My name is Seamus Monroe.
My mother died in the Nuclear Cataclysm. I was six – and honestly, I barely remember her. It was always just me and my dad. We moved around a lot as you can imagine. We joined more live cells than I can remember, but we never stayed long enough to dig our roots into the ground, so to speak. Just when our lives were verging on “normal,” someone would say or do something that rubbed my father the wrong way, and once again we were off.
“Something seemed fishy…” he’d always say about one person or another. He was paranoid about The Sickness. Who could blame him? It always seemed to sprout up out of nowhere. One day, a person would be fine. The next day… I don’t know… it’s like the light in their eyes would dim – like a waning candle in a cold, dark room. “That’s our cue,” dad would say. We never stayed long enough to watch someone’s light go out completely.
Dad didn’t teach me a lot of things because he didn’t know a lot of things – but he sure knew how to survive. He knew how to live the life of a loner, and in the Dystopia, I think perhaps that’s the most valuable skill.
It was hard to leave him. That night when I snuck out to face the world alone… I still remember my heart pounding like a war-drum in my head. “Something seemed fishy,” I heard someone say. It wasn’t dad this time. It was me. My father had been acting strange. He was more sullen than usual. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but you just have to listen to your gut. That’s what he always taught me. It was my cue. My father had imparted everything he knew about life and survival, and it would be insulting to his memory to stand by and watch him slowly slip away from himself.
But that pain of leaving him… it’s still with me. And that’s why I’m doing this. We don’t understand The Sickness or “The Black Dream.” I was in a haven for a few days once, and they talked as if they knew what the hell this thing was all about. They had distilled it down to some simple science, but there is so much more to this disease than bruises and puss and dilated irises. It’s a wound on the soul. I need to understand it, because I need to know what happened to all those other darkened figures in those other live cells. I need to know what happened to my dad. I need to know what could very well happen to me one day.
I’m traveling this world to meet and investigate people struggling with the disease. I will write down their anecdotal experiences with The Sickness to learn more of its ways. Then maybe I’ll take my findings back to that haven and throw it in their damned arrogant faces… see how long it takes them to distill and classify the horrors that I captured on the page.