In Singapore, the skies are clear. Everybody makes their way around the busy interstates, ensuring that they keep to themselves. Something is askew. Birds silently fly overhead. Smoke from a cargo ship paints dripping streaks onto the sky. Someone nearby coughs. Life continues on.

The janitorial office is but a hazy repetition of the previous morning. It smells vaguely of burning hair and soap. Today, you will be cleaning the restrooms. They escort you to a nearby office, with the guarantee of a good month’s check if management is pleased. You shut yourself in there, and begin to work on the stalls. You are aware of the chill which surrounds this place.

Things are easy enough. The stall is done within two hours, and you head off to a second job. By the time you reach home, the only request you have is to lay down. Work is tiring. Sleep is almost instant. Almost, as it were, a pleasing retreat.

The reality is what wakes you up. In your fatigued state, you left the television on. “Stay in your homes,“ the woman says from the screen. “Stay in your homes, and wait for security divisions.“ This is nothing but confusion of course. What she says is far too cryptic to be of any use. Something is amiss. People have been dropping dead since five=o=clock. The broadcast assures you. Something made it’s way into a place it shouldn’t have. Now they’re getting clean-up crews. The ones with the men in yellow hazard suits.

Someone is screaming their head off in the next room. Heavy thuds can be heard coming down the hall. The neighbor’s door is broken down, then it all goes to hushed murmurs. You lock your door, and sit in the recliner that faces a window view of the city. You didn’t notice it was raining. Not a soul is out of the streets. You think you might skip work today.

It only seems to get worse. You hear the lady from the television mention the word “cure“ a good number of times. It all seems so hopeless. A beer is in order, so you think. It stings the throat slightly for some reason as it passes your throat. Your mind ponders what shall become of it in the coming days. In the meantime, everything continues it’s process of shutting down. There are no more lights coming from neighboring windows. The city is a dark well by nightfall. When morning comes, none of the TV signals work. You stay locked in the apartment. Food is running low. You can’t imagine what will happen next when the fridge is empty. Another beer is tempting. You remember the cough.

In Singapore, the skies are clear. The streets are the most empty they’ve ever been at daytime. Something is askew. Nothing is as it once was. A cough reflects through a shell of humanity. Life ends for many. The rest fear the future.

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