It was only reachable by dog sled, ski mobile and a train that came once a month, so the people that lived on Little Siqiniq Adlartok, an Inuit village in Northern Alaska felt safe from the pandemic that was ravishing the rest of the world.  Their Republican governor Mike Dunleavy had just announced that there would be no travel restrictions and this made them all feel even more safe thinking that the worst was over.  Amaruq Yupik who was also known as Grey Wolf had just returned from serving overseas in Afghanistan and unbeknownst to him, he was carrying the Delta variant back to his people.  In this land of the midnight sun, they hold their Northern Lights festival every year and this is the blow out party that nobody ever misses, except for the children who are safely sleeping in their beds.  The party went on till the wee hours in the morning and Delta lived up to its reputation at this event, killing everyone in the village, except the children.

Delta spread from person to person being more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause Ebola, smallpox, MERS, and SARS, Ebola and they all contracted it, as it was as contagious as chickenpox.  The children woke up the next morning and found nobody was breathing, or had a pulse, so they knew that everyone was dead, even the Shaman.  Now that they were on their own, the eldest child who was only fifteen years old ordered everyone to put on masks and help him to bury all of the dead.  They had a bulldozer which they used to dig a mass grave and all of the bodies were dumped into the same hole.  It would be three more weeks before the train came back into town, but little Amaqjuaq whose name means the strong one kept saying that he could see dead people, which was making everyone depressed.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #129.

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