More and more heartbreaking stories are finding their way to the internet. Accounts of other survivors trying to survive. Chronicles of dwindling numbers and of people making their last stands. It’s just so hard to look into that mirror and see what you’re living reflected back at you. The reality of it all was just too much to bear at times and I find myself looking less at the internet these days.
I did receive a message that gave us some much needed hope. I’ve included the letter as I received it so that you can fully understand the ramifications of what it was…
Ahoy! My name is Sven Kanelstrand and I am a captain with Regal Caribbean Cruises, well I was a captain for them prior to the outbreak. We were docked in Miami, waiting for a new group of guests to board the ship when the infection started to become a global phenomenon. As soon as we got word that Miami had been overrun and that the infected were moving towards the harbour, we set off and kept a safe distance from shore. With the number of infected growing and the number of survivors dwindling we’ve made it our personal mission to rescue as many as we can. We have travelled to Hudson Bay in the hopes that survivors can make all the way north to us. I know the journey might be long and arduous for you but I promise that we are free from the Undead. All that you need to do is make your way to the port of Waskaganish in the Canadian province of Quebec. We hope to see you there soon. We pray that you are able to stay strong and stay alive.
With the news that there was a cruise ship waiting in Hudson Bay for us, for anyone that could get to it, we were elated. While we were happy and hopeful, we also wondered if this was somehow a trick. Some cruel joke that a sick and twisted survivor was playing on the rest of the living world. We figured that it would take us approximately 3 days to get to Waskaganish from where we currently were. Were we going to take the chance and head there? Of course! It was the closest thing we had to a plan at this point. The closest thing we had to a chance at survival.
Feeling as good and as jubilant as we did, it didn’t take away from the fact that we still had to get there. We had no way of knowing what we would encounter along the way. And to make matters worse it looked as if Bob was coming down with a cold. He had started to get feverish about 6 hours after stopping at the Rocky Mountain House Co-Op. Ben seemed to think it was nothing more than a flu and that it would pass in time but we were all worried that the twins would pick something up being in such close quarters.
Since the Rocky Mountain House Co-Op did not have a large pharmacy section and therefore a limited supply of antibiotics and such, we decided to make an unscheduled stop at a little pharmacy in Jansen, Saskatchewan. Ben wanted to pick up some more antibiotics and over the counter medications that he could use to treat just about anything that could come up in the course of the next few months. Our shopping trip went off without a hitch and we were in and out in less than 30 minutes. Ben immediately gave Bob some medication to help relieve his fever and some antibiotics just in case he had picked up some sort of bacterium along the way.
By nightfall, it was apparent that whatever had befallen Bob was much worse than we could handle while driving across country. He was pale and sweaty. His heartbeat was slow and irregular and he complained of feeling achy and extremely cold. When you touched him though, it felt like his skin was on fire. His skin was gauntly drawn over this face and there was nothing we could do to keep fluids in him. He needed a hospital and there wasn’t one that we could take him to.
To be perfectly honest, when I look back on it now, things would have been easier had we just done what we knew we had to do. Bob was probably going to die and we really had no idea what it was that was killing him. And we couldn’t take the risk that he would die in the car with us and then come back as one of the Undead. We still didn’t know what would happen to anyone that died of natural causes and to be honest, we weren’t interested in testing any theories on the matter at this point. It was all too much to think about… More than we really wanted to think about at this point when we had a plan and a safe place to go. Why did things like this have to happen when you finally got good news?
Knowing that Bob had been sweating and had probably soaked right through the long sleeved shirt that he had put on in the store, I decided to change it for him while he was resting. Bob was really out of it by that time. He didn’t even wake up as I unbuttoned the shirt and started to take it off of his now gaunt frame. It was amazing how quickly his muscular physique had been transformed by this illness he was suffering from. It wasn’t until I had gotten the shirt off of his right arm that I got the shock of my life.
Plain as day, on Bob’s right forearm was the distinctive bite mark pattern that only human dentition can make. He had been bitten in that washroom and then hidden it from us. He had sacrificed all of our lives and put each one of us in danger. I was outraged and saddened. Outraged that he would put us in this position. Saddened to be losing a true friend.
I can’t talk about what happened after that just yet. The pain is just too fresh and too shattering. Just know that Bob will forever be remembered in our hearts and in our prayers. Good bye my friend, I will miss you.