Free write: Contagion

Stephanie Harmon clutched the microphone in her gloved hands, her pasted on smile almost a grimace. Her eyes darted to the right where a lanky man leaned against the station van. A suit.

“Ready?” Wendy asked her, adjusting the camera.

Stephanie nodded, swallowed hard. “Just the cards?”

“And nothing more.” The man lit a cigarette, the smoke blowing back in Stephanie’s face.

The camera woman gave a thumbs up. “We’re on in 3…”

She coughed.

“2….AND…”

“This is Stephanie Harmon reporting to you live from Oak Ave. An “attempted” detonation of a biological weapon this morning around 9:05 am by the Court House has claimed the lives of 4 officers and 10 civilians. The CDC has ID’d the pathogen and asserts that it only causes mild side effects. ..”

Stephanie coughed. She swallowed, her smile faltering.

“We ask that if anyone works or lives in a 5 mile radius that they report to Mercy General for a free examination. For more information, please call the station or the CDC help line on the screen. I’m Stephanie Harmon for News Channel 6.”

“And…we’re clear,” Wendy said.

Stephanie peeled of her gloves, the skin blistered and turning black. She hissed and stared at the suit.

“Was that alright?” she asked.

“Perfect.” He pulled out his 9mm and shot her before beckoning to the ambulance to pass by.

Wendy recoiled, the brain matter splattering all over her and the tripod. “Do you mind? This shit’s expensive.”

He turned and spat, “Put it on my tab.”

Wendy packed up her camera and the body, dreading the outbound traffic on the massive government set.
She passed dozens of ambulances bearing body bags and mangled corpses on the way back to the CDC.

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