Teyana sat in the enormous ironwood chair and rocked slowly. The chair was the only keepsake, the only reminder she had of a childhood that had been all too brief and none too happy. It was tangible and solid and served to anchor her to sanity in a world that had gone slowly and inexorably insane.
Her options and her outlook for the future were bleak. With every passing day, The Contagion spread. With every passing day, the piles of unremembered and unmourned corpses swelled in size. With every passing day, the world and everything within it became ever less and less likely to endure any longer.
And so Teyana sat in the enormous ironwood chair and she rocked. She rocked and, with a thin voice devoid of emotion, she sang the requiem for the dead. There were none to hear it within the empty house and yet she sang.
A requiem is meant to ferry the dead to safe harbors and so she
sang. But, as she rocked and as she sang, the melody choked and seemed to become a lullaby. And this was, on many levels, both fitting and proper.
It was, it seemed, the time for all of Humanity to lie down and sleep. It would be a sleep without end and from which none would arise. It was to be the eternal rest of the dead. To her fevered mind, it was not acceptable for the entirety of mankind to fade away without the comfort of a lullaby and so she sang.
On a level more personal, she sang a final song for her Nathaniel. He had been her wee one, her lad. She knew that, during the night, the tiny spark of life she had emplaced within him not so very many years ago had sputtered and, finally, gone out.
She knew that he was as lost to her as was his father, Helmont, and his sister, Trella. She knew she should carry his body to the courtyard so the Collectors could do their work. She knew this and yet she also knew that she could not do it yet. She would hold her boy a little longer and she would rock him.
Eventually, when she could no longer deny the need, she rose and did what must be done.
She returned to her empty home and sat again in the enormous ironwood chair and rocked.
She was flushed and sweating despite the chill of the day. Her breathing was labored and her body ached. And so, at last, The Contagion had come for her. Soon she would join her beloved ones in their eternal sleep.
She wept a single bitter tear, knowing there would be none to sing the requiem for her.