Author: David C. Nutt
It started with isolated incidents. Dead hiker’s bodies being found half-eaten. Forensic reports coming back that the teeth and claw marks were postmortem, small animal… most likely chipmunks and ground squirrels of some kind. Nothing too disturbing about that, there was a great body of evidence that both species occasionally ate animal flesh from time to time- even hunted. When these behaviors started showing up in rabbits, and woodchucks, then deer, moose, and bison… well, that was different.
Those of us who lived in the city heard the reports and while we believed them, didn’t see how it would mean anything to us. After all, most of us chose the city life to avoid wildlife and nature. Glossy wall calendars and nature documentaries were enough. Until the petting zoo incident.
It was shocking. 17 children, five chaperones and their bus driver, plus the petting zoo staff. The carnage was horrific. Goats, sheep, llamas, and an alpaca. Muzzles all frothy with blood, chewing entrails of the victims as if they were mouths full of hay. No one told the police officers arriving on the scene to put the animals down. The first thing they did when they got out of their vehicles was start shooting, double-tapping every downed animal.
Then it started showing up in what little wildlife we had in the cities. Squirrels swarming over the elderly feeding them. Raccoons in small packs hunting drunks staggering their way home. Possums dropping out of the trees on children. A walk in the park became a life and death struggle. No one walks very far anymore. Jogging? It’s suicide.
At least the dogs are still on our side. Stories of average Fido’s dying while protecting their masters are daily events in the news. I was never much of a dog person- now I own two terriers and a bull-mastiff. We are quite a pack; I never go anywhere without them. I also was never a gun person. I carry an automatic shotgun now, always loaded. Yes, I have had to use it. Let’s just say I’ll never be a cat person again.
Milk and cheese are getting hard to come by now. All the milkers at a dairy farm in Wisconsin, went on a rampage- 400 head of angry cattle running wild down the highway, breaking into stopped and stalled cars to get at the passengers. The same happened a few weeks later in dairy farms all over the world. The only commodity we seem to have a lot of is meat. Got to do something with all those dead cattle.
The scientists have no idea why this is happening. No diseases, no mutations, nothing unusual found in the hundreds of thousands of animals autopsied. This prompted reps from PETA to hold a press conference in Central Park advocating for humans to stop panicking and end the wholesale slaughter of our fellow creatures. They sounded sincere until about a thousand squirrels overran the event. Two of the PETA staff in attendance were reduced to nothing but bone in minutes; the rest barely made it out alive. Haven’t heard anything from PETA since.
Philosophers, theologians, occultists, nobody seems to know what’s going on; if this will be the new normal or if it will stop and things go back to the way it was. Until things get back to normal, if ever, I’m in it for the long haul. We’ve been top of the food chain for all this time and I aim to stay there.
A point to Tennyson for “Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw”!
Straight up, that might as well be straight out of the blurb for the first season of ‘Zoo’.
Nice job. Real good story. I think the dogs might actually be spies and waiting to strike when the eventual full-blown overthrow occurs. It should be called the Faunavirus.
I’m really curious as to what the cats are doing. Great story!