FLASH FICTION A DAY: JAN 10

Well, today I decided to step out of my comfort zone just a little… I not only wrote in third person, but I also went for some outside conflict/action. I hope you enjoy.

Today’s Prompt: “Well, that didn’t end the way I expected, but at least nobody important died.”

Today’s Story:

The Blight

“Well, that didn’t go as anticipated, but hey… at least nobody important died.” Hadley mumbled quietly.
“Nobody important? Half the world is dead! That virus wiped out half the planet!” Sherriden retorted, waving his arms with his words, as if that would make more of an impact.
“Well sure… but we got it contained. No new cases have emerged. I mean, I consider that a win. What more do you want? It is not like we can change anything now.” Hadley grumbles.
They were both working in a special black site, working with biologically engineered blights, that are only supposed to affect crops, but somehow a small batch managed to attach itself to one of the engineers, who then managed to go to the store and then home, infecting dozens on her way. She was ground zero, of a mess they now had to cover up.

fabio-jose-lima-499687-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Fábio José Lima on Unsplash

“The CDC has been having a field day with this mess, and we can’t let it come back on us. How do you anticipate stopping that? Hmmmm? This whole mess…”
“It really wasn’t Terri’s fault.” Hadley cuts Sherriden off. “Any one of us could have brought it home! She had kids, Sherriden. She did not do this on purpose, no matter what you want to say. Have some compassion man.”
“Compassion! We don’t have time for that. Besides, I am not here to coddle you. I am here to clean up this mess. This whole place has to be torched before any more can get out, and files need to be scrubbed. We can’t have anyone who doesn’t need to know, knowing any more than they already do.” Sherriden eyes Hadley sourly.
“I know, I know.” Hadley growls. “Years of research, and now I will have to start all over again.”
“Oh my dear man. You don’t know do you? The real reason I am here.” Sherriden glances over, a hint of pity touching his eyes.
Looking up Hadley’s face falls. “I am to disappear with the place, is that it? You are here to kill me, along with years of research. Research I was hired to conduct I might add.”
“Well, now you have become a liability. I would say I am sorry, but to be honest, I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to you. But don’t worry, they are good to their word. Your family will be well taken care of. Your daughters will get the best education money can buy. Your wife will be getting the deluxe widow package from Corporate. It has already been signed. All it is waiting on, is me. So… are you ready?” Sherriden asks, there really seems to be no emotion to the man, outside of that tiny glimpse in his eyes of pity.
“Well, I guess that is the best I will get. I am just a cog in the machine.” Hadley watches as Sherriden tosses a lighter into the room and closes the door. He bows his head and waits, he knew this job would kill him, he just had hoped it wouldn’t be like this.

 

Well I hope you enjoyed this new piece. What did you think? What does the prompt trigger for you?  Please leave your thoughts below, as always I always love to hear from you!

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5 thoughts on “FLASH FICTION A DAY: JAN 10”

  1. I was sitting in a room. A single light bulb in the center of the ceiling lit the space. I was at a table, sitting in a chair. Whenever I put my hands on the table or leaned on it, it rocked forward, one leg shorter than the rest making it impossible for the table to settle into an even plane.

    A door into the room was shut. Along one wall was a mirror that I knew was two-way. There were people back there watching, waiting to see if I’d sweat or somehow reveal guilt through my actions.

    I didn’t. I drummed my fingers on the table, whistled a happy tune, pretended to nap.

    And a couple of hours after I was deposited in the room, the door opened. In stepped a police officer in uniform. He sat down across from me. Behind him came a detective in plain clothes. He closed the door and stood next to it, his back against the wall.

    I waited to see which one would be the good cop, which one would be the bad.

    The detective spoke first. “You know why you’re here?”

    “Yeah, sure.” I shrugged, picking up the drumming on the table again. “It’s about what happened last night. At the game.”

    The detective spoke again, while the uniformed officer just stared at me. “Yes, the game. Somebody set off a fire alarm. 16,000 people panicked and tried to storm out of the arena all at once. Twelve died. Over a hundred were hurt.”

    I didn’t say anything. I waited. The officer filled the silence. “You know anything about it.”

    “Nope, not me.”

    The officer got up, walked around the table slowly, sat back down. “Well, that’s interesting. We’ve got video from a security camera that shows you pulling the alarm. Same flannel shirt, faded jeans, mustache and bald patch at the back of your head.” He put his hand on my drumming fingers, making me stop. “You sure about that?”

    “Well, it didn’t end the way I expected, but at least nobody important died.”

    “I’m thinking the families of those twelve dead individuals might disagree.”

    I shrugged again and looked at the officer, pulling my hand out from under his. It was kind of creepy to tell you the truth. His hand on mind, the sweat from his palm mingling with mine.

    “Yeah, maybe.” I decided to stall for time. “Can I get a cigarette?”

    The detective pulled a pack out nowhere and gave me a cigarette. He had a lighter in his hand before I knew it and lit the end. I took a long drag and blew the smoke out.

    “Okay. I pulled the alarm. It was supposed to be a joke?”

    ********

    So, this doesn’t really end, but I’m not sure how to end it …

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