The Disease

“So this is what is causing the mosquito deaths?” I asked the doctor. “Yes, as you can see here, there are massive amounts of mosquitos that have been spontaneously dying,” Dr. Coleman explained. He pulled out a beaker full of light blue liquid, “this is the disease we think could be causing the deaths, this one vile, if dropped could cause mass deaths.”

“Do we have to worry about any other species of animal being affected if they get bit by mosquitos?” I asked the Dr. Coleman. “Well at the moment the virus cannot infect any other species, besides the common mosquito.” My camera man and I gave a sigh of relief.

“Well instead of trying to stop the disease shouldn’t we just let the mosquitos die, it would be better for everybody.”

“As I said the disease can’t infect any other species, yet it is inevitable that this strain of the disease will evolve and start affecting the animals that eat the mosquitos. That could spell trouble for all of us,” Dr. Coleman explained. “If this disease evolves enough we would have to shut down cross continental travel, just to stop it from spreading.”

I looked over at Sean while we were driving to our next location, I could tell he was worried about this mosquito disease. “Hey man, are you ok, it’s going to be years before the disease can spread, we should have a cure by then.” I said, trying to calm him down.

“That’s not always true there is a big chance this disease is actually the end of the world,” Sean said nervously. “You can’t think like that, diseases don’t usually just evolve it must be pushed by something,” I tried to explain to him.

Two Weeks Later

Now that the disease has appeared in rodents there is a higher chance people can be affected by it. In Africa we have seen some cases of this happening to people and larger animals. They began to feel a burning in their lungs, then they lose cognitive speech, then their eyesight becomes blurred and they can’t keep their balance. After all of that the paralisis sets in, then the host stage begins, this causes the disease to take full control of the body. If the person isn’t killed through this process it will cause a very painful death,and most likely the person will go insane before they die.

“Jacob, Sean, since you already covered this subject when it first hit the scene I’m flying you two out to Africa to interview the families of the victims and the doctors,” our boss said.

“Sir, with all do respect I don’t feel comfortable risking my life in the hopes to get a good scoop,” said Sean.

“Oh please, you can only get the disease if you eat the rats, or if they bite you but after all the mosquitoes died there is no airborne risk. But if you don’t want to go you don’t have to, you just won’t have a job anymore”

“Are you threatening to fire me if I don’t go to Africa?” Sean asked nervously. I pulled Sean to the side and whispered to him, “The disease is only going to affect you if you act carelessly. We need to do this job it will be career changing.”

“I really don’t know about this one Jacob, I’m not going and I suggest you don’t go either,” Sean told me sternly.

I sighed and said to him, “I need to do this, it could change my whole life and I could get a promotion and jumpstart a great career for myself.”

“Well, you are going to have to do it without me,” retorted Sean

We turned back to our boss and I said I would be ready to go Monday. Sean had walked out after telling  our boss he couldn’t bring himself to go.

“One more thing,” our boss said, “ Dr. Coleman is going to meet you down there to study the disease closer.”

“Flight 186 to Africa now boarding,” was said over the intercom. I boarded my flight, “So why are we going to Africa,” my new camera man said.

“Well, there is this disease that we are supposed to find out how dangerous it would be if it got to the states.” I was thinking back to what the Dr. said, it was inevitable for this disease to jump species but we still didn’t have a cure. I was having second thoughts about how safe it was for me to be in such close contact to the disease. The plane had already taken off so I convinced myself that I couldn’t change my mind now so I might as well go through with it.

“So we are doing constant tests to try and stop this disease from spreading outside of Africa,” Dr. Coleman said.

“What are some of the precautions you are taking to stop this disease from getting to the U.S.?”

“First, we are restricting anybody from taking flights that show symptoms of this disease, this is easier said than done because the disease will start to show symptoms sporadically, it can start with a simple cough” Dr. Coleman explained as he wrote something down in his notebook. He pulled the vile that he said contained the disease in its primitive state. He explained how this could be the clue for curing the symptoms, while the disease is in its primitive state it can be fought on a small scale.

“That does not mean this is not dangerous even though it is fightable, this contains one of the most deadly diseases,” he said while inspecting the tube.

***

The flight had taken off when we started to hear a man coughing violently next to us, the flight attendant walked down the aisle, “sir, is there any chance you have come in contact with this disease.” She asked quietly so she didn’t cause a panic. He looked up at her nervously and nodded.

Breaking news, flight 238 African airlines had been carrying a deadly disease. With this news the president has shut off all air traffic control, we are now in a state of total quarantine.

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Flash Fiction

There was something not quite right with this case. There were five diamonds missing from the jewelry store but we only found four on the robber. I sat up in my bed and grabbed the notebook.

Entry #1: The robber confessed for stealing the diamonds, we took him to the holding cell. He said he hadn’t stolen five diamonds just four. we only found four when we searched him.

Entry #2 It was an easy open and shut case, the only loose end was the last missing diamond, The store’s insurance covered the whole cost so the owner didn’t care if we found it or not.

It just didn’t make sense why he would confess so easily. I walked into the station and saw a young woman sitting on the bench.

“This woman would like to confess a crime,” one of the guards told me.

“Alright take her to interrogation room A,” I told him. I sat down across from her, the cold metallic table in front of us. “So, what do you want to confess too?” She leaned in close to me and said softly, “I stole from a bank.” As she said that she grabbed something from under the table. I looked at her surprised and asked, “what did you steal from this bank.”

“A pen, I stole a pen, I was writing a check for my nieces twelfth birthday and the pen was just so good so I yanked it off the chain and walked out,” she said with her hands covering her face.

“That is not a crime miss it is just immoral.” as she walked out I noticed she had a diamond ring matching the fifth diamond that was missing. I asked her when she got engaged. “I’m not,” she said with a sly grin on her face.

Boredom

“I was thinking, we have been running around stealing these cars and were good at it, but it’s getting boring,” I said to my partner.

“Well since we’re good at it why would we ever change what we are doing,” she retorted.

“We are too good at it and we aren’t in any threat, I want a challenge,” I said.

“Why risk getting caught?”

“It’s not like I want to get caught I just want to risk something in my life, this has become repetitive and boring.”

“I want to rob a bank,” I said

“Rob a bank,” she asked.

“Yeah think about it, the bank is insured so the people don’t lose any money, the banker is told to just give us the money because it’s the safest option.”

The waitress walked over and topped off my cup of coffee. We both followed her with our eyes until she left.

I lowered my voice and said, “look, Jan, it will be easy barely any risk, we don’t even need to fire a single shot.”

“I know what you’re saying, Tanner, but we would need a whole crew with a getaway driver and crowd control,” said Jan also lowering her voice.

“I already have it covered, my cousin knows these guys that have done this before.”

***

Jan opened the door and kissed her cousin on the cheek.

“Hey, José,” Jan said.

“come in, sit down, let me get you a drink,” José said. “Now, what can I do for my little baby cousin.”

“Well, Tanner and I were wondering if you could help us with something,” said Jan.

“Of course, whatever you need.”

“Well, we were thinking we want to do something new, something courageous. We were wondering if you could help us plan on how to rob banks.”

“You guys want to rob banks,” José said with a snicker.

“Yeah, why is that so crazy?”

“You two don’t seem like the people who would do this type of crime, you guys steal cars me and my crew rob banks,” said José

“That’s why we need some help, we don’t even know where to start.”

“Alright, I will give you guys a plan and some of my crew, if you follow the plan everything will work out and nobody will know it was even you.”

***

“Everyone on the ground,” Jan screamed.

I told the bank owner to open the safe with my gun barrel in his face. We walked back to the safe

“You won’t get away with this the police are already on their way,” the banker said after he opened the safe.

I grabbed the money and started putting it into a duffle bag. I heard the sirens in the background,

“we better hurry up and get going, the cops are going to be here in no time,” said Jan.

I picked up the bags and ran out with Jan and our crew. We jumped in the back of our get-away car.

“Go go go, we have to go now,” I yelled at our driver.

Trophies

Are we giving kids too many trophies? I believe we are, studies have shown that when you reward a child with a trophy for not trying it paints the picture that they are not allowed to lose, because kids adopt certain personality traits from their parents. If parents would teach their kids that losing is the first step to success the kids will learn that they must fail to succeed. This is a useful trait in young children they will learn that if they work hard enough at a certain skill they will earn a reward for their efforts.

 

Stephen McCranie said, “the master has failed more than the beginner has even tried.” This is an important quote because it shows that if the master had been rewarded they would not have continued to learn off their mistakes and would not attempt to improve their skill.

 

People could argue that giving kids a participation trophy boosts the self-esteem of those kids. I think that even if this is true it would not be teaching the right lesson because once the child ego has been boosted past their skill they will learn a tuff lesson that would be much more traumatic than not a getting the trophy in the first place. The lesson being that they are not as skilled as they had believed and they must work hard to succeed in their choice of sport or activity.

 

As a person that has never gotten a trophie, I can speak from the rare side of this situation. As a young kid, I obviously see that my friends would get trophies and I would feel bad but I decided that I didn’t have any desire to win one. Even though I did not have the desire to win a trophy if I really wanted one I would have tried harder in the sports I was participating in. From this perspective, I feel that kids that get rewarded for very little ability and skill are just teaching them that they get rewarded very easily and they will not see the reason in progressing their skill any further if they are already getting a trophy. The only reason they would have any desire to improve is to get a bigger or better trophy.

 

One could also argue those useless trophies just get thrown away and when they are made from primarily plastic they will sit in a landfill, that is obviously bad for the environment. If fewer trophies were rewarded to the best of the best it would use less material and have less chance of getting thrown away. This would be a very minimal difference in the grand scale of global pollution but it would be a good easy step to take in the right direction of global preservation.

 

In conclusion, I think kids are given too many trophies for too many things it teaches the wrong lesson to young kids. It teaches them that if they do the very least amount of work they can they will get rewarded. This is a bad lesson not just for sports but for every situation, like in school work if a child was just required to show up and they got rewarded with good grades they would probably not have any desire to improve themselves because they were not required to.

The Pilot

“Attention, we are asking everyone to evacuate to the lifeboats towards the back of the ship for safety reasons,” I said over the speakers.

“Captain, there isn’t enough life boat’s for the whole ship,” exclaimed the co-captain.

“The boat is capsizing that means we will have to get everyone we can onto those lifeboats, I don’t care how many there are”

“We need to save women and children first,” I shouted.

***

“The men were standing back helping all of you guys onto the boats, then after the ship went down I grabbed onto a piece of rubble and drifted here.” I told the boy handing back the conch.

“Well we have been here for a couple of days now, and we already have a leader and he made some rules,” said Piggy

I replied saying, “don’t you boys think that a captain of the ship should lead you.”

“Let’s wait till Ralph gets back and he can decide,” Piggy said.

I replied saying, “alright where is he and when will he be back?”

“He’s exploring with jack, they are making sure this is really a deserted island.”

I knew I couldn’t tell the boys but we are definitely on a deserted island. I was sailing across the Pacific more or less, it was a miracle we landed on an island at all. We were not going to be saved anytime soon but I knew if I could find the wreckage I could try to send a distress call out.

***

Ralph and Jack came walking back across the beach around 6 a.m. judging by the sunrise.

“Oh man an actual adult, I thought it was just us kids,” said Ralph.

“Yeah lucky for you I’m the captain so I know how to actually keep us alive, now the first thing we should do is-”

“wait who made you the leader,” asked Ralph cutting me off.

“Well, I think being an actual captain and the only adult here I should be the one to make rules and plans, don’t you agree?”

“I’m not giving up power that easily,” said Ralph

“Fine, what did you do to become the leader in the first place then,” I asked.

“We had a vote,” Ralph shot back smuggle. He thought he had an advantage because he was already the leader, these kids aren’t dumb enough to vote for a kid over an adult.

“All in favor of this new guy raise your hands,” every hand except piggy’s shot up.

“Okay,” I said, “the first thing we should do is build shelter and find food and water. A third of you go out in the jungle and search for coconuts, fruit, berries whatever you can find to eat. A third should go out and search for running water if it is stagnant don’t drink it, The rest of us will stay here and build a shelter and try to get a fire going because if you do find water we should boil it for sterilizing.” all the boys nodded in agreement and started to run off.

Lenore

I was trying to get some sleep as my mind was running frantically, I was wondering what I could have done differently. “I could have run faster, or I could have been more strict about going on the ice,” I thought to myself. It was the one year anniversary of Lenore’s death, the pain made it feel as if it happened yesterday.

***

“Do you want to play some hockey after school today Lenore?” “Yeah sure, I don’t really play hockey that much so I can just watch.” “You have to play with us, we only have three people, come on it will be fun.” “I don’t know Tom, is the ice thick enough?” “Yeah we threw some rocks out onto the ice and it didn’t break through so it’s alright.” “Fine, what time are we meeting up because I have to tell my dad what we are doing.” “We will just go when you are ready, just meet us at Jankens lake.”

 

“Hey dad,” shouted Lenore leaning in through her front door. “Can I play hockey with some of the boys from school,” she said still shouting. Lenore’s dad shuffled down the stairs, “is the ice thick enough,” he asked. “They say it’s plenty thick and they tested it.”     “Alright, you can go just be careful and bundle up so you don’t catch a cold.” Lenore leaned in kissed him on the cheek “thanks dad,” she said softly. She turned and ran to the lake.

 

Tom was sitting on a rock tying on his skates, the rest of the guys were already on the ice. “Hey Lenore, we are about to start so put on your skates,” said Tom. “Uh I don’t have skates, I thought you might have some.” “Well today is your lucky day I thought you weren’t going to have any so I brought extras, they might be a little wobbly because they are old skates,” said Tom. “Oh, that’s ok thanks for letting me use them.”

 

“And that’s game with a score of 11-2,” said Tom’s friend. “I’m sorry I suck so bad Tom,” said Lenore. “That’s fine it’s just a game I had fun,” Tom replied. “I’m sure your feet hurt so let’s get off this ice.” Lenore started skating off across the lake when she heard a crack! “Tom, did you hear that,” she asked. “Yeah I heard it I’m sure it was just a pressure crack just be careful and get off quick.” as she started skating off the ice broke bellow her feet. She fell through the ice and started gasping for air in the freezing cold water. Tom ran over to try and help her but he couldn’t grab her hand. She was sinking and the lake had sealed back up. Tom screamed in horror as he saw that she was gone. All the boys ran off to get help.

***

“It’s all my fault I should have not let her go, I should have gone with her to check the ice. I should have done something different, now she’s gone and it’s all my fault.” Poor Lenore.

Workshop

It was snowing pretty heavily. It really calms me when the snow is nice and heavy. I smiled and looked back at my tv, static,

 

“dang, the snow must have shot my power.”


I looked outside and squinted. I couldn’t see anything because the only light was from a small light post on the other side of the street. I assumed that the snow must have knocked out a power line.

“I can’t just leave my power off I’ll freeze to death,” I said.

The little light was still on so I thought that only my house was out of power. It started getting really could because of my heat, it wouldn’t turn on. I grabbed extra blankets and went to bed.

Every time I would look outside my eyes would play tricks on me like making the trees look like monsters and seeing a person outside my window. I eventually fell asleep but not for long. After a few minutes of sleeping, I woke up in a cold sweat, it was a nightmare of a man looking at me through my window, just like what I thought I saw. It was probably a mix of the power going out and the street light flickering that scared me. I woke up and went to the kitchen to get a drink.

 

“If I can’t sleep I might as well fix my power,” I said nervously.

 

I grabbed a flashlight from the junk drawer I was determined to get this power running again. I turned on the flashlight and looked at the breaker. It was torn in half as if something ripped it right off the wall.

I heard a sort of moaning/growling noise just a few feet away from me.

 

“W-what was that,” I stuttered.

My only neighbor’s house was about half a mile away and it was late at night so it must have been some sort of animal. I shined my flashlight at where I saw the sound and didn’t see anything but two large indents in the snow, like footprints but not human, it was like they were wolf feet but bigger and longer.

 

“That must be what tore my breaker in half,” I realized

I ran back inside horrified, picked up my phone and dialed 911, no answer. My phone had been getting no service because of the snow. I needed a way to contact somebody just in case this animal was going to try to attack me.

 

I heard the same moan come from inside my dark house. I whiped my head around with my light and looked at nothing. There was nothing where I heard the noise.

“That sounded like it was right over my shoulder.”

 

I felt a breath on the back of my neck, I knew this was it. I turned around and saw a tall skinny hunched over creature with a misshapen head and bloodshot big blodshot eyes, its hands were like claws and its feet were long and skinny.

I ran to the front yard and locked the gate, it was no use the creature jumped over it with ease. I need to get away, so I ran to the woods. I jumped over rocks and slid under logs trying to get to one of my neighbor’s houses. I saw the light of one of my weirder neighbors and ran as fast as I could. I got to his back door and tried to open it. It was locked I banged on it and screamed, Nothing no answer no light turned on just complete blackness except for the little street light.

The creature was still chasing me, I knew because it made a lot of noise when it ran. I tried to lose it best I could but when I finally couldn’t run anymore I turned around and took a break.

 

“Did I lose it,” I thought to myself.
I heard the sound of it running getting closer and the creature a few seconds later showed up right next to me. It didn’t even seem like he was out of breath. I couldn’t believe it, the monster just continued to stare at me not saying a word. It stepped towards me and put its hand out. its fingers were just skin and bones they were long and brittle like dried twigs. It tilted its head and looked at me curiously. The monster laid its hand on my shoulder and opened its mouth. It began screeching. I didn’t know what to do but push its hand off of me and try to run. The thing grabbed me with great force and knocked me down into the mud. It jumped on top of my shoulders pinning me to the ground, It leaned in a few inches away from my face and shrieked. The noise was ear piercing, it sounded like metal being torn.

Its jaw unhinged like a snake about to swallow its prey, whole. I took one last breath hoping this wasn’t real. I felt a blinding pain in my leg the beast was biting it but not to eat me it was dragging me. I was screaming and crying as my face was in the dirt hitting rocks and snow. I grabbed a dead branch and tried to hit the monster. I landed one good hit on the head and stabbed it in the eye, the creature wasn’t even affected by this. I was still screaming and crying in pain but nobody could hear me. I felt my leg tissue being torn and my bone cracking. I blacked out.



Breaking news! Missing homeowner found talking to himself in a cave in the woods saying, “the creature is coming.” Will we find out what happened to this pore soul, find out tonight on channel 43 news!