Pass the Ketchup

Contributor: Gavin Wilson

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15th March 2012 – Laboratory Diary of Dr Mark J Solomon

This will probably be my final entry in my lab diary for this experiment. We have found the cure; the cure for all known diseases and poisons!
After decades of research and experimentation, I have proved that the universal antidote was possible with a simple demonstration. I confirmed it in front of the panel, by the simple expedient of injecting myself with a variety of horribly virulent diseases and poisons that should kill any normal man within days; or, in the case of some of the poisons, within minutes.
I sat happily in my environmentally safe cell for a week, and then sent out blood samples for checking. They were clean. Barring accident and old age, it would appear that I am near invulnerable.

18th March 2012 – Personal Diary

I am invulnerable, sadly I am not infallible. There was, as with all things, an unforeseen consequence that I need to write down for the future – if there is one. There is always a chance, however slim, that someone will need to make use of this.
I have made a mistake.
Well several, but the compound error of all of this is that I have doomed humanity. In my state of ego, and massive belief that I had cured the world, I allowed many of my colleagues to be caught up in the supposed majesty of the situation, and allowed them to inject my serum. We danced around and drank poisons together, reveling in the fact that none of us instantly dropped to the ground dying in an orgy of agony. Drunk on our own success, we madly injected ourselves with everything from common flu viruses to the Ebola virus, rummaging through our stock of virulent disease vials like an alcoholic given the keys to the liquor cabinet.
The next day we all woke up grinning.
Yesterday however, I awoke to horror.
Everyone I’d known, with the exception of a few, died horribly as the serum mutated with the viruses we’d injected, spawning a rampaging virulent plague that appears to have moved with the speed of the rising sun to infect the world.
With the exception of a few…
I had only tested the virus on myself. It was specific to my DNA, but there are some people who share a form of my DNA. It's not an exact match though, which has caused other unforeseen side effects.
I can hear the movements outside.
My children are coming home.
Unrecognisable now, they are searching for food as humans have searched for generations. They are a new form of human, but seem to have retained some vague sense of belonging. The table is set for tea. The places are set with cutlery, glasses and side plate: the door is open and the kids are coming home for some food.
Welcome back kids, the ketchup is on the table.
The meal is ready and just needs to put down his pen.

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I'm a writer, a reader, and producer of odd little short stories and various other pieces of random fiction.
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