short story, story promptSilvestra and Quentin have left their city behind as a mysterious plague sweeps through it, turning people into stone. They are determined to find a cure for the disease and stop it before it claims many more lives.


“It feels like it was so long ago. Has it really only been a month?” Trudging along a dusty, little-used road, Silvestra glanced at her travelling companion as she asked her question.

He gave her a lopsided smile. “Nearly one month exactly. In two days time, it’ll be one month since we abandoned the city.” Although he was smiling, Quentin’s eyes remained sad. It had been hard for her to leave their city behind, but it was so much worse for him. His family had fallen victim to the mysterious Stone Plague. He’d lost everything.

It made her grateful for the first time in her life that she’d already lost everything years before the plague had struck. She’d had nothing left to lose. Except Quentin, she admitted to herself. It would have been torture to see his gentle features and easy smile glaze over into solid marble. Luckily, she’d convinced him to leave the city behind once his family had died. He had resisted at first, wanting nothing more than to stay and die as well, but she’d forced him outside the city walls. The city had become quarantined a few days later – no one in or out. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t return now, not until the source of the plague was found and a cure formulated.

Finding a cure was half the reason why Quentin had finally agreed to forget about the city for the time being and accompany her. She’d rashly promised to find a cure for the disease as long as he would help her. Appealing to the compassionate side of him, she had begged him to help her, to help all the other people who risked losing their loved ones to the plague. If they could discover the cure, they could stop the deadly spread of the disease.

“Do you think it’s true what they were saying in the last village?” she quietly asked.

He sighed. “Unfortunately, I think it is. The plague is spreading fast. No matter what quarantine measures are put in place, it seems to spread beyond the quarantine areas within a week. This thing is nearly unstoppable.”

Silvestra shuddered, images of the plague victims in her home town flashing in her mind. “How many do you think have died since we left?” she whispered, her words barely audible.

“Don’t think about it,” he told her gruffly. “It won’t help.”

An image of his little sister’s marbleised face appeared before she could stop it and she cringed. How did he stop thinking about it? How could he push it from his mind when it had been his own family? How did he stop himself from falling apart?

“I think we might be here,” he said, shading his eyes against the afternoon sun.

Peering ahead, a low hum of excitement buzzed through her veins. They had just crested a tall hill and below them, a large city spread out across the coastline. This was the best place to start their search for the cure. This city held the first clues, she was sure.

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