Underestimating Lincoln’s cruelty was a mistake they were bound to make again. He just hoped it wouldn’t be anytime soon. Wyatt gathered the group asking for volunteers to search for Patty just as the ambulance and police finally showed up. Lincoln wished he could hear the conversation. Several people quickly dispersed before the cop could question them, keeping an eye out while they rushed back to their shotgun or ranch style houses.
Most of them were renovated, not that Lincoln had been invited to see the before and after, he just knew by observation. Tile cutters, delivery trucks, painters, all things you notice on a street only the resident’s used.
Lincoln strategically bought a house on the last street because he could easily place every car on the block with the house it belonged to. So if someone new showed up, it would be obvious they were visiting. His street was only useful to the lost looking for a house in the neighborhood and Halloween trick or treaters.
The couch groaned beneath him as he tried to get comfortable again. The images of Burt and his smacking lips replayed in Lincoln’s mind making it hard to focus and his stomach roil. Getting to his feet again he crossed from the living room into the kitchen curving around the breakfast bar—the only thing dividing the kitchen from the living room—to get to the cabinets. He shoved the contents around until he found an old bottle of Pepto and took a swig.
Just in case, he took the bottle with him and settled back on the couch unable to wait to share the fiasco he’d just witnessed online. His finger hovered over the send button and then slid over to the delete key. He held it down watching the words he just wrote disappear. He had no proof. In fact, he didn’t see anyone recording the incident because they were all so absorbed in the gruesome scene. Good luck to whoever had to explain it to the police. Burt stole the only evidence they had, and he’s probably digesting it by now. The only other evidence is Craig, and he’s probably in the psych ward under seventy-two hour surveillance.
Going back to the task at hand, Lincoln started scrolling through his files. He’d been online every waking moment since the government announced its nationwide curfew. Several of his prepper groups were putting the members to work. Everyone picked one topic to research and posted relevant information on the forum for everyone to observe.
Lincoln chose to research diseases. He’d been doing it since his college years, before he became a prepper, so it was the easiest topic for him. An epidemic was his biggest fear. People he could fight, attacks he could survive, governments can be overthrown, but germs can’t even be seen without a microscope.
He followed every debilitating fiasco there was in the United States. Every new disease on the radar, he researched the symptoms for hours, keeping an eye on which areas it spread to. In a file cabinet, in one of his storage rooms he had information on the most recent outbreaks of the Zika virus and H1N1 influenza. Others were filed away, like the bird flu, Ebola, and SARs. The research fascinating him.
Only one sickness had interested him recently, several of the symptoms matching Burt’s behavior. The media wasn’t recognizing the strange occurrences as an illness. In fact, that’s why it caught his eye, because as soon as it had media attention—it disappeared—nowhere to be found.
Except on social media. One of the main reasons why Lincoln is so fond of the newfound way to communicate. Social media is the people’s news. Where the truth is streamed for likes and comments. Even gruesome videos are up for hours before the admins in charge of the sites take it down. Other antics might be taking place, but the live stream videos are hard to deny if you’re seeing it firsthand.
In this day and age, the younger generation will show you what’s really happening in the world in their specific city. Mainstream media can hide it, refuse to report it, but they can’t keep anything from the public eye anymore. Everyone has a smart phone with a record button, all they have to do is press it.
The recorded incident that caught Lincoln’s attention was filmed by the man who was brutally murdered in the video. He caught everything on a live stream video before his demise.
In California, both men were high on marijuana, filming their inventory of special snacks and weed. Squabbling over the order in which it should be eaten or smoked. It was a series of clipped live stream videos that Lincoln examined to see what led up to the aftermath.
As far as Lincoln could tell, the man who attacked just kept eating, until there was nothing left but his friend. The attacker ate everything, bread, sugar, spices, uncooked pasta, and raw meat straight from the package. It was a hilarious video until the attacker scarfed down the raw meat.
Lincoln immediately thought the scene had been set up before they started filming, he almost turned it off. The victim never bothered to stop the attacker from gobbling everything in sight, chuckling at the enormous newfound appetite, although, he did seem a little concerned once the raw meat was devoured in a matter of seconds.
Lincoln kept watching because of the attacker’s eyes. The last video in the series of the gruesome murder was the first video he saw, but when he started at the beginning and watched all of them consecutively, he realized the attacker’s skin had changed color and his eyes went from dark brown to milky white. It could easily be done with contacts and make-up, but the death was nationwide news. Conservative mainstream media thought they had gold, the headlines announcing: MARIJUANA INTOXICATION ENDS WITH A BRUTAL MURDER.
Before the admins and government took every single one of the videos down, Lincoln saved them to his computer with Dustin’s—his hacking, genius friend’s—help. The symptoms Lincoln observed had never been a side effect from smoking weed. Something was missing. The story didn’t add up and there was a huge backlash from the marijuana industry.
It was obvious people weren’t accepting the story and not long after the backlash, new evidence came to light. A new drug was found in the attacker’s system. Bath salts. The individual had an unnatural reaction to the bath salts mixed with weed in his system causing him to hallucinate and eat everything in sight, including his friend.
Cannibalism was a known repulsive side effect from the bath salt drug. A true toxin, turning Dr.Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. And while the news stations ran that dribble, more videos showed up online. Every few weeks another person was gnawing on human bones. More incidents were flagged by Lincoln’s algorithms that Dustin set up on his computer. The videos were always after the sickness had taken over. A random person being attacked, recording the weirdo following them down a street. Not just in California but in several different states, north, south, east and west.
Some were bitten, fortunate enough to fight off their attacker, the video dark for a few minutes while they struggled to get away. Sometimes bystanders aided the victims, only to be attacked themselves. Several injured showed off bloody battle wounds of torn skin and teeth marks. Long flaps of flesh dangled off arms and shoulders revealing muscle and bone underneath the massive amount of blood spilling from the lesion. Chunks of skin missing, leaving massive holes that can’t be covered by hands. Excruciatingly painful and too tender to touch wounds were often the reason why they ended the live stream video on their way to the hospital.
Other videos stopped abruptly. No evidence of them surviving the incident. Just a small glimpse of the danger before the video ends. Bargains made if they live. Broken vows and promises renewed. The fright and terror edging around a breathless voice. The slight tremor in cries for help. Piercing screams of horror mixed with the sounds of chewing. Nightmares come to life.
No claims of a hoax before the video disappears from the internet—never to be seen again without an explanation.
Videos have a way of resurfacing, especially if you search hard enough. To make something on the internet completely disappear—can mean two things: someone has a lot of money, or the government is meddling. Considering the vast distances between incidents, Lincoln had his money on the latter. Which made him wonder, what are they trying to hide? So he naturally became obsessed with figuring it out.
Dustin scoured police databases searching for police reports. He was searching for the rookie’s mistake. A human error because in every equation humans are the variable—unpredictable—and that’s how you catch a cover up. Dustin needed to find the police officer that would do everything by the book and file the paperwork before the government could interfere and replace it with a convenient story that matched all the others to keep people from panicking.
Weeks went by without another cannibal incident. Lincoln thought they had finally contained the disease when Dustin showed up on his doorstep one day unannounced. The paperwork all in order inside a thick folder.
It was the first time Dustin was allowed inside his house, and the first tour he ever gave. The highlight of the tour was the bathroom Dustin used after his two hour drive from the outskirts of Dallas, claiming the paperwork too important to mail or email. Dustin saw the locked doors leading to the guest bathroom and Lincoln gave the room’s names, storage room one and two.
Flipping through the police reports Lincoln started picking out symptoms he noticed popping up repeatedly. Most of them had recounts of a victim being attacked and eaten alive. The description of the attacker had very few discrepancies, gray-sickly skin, cloudy filmed eyes, and an insatiable appetite for human flesh.
Lincoln’s attention turned to the pile of survivor witness reports. He read through their accounts of the person hours before they attacked. Dustin had only managed to find three. The people infected seemed to go into a state of lethargy before eating everything in sight and turning to human flesh. Officers observed homes ransacked of food. Refrigerators left open, packages ravaged and left empty. In follow up reports the incidents were blamed on the drug bath salts.
If Lincoln had only researched one area he might have believed bath salts was the new addiction to fight, but the attacks weren’t isolated events. It was happening in cities all over the world.
Need the book to continue? —> Click Here
Start from the beginning —> Chapter 1
Continue to the next Chapter —> 4/26/18