Oct 24 2014

Vanilla Virus #spooktoberfest14 Flash Fiction

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Vanilla Virus


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   ยฉ 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.

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(Author’s note: This story is not related to the ransomware infection that covertly enters and blocks access to computer systems.)


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    • DRC on October 24, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Ooh no! Where’s that Vanilla pod?!! Great piece

    1. Thanks for stopping in. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  1. What an amazing piece! So much intrigue. How did it all start? We are dying to know! Thanks for joining Spooktoberfest!!
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    1. Thank you. I’m planning an epic story to answer that question. Hopefully it’ll hold attention. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Dani B. on October 24, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Wow! Where did that blasted fruit go?! I am so interested in what happens!
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    1. Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This is such a fun piece, can’t wait to see it finished.

    1. Thank you!

    • C. on October 24, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Not another pandemic! I can take no more. Pass the fruit.
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    1. LOL. At least this one happens on a fictional world and is the result of a magic curse. I think you’ll be alright. Here’s an orange, just in case. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      citrus fruit

    • dolorah on October 24, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    This was a good start for the NaNo novel. Be interesting to read the backstory on this. Well done with setting up the world. Oh my, where is that missing fruit!

    1. It’s a bit far in the story, but yes, I think it will draw some interest. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thanks for stopping in!

    • Sarah Glenn Marsh on October 25, 2014 at 8:37 PM

    Oooh, this is so much fun–especially the part where the mysterious beings enter the room! Love the description of the ‘bark-like surface’ that was once their skin. ๐Ÿ™‚
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    1. Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Great job! You packed a lot into this little story.
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    1. Thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Deb on October 27, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Nooo, I don’t want to be a Vanilla Bean! hehe I imagined they looked creepy.
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    1. LOL.

  4. Eek! Nooooo!

    Loved this. What a great angle for the challenge. I especially love the era feel to it.
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    1. Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m glad you loved it.

      1. It’s rare you see a story with modern ideas carried into the past. I always find it refreshing.
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        1. Thank you. (Which idea was the modern one?)

          That makes a good debate question. Is a fantasy world considered/thought of as/ mistaken for the past due to a lack of “present” or “future” tech? Hmm, I never looked at it that way. Now I’m intrigued! Thanks for the brain spark! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Wow great story, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
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    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Great piece! Thanks for participating in Spooktoberfest!
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    1. Thanks so much.

  7. Oh, so you are going to turn this into a bigger story for NaNoWriMo? How wonderful! Blessings!
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    1. It’s more of glimpse at part of something planned for my NaNoWriMo story. I have other details here, if you’re interested. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nancy on July 6, 2016 at 2:14 AM

    Wow! Great story i loved it. Oh no where is the missing fruit… Thanks for sharing!

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