Zeva Mila Sabrina
(Top 10 Short Stories English Language Fiesta 2021)
I stretched my muscles. Working nonstop left me with no time to exercise. I got out of bed and took a shower. I was scheduled to get a vaccination at the village hall. My sister forced me to get vaccinated.
“Hey, Putri! Are you sleeping again?” my sister, Dewi, yelled at me as we drove to the village hall.
“No, I’m reading messages” I sighed, “my friends advised me not to get vaccinated. Why do you always force me? I’m in good condition. Nothing bad is going to happen to me”.
“Oh, my God. You’re still the same person. I hope one day you can start caring for yourself and the people around you” my sister grumbled, and increased the speed of the car.
“Okay, I’m sorry. This’s my bad. Get rid of that flat face. People can be afraid of you” I said as shifted in my seat. My back was hurt. It’s been an hour, but the vaccination hasn’t started yet. I blamed my sister for looking at the wrong schedule, so we got here way too early. I was getting bored. My sister went to look for food. I’m starting to feel sleepy again.
“Hi, are you sleepy?” a man’s voice surprised me. I immediately opened my eyes and sat straight. I saw a guy sitting beside me smiled at me.
“I’m Dito. And you?”
“Nice to meet you, Putri. Let’s have a chat. I’m a little bored. Is this your first vaccination?” asked Dito. I smiled a little and nodded.
“It’s the first time for me too. Hmm, I’m a little bit scared” Dito whispered slowly. He squeezed his palms.
“Yeah, I’m scared too, but my sister is here so I feel a little safer.” “How about you? Did you come with someone too?”
“No, I’m alone. My parents have died because of this damn virus.” His voice was shaky.
“I’m sorry to hear that. You know what? I go out of town a lot because of my job. Like 3 times a week, meet a lot of people, but I never exposed to corona.”
“Really? You should be very grateful for that. Very sad, my parents are even always 24 at home but they have to be gone. The world is so funny, then”, he laughed bitterly.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean like that.” I realized that I had hurt him.
“Don’t worry” said Dito. His lips were smiling but he’s busy wiping the tears from his face. And at the same time, my name was called.
“Oh, they call me. Again, I’m really sorry.” I started walking away, still regretting my words.
I sat and saw the officers prepare a vaccine for my arm. I was still thinking about Dito so much, that I forgot the pain.
“Please calm down Sir, you’re getting hurt.” The table next to me was a mess. A man was being held by several officers. Blood running down his arm, most likely from a syringe stroke. “I told you all this all is a hoax! Everyone, don’t believe them, don’t want to be injected!” The man yelled to the people who were waiting in lines.
I was about to leave when suddenly an officer stopped me.
“Can you help me? Please buy me this medicine for the man. We didn’t bring the medicine like this.” I nodded hesitantly, but I still went to a pharmacy in front of the village hall.
The cold of the air conditioner and the smell of medicine greeted me as I entered the pharmacy.
“Hello, anybody here? I need something. I need medical gauze and plaster.”
“Oh, I’m here. Please check in the cupboard in the corner.” Someone responded from a different room. I walked towards the corner. I quickly saw a cupboard but its shape was a bit unusual. But since there’s only that thing in the corner. I opened it.
I was disappointed, it’s a door. I was going in anyway, hoping to find the cupboard. The atmosphere in the room was a little stuffy and dark. I was terrified. My mind drifted to a horror movie scene. I also felt someone was watching me. I started walking quickly, looking for the exit door, when suddenly a hand grabbed me from behind.
I screamed, run and hid under a table. Light suddenly flashed across the room.
“W-who is that? P-plea-se don’t hurt m-me” I heard footsteps approaching, I was getting more scared. I kept praying, hoping that I can get out of this room.
“Hey!” I heard a soft voice of a girl. I tried to glance at her.
“Hey, don’t be scared. I’m not a ghost, I won’t hurt you. My name’s Anna, come here.” Even though her face was covered by a kind of protective clothes, I could still see her smile.
“I’m Putri. I’m looking for medicines. Someone got hurt while being vaccinated.” After calming down a bit, I started to explain my purpose here.
“Wait, vaccine? Do you mean the vaccine for corona?” Anna asked excitedly. I nodded confusedly seeing her reaction.
“Yeay! Finally, after all these years, I can take off these heavy clothes! I’m so happy! Oh, Mom. I have to tell her.” “When will the vaccine start? Where, and why the village head didn’t tell us huh?”
“Oh, you didn’t know yet? I think they hold the mass vaccination until the end of the month. By the way, what are those clothes? I never see it before. It reminds me of a medical officer’s uniform.”
“You did not know this? Everyone’s wearing it in the last 4 years” I was a little bit shocked to hear that. I’ve never seen anything like it before.
“Let’s go. We must see my mom. My mom will be glad to hear this good news” Anna pulled my hand. We run out of the room. And how surprised I am. I saw the chaos of the city. Damaged buildings, damaged roads, everything was broken. It’s like there’s been a massive demonstration and looting. Anna kept dragging me. On the way, I noticed that everyone was dressed in similar protective clothing. They stared at me, seeing that I was the only one who was not wearing it.
Suddenly I heard the sound of a siren which caused everyone to panic. Anna immediately pulled me tight. We stopped running to see a swarm like bees were spreading out in front of us. Anna tried to pull me back, but it turned out that they were also spreading from behind. We’re trapped. I still didn’t understand what was going on.
“Corona! Quickly get out of there!” My heart seemed to stop. I couldn’t move because my legs were so stiff. The red things were approaching and covering my entire body. Everything was blurry, and all I saw was red. Anna? I had no idea where she was.
The red color began to fade, and they gradually faded. Until I noticed Anna sprayed disinfectant all over my body. The reds were all dead.
“Thank God you are fine!” Anna hugged me.
“It’s a miracle! For four years no one has survived the corona attack, she isn’t even wearing protective clothing!” A woman exclaimed.
“Wait, is this possible? Putri, you’ve been vaccinated, haven’t you? Of course, the vaccine saves you!” Anna remarked. I was speechless, that’s true. I’ve had my vaccinations
“Putri? Is this you?” A man tapped my shoulder.
“Dito? Are you Dito who was vaccinated with me?” I asked to make sure. I still remembered his sad face.
“Yes, but I missed it. After you were called, I immediately left and never came back. Now it’s all ruined. I regret it.” My mind was spinning again. I muttered, “Am I stuck in a time loop and now I’m in the future?” Everything I saw confirmed that I was in the future. But everything appeared to be so messed up, so terrible.
“Putri! “Why are you so quiet?”
“Putri! Hey, can you hear me?”
“Huh, why?” I immediately turned my head but how surprised I am. I was back in the front yard of the village hall and saw Dito in front of me. “Are you bored because I tell you about my-”
“Dito! Please you have to take the vaccine! You have to! I turned my face and yelled at the people.” Please everyone, get your family and friends vaccinated! You will never regret this, believe me.” Dito looked surprises to hear me. Of course, I’ve had my shots. “Take a look at this,” Dito said, pointing to the injection marks.
I felt incredibly relieved. In my dream, Dito had not been vaccinated, whereas this Dito had. Hopefully, the future was not as bad as I had dreamed. But wait, did I fell asleep? Or was I thrown into the future? I never know.
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