Unconditional Love

An Unusual Apocalypse Short Story

Unconditional Love

by Reddit User /BecauseISaidSoToo AKA Daniel Charles Wild

This is one of the many wild tales included in his brand new short story collection, ‘Stories For Imaginary Friends’.

Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Charles-Wild/e/B07QZPJM2X

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/user/Becauseisaidsotoo

Other TTTV stories by Daniel Charles Wild: https://talltaletv.com/?s=Daniel+Charles+wild

* Original Story Post

 

It started innocently enough.

It was intended as a cure for autism and was painstakingly designed to build empathy and foster emotional connections. The issue that researchers got stuck on, was that no matter how low the dosage, the chemical, which had a pheromonal base, would cause a chain reaction in the brains of complex mammals, which would create more of the chemical, deeper connections, and more and more emotional intensity.

It, quite simply, worked too well and the feelings of empathy, bonding, acceptance and openness towards others was unfocused, and directed towards everyone – regardless of whether or not the feelings were mutual or returned. The drug created an instant emotional connection and imbalance. Test subjects, rats, bunnies and eventually chimps, on the drug, loved everyone unconditionally, and without an intensive detoxing process, the feelings grew stronger and stronger. Subjects around them, that had not been exposed to the drug, simply couldn’t return the emotion with the same amount of intensity.

Before they went off the air, CNN had repeatedly shared an amusing clip from the lab which didn’t seem quite as funny now. It had featured an adorable fluffy bunny on the drug, chasing a non-drugged and terrified chimpanzee that it had bonded with. The chimp, a dark and frightening creature, absurdly, seemed terrified of its tiny cotton-tailed pursuer. Trying to get away, it had climbed to the top of it’s cage and the clip ended with the chimp, teeth bared and dark eyes wide, reaching imploringly through the bars towards the researcher with the camera, while below, on the floor of the cage the bunny hopped higher and higher – its pink nose quivering, its red eyes shining, and its stumpy and fuzzy forelegs grasping at the empty air.

The drug had issues and it’s testing on live subjects was put on hold.

Until God’s Love released their self proclaimed “Love Bomb” into the water supply in Rock Island, IL.

God’s Love was a group of Christian fundamentalist from a small town named Viola, IL. One of the men in the congregation had been a janitor in the lab that was developing the drug. He’d seen the drug’s effects on laboratory animals, and had overheard laboratory workers discussing the effects and ramifications as well. What they saw as a problem, he saw as an opportunity. A God given opportunity to share God’s love with his congregation. He smuggled a small amount of the drug out of the lab, and exposed members of the congregation to the chemical. They bonded, called themselves God’s Love, and vowed to share the drug’s effects with the world.

A member of the church worked in a water processing plant in Rock Island, IL and he added the remainder of the drug to the outgoing water supply. The Quad Cities would be the New Jerusalem. That’s what one of the members had called in and told a local DJ. Eventually the news stations would play that clip on a loop for a few days, until they went silent.

According to one of the last scientists ever interviewed, the cult members had only been able to smuggle out a tiny bit of the drug, literally only a few ounces. But the drug, even in a minute amount, creates more of itself in the brains of complex mammals and in their blood and bladders too. A little bit in the water supply of a densely populated area, multiplied in the bodies of those exposed to it. It made it’s way into the cities’ sewage, the Mississippi and Rock River, and the water tables below the amber waves of grain, the water cycle, the oceans, and then the rest of the world.

The Love Bomb had been detonated and the world fell hard.

At first its effects were subtle, subtle but cumulative. If any sociologists had been paying attention they would have noticed a sudden drop in violent crime, and productivity, and a dramatic increase in acts of simple human kindness. But nobody was paying attention to statistics and numbers, because everyone had their eyes on different types of figures entirely – each other’s.

If anyone had been keeping track, they would have noticed something else too, an explosive increase in every disease transmitted by bodily fluids. But no one was paying attention to statistics or larger social trends, they were distracted by the lovely person next to them, and the person next to them, and so on, ad infinitum.

And the love, as well as other things, spread wide, world wide – within days.

The drug was nearly 100% effective. Everyone wants and needs love. I am not immune to that emotion – that need. But, I am immune to the drug, and I don’t like to be touched by strangers.

I am a private person and I work nights with a TV to keep me company. As the world fell in love, I watched the news announcers flirt with each other and listened to their first amused reports of the amorous crowds, I saw the aerial footage of the slick and sweating conga lines that filled the streets of Chicago, IL, and eventually the streets of all the cities of the world.

I saw the media put the pieces together, saw the way the live announcers looked at their guests and each other towards the end. I saw amusement, morph into fear, interest, warmth, smoldering passion, and finally raw and manic lust. I saw interviewers lurch towards their guest. I saw round table discussions between expert pundits devolve into gyrating joint monstrosities of entangled figures, bare skin of different colors, and dozens of flailing naked limbs. I saw far far too much before the stations, one by one, went off the air forever.

Frightened, I’d locked myself up in the warehouse where I work, and stayed there with the lights off for three days as the world burned with passion.

But I ran out of supplies and while foraging for food I was seen by a dog of all things; a Jack Russel Terrier – a complex mammal. It was a very friendly dog, terrifyingly so, and it chased me to this small and thankfully empty house.

I’ve broke in and barricaded the door. The dog is outside now, panting, barking, and scratching madly at the wood, desperate to get in. His owner, or perhaps a random stranger who loves him – loves everyone, has overheard the commotion and more than just his curiosity was aroused. He is now knocking on, and grinding against, the door, and tugging and fondling the doorknob too, with filthy, grasping hands that are smeared with bodily fluids.

The man’s lovers have joined him outside as well; it looks like dozens of them – with more approaching every minute. I can see them through the blinds. Small shambling figures materializing out of the darkness, their silhouettes growing larger, and coming closer and closer, seemingly to swell and engorge in the gloom. In the dusk’s fading light I can see that their bodies are slick, pants-less, and even from a distance I can see that their raw skin is chapped, bruised, blistered, and covered in bites and scratches.

Some are looking in the windows now, their greasy palms and faces leaving streaks of mucus on the glass. Through the smears I can see their pursed, blistered lips, kissing at the air, and their desperate staring eyes, wide, hungry, and filled with a terrible and total unconditional love.

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