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 The Epidemic

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PENCIL PUSHER (26-50 posts)
PENCIL PUSHER (26-50 posts)

Posts : 37
Age : 66
Join date : 2011-10-06
Location : Barrington,Rhode Island

PostSubject: The Epidemic   Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:59 pm

After a long week of scheduled forums about the history of local Indian tribes in Rhode Island there did not seem to be any more excuses for me. I was coughing and hacking my head off so I decided to make an appointment to see a physician. The diagnosis confirmed what I was feeling. Antibiotics were prescribed for a bad case of brachial pneumonia.
After picking up my new script, I popped a few pills. I crawled into bed and was about to settle in and rest for the weekend when I realized I forgot to pickup some needed groceries. I was not happy about going out again because of my high fever and chills. All I wanted to do was to stay in bed and pull up the blankets. I had just enough of the world and didn’t need any more in my face late night shopping… I decided to get it over with and get back for a long restful weekend. I pulled on my coat and headed out.
As I walked down the stairs of my front hallway and reached for the handle to the front door, I immediately had the distinct feeling that my feet were sinking into the floor. I traveled down through the floorboards and into the dimly lit basement below and then blackness. Like a man suddenly stricken with blindness, I groped for something to hold onto to keep myself from falling. Stumbling around with my arms erratically swinging in a crisscross motion I reached out frantically hoping for something to hold onto. My feet moved forward as the ground beneath raced toward me causing me fall onto my knees. Staring and blinking in an attempt to see I began to make out a scene in silhouette. Adrenaline raced through my heart as I now realized I was now no longer in my house but somewhere outside. Looking up I became transfixed by billowing white clouds racing ominously across a dark night sky. Stars studded the blackness and a full moon highlighted the scenery around me.
As I began to focus on my surroundings, I noticed lights shinning through the windows of houses not recognizable to me. I lay there unable to move shivering uncontrollably. Suddenly I felt a blast of cold air from above. The wind encompassed me blowing and whirring with a howl that gave me a start more frightening and more chilling than the cold itself. Numb and weak I realized I was wet. The ordeal was making me sweat. Unable to make out anything familiar I stood up shaking in the dark.
Somewhere close by I heard footsteps and then a voice rang out beside me. “Fair thee well friend”? “Are ye on your way to the town meeting”, he asked. Unable to comprehend the meaning of his words I listlessly nodded. Then as suddenly as he had appeared he was gone. I made my way forward trying to follow him, as I did not want to be alone any longer. As I walked, I witnessed the tundra before me. Where once my house stood there appeared a dark and stark wintry field of leafless trees with snow topped grassy mounds. I began to feel a cold hot flash when suddenly another jolt of adrenaline raced through my body as a gaggle of flying geese flew overhead brandishing their own peculiar gander. Lost to all resolve I fell to my knees the ground again racing beneath me out of control. I cried out in a loud voice, God help me! , Still aching and shaking from this immediate experience I stood weakly to my feet my hands on my knees to steady myself before standing upright and moving toward a house nearby.
I came upon people who had collectively gathered. As I drew near to the crowd, I heard their desperation. We have not been successful in our attempts to quarantine our town from the tribe. Brothers and sisters, I am indeed uncertain of what we shall do! Please calm down and let us bring the details of this matter before the town fathers for further consideration after all we are not yet certain of all the details of what has or has not transpired. Let us spread the word that a meeting must be held at Mundy’s Tavern in an hour. Now I pray you all arrange to be there and tell anyone else who is of the colony to join us to straighten out this matter. Till then, Godspeed. Now go! Go home if necessary but come on time and prepare yourselves for the meeting and I will gather the Town Fathers together for later. I moved along with the crowd and entered a primitive wooden structure. Feeling the warmth of the fire I stood by myself close to the hearth. Who art thou, friend? Coming to my senses, I realized that I was now the center of attention. People began to mummer about me. Does anyone know this fellow? Others began to notice my sullen appearance. He looks deathly ill. He must have the pox. Suddenly a woman shouted, “He is the one responsible for spreading plague!” The crowd drew back from me leaving me to myself. All became silent as I warmed myself near the fire. They staring at me and me starring back at them. At this point, I began to notice the attire of the people. Their clothing clearly went together with their dialect. I now realized that I was a different time period. A period of time that was reminiscent of a 17-century English colony. Wonder began to turn to chaos as they began to panic that I might have been the one responsible for spreading the epidemic to the local indian tribe. People began shouting and children began crying.
Then a woman broke in and with a loud voice spoke , “It has already been decided that the children have transmitted the pox to her. She spends all of her free time playing with our children. It not too much to think that she brought it upon her own people. Our colony has been experiencing this sickness for some time now and it was all we could do to keep ourselves quarantined. It was only a matter of time as many Indians are coming to us daily for help.” There was a loud thud and the door burst open. An Indian woman rushed in carrying a small child. The little girl lay limp in her mother’s arms with a sullen gray appearance. Her eyes had dark black circles and she was running a high fever. There is your proof murmured the woman. She contracted it and spread it to her own tribe. Suddenly the Indian woman cried out, “My daughter, my daughter”, is dying. Please I beg of you help her. I have already lost my two sons must I now watch my daughter die. As she wept the crowd looked on in amazement. It seems that in a desperate attempt to keep the Indians safe from a recent outbreak of smallpox the colonists had ineffectually instituted a quarantine. Somehow, the epidemic entered the local Indian tribe through contact from these settlers. It seems this Indian girl was no ordinary girl but if fact was the daughter of the chief and had contracted it while playing with the children of the colony. However, it was too late to wonder who was responsible for not keeping an eye on the children for now this epidemic had a grave foothold in the tribe. There was more talk of what the consequences would be and many feared that the Indians would lash out at the colony for it. It was at this point that I was beginning to realize why I was here. In some kind of weird way, I had been transplanted from my front hallway into some archaic setting somewhere in the past for this purpose. Yes it seems as thought that I had moved from the twenty-first century into a 17th century setting during an epidemic of smallpox. Moreover, for what seemed to be the only reason that I could see but to help. However, how could I help? Then it dawned on me! Looking back at the little girl and realizing she would soon die I decided to help. Remembering that I had antibiotics, I reached into my coat pocket and pulled them out. Without hesitation and single in my purpose I moved through the crowd, I made my way to the little girl. Let me help you…. The woman stared at me in a daze and sat down abruptly. Everyone became silent as I handed the girl’s mother one of the pills. Give her one of these pills with a glass of water. After she had given her daughter the pill, I suggested that she bring her home and keep her warm. She took the bottle of pills and was about to leave when I asked her, “By the way, What is the girl’s name?”. Her name! Her Name! Why everyone here knows her name. She plays here with the other children all the time. Her name is Pocahontas. Immediately after this, my fever broke and I awoke.
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Posts : 5907
Age : 47
Join date : 2011-07-26
Location : Southern CA

PostSubject: Re: The Epidemic   Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:09 pm

You grabbed my attention at the beginning and held it throughout. Love the ending, very clever. It made me laugh. Your descriptions are very crisp and kept the tension up nicely. Great job!

God Bless, Lora  Nice Ta Meet Ya
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WRITERS’ MENTOR (500 + posts)
WRITERS’ MENTOR (500 + posts)

Posts : 832
Age : 45
Join date : 2011-08-29
Location : Hillsboro OR

PostSubject: Re: The Epidemic   Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:09 pm

Very interesting story. You have some good word play. Keep it coming.

Worshipfreely  worship
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Posts : 4323
Age : 58
Join date : 2011-08-30
Location : south carolina

PostSubject: Re: The Epidemic   Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:54 am

Human nature, guilt and blame, and the cure is so within grasp.
God Bless.


"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."
- Thomas Aquinas
"Dear God, please save us from half the people who think they're doing God's work"
"If the primary aim of a Captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever"-Saint Thomas Aquinas 

God Bless
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WRITER (51-100 posts)
WRITER (51-100 posts)

Posts : 55
Age : 70
Join date : 2011-10-15
Location : Titusville, FL

PostSubject: Re: The Epidemic   Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:12 am

Best short story I have read in a while. Vivid detailed description, kept my attention throjughout. Loved the ending.


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The Epidemic
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