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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outbreak (04/07/11)

TITLE: Didn't See That Coming
By Timmy Boyle
04/14/11


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I can’t say I never saw it coming. Well, I could…but this is clearly no time for deception. I simply didn’t expect it to happen this quickly…or have such a dramatic impact on my life and the world in which I live.

It seemed harmless at first. In fact, save for the few sceptics who assume everything is a government plot designed to control “The People”…it was received with great fanfare among the masses.

Now, at the time, I never actually positioned myself on either side of the emotional fence. When it first arrived on the scene you wouldn’t have found me marching in protest or kneeling down in worship. However, it did intrigue me.

Clearly, the known world hadn’t seen such a thing. It was so cute. So captivating. So…convenient.

And much like Gizmo (the sweet, unassuming Mogwai), this “gift” came with very similar & specific rules of engagement:

Don’t get it wet; don’t expose it to direct sunlight; and whatever you do…don’t ever…ever, use it after midnight.

With no consequences defined…the rules seemed silly at best. But, for various reasons ranging from fear of the unknown (breaking rules = death) to reluctant conformity (feigning responsibility = social acceptance), everyone towed the company line…for a time.

Eventually, curiosity killed the cat.

Please note: No cats were actually killed. It’s a metaphor.

One day a group of inquisitive souls, apparently lacking in the “Forethought Gene” went and got it wet. To their surprise (and possibly relief)…nothing bad happened.

Or so it seemed.

In fact, initially, it actually appeared to bring improvement. But would they leave well enough alone? Nope. Caught up in the need for more, these careless mavericks once again took the lives of millions of others into their hands and…used it after midnight.

In an instant it became bigger, stronger and, despite being clearly more dangerous, way more appealing.

What happened next is painfully clear. It got wet again. Except this time, albeit without all the eerie lighting, billowing smoke from unknown sources and squeals of writhing monkeys that accompany Gremlins in a pool…it exploded!

…infecting every walk of life!

How it got wet continues to be shrouded in mystery. Was it during a torrential rain storm as the leading experts figure? Did it happen during an early morning shower as the urban legends are apt to portray? Or, as supposed on multiple government conspiracy websites, did a “leaky faucet” seal our fate?

It doesn’t really matter. The fact is, our generation experienced an outbreak of epic proportions…and it’s spreading faster every day.

How can it be stopped? Sunlight? Sadly…no. Apparently, that only makes it get a little warm.

The truth? It can’t be stopped.

Some say it’s for the better. Some say it’s for the worse. All say…there is no going back. The world will simply never be the same.

So, what exactly is the outbreak? I have no idea. What I do know is this:

Don’t write an awesome outbreak account...until you know what the outbreak is.

Lesson learned.


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This article has been read 286 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sydney Avey04/14/11
I think there is a good lesson in writing here. Know how your story ends. I feel a little cheated, but this is very funny.
Lillian Rhoades 04/14/11
Can't tell you why, but I had an outbreak of laughter as I read the last line. I sure didn't see it coming. Clever,
indeed.

Psst...K after S and only one c when writing skeptic
Carol Penhorwood 04/15/11
The best story about NOTHING that I've ever read!
Sharlyn Guthrie04/23/11
I didn't see your ending coming, either! It sure was fun trying to guess what "it" could be, though. Thanks for the laugh!