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Will You Still Love Me When I’m Melting
      Ponk Vonsydow

The end of the world did not occur on December 21, 2012 as the Mayan’s predicted it would.  Instead something like the start of the end of the world occurred December 21, 2015.  It actually started the day before when a previously unknown and never before cataloged, large celestial object considered to be a rogue comet entered local space passing between the Earth and its moon. The comet emitted an unknown form of radiation that was not detected by the battery of instruments employed and designed to detect such energy emissions. Nevertheless, during the 24-hours it took for the comet to pass the Earth, it bathed the entire planet in this strange radiation. After it was gone, a terrible phenomenon started within hours. People all over the world began to spontaneously melt!

Within hours after the passing of the comet, millions of cases of human beings melting were reported.  Immediately, scientists and physicians began studying the phenomenon and gave it a name. The process of a human being melting or decomposing was considered to be rapid, and it happened incrementally; thus it was called, R.I.D.S., the acronym for Rapid Incremental Decomposition Syndrome.

RIDS started harmlessly enough with a slight hair loss. But as time passed, all of the subjects’ hair fell out including eyebrows and eyelashes. After that, the syndrome progressed to the subjects’ skin, which erupted in hundreds of thousands of small water blisters that began to fester and burst covering the subject with an oozing pink and yellow slime. After that stage, the subjects’ skin would sag and wrinkle until it began to slough off in segments until 100% of the subjects’ skin was gone exposing muscles, tendons and bones. Next, the subjects’ muscles and tendons on his or her limbs transformed into a gelatinous substance rendering them quite useless, ultimately immobilizing the subject when the final stages of muscular decomposition occurred. Finally, the internal organs liquefied usually filling the subjects’ lungs with thick mucus causing the subjects to drown in their own body fluids.  There was one mercy in all of this gore: the entire process of Rapid Incremental Decomposition Syndrome was said to be completely painless. A fortunate circumstance for the victims because the alternative was unthinkable.

Once the melting started, scientists were able to determine that RIDS started after the rogue comet passed the Earth, but they still could not conceive how such things were possible, nor could they isolate a cause for the syndrome, so they could develop a cure. All they could do was field questions of those who contracted the syndrome before they melted away completely and send the data to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta which compiled the data, and eventually the CDC came up something all of the patients had in common. The CDC prepared a statement and sent it directly to the American Emergency Broadcast System who fired up with the system, broadcasting the emergency information nationwide every 15 minutes beginning at precisely 5 A.M. December 22, 2015. 


Lucinda and Roger Williams of Phoenix, Arizona, always slept with a television on in the bedroom, droning all night long, but on this day they were both awakened by the piercing monotone that preceded an Emergency Broadcast System announcement. Both tried to wake up to listen because they, like everyone else in the United States, were concerned about the fact people all over the world were melting, and they hoped the announcement would provide them with some answers to their many questions.  A man’s voice reported:

“As people in the United States and elsewhere in the world may already know, there is a new and serious health threat taking place on a global scale. The health threat, now known as Rapid Incremental Decomposition Syndrome or RIDS has no known treatment or cure and is 100% lethal. While the cause of the syndrome is still unknown, scientists were able to determine a catalyst that appears to induce the syndrome in human subjects after it was learned that all of the people who contracted the syndrome did so after getting wet within the past 24-hours such as getting caught in the rain or after taking a bath or shower. Therefore we announce that it is vital to everyone’s continued health that they avoid getting wet at all costs and take the necessary precautions to prevent them from getting wet. The public is advised they may still drink fluids because it is only moisture on the skin that causes the syndrome to activate. This agency will make further announcements when something new is learned. We now return you to previously scheduled programming already in progress.”

It took a few moments for everything in the report to sink in, but then Lucinda became upset:

“Roger, you and I took showers this morning, but we’re not melting; but I gave the baby his bath, as usual, before putting him to bed at 9 P.M., so he was wet all over his body just 8-hours ago. Oh my god, this is terrible!  What if he got the syndrome? Hurry, Roger! Get out of bed and run to his room with me!”

The couple jumped out of bed and ran the few steps to the baby’s room. Lucinda snapped on the light switch and went over to the baby’s crib but was horrified at what she found. There was nothing left of their baby except for a puddle of gore under a saturated baby blanket and an empty diaper. Lucinda screamed then fainted, while Roger was at a loss what to do. It was the same for millions of other parents who gave their babies the routine nightly bath before putting the babies to bed.


While her husband was a work, Lucinda remained in a state of depression and decided she just couldn’t stand staying in their home any longer without the sounds of her darling baby boy. The horror of it all wouldn’t leave her mind for a minute, so she got her purse and jumped in the convertible in an attempt to distract herself by doing some shopping. She was still gone when Roger came home from work and made himself a tuna fish sandwich while being careful not to spill any soda pop on his skin as he drank from a can. Then the door slammed open and Lucinda came running inside jumping into Roger’s arms as she cried:

“It’s terrible Roger, it’s just terrible! I went to the pharmacy to buy us more deodorant, since we can’t take baths or showers, and as I was walking back to the car, without a cloud in the sky, it suddenly started pouring rain, and before I could get the top of the convertible up, I got soaked. You already know what that means don’t you, Roger? I’m going to start melting like the others that got wet, just like our baby did after he got wet. Oh Roger, will you still love me when I’m melting?”

Roger didn’t know what to say but answered his wife:

“Of course, I’ll still love you, Lucinda!”

Lucinda had other ideas:

“Just wait till all my skin falls off, and I look like a monster. Then we’ll see if you still love me or not! Look its already starting! I scratched my head just now and a pile of hair came off in my hand! Things are going to get messy around here, and I’m certainly not going to soil our new couch, mattress, or carpets. I’m going to go lie in the bathtub and melt in there, so I won’t make a mess all over the house. You can just sit on the toilet and keep me company until I melt all the way.”

Roger could only oblige his wife, so after she got in the tub, he took his seat on top of the toilet and tried to maintain a positive attitude in the face of the developing tragedy. Within two hours of her arrival, all of Lucinda’s hair fell out, and she was covered in thousands of small water blisters. Then the blisters began to burst, fester, and ooze until Lucinda was covered in a pink and yellow slime. After that her skin began to sag and wrinkle dropping off in chunks exposing her muscles, tendons, and bones. By the tenth hour Lucinda’s muscles had decomposed and the syndrome was in its final stages because he could hear a gurgling sound when she inhaled or exhaled indicating her lungs were filling up with fluids. By then she was already unconscious and finally stopped breathing altogether.  In horror, Roger remained where he sat watching, as what was left of Lucinda melted into a puddle of gore. Roger got up and pulled the shower curtain closed, then went to the telephone to call the FEMA’s hotline, so they could send out a Hazmat team to clean up the mess, just as they had done to get rid of the baby’s remains. Four hours later the Hazmat team was finished leaving Roger to dwell alone after surviving the loss of both his wife and child.

Roger wondered how long he could survive without getting wet, but then something occurred to him. In a few months, it was going to be spring, then summer in Phoenix, when temperatures would be as high as the 120’s. To survive the heat, he would have to run the evaporative cooler in his house, but there was a snag.  That type of cooler operates by evaporating water in a collection screen and running high velocity air currents through it then down air ducts into the home. It was humidified cool air that cooled the home, meaning the air would be saturated with moisture. Roger already knew that after running the evaporative cooler for a number of hours, things got moist and clammy inside including his skin. So, if he ran the damn thing to stay cool, he was going to subject himself to moisture and would probably contract the syndrome. But if he didn’t run the evaporative cooler, the temperature inside his house would be so hot he would excessively perspire, get wet, and contract the syndrome anyway. It was going to be the same for everyone living in the southwestern deserts as soon as it started getting hot. 

Roger’s next thought was to leave and move to a climate that was cooler, but by then all interstate highway travel was shut down with the exception of authorized necessary vehicles, such as semi-trucks bringing in food and supplies. Roger and everyone else in Arizona weren’t likely to go anywhere, so contracting the syndrome seemed inevitable. Roger became morose and depressed. The agonizing hours and days passed slowly as he waited for circumstances to arrive when he would melt like all the rest. This was excruciating for him. 

After a while he couldn’t stand it any longer. Although it meant his own death the hot water from the shower’s nozzle felt refreshing and good. Roger didn’t bother getting dressed, and did what Lucinda would have expected and got inside the tub waiting to melt. It was only an hour after his shower that a clump of hair fell off the top of his head landing softly on his shoulder. Roger grabbed the clump of hair and began to laugh, while repeating a line from The Wizard of Oz in a cackling voice:

“I’m melting! I’m melting!”