(Tengku Osman stares out of the window of the makeshift hut he has constructed by himself. Outside, his son practices silat melayu, a Malaysian martial art, with a small curved dagger named a 'keris'.)
I never really thought it would happen in Malaysia. There weren't any real huge disasters here, not in the past at least. We thought we were safe. But, we could never have been so wrong.
From what I heard, the infection started first in Perlis, at the Thailand-Malaysian border. A truck was transporting a group of soldiers into our country without even screening them for signs of infection. Apparently, one of them was hiding a bite wound from his comrades. That's how Malaysia became a wasteland. All because of one soldier who was selfish enough to bring terror into a country who had never even faced major natural disasters at all.
The plague spread from the north to the south. I was in Kuala Lumpur. Perfect timing. I watched my colleagues turn into monsters and attack each other. I got away with my life because I was lucky enough to be in the toilets when it struck my office building.
I was a news reporter, you know that? I was a news reporter! I had read and reported all the news the weeks before, reporting the case of 'rabies' breaking out all over the world. I was stupid enough to ignore the signs, and my stupidity cost me my wife. I don't know if my parents are still alive. They lived in Kedah, which is right next to Perlis.
Osman turns around and looks at me. There are tears in his eyes.
As soon as I got out of that cursed building, I raced to my car. The only thing I could think of at the time was my wife and son. It was 3.00 in the afternoon, about the time Amirah would be picking Ishak up from school.
The boy outside rests under a tree, worn out by his practice. Osman yells at the boy in bahasa Melayu before turning back to me.
I ran into the parking lot to find my car in a wreck. A BMW, used for less than a month. 300 thousand ringgit, gone. You can call me shallow for thinking about my car at a time like that, but…
Tengku Osman smiles sadly.
Anyway, I stole a bicycle from a shop which had its display window smashed in. There were moaning accompanied by screams in the back of the shop. I tried to put it out of my mind as I took off on that bicycle, saying prayers to Allah. Sometimes I still have dreams about that shop.
I was lucky. The part of town where my office was located was in one of the less populated locations in Kuala Lumpur. So, I encountered very little trouble.
It took a long time to reach Ishak's school. When I got there, I was terrified. It was chaos. There was blood and human flesh strewn and splattered all over the road outside. The moans were loud , punctured by the occasional scream of a doomed child or terrified teacher.
At that time, I was frantic, trying to find my wife and son. I did not dare to call out lest the demons heard me.
After witnessing three ghouls tearing a screaming girl open, I had almost lost all hope of ever finding them. That was when I noticed a Camry crashed by the side of the road. My wife's car.
I raced over to witness a terrifying sight: my beloved wife was slamming her fist against the windshield, trying to get to my son inside the car. Without thinking, I grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher and smashed her skull.
Was your son traumatized, witnessing his own father kill his own mother? (Osman ignores my question)
I grabbed my son and we ran far away. As far as possible. While we were running through the city, we saw many people getting torn open and eaten alive. Ishak would not stop crying. We made it to Pahang, after many days of running and cycling. There, we boarded a ferry which brought us here. Sarawak.
No thank you. Do carry on.
If you insist. Ishak and I broke off from the other refugees and ran off on our own, trying to find a safe haven unpopulated by humans. Sarawak is full of tribes, so we had to watch out. We settled here, after days of travelling and hunger.
Ishak, Tengku Osman's son comes in. He nods acknowledgement at me before slouching off to polish his keris.
And here, we survived. I have been teaching Ishak the ways of a warrior. I was a skilled silat practitioner back in my day. Ishak has taken taekwondo classes for a long time before the plague started.
Osman looks at me squarely in the eye.
We will not go down without a fight. We will survive.
Postscript: Three days after this interview was taken, Tengku Osman and Ishak's little straw hut was found deserted. No signs of struggle, zombie or human, were visible. They have not been seen since.
Yeah, watched World War Z today and bought the books yesterday. I was kinda bummed that there wasn't a Malaysia interview in the book, but then I thought, hey, why not write one of your own?
Should I write more? If so, where? Leave a review. (:
Thanks for reading.