about the outbreak of the walking dead and did not get up to answer the call. The reporter was talking about the nationwide epidemic of people who appeared to die of a heart attack, only to come back to life minutes later with a craving for human flesh. Anyone bitten by the infected died immediately of a cardiac arrest, then returned as a zombie, similar to the one that just attacked them.

Judith was taking a midday nap upstairs and Henry finally tore himself away from the news flash to answer the telephone. He walked backwards, trying to keep his attention on the television and did not see his wife standing in the doorway.

“You startled me.” He said, bumping into Judith when he reached the door. “Can you get that call please love? There is a medical alert I am trying to hear on the tube.”

Judith did not answer Henry. When he turned to face her fully, his jaw dropped, seconds she tore it from his head, at the sight of his wife with crimson eyes and a wicked snarl like a possessed animal. She lunged at him, raking his face and snapping her jaw like a hungry piranha. Chunks of flesh fell from Henry’s face under the relentless barrage of powerful bites. Bones jutted from the tips of Judith’s fingers, severed and shredded from pulling teeth and broken spectacles from her husband’s face. The sharp talons tore and caught on Henry’s jaw, tearing it from his face with the inhuman strength behind the once human hands.

“Anyone on the medical trial of the insulin replacement program, known as Plan D, please seek medical aid urgently.” The reporter on the news said in the background as Judith blindly stumbled over the furniture with her husband’s arm hanging from her mouth.

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