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Cecilia Kennard

Redmaids’ High School, Bristol

It started in East London, then spread like wildfire through England and on to the rest of Britain. Within a few days it had reached the continent, then infected Asia, Africa, and every last country on Earth. Not everyone was affected, there were a few survivors, however only around 4 per cent of the world’s population.
            There was no pattern to it. No way of telling who would be spared and who wouldn’t. No way of predicting who was next.
            Symptom 1: growth of hair.
            Hair begins to cover your entire body, in a rapid and unsightly fashion. Soon a person finds that there is too much for wax or lasers to remove.
            Symptom 2: change of dialect.
            Your speech morphs to become unrecognisable to the human ear. When it first hit my town I was in a conversation with my friend, and then all of a sudden they went mute. For ten minutes they wouldn’t let out a word, until they finally uttered a faint squawk.
            Symptom 3: change of appetite.
            Sudden intense craving, varies person to person. For example: one morning my brother had a sudden yearning for grass. He was utterly transfixed: if he wasn’t eating it, he was simply staring at it. My father, on the other hand, just craved raw meat … any kind of raw meat.
            Symptom 4: clear physical metamorphosis.
            Your whole body transforms. My mother shrank. On the day of her transformation, my brother and I checked her height every hour. Computing in a meticulous fashion, we found that she had  lost exactly five inches an hour, until she reached her final insectile state. On the other hand, my brother began walking on all fours, before slender horns and limbs appeared. Soon my father followed.
            I am not infected. Instead, I am the hunter, gun pointed at the head of the lion, who had been my father, holding a gazelle between his teeth.