Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: the outbreak.

We had a wet and very windy morning here, which made harvesting tomatoes for the bakery and coffee shop rather... unpleasant. I got it done, though, before taking a break with Kat and Max to go for coffee in town.

After lunch the weather was slightly better. I managed to finish the rest of the harvest and then make the deliveries as well.

This evening was a quiet one, spent with family. We took Max out to the berry patch to pick some raspberries for ourselves, which is always a nice treat. Sometimes we forget to do that, we're so focused on selling to others.


They appeared out of thin air, or so it seemed. One moment there was peace and quiet, the next they were here. And there. And everywhere.

Now they travel in thick, stomach turning clouds. Perched on walls, counters, tables, they take flight when approached - either on purpose or accidentally. Always an unpleasant surprise, that.

I strike one down and fifty take its place. Thousands are vacuumed away and seconds later it is as though nothing has been done to stem the tide.

The fruit flies are winning this war. My defeat seems inevitable... but I know a secret.

Winter is coming.


Greg said...

I quite like the rain, but very windy would definitely put the weather into the "bad" category for me. Well done on getting the harvesting done in the antagonistic weather!
I guess you'd have a real problem with fruit flies at certain times of the year, given you've got orchards around! I like your descriptions of them, and the inevitability of their ability to congregate en masse. The third paragraph seemed particularly apt and well written :)
And the last line... how very Game of Thrones! ;-)

The outbreak
Dr. Silver slipped her Hello Kitty earmuffs off and hung them on a free arm of the coatstand. It was a wobbly aluminium pole with coats hung higgledy-piggledy on it, and the additional weight -- or perhaps the gross indigity of Hello Kitty -- caused it to overbalanced and shed its load all over the floor. Dr. Silver tutted and picked her earmuffs up and set them on a nearby desk.
"How's the outbreak?" she asked, her voice light and breezy. "All contained?"
"Hardly." The word was grunted out by Damon, sat a desk away and the only other person in the room. There were dark circles under his eyes, and though the office (and building) were strictly non-smoking, there was a brimming ash-tray on his desk and a packet of cigarettes underneath his computer monitor.
"I thought we were nearly done?" Dr. Silver removed a cashmere Hello Kitty scarf that had cost her two months' salary and folded it up carefully. Damon turned round, his chair creaking under his weight.
"We found a new patient zero," he said. "We did some questioning, and it turns out that that little party where it all started... well, it wasn't that little. It was actually a full-blown orgy. We've got the guest-list now, and there's twenty-seven of them. And," Damon paused significantly, "the staff at the house were invited to join in as well."
"They never!" Dr. Silver was appalled at the idea of sleeping with the help.
"Oh yes, they did. And there's up to fourteen of them, because no-one paid enough attention to see who joined in and who didn't."
"So...?" Dr. Silver put her handbag in her in-tray and sighed, reaching for her white-coat and shotgun.
"This outbreak of necrotizing syphilis got raised to epidemic level at 22:44 last night."

morganna said...

Death stalks the marketplace, the bus, and the school. But most of all death stalks the hospital. If you admit you are sick, you will be taken to the overwhelmed hospital and die in pain and misery alone among the other dying folk. Do they scream as their organs collapse and they bleed to death? If you don't admit you are sick, you may stay at home with your loved ones, only to infect them and watch them die with you. Many don't admit to the reality of this terrible disease, and stay at home. Do they realize they caused their loved ones to die along with them?
from west Africa, Ebola hotspot

Marc said...

Greg - oh yes, the fruit flies were horrendous at the time of this writing. They're not quite so bad now but all it takes is a peach going rotten at the bottom of the fruit bowl without us noticing and things get gross again.

Love your descriptions, as always, and the way things escalate throughout your tale.

Morganna - speaking of horrendous... what an awful situation. I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to be living in the midst of that.