The following transcript was recovered from the offices of Dr. Liam Maloney, a senior practitioner at the Nashua Wood Health Centre. His notes indicate that due to nature of the incident which led to this meeting, he felt it prudent to record the exchange for his records. While his notes do not go into any great detail regarding the preceding events (and no further evidence could be found), considering what we now know, the date of this entry, and the nature of the described incident, should be of the highest possible interest.
Interview: Myself/Mrs Katherine Tate. 2:30pm, July 14th, 2012. RE: The Tate Incident.
Doctor Liam Maloney: I know this is hard, Kathy, but I promise it won’t take long.
Katherine Tate: It’s OK… I’m fine, honestly.
You understand why I have to do this. I mean, you’re happy to continue?
Yes, I’m sure.
Good. Let’s start at Saturday morning. What do you remember?
It was sunny. Mark, Amber and I were out in the back garden. Mark and I were in the loungers, soaking up a little of the morning sun. It was before lunch but already almost twenty degrees. I was drinking an iced tea, Mark had a Sprite.
And where was Amber?
She was playing down the far end of the garden. I had told her to stay where I could see her but, as usual, she hadn’t. I know it sounds silly, considering we were in our own garden, but with the woods being just beyond it always makes… made me a little wary.
Mark was led next to me, with his headphones in as he always did.
So you couldn’t see Amber at all?
I could hear her. I was reading a little Stephen King, but kept glancing up every now and again toward our little forest at the end of the garden. Amber really loved it there. She was always bringing us back mini beasts and other assorted creepy crawlies she found. She’s nothing like me in that respect; I can’t stand all that dirt. But she loves… sorry-
Well she loved all that. She’d spend all day in those bushes if we let her. Anyway, I’d call out to her and she shout back that she was fine, that she was exploring and stuff. It was a normal summery weekend morning.
So tell me when you first realised something was wrong?
I’m not exactly sure when it was I realised I hadn’t heard from Amber in a while. It still makes me feel sick thinking about it. Can you believe that the other night I actually tried to blame King for making his writing so engrossing. Ridiculous, I know.
But eventually you noticed something was up?
Yes. After I called out to her several times to no reply, I leaned over and nudged Mark. He told me I was being silly and make a joke about my mother, his mother-in-law. I called out one more time, but when she didn’t call back, Mark said he’d go check.
Well I watched him venture between our two big trees and into the bushes. Whereas Amber would usually be on her knees and quickly out of sight, Mark, as you know, is pretty tall, so I could still just about see his head. It didn’t take him long to shout out and I went running.
That’s when you first saw it?
Yes. On the far side of the bushes, in a little clearing before the fence, Mark was crouched over Amber, who I couldn’t see. It all happened so fast. I didn’t even realise she wasn’t breathing. Mark was probably shouting at me but I don’t remember hearing him. I was just staring at the creature, it was stood in the dirt watching us.
It was standing?
It was up on its hind legs. It was about the size of a chicken I guess, but was scaled like a lizard. It seemed to have a few feathers on the top of its head and around its tail. I remember thinking how curious Amber must have been when she saw it. It looked kinda cute, not vicious at all. Of course, I was about to discover it was.
Do you remember what colour the feathers were?
I think maybe mostly white, with a tinge of blue. It’s hard to be completely sure, to be honest, but that sounds about right.
You’re doing great, Kathy. What next?
Just as I was about to move closer, it leapt into the air and onto Mark’s back. He was so focussed on Amber he hadn’t even noticed the thing watching us. He wailed as it landed on him and blood starting pouring right away. When it had been on the ground I hadn’t noticed how long and sharp the claws were on its little hands and feet. Mark jumped up and shook but the thing wouldn’t let go. It was biting him and Mark was screaming louder. I could see Amber now, cuts on her arms and legs and a big rip in her dress. She was covered in blood. I wanted to run right to her, but I had never heard Mark scream like that. I was still carrying my Under the Dome copy which, as you know, is a hefty tome. I swiped at the thing but still it wouldn’t budge. It was really clinging on. The hissing sound it was making was horrible; it really was like a mad dream at this point.
Yes, kinda like a cat, but a little higher pitched. And the smell was hideous, like when your dog has really bad breath but a hundred times worse. I wanted to throw up; later I did. The thing continued to hiss and scratch and bite and Mark was screaming and thrashing. I whacked the thing as hard as I could with my book again and it finally fell off and went scattering into the bushes.
You didn’t see it again?
No. I assumed it disappeared into the woods, but to be honest I was a little bit distracted.
I sat with Amber as Mark rushed back inside and called for an ambulance. She wasn’t breathing… But if I had known how much blood Mark was losing, I…
It’s fine, Kathy. The rest I know. You’ve done great. We’re done.
This interview was carried out five days prior to the first recorded cases of the Ratchings Virus, otherwise commonly referred to as ‘Outbreak Day 001’.