Hey everyone. I started this because of everything going on in the world right now. I need an outlet for the fear and uncertainty I'm feeling, as well as everyone else. I'm still in the VERY early stages of this plot so please bear with me. I'm not sure when I'll update. I want to see how it's received first and then go from there. I certainly have the time right now! might as well make the most of it.

Chapter 1

It all started with a pig. A dead pig. But a pig none the less.

The market was bustling, an array of smells permeated the air. Animals could be heard groaning, sniffing, and eating. People were talking, shouting, and bargaining with one another.

A mother shouts for her child to come back, to be careful while playing on the street. An old man can be heard whistling a jaunty tune. A young child laughs as his brother pokes a dying dragonfly with a stick.

The market is like it is every day. Busy, smelly, and loud.

But today is no ordinary day.

A man sells a cut of his pig, rotating on a spit, to an old woman. She tells him it's for her son's return from the city. She hasn't seen him in months and he always returns too skinny. Or so she says.

Another comes by. Captivated by the smoky scent of pork slowly spinning through the air. He too buys a cut of the pig before heading home to his wife, mother and three boys.

As the day wears on the man sells cuts of pork. Large and small alike. He has done well for the day. There is very little left when the sun begins to set. Just enough for him and his two small children to eat for dinner tonight.

Nothing happens for a few days. If you asked the woman, she'd say the pork was a perfect addition to their celebration. Her family praised her for choosing such a fine cut of meat. Her son kisses her cheek in thanks for such a warm return home.

Same for the man who was drawn in by the delicious scent of smoky, roasted meat. His mother applauds him for his choice and his wife kisses him gently. Thanking him for being so thoughtful.

The man who runs the stall, who shared his days' left overs with his small family, enjoy the smoky, rich meat their father so skillfully cooked all day.

It's not until the third day that the people start to feel sick. It starts off mild. Just a cough, a runny nose. Nothing that stops them from going about their daily routine. It's not until the night of the third day that things begin to worsen.

The fever hits.

The old woman stands no chance. She has battled with bouts of pneumonia for decades. When the fever hits she succumbs within hours. Her family weeps. They too are sick and each of them worry that this is to be their fate too.

One by one they become riddled with a fever and a deep cough. The mother's daughter cares for each family member until she too becomes too weak from the fever and cannot continue.

They are poor.

The hospital is out of the question. The local medicine man is called to the house. He administers some herbs, but in the pit of his stomach he knows all is bleak for this family.

As the night wears on, the coughing and fever worsen for each person afflicted. The children's small bodies shake with chills. Their dreams turn to nightmares. The heat is too much for their minds to handle.

The man who sold the meat is sick too. But not like his children. The medicine man visits him too. He realizes they are all afflicted with the same illness. He scratches his head, wondering where they all would have been exposed.

There is only so much he can do. He leaves some herbs. Enough for both children and the man, in case he to succumbs to the fever as well.

As the night wears on, the medicine man is called to ten more homes. Each with family who are in various stages of the fever. Some seem to be faring okay, but most are groaning. Their bodies aching with the unknown aliment.

When the sun rises on the fourth day, six are dead.