• I wonder what it's like to live a normal life.

    Ever since it happened, that thought has become something that constantly plagued my mind. There was a time when I thought my life was normal, so normal that it was painfully ordinary. I was nobody but a regular citizen of the kingdom of Flear, living a quiet life in a small, nondescript village.

    Well, you messed it up...

    I could never blame you, though. Never. I told you, way back when, through angry, annoyed tears and gritted teeth, that I would never leave your side. I would never abandon you nor turn you away. I loved you. If the town was going to hole us up inside this house, with closed windows and locked doors until we perished, so be it. I was going to stay with you. I promised you that a long time ago and have never wavered from my word since then.

    I ran my thumb gently over your sweating cheek as the words drifted out of my mind, just as I have done every so often, although it wasn't something that would rouse you from your suffering. The rising and falling of your chest remained unstable, and the expression on that once peaceful face stayed troubled and restless as you tried to rest your eyes. The spreading redness all over your once smooth, unblemished skin grew worse and worse, and your fever just kept climbing higher. It was only a matter of time before you were claimed, too.

    Watching you from the side of your bed, I wondered something else. Lifting my own arm, I pulled back the sleeve of my button-down shirt. I looked down at the condition of my own skin. It wasn't as a horrific sight to see as yours was, but it seemed to be getting there. I knew that it wouldn't be long until I felt that same excruciating sensation of my body being ripped apart, or hear the sound of my heart racing so hard I couldn't breathe. But we will suffer together. Together. That was all that mattered.

    I had to ask, though, either to myself or to whoever is out there expecting to hear the approaching footsteps of the dead, how long it would take until I could follow you into the awaiting darkness.