One of the interludes I include in the book. The Infection Spreads. Tow Law. A normal day. Life was full of normal days though they sometimes were interrupted by the not so normal days involving weddings, burglaries, or deaths. For Margaret Simcoe this was a normal day, a normal day with a routine of getting dressed, making breakfast before seeing the kids off to school. Then when they were gone she’d watch the TV, perhaps that show on channel three with the guy who tells you what you don’t want to hear. A normal day for a normal person. Nothing to get excited or talk about. It was Tuesday today and the man on the TV was talking to some drug taker about how he should get off the heroin and look after his kid. It was 10:30 when this show ended and she went upstairs, showered, got ready for work. Her uniform was black with green lines across the shoulder. Her work was on the main street, the local Co-op, a shop that sold everything from pop to condoms. A normal day changed by broken windows. Broken windows shattered inwards making the day more interesting. She pulled out her mobile phone and dialled 999. There was no connection, which was odd because normally you didn’t need a reception or credit to phone the emergency services. Maybe they were all ready on their way. Maybe Tim had already called them, was inside now examining the damage. She didn’t think there would be much taken as usually when people robbed them they aimed for the cash machine to the right. The automatic doors opened and she stepped inside. “Hello?” she asked, stepping over broken glass. There was no answer, no sound at all except for the freezers in the back, humming contently to themselves. The fridge with the pop was on the floor and its contents scattered across the floor. The display of cheap wine where the window had been broken lay shattered on the ground, the broken glass bathed in bloody red and white liquid. Not a burglary but vandalism maybe? The further she went the more the silence played on her mind and the more she grew aware of the lack of cars parked outside, or people on the street. Normally there were loads of people on the streets. She paused by the juice isle and noticed the tomato juice pooling out of the aisle. A shape moved in the shadows. “Tim is that you?” It looked like him, the body shape and everything was identical, but it was hard to tell with him facing away from her. Every so often he twitched like a bolt of electricity shot through him. “Tim?” She stepped into the juice, found it too sticky to be just juice. “Are you okay?” No answer. Margret reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. “Tim?” With a snarl he turned, eyes wide and bloody teeth bared. She screamed, fought to keep him away. Her first thoughts were of rape but changed quickly to a more sobering thought. She was going to die. They fell and as her lifeblood ebbed Margret watched the man she’d once called friend gnaw on her neck, wondering why nobody was answering her screams. # The aging mechanic placed hands on his aching back, grunted with the pain shooting down his spine from spending hours under the mini cooper. The small garage was situated on the way out of Tow Law just before you reached the moors between here and Langley Park. The occupants of the newly built houses opposite his garage busied themselves with morning activities. He watched them for a moment, lost in memory. They were mostly families, but sometimes you would get people his own age moving from the cities, hoping for a more sedate kind of life. Sedate was something people got in plenty here, he thought, as there was no heavy traffic, a bus that appeared every three hours and beautiful countryside. Tow Law was one of those rare places that despite having not the nicest residents made up for the fact with the scenery. Surrounded on its northern side by moors stretching out into the Pennines and moors and nature reserve on its northwest side it was only the beginning of the beautiful countryside that was County Durham. It was the reason he’d moved here in the 80s; his wife had loved nature. Drinking his mug of tea and wiping oily hands on his navy blue overalls, he crouched down and slid back under the car. He had only been down less than a minute when he heard someone enter the garage. “Just a minute!” he called. He crawled back up and found himself looking up into the eyes of a Policeman. “Can I help you?” His eyes were white, his uniform bloody around the collar. Blood coloured drool dripped down to mingle with the oil on his overalls. The Policeman was hungry.