There is a commotion outside my chamber door, and I find myself armed only with a quill. I try to ignore the noise, but the pounding is knocking the books from their shelves. I’ve run low on space to dodge these heavy dangers. My back is pressed to the wall. My knees lock so tight that I’m likely to faint.
“Come out, come out, for it’ll be worse if we break our way in!”
There’s a chill in the room. They’ve cracked the wood! I was sealed off from the Vanilla Virus, but now it is free to seep in. The mingled smells of ale and burnt grass fill my nostrils. I tremble, my heart exploding in my chest. Soon my blood and urine may stain the ancient pages in shambles around me.
“Afraid I am unable to oblige,” I say, hoping to buy time. “A curse has locked me in this room.” Speaking hurts. My mouth is dry and my throat is sore. I rock in place, my nails scraping my biceps that I rub in a feeble attempt to find comfort.
Splinters disperse as the door breaks open. The gazes from the dark eyes of the intruders aim at me. Strands of fine silk dance in the breeze, caught on their rough bark-like surface that was once skin. Fragments left from the cocoon state. These formerly decent beings entered that phase voluntarily, emerging as villains who spread the sickness to those who resist.
Will I become one of these monsters? Each exhalation they make increases my odds of virus contraction. Only death by ingesting a poisoned vanilla pod can prevent infection. I reach into my pocket, but my fingers fail to find the fruit from the orchid.
By: J Lenni Dorner © 2014
Curious about the inspiration for this flash fiction? It is a playful hint at what is to come from the high fantasy story I am writing this NaNoWriMo.
(Author’s note: This story is not related to the ransomware infection that covertly enters and blocks access to computer systems.)