the riders: pestilence, pt. 2

What I did was something like this: a third of the world's waters were poisoned. So were most of the food stockpiles that managed to survive being purchased by me. It was infectious. It spread quickly. I'd say it all looked natural, but at this point everyone knew that the end had been at hand for a very long time now. And it seemed like only a few days later that one of the scientists still at the lab announced that we had a vaccine. I would be working on a cure, the announcement said.

I didn't ask Pestilence if she'd done this. Instead I said something like, "This had to happen, didn't it?"

"It did."

"You didn't tell me your real name, did you?"

"No. I think you probably know it by now, though." There was a pause. "And Rob?"


"You didn't tell me yours, either."

She lit a sugar cube on fire and dropped it into a glass of absinthe, which I poured a shot of water over and raised to her. "Still. I had a nice time this week."

Saying something like the love we made that night was an experience unlike any I'd had before or since sort of loses its impact when you realize there isn't a whole lot of "since" left in the world, but that's the best way to describe it. And of course by now nobody needed to tell me that there was still someone I hadn't met.

My flight left at noon. I had to return to Famine, of course, but there was a stop I needed to make.

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