eRATicated

      A. J. Oxford / Science Fiction
eRATicated

We are routinely forced to examine the extinction of mankind from one cause or the other. This time it happened, but not like they told us it would. Our "end of the world" came from the most unlikely source. This vignette explores the day when civilization fell from the welcome eradication of the rat.It has been 28 years, 14 weeks and 9 days since a virus turned more than half of the world's human population into zombies. More than 95 percent of the population died within 6 months of the initial infection. Those who survived holed up wherever they could find safety. My parents found safety in the Cube, a building that was originally built as a prison for violent criminals. Mom and Dad always told me the sacrifices we made to live in the Cube were worth it because we were safe. Its been 13 days, 12 hours and 42 minutes since my parents disappeared without a trace from our apartment inside the Cube. I'm going to leave the Cube for the first time today. Maybe I'll find my parents. Maybe, I'll be eaten by the zombies.
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    eRATicated: The Remiss

      A. J. Oxford / Science Fiction
eRATicated:  The Remiss

Some of us have no place to go, and no one with whom to go. Instead, when extinction arrives we make the best of our failure to plan, but cower at what may be salvation knocking on the door. "The Remiss" is the darkest of several sequels that follow the original "eRATicated."Logan Reed was18 years old, 5’11’’ tall with jet black hair cut tight around his head, long on top and brown eyes with a handsome face. He was one of those sporty lads that had to be a winner at any cost; he hated losing and would go to any lengths to be the best. Given his attitude he wasn’t the most liked kid in school, not that it bothered him much.When he wasn’t chasing the gold medal, Logan was a nice polite lad who used manners more than most lads of his age. Right now though he wasn’t trying to win any sporting event, he was trying to win over the affections and attentions of one Joss Kisswater. She just happened to be the prettiest girl in the school as well as the best at sports. She’d recently come over from California and with her stunning good looks, blonde hair, golden suntan and American accent meant that Joss was on lots of boy’s minds. He believed though they were a match made in heaven and destined to be together; all he had to do was convince her of it. The problem was three other lads were also trying to get her and they were better than him at one thing, the one thing Joss loved and he was crap at - Surfing. Logan had done some surfing before the school put him with a group that was already a few days in to their lessons, he could get to his knees no problem, it was standing that he found very difficult. Logan was now more determined to learn how to surf than ever, he was going to win the competition that was being held the day before the party on the beach and he had only one more day left. It wasn’t enough time. His solution was to practise alone at night and there was to be a full moon tonight so he’d have plenty of light.Pulling the zip up on his wetsuit Logan slipped in to the water, the light from the moon reflected on the waves giving the water an eerie silvery glow. Two things would now put Logan’s life at risk, the first was his single mindedness and the second was his complete lack of knowledge about the currents and tides. Logan made up his mind that his only chance of surviving was to head for the rocks and climb his way out and back to safety.Clay Norton was a top Australian surfer and he finds Logan and helps him to surf, the problem is that Clay doesn’t turn out to be the man Logan thinks he is.
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