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Prologue: Fragile Part Four

The next morning Steph awoke with a start. She had fallen to sleep sometime last night but had not checked on little Genna all night long. Leaping from the bed, she ran to the baby's room and found Will sitting next to the crib in his pajamas.

"She woke up and was crying. I made her a bottle but she didn't want it so I got another with juice. She drank all of that and I changed her, but I couldn't button up her sleeper. Are you mad?"

"No, Will. You are such a big help. How is she?"

Steph checked the baby and found her fever was back. Steph felt like she had one too, but the baby came first. She drew another bath and dosed Genna with some Motrin. Charles wandered in the room, disheveled and looking like a bus ran over him. Only Ella stayed in bed for the time being.

The baby's temperature would not drop in spite of baths and medicine. Steph bundled herself and the baby up and went to the nearest Primacare but found it closed. It was then she noticed several stores were closed and the parking lots empty. She drove on the hospital but the streets clogged with dozens of idling and abandoned cars blocked her from getting within a mile of the building.

On a whim, she called the children's pediatrician on her iPhone and was delighted that someone answered. The nurse, whose voice sounded muffled, advised against coming by but said they would see the baby if no one else would.

The pediatrician wore a face mask the whole time they saw him as did all of the nurses. The office was packed with sick and very scared parents. The doctor only looked at the baby for a few minutes before having the nurse give the baby an injection in her leg.

"It's a new flu virus and this is the latest thing we have. I don't know if it's too late but let's hope for the best. Take care" and then he left.

The words "Too late" stuck in her head, but figured he meant Genna catching the darn bug and not the alternative. She asked about bringing Ella and Will in for a shot, but the nurse could not confirm whether they would be open much longer today. "Try back tomorrow".

At home, Ella had a fever, Charles was complaining about there being no soup or anything to eat and Will was trying to get the TV to work. The cable and internet were both out. Shortly afterward, the power flickered for a few minutes before shutting off entirely. Steph dug out an electric bill and called the customer service number. She felt like crap and intended on chewing out the first person who answered the phone. After she pushed send on her cellular, all she heard were some clicks and a long beep. Call failed.

That evening, Charles went out to the Kroger down the street with Mr Brandon from across the street. The store was not letting anyone in because of trouble with some shoppers earlier. There was shooting. Charles did not come home that night and Mr Brandon had no idea where he had gone to as they were separated when the shooting started.

Around two in the morning, Genna went into convulsions and passed away in Steph's arms. Nobody answered her frantic 911 calls. Steph, exhausted, sick and emotionally drained screamed and wept into Genna's stuffed bear while Will sat next to her. She wrapped the little Genna small body in a sheet and laid her in her crib not knowing what to do next.

Ella woke up and in a cracked voice called for her mother. Will came in and brought her tepid water from the still refrigerator. Steph had passed out around five in the morning and Will sat vigil all night next to Genna's crib. He did not tell Ella what happened.

Later that day, Will looked out the window and saw black smoke in the sky. Steph woke up and like a zombie, picked up the limp body of Genna and carefully buried her small body in the flower bed along the high cedar fence in the backyard. She then came inside, threw up and went back to her room.

Ella got better. Two days after it happened, Will finally told Ella what happened to Genna because she kept bugging him about their mother and the baby. He and Ella cried for awhile. They cried for their little sister and for their missing father and for themselves.

The next day, Ella and Will went outside and played with the two Brandon boys and some other children in the neighborhood. Many of their parents were sick or dead and there wasn't anyone telling them what to do. Ella decided to run down the street to her friend Jennifer's house to see if she could come out and play.

A few days later, Ella was dead and soon followed by Steph, their mother. Nobody heard from their father again and it was assumed that he had been shot at the grocery store and his body carried away.

Will last played with the Brandon boys before they disappeared or left, he could not remember but he remembered being alone for a couple of days. Sometime soon afterward, Ernesto and poor old Mrs. Whitcomb found Will near his home and then they met Jack a day or so later.

End Prologue

Be Prepared For Anything Survival Guide


  1. Wow! Powerful story here.
    Thank you.

  2. Would love to read more!

  3. Yes, more is coming in the sequel (and prequel) Will. I have to wrap up The Burnout first. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  4. Hope you get time to come back to this story.

    Idaho Homesteader