The First Wave
Author: Hollie Leanne

Chapter 0
Prologue

March 6th, 2019, 06:31

Costa Brava, Spain

 

Elena Pérez awoke to the cry of her baby from the back room of her apartment. Her bedroom felt darker than usual, the air heavier. She could smell the sweat in the room; her husband lay beside her, ridden with fever, and he did not even stir to the sound of their child’s cry. The morning sun tried to creep through the curtains, threatening to heat her husband further. Elena pulled back the sheets, though they clung to her husband’s back. He shivered in his slumber from the loss, his back sparkling with moisture. 

Elena would take him to a doctor later that day, she decided, for this was the third day running. 

But for the time being she got up to tend to her little one. As she stood, her head began to spin, but she stumbled through it in her haste to nurse her baby. Her heart thudded with worry, as it had done for several days now. Her husband was getting worse, but he was not the only one. 

The whole of Spain was riddled with an illness, and it was spreading. 

Fast

People were too frightened to leave their homes, and the Government had already halted any flights going in and out of the country. It was a virus, they said, like nothing they had seen before. It was a virus with no mercy; it struck the old, the young, the weakest and the fittest. It attacked the lungs, choking its hosts on the very air they breathed. Many had fevers, but most had coughs that rendered them breathless, some gasping for air whilst their own lungs refused to take it. 

Things we’re getting worse, and Elena feared that her husband had fallen to the very thing he vowed would not get him.

The Government had said people were dying. They said that they would beat this virus, but that people would die along the way. But how many? The figures were shaky already, with word going out that the numbers were not statistically correct. Whilst the media said that the deaths were below a thousand throughout the whole of Spain, most believed that they were, in fact, double, maybe triple that. And they were accellating. 

Elena knew that things were going to get worse. She knew that her country was about to face something so out of their depth, and that the rest of the world would follow suit. Already, Europe was beginning to fall to its knees before this virus, from Italy to Germany, to Greece and to the United Kingdom. Each country began to get new cases of this disease, and each Government was beginning to worry. No one knew where it came from, or what family of virus it belonged to; all they knew was that it was going to kill a lot of people. 

Elena reached the cot holding her little one, who had settled as soon as she appeared. Her heart swelled upon seeing her daughter, only three months old. She reached for her to hold her close, and Elena gently swayed, humming quietly into her daughter’s ear. They both quietly danced in the otherwise silent room, until Elena’s daughter began to cough into her chest. 

At first it was only small, almost as if she was clearing her throat. But then she coughed again, and again, until suddenly it sounded like she was choking. Elena stood still, waiting for the moment to pass, her heart now hammering uncontrollably. Her baby settled once again, only for the silence to be broken as her husband coughed loudly from the bedroom. 

In a moment, Elena rushed to grab her keys and wake her husband, who looked like a living corpse. The whites of his eyes were tinted red, and his dark hair clung to his skin around his face. 

Within the hour he was dressed and hobbling towards the car outside in order to go to the hospital. 

It didn’t matter. The whole family would be dead within two weeks.

 

 

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