At first, there seemed to be no affects from the fire that ran across the sky shortly after the harvest. Peace had reigned for more than a century and when the night sky lit up and the metallic dust started to fall, there was talk of the end of the world. But when life returned to normal and nothing had changed, it passed.
A couple of months passed and Darion the counselor became sick. He lost weight and slowly started to lose touch with reality. He began to believe that others in our small town were after him. He believed earnestly that his friends and family were trying to kill him and he started acting out. Our healers were unable to do anything to help him and eventually he went completely mad. He had to be restrained in order to keep not only himself, but everyone else safe. But he was only the first. Before long, Salorio, the butcher, started showing signs of the same condition. Fever, followed by weight loss and the inability to eat. Then what seemed like a reprieve…only to be followed by the first signs of madness. The first year was a nightmare as no caste or profession seemed spared from the affliction. The thing was, this new plague only affected the men of our area. While the speed that the disease took varied from person to person…with some lasting months while others only hung on to sanity for days. The one unchanging fact was apparent, women of all ages were totally immune. Some men could not face this future and ended it themselves, while others could not risk harming their wives or children, so they left with the promise to return in a year, or however long it took to be sure that they were not going to share the fate that so many men had already faced.
(takes a breath as he actually sees it in his mind)
The men that remained eventually were expelled from their homes when it became obvious that the safety of all was compromised by having them in the city walls. In some cases, their families left with them… many of those were never heard from again, but in most cases the men left on their own. The men eventually gathered out of desire for company, and to pool resources together in order to find a cure, or in some cases to end it for those who had become lost. The disease seemed to have a different time line for each victim with no way to know when your time had come. We tried herbs, fasting, and prayer, but for the longest time, there seemed no way to slow or stop the symptoms once they started. While the men focused on survival and finding a cure, the women fortified to keep their walls safe. They learned to fight, to hunt, and to kill without question. When King Barrister fell to the condition, his daughter sent out a decree that all men were to be exterminated. They were to be hunted and each town would have a trained guard, who would specialize in finding the remaining men hiding and ending the threat. Some men would be kept alive so that our species could continue, but all others were to be brought down like animals.
That was six years ago. Some of us survive, mostly in isolated groups, hunting by night and living in fear of the Black Command. It’s impossible to trust anyone, the madness can come so suddenly, but to live alone is suicide.
All Shows have been fully produced at Laney High School and I would be happy to answer any questions about staging or any other aspects of these shows.
Copyright © 2022 Brent Holland