Dear Susan

Dear Susan,

It’s been a while since my last letter. I apologize for that. In the turmoil of recent events, it has been hard to get a hold of any ink and paper. In fact, as you will have seen by now, I have used an old pamphlet, the very one that directed me to this shelter.

Funny how time flies, huh? Despite everything, it feels like yesterday that you were here. Just the two of us, lying in the grass, enjoying our freedom. I miss that. I miss you. It feels like yesterday, but God knows how long it’s been. Maybe that’s for the best.

How’s Tommy? In your last letter you wrote he was coming down with the flu. More than ever, I hope he’s okay. Many people in here have come down with it as well. I hope this doesn’t scare you, but they passed away. It sure scared the others. One by one they’ve chosen to brave the world out there. Billy, the old man, was the last one to leave, coughing his guts out. He left yesterday. It’s just me now. And I find myself gazing at the steel bars on the doors more and more.

Susan, I will be frank with you. I’m scared. I’m surrounded by concrete floors and concrete walls, lined with row after row of empty beds. Each sound I make is magnified. I don’t turn off the lights anymore. The dark scares me. What I’m not sure of yet, is if it scares me as much as what lies outside. The hum of the generator has been growing softer and softer by the day, and I feel like the lights have become dimmer. I will have to make a decision soon.

What scares me the most, however, is that I may never see you again.

That I will never be able to send you this letter.

That you’re already dead.

I have to go now. My fever’s soaring, and my stomach hurts like hell. I should lie down for a bit.

Don’t forget me.

— Pat

About Martin Hooijmans

Martin Hooijmans is a writer, a traveler and the founding editor of Story Shack. He has a profound love for storytelling and a mind overflowing with ideas. Currently, he’s based in Munich and working as a SEO and front-end developer. Also check out his new project: relgrowth

>> Martin Hooijmans's author page

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