stream of consciousness - chapter four

I don’t know what the others are thinking or even if they are. If I want to I can remember a little. The women died first. I do not know why but this is how it went. The women first followed by the children. I assume because there was no one to look after the children any more. We saw the occasional woman up until five days ago, dragged around by groups of wild crazy eyed men. They’d share her. They shared her in the streets. By the time the women started to go all shame had gone too. All pride all shame, all things that make us human, us poor once beautiful creatures. The women didn’t seem to care that they were shared in public like this. If they could even think anymore I expect their main concern was the torn out teeth and nails that stopped them from tearing the others apart.

I am, you see, pretty unusual in these respects. I didn’t take to the madness and I didn’t die and the men have left me alone. Except for that one time but those that I hold dearest saved me. They saved me with their impassivity. The men expected a struggle I think. They expected me to kick and scream and the men to fight them to stop them taking me away. But I didn’t struggle and they didn’t interfere and the men left me alone.

Sometimes there are still children but anything that made them childlike died alongside their mothers. They are as mad and as dangerous as everyone else now. I don’t know why we are unaffected. No, no, unaffected is the wrong word because disaffection is what we suffer from now. But the madness that has engulfed the others who are living through the end of all things has left us alone. I don’t know if we are the only ones who remain like this. I don’t know if our disaffection is itself a symbol of a madness but as long as I’m not trying to eat my friends and am still sane enough to wear clothes I think disaffection is ok by me.

I think also that it frightens the others; they give us a wide berth. It’s like those people who went to Halloween parties in their day to day claiming themselves as serial killers because “they look just like you and me”. It’s an awful cliché but they might have been on to something. The quietly normal is always more disconcerting than the outright bizarre. I asked one of the lost people many days ago why they left us alone, he was bleeding from his bare chest and his eyes were wide and wild. I asked him why he didn’t come for me like the others and he just screamed and ran away. I would have liked an answer. It would have been nice to know.

I wasn’t the only woman. The girlfriend of one of those I hold dearest was with us until a week ago but she couldn’t hold it together. She was a tall girl; she looked strong with her hair pulled into a fierce ponytail and a face set with determination. We found her by the front door one morning, scratching at the ancient oak with fingers that had most of the once long and manicured nails pulled out. I don’t know if it was the scratching at the door or the scratches she inflicted on her bare arms and legs that made her lose the nails. We tried to talk her round but she never spoke a word after this. Just a low guttural moan that wouldn’t stop and eyes which were red from crying this was all we got from her. We locked her in the small bedroom for a day but the wailing was too much for our nerves. The one I hold dear who loved her took her out early the following morning. He led her down the stairs and into the car. He came back an hour later without her. His eyes looked sore but we didn’t say anything. What can you say? All of us have suffered a loss, we know how acute the pain is at first. I was glad for the quiet though. I hope he killed her. For her sake you understand.
I worry this makes me a bad person.
I mopped up the blood at the foot of the stairs.
I fear the lost ones can smell it.