DAY 53

We’re going to put the new doors on the front of the building tomorrow night, assuming all goes well. I was playing with the ham radio this morning before breakfast; we haven’t done much with it since setting it up because other items were a priority. There are a lot of knobs and switches on the thing and I discovered you could set the radio to scan through the frequencies rather than trying to do it manually. So I set it and began making breakfast. The three of us were sitting down to eat when the radio hit on a channel that was broadcasting a message on a loop:

“This is Father Ryland Bickmore. We are in the sanctuary of New Bethlehem, located due south of Lewistown, Montana. If you are seeking refuge from the demons that walk the Earth and the protection of God and Jesus, you will be welcomed here.

“I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. John, chapter 11, verses 23 through 26.”

While the three of us aren’t overly zealous in our beliefs, we all believe in God and are relatively familiar with the Bible. The Bible verses the priest quoted seemed an odd choice until Bert pointed out that the man could be like me, or at the very least had someone in his “sanctuary” that was infected with the virus like I was. We left the radio broadcasting on that frequency and heard Father Bickmore himself break in about 30 minutes later:

“Blessed morning to you, brothers and sisters. This is Father Ryland Bickmore, shepherd to my flock of faithful here in New Bethlehem. The number of believers seeking God’s protection has grown once again with the arrival of a young man who was a paramedic before God’s wrath loosed a plague upon the Earth. Only through prayer and his faith in Jesus did brother Stuart survive the gauntlet of Satan’s minions. If you too are a believer, make your way here to New Bethlehem. Jesus watches over us on this holy land where no demon dares walk. God Himself has chosen me to lead and minister to His children here on Earth. He brought me back to gather the faithful together in this sanctuary, safe under His healing hands and protected from the unholy demon scourge.

“And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen. Revelation, chapter 1, verses 17 and 18.”

The broadcast went back to the looping message after that. Beth surmised from his short sermon that this Father Bickmore was indeed like me in that he contracted the virus and survived; how intact his mind remained was up for debate. We all agreed that contacting the people of New Bethlehem would not benefit us, but at least we knew that there were other survivors out there and it was just a matter of time before more began using ham radios to connect with one another. We also knew that there was at least one place we could run to if we got desperate.

Beth headed off to her lab, and Bert and I began making preparations for securing the front of the building. We also made some busy work for ourselves on the roof so that the assholes didn’t get suspicious.


(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The story continues in my new novel, Dance Of The Immortals.)


About scottamehlman

Scott A. Mehlman was born and (mostly) raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Having earned both a BS and an MBA, Scott has tried his hand at a variety of jobs without finding one that truly satisfied or engaged his creative impulses the way writing does. He has published his first novel, The Immortal and The Dead, which is the first book in The Immortal Virus trilogy and continues to work on the JAEGER e-book series.

Posted on November 26, 2014, in Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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