I did this interesting little story as a creative writing exercise last year (2018). The premise was simple – grab a random book. Turn to a random page. Read a random sentence. Now turn it into a story. Don’t think, just write the sentence (or not) and the continue it to a story. Then end. With this one, I used one drop. Found this in some papers I was going through to put away so though I’d share here. This is first draft, unedited. If you wish to share, please just share this post. 🙂
It started with one small barely perceptible drop. One could hardly call it a drop as that was being generous.
One. small. blip.
Never registered. Never seen.
Down, down, down it went.
Coming from the nose of the condemned, it fell freely from the nostril of that rat. One particular handler held in their hands. Transferring the disease ridden carrier, they took the utmost caution to prevent any part of the disease from leaving the room, the building, the entire facility.
Every day the protocols they imparted were to ensure those diseases were never freed. Never released. Never removed from the facility.
That condemned life of the rat was yet another precaution. It was dying anyway. They weren’t just saving lives, but ending the suffering of the defenseless creature.
Once that rat would’ve been used as a test subject, but not anymore. This one had been a pet anyway. They came in droves. People were dying. Rats were dying. Pets were dying. Animals were dying. Someone random determined the disease was the same, despite all signs contrary.
Until they discovered that that scientist was right. A new form of the flu ping-ponged between owner and pet. A new flu that killed sure, but also extended lives.
This lone rat being carried was the victim of its owner. A victim (its owner) which had lived far too many years and had grown white before it began wasting away with no fix in sight.
As fast as they created a cure and pushed it out, free to the world, found in the local drugstore. As fast as they attempted to stay ahead of it. As fast as everyone worked to combat it.
It wasn’t fast enough.
Every year. Then monthly, weekly, and when it hit daily? The public had enough. No more they screamed. No more shots, no more pills, no more.
Leave us be!
They began to revolt, distrust, hate, then accept. Young, old, weak, strong. Diseased or no. Didn’t matter.
All received the equality they sought.
Finally. Finally it became too much.
“Are we just guinea pigs?” they cried.
“Are you just using us?” they screamed.
“Do you not care?” they wailed.
Until . . .
Until it became too much.
No longer was it great to live longer when it meant the body and mind decayed. No longer was it fun to see children age while perpetually youthful in looks. No longer was it entertaining to see a loved one fall – literally – apart while one spoke to them. *poof* Dust.
It wasn’t predictable. The insides wasted away before the exterior. Doctors were unable to stop it once inside. Those who took all precaution or the few immune. They too changed.
In their own way.
As too did the flu. And on it continued to grow, to change, to adapt, to hunt.
Until the few immune were unaware of that single drop that fell into that imperceptible crack. Of that drop that fell into the building’s foundation and migrated with the rest of the moisture as the foundation soaked and sweated the earth around it. Working down into the soil the drop went, slowly shifting through the earth until it struck a crack where water flowed.
Above ground life sped by, the immune – so few – slowly migrated out of their bunkers or underground places they’d taken refuge in against the increasing hostility.
Slowly they came forth as that lone drop made its way too. To the light of day, having adapted, changed, survived. Having worked through the old, it became new again. It multiplied.
“Lacy what are you doing?”
The curly haired child of ten, who looked five, carried to her mother the small item she’d been staring at. As if a prize, she cradled it in her palm, then revealed it to her mother who was forty, but looked twenty.
A worm. A filthy slimy worm. Jennifer shook her head and laughed, “Go put that back silly. You don’t need a worm.”
Lacy did as told. She swiped the dirt on her pants . . . then sneezed.
Jennifer froze and stared at her daughter. In over twenty years, not one person had been sick. Picking up her daughter, uninterested in chancing it or leaving her, she immediately took her child to the closest doctor.
After sending them home with a heavy dose of vaccines and antibiotics, Jennifer too . . . sneezed. As one of the few who’d been immune to that outbreak that swept across the world, she wasn’t chancing it. Calling her husband, she begged him, “Don’t come home until this has passed.” After explaining, and great reluctance, he agreed.
That night the doctor called off his practice early and immediately had a team out to clean up his office, bleach it, air it out. Then went home . . . and sneezed. As did all who’d seen him that day. As did the team who went through the office, and anyone who passed the building. As did all who’d even passed that lovely little curly haired girl, her mom, and on it spread.
Oh yes. That drop. That single drop.
Had adapted and renewed itself to eliminate the final survivors so earth could once more find freedom from that cruel and filthy human plague. The two-legged disease that walked freely, and needed to be cleansed. All animals as well. So earth could heal, renew, begin again.
Mother Earth put herself through a mass cleanse.
As she always did.
One Drop by Kim Iverson
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