“As you know, normally during flu season, it’s the elderly, children and those with suppressed immune systems who are the first to contract influenza. This disease doesn’t discriminate by age. It’s infecting males of all ages. I want to show you something.” Dr Livinsky set his clipboard down, carefully put his hand on the patient’s shoulder and one on a leg and attempted to roll him over. At the slightest pressure, the patient’s skin ripped apart and dark fluid poured from his body.
Dr. Livinsky jumped back. “My God! That’s not what I wanted to show you,” He put two fingers on the patient’s carotid artery feeling for a pulse. “He’s gone, let’s get out of here,” he rang for the nurse, picked up his clipboard and they walked into the hall.
Lydia knew that the way a plague infects people is by being bitten by an infected flea, touching the fluid draining from a plague-infected person, breathing in small drops that come from coughs, sneezes or spit of infected people or animals, or touching a body that died from plague. Dr. Livinsky just did three of those things. She watched as he stopped at the sink and washed his hands before they left the room.
Looking at the chart, he said, “The symptoms after a week are as you saw, skin that ruptures at the slightest touch. It begins with a sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function,”
An overhead speaker called Dr. Livinsky for a code blue. As he rushed off, she chased after him and asked, “Why only males?”
“I was hoping the CDC could tell me why,” he said as he hurried down the hall.
She prayed the patient that had just died didn’t do so from some type of plague. She should have insisted Dr. Livinsky decontaminate before going anywhere, but she wasn’t sure about anything at this point.
Lydia went to the doctor’s locker room to shower and put on sterilized scrubs. She put her soiled clothes in the contaminated bin.
Writers I know are often afraid to say anything derogatory about a deceased person, but I believe that as long as it’s not defamatory to a living person, the writer can’t be sued for libel.
This is an excerpt from a novel I’m writing. It’s beyond magical realism; perhaps this piece could be called a fantasy, or a dreamscape.
I called the Geek Squad because I needed help with my computer. The geek who arrived at my house wasn’t geeky looking at all. She wore skin-tight leather pants and a see-through halter top that barely contained her large breasts. A snake tattoo on her neck wound down between those mounds. My little brain thought the view erotic and sprang into action and took control.
Scenarios of her naked body filled my head. When she set her tools on the floor I said, “Excuse me.” I ran to the bathroom and stuck my head under an icy shower. Three minutes of numbing cold caused my little brain to forget what it wanted, and I was again in control. I returned to my lady geek.
“What sort of problem are you having?” Ms. Geek said, smiling.
She had a diamond embedded in a tooth and her smile literally sparkled.
“My dead relatives images are gone.”
“Do you mean you lost your image files?”
“Yes. They’re missing. Disappeared. I’d like to know where they went. Is there a hidden place where lost files go?”
“You’d be amazed at the many places electronic files go. They can stay undetected for long periods of time. That is, until somebody like me ferrets them out. So I’ll find the image files and any others that have gone missing.”
“I guess Electronic Alzheimer’s has tainted my computer,” I said as I typed in my password so she could access my files. “I don’t know if it’s my computer or me that’s confused when I use DC instead of AC.”
She smiled that glittering diamond studded smile.”Digital defragmentation has many causes. I can see that you lose your focus when it comes to certain things. I’ll have to delete your entire pornographic library and all those pictures of naked girls you have stored.”
She hit delete and I watched in horror as they disappeared.
“Those took me years and lots of money to collect. Why did you do that?”
Fear crossed her face. It must have spread across her entire nervous system, because right before my eyes, she began to disintegrate into lines that buzzed like radio static and flowed into the computer screen and reassembled in there. She smiled from behind the glass, her diamond tooth glittering like the jewel it was. She gave me the finger, picked up an axe from my Photoshop file and began hacking away at the remaining porn on my screen.
I grabbed the mouse and hit her with the arrow cursor, knocking her off her feet. That’s when her face changed from beautiful to an oscillating energy uglier than any earthly witch.
She pointed a finger at me. A surge of juice ran up my arm into my head and my brain, and I began to disintegrate. My body became rotating electrons that were drawn by the millions through the mouse, down the cable, and into the databanks where she was hacking away with the axe.
Electrified as I was by the sight of a nude Ms. Geek hacking away at my data banks trying to destroy any remaining porn she could find, my little electronic brain came into play and I got a jolt that prompted me to take the axe from her hands and press my lips to hers.
Sparks flew, ozone filled the air, and my actions gave her a charge. She in turn overloaded me with ohms and paralyzed me, allowing her to get inside my head and delete all my pornographic thoughts.
When she’d stripped herself down to her bare copper- colored center, I couldn’t bring up a single sexual thought or memory. A smile of satisfaction crossed her shining mouth. She began to rebuild the data banks she had sterilized. When I watched her move so sexually through my databanks, it gave me an urge, but I couldn’t figure out why I was as sterile as my computer. She had taken away my joy in life, even though I couldn’t remember what it was, I knew I sorely missed it.
Was it anger or insanity filling my empty brain space? I picked up a bare wire and touched it to the tattoo on her neck.
She flipped and flopped, but I firmly held the wire against her neck until she atomized and disappeared. Then I frantically searched for what was missing, but because I didn’t know what I was looking for, I could never find it. What a fate, to be stuck searching for something that I wouldn’t even recognize if I found it.
I opened a data center and a dozen women poured out. They grabbed me and forced me to do all sorts of pornographic things. When I looked out through the screen, I saw Ms. Geek watching. “Get me out of here,” I yelled and gestured with all the electric juice I could muster.
Before I saw it coming, the arrow cursor knocked me off of my feet. On the other side of the screen, joy lit up Ms. Geek’s face. I got up to run. She opened my history file and sent two Neanderthal women after me. They grabbed me by the arms and stood me in front of her.
“Now you know how it feels to be an electronic image.” She hit delete, and I felt my atoms spreading as I disintegrated.