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Benny the knackerman collects dead animals from farms and delivers them to be processed. He's old and feels useless, but carries on with his unusual job because he knows more about it than anyone. Cattle are usually dead of disease or injury, but not on Andriss Scott's farm. Upon arrival at Scott's home, standing next to mutilated cattle, Benny finds a little girl, Corina, who tells him there were dancing lights in the sky and the poor cows had been "taken." Confused, Benny speaks to the farmer, Andriss, and is put at ease by swapping military service stories and the farmer's calm demeanor. A short story.
The whole world has been terrorized and we wallow in terrible fear of getting sick. We placed our faith in medicine and now we pray for redemption. That’s why our police kidnap the sick and send them to the furnaces.
After we conquered a return of the Black Death, our scientists celebrated the triumph of modern medicine and the awesome power of antibiotics. But our bodies became weaker and the bugs became stronger and soon they were immune to anything our doctors could throw at them. It wasn’t long until just the right conditions, high mercury levels in our food to be precise, came along and gave the super germs the breeding grounds for the elimination of the human race. That’s what’s happening to the United States; that’s what happening to my family.
First, Dad went missing, presumably dead overseas, then Mom caught the common cold and the Sanitary Police came and took her. Now I’m all alone. And I’m tired of wasting away, day-by-day, waiting for my turn to fall ill and be taken to the incinerators. I’ve decided I’m going to rescue her, even if it means the death of all of us. She deserves it. I deserve it. And the whole world deserves another chance to live.
A short story.
Jack Bronson desperately needs a job. In fact, there isn't much he'd say no to if it meant a paycheck to keep a roof over his family's head.
When an opportunity arises to become the maintenance worker at an apartment complex, Jack jumps at the chance. During his interview, however, he can't help but wonder if there's something wrong. His new boss offers him the job in under five minutes, there's an enormous willow tree that seems to have taken over one building and there's a maintenance shed filled with unusual liquids.
Will Jack survive as caretaker of Apartment Building E, or will something sinister take care of him?