One paragraph story... June 15- AM edition

Tanner took the alley at such a pace that he careened into the wall and bounced across to the dumpster and almost lost his balance. The pause of this interaction gave him that split second to recognize the area and, instead of heading to the mouth that lead to 3rd street, he climb atop the dumpster and clambered to the fire escape. His buddy Rex had camped out here a few years back; back when Rex was more into the Heroin and less into the sanguine. The whole building had been condemned then and still was, and if Tanner could get to the 3rd floor before the guy following him got to the alley he might just make it through another night. The city had started out under Marshall Law when the strange Virus began to show up in greater numbers of people, but once the fast replicating retrovirus entered the blood stream it was only a matter of days before the infected began to crave for blood- and only a few months before most of the city was infected. The Doctors had a scientific name for it, but even the newspapers called it The Tempes- the scientists tried to slow the infection down with protease inhibitors, but it wasn't fast enough, nor strong enough to attack the infected envelope proteins. Tanner wasn’t the last uninfected, there were pockets of them all over the city, but he found he could work faster alone. Reaching the boarded up window of the third floor he slid the plywood to the side and entered. Peering out through the crack he saw the Tempe stop, sniff the air, and rush down the alley, and away. He began to breath regularly now, and when his heart eased to normal, he finally heard the crying coming from behind him. A newborn baby lay next to the lifeless body of a malnourished woman. Baby was maybe a day old. Tanner’s solitary life was about to change… and he wouldn't know until years later how much of a good thing it really was.

James C.