The line’s busy, try again.
“Beth, how are you?”
“Beth, what are you doing, say, Friday night?”
“Friday? That’s the next dance.”
“Yeah. Wanna go with me?”
She paused. “Um, yes. I’d love to.”
No Way! Who would have thought?
“Alright. I will see you Monday,” said Roger.
“Hey. I’m not Monday, I’m Beth,” said Beth.
“Well, ok then,” said Roger “I’ll see you tomorrow, Beth.”
Roger went to bed totally excited. But as he slept, standing over him unseen, was one who was not enthused.
In fact, he had been going through a painful ordeal after Luthar took his Briostone. His eye was still recovering from that knife wound, and one day soon Luthar’s little school would know his pain.
Until then, Horus Corley was working for one of the members of the Unseen Group as a Pestilence Man. He never thought he could have sunk so low on the Specter totem pole. He was now among the most hated of all specters.
Pestilence Men are the reason that illness spreads so quickly in a housing or school community. They travel from house to house, especially the ones containing small children, targeting individuals who are scheduled to fall ill. Corley now stood at the bedside of a sound asleep, and smiling, Roger.
“Going to the dance with a real girl, huh Roger Flair? You’re growin’ up so fast.
You must be feeling real good right now, mmm hmm. Heh, well tough luck, kid!”
Roger awoke early Monday morning from a terribly repetitive fever dream. Roger’s doctor said he had the flu. Even after a flu shot with a frighteningly small needle, he was still ordered to not go out to any night activities. Not for another week, so he would miss the dance, but be back on Monday.
Beth kept in touch with Roger all week by phone and was his lifeline for notes and homework. When Friday evening arrived, Beth chose to go with a group of her friends to the dance. At her insistence, they sent Roger a ten second video to his smart phone telling him to get well soon.
“Yeah, this is Corley.”
“Corley, I want you to go to the house of Beth Azure,” said the voice on the other line, “Give her the Influenza you gave Mr. Roger Flair.”
“You the boss,” said Corley. The other line hung up.
It wasn’t hard being a Pestilence Man. All you do is stand at the poor soul’s bedside and talk to them until they get sick. But it fed his Briostone, so he was willing to do the work. Corley looked at the file for Beth Azure.
“Azure,” mused Corley, “That seems to ring a bell. Where have I heard that name?”
From “Fall from Autumnway” from the curiously long book of short stories, I am lettuce, who are you?
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