This flash fiction was written for the challenge at Terrible Minds.
Fourth of July (400 Words)
The newspapers say that we'll never know why they chose the 4th of July to attack, but it's only by considering it to be a coincidence that we maintain any hope of winning this war.
Without hope, how are we going fight an invisible enemy?
People dropped like flies, collapsing where they stood, be it barbecue, parade or baseball game. One minute they had been perfectly fine, laughing and joking with the rest of us; the next, they were dead. We thought that was the end of it though, and accusations were made about infected meat and airborne virus'. In all, 10% of the population died that day.
They were the lucky ones.
We mourned their loss. Not one person was left unaffected by the deaths – each of us lost a friend or a family member, and for a brief, shining moment, the world was united in its grief. Politicians and world leaders suffered the same as beggars on the street, and it offered empty platitudes about something good coming from tragedy.
There was a baby boom later that year - about 9 months later, if we're being specific - as if the world was trying to replace those who had died. The most popular baby names recorded were Hope and Faith for girls. Boys were Adam, Michael and John. Good strong names. People believed the names would somehow protect them. Everything seemed idyllic for a few short months.
Until the following year, when they came back.
On the 4th July again. That was the moment the world realised it wasn't just some random infection in the air. Another 10% died. Adults, children, boys, girls. There was no pattern to it, but the timing couldn't have been coincidental. This time the rumours were of alien invasions, terrorist attacks gone wrong and divine intervention.
It's happened every year now for the past five. Always 10% of the population and always on the 4th July. There are still no public indications about who is doing this or why, but everyone seems to have accepted the inevitability of it. Slowly but surely, the entire human race is being wiped out of existence with no way of preventing it. Whoever is responsible is keeping to themselves.
I have my own secret though.
I know exactly who is causing this and why. But I can't tell a single soul. Not that they'd believe me anyway...