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"2052" is a work in progress. This is an unedited excerpt. Any errors made are mine. Content subject to change without notice.


The year is 2032 and all hell was about to break loose. Michael North was watching the evening news the night it all started; the night the H Virus surfaces like a biblical plague. It had started off small and isolated—just a few horses dying in remote properties in Australia, but he could see how the whole thing was going to unravel and play out.

All it would take was time.

The authorities said it was the bats, that they were the carriers of the virus. More and more horses were dying, but scientists were hoping that it wouldn’t contaminate another species, and by that, they meant people. They didn’t want people to catch the virus.

Between the footage on TV and the stuffy scientists they had speaking about the epidemic, death was not a pleasant experience; intense pain, sensitivity to light, bleeding from every orifice. Eventually all the internal organs would shut down, the body dying as nothing more than a lump of bloody skin as everything else just stopped working.

‘Michael, this is just so awful,’ his wife murmured from her side of the breakfast table, a protective hand resting on her swollen belly. She was pregnant with their first child, and the constant escalation of the H-Virus had made her more and more anxious.

Reaching over to her, he rested a hand on her, stilling it. ‘Try not to worry, Cat.’

Catherine smiled at him, but he could still see the worry wavering around the edges, tightening her mouth and around her eyes. She was scared and there was nothing Michael could do to stop that. Her grey eyes fell to the newspaper spread out in front of her.

‘They say here that Australian government have discovered the first case of cross-species infection. It’s a family dog, but they family is refusing to have it put down.’ She clutched at his hand, her nails digging into his flesh. ‘They have to put it down, don’t they? If it’s carrying the virus, shouldn’t they do that? Dogs live with people all the time. They’re risking their lives.’

Michael shrugged and pried his hand free before she drew blood. ‘They should kill it and study it to figure out whether the virus is going to spread any further. If it’s jumped from bats to horses to dogs, there’s a chance—a very good chance—that it will spread to humans, too.’

Cat’s eyes went wide, staring at him like he’d grown a second head. ‘You don’t really think that, do you? They have to find a cure before that happens.’ Cat looked back down at the newspaper, murmuring, ‘They have to find a cure before it wipes us all out.’

‘Catty, it won’t wipe us out,’ he said gently, reminding himself that she was incredibly sensitive with all the pregnancy hormones flooding her system. ‘They’re going to find a vaccine and we’re all going to be alright.’

Cat bit her bottom lip, the flesh red from being worried over all morning. ‘I’m just so scared,’ she whispered.

Michael nodded, standing up and moving behind her. He ran his hands up and down her upper arms, soothing her. He didn’t want her to see his face because the reality was that he was scared, too.

Scared for her. Scared for him.

But most of all, scared for his unborn child.

A week later, Michael woke up to some news that gave him hope. That dog in Australia the authorities thought had contracted the virus had been put down, but when its blood had been re-tested, there was no trace of the virus in its system at all.

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