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Mother's Fault

I should’ve been there. I had tickets for upper deck seats. Probably would’ve been trampled to death, skull bashed in, quick and painless. But she had to tell Dad about the pot in my backpack -- who’s she to snoop anyway (goddamn, if only I had that herb right about now) -- and I had to watch it unfold on television, just like everyone else.

Angels hadn’t been in the Series in years; the stadium was packed. Halfway through the sixth inning, the bugs swarmed in, thick as wildfire smoke, clogging the stands and muddying the lights.

It was funny at first. Cameramen cut to fans swatting with their foam-fingers or trying to clap the scourges to death with plastic boom-sticks. There was a shot of the umpires huddled, deciding on the game, when the fattest one suddenly collapsed. They zoomed on his face; his eyes were scabs, his skin was peeling in clumps.

They cut out, scanned the crowd again, but it was piss in an anthill. People clamored for exits, bulldozing women and children vomiting into their caps and mitts. The station went off air. By the next morning, even the President had been infected -- that was the last of the newscasts. Maniacs -- not radicals or fanatics -- had bred the serum, highly contagious. They’d bred the mosquitoes, too.

My parents were howling this morning; tonight everything's quiet downstairs. I’m still in my room, starving. Soon I’ll have to unlock this door.

Or maybe I’ll just open the window.

Story by:

John Lander

submitted at 10:28pm

27 April 2009