Read this story and more in the limitless Visions VII: Universe anthology:
The first symptom of the virus isn’t the sore throat or the vomiting — it’s denial.
Thirteen-year old Amelie was working at her mom’s video rental store in Avalon, an Outer Banks town with a great view of Earth’s rings. A strange customer arrived, telling tales of an alternate Earth where America won the Cold War and the Soviets never nuked the moon. Despite that, life in his alt-Earth wasn’t so great. He said, if she wanted life on her Earth to be good, she must respect the Octopus and listen to its song.
Yeah, he was a nut, but he was more entertaining than the usual tourist.
Then the pandemic came, a ‘Mommuck’ virus that combined the worst of the Spanish flu and rabies. Most of the people who got it died fast, but others turned into raging monsters who had a talent for eating faces.
Eighteen year-old Amelie, armed with a fast bike, her father’s guns and her mother’s determination, is the sole human survivor in Avalon. Everything is hers, from Dirty Dick’s Crab Shop to Miz Daisy’s mushroom patch.
But something is smashing her octopus traps. It’s fast, smart and it’s coming for her. She figures there’s only one former person it could be — the nutty tourist from the alt-Earth.