The apocalypse, when it came, was nothing like anyone had expected. There was no nuclear war, no zombies, no catastrophic solar flare. It was a plague, of sorts, but not the type everyone had imagined. Rather than a virus, the world was besieged by a plague of carnivorous locusts.
They originated somewhere in North Africa and spread throughout the globe in lethal swarms. If they caught the scent of an animal they would descend in a buzzing cloud and strip their prey to the bone before moving on to the next meal. There was no way to stop them; whilst you swatted some, more were already gnawing at your arms. Flamethrowers could hold them off, but it only took a few to slip through and start eating your hands to make you drop it.
If you caught a swarms’ attention your only hope was to run for shelter, but even that wouldn’t guarantee your safety. The insects were relentless. They’d swarm the building, squeeze through cracks, chew at the walls if there were none. They’d eat through wood in minutes, and even brick if the assault lasted long enough. You just had to wait and pray that the swarm would be distracted by other prey before they broke through.
Before the swarms reached us, the government began building sealable steel bunkers. Some were small temporary shelters. Others were huge, designed for hundreds of individuals to live inside in safety. I’m heading to one of the larger bunkers, hoping there’s enough space for me.
I poke my head out of the small bunker and listen. It’s dead silent. The swarms are audible from miles away, so it’s as safe as it’s going to get. I walk quickly but quietly, avoiding the bones scattered across the floor which would crunch beneath my feet. I look up at the hill ahead of me. It would be good to get a view of the land, but on the other hand a swarm could easily spot me. I decide to risk it. Getting lost would mean almost certain death. But as I reach the crest of the hill, I regret my decision as a faint buzzing echoes through the air.
I drop to the ground and look to the sky. A black cloud twists and writhes in the distance. My stomach drops as it starts heading directly towards me.
I jump to my feet and run as the buzzing grows louder. There’s an old shed at the bottom of the hill and I make a beeline for it, slamming the door behind me. With trembling hands I pull a tube of sealant from my bag and begin filling in the cracks. It won’t stop them, but it will delay them.
There’s nothing more I can do except wait and hope. I sit and listen to the sound of thousands of tiny jaws clattering against the wood like heavy rain.