Fish Fever

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A new kind of virus is sweeping across the world.

Submitted: June 16, 2018

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Submitted: June 16, 2018

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Fish Fever

The onset was quite sudden. All around the world, for no obvious reason, people in their millions suddenly decided to take to the sea. The male of the species was most at risk from this new sickness, with them outnumbering the female sufferers by 50:1.

Women woke up to find their husbands, their father’s, their sons or their brothers unable to utter a sound. All they could do was to open and close their mouths – just like fish.

It was not a hot day, although in some parts of the world where this strange occurrence took place, the temperature soared. However, there were plenty of people who chose to take to the sea in freezing, sub-zero climates too.

All thoughts of any normal everyday routine had vanished from the minds of the sufferers. They had one thought and one thought only; to get themselves in to the sea. Suits, sweaters, jeans, hoodies, t-shirts, all were ignored for the swimwear. Those that didn’t actually own any stampeded the sporting goods stores, picking things and changing into them right where they stood. Nobody paid, but then a lot of the staff seemed to have succumbed to the infection too.

Then there was only one thing left to do. Head for the sea. Rivers and lakes just did not hold the same attraction; the oceans were what were needed. Distance seemed to be no object, but it kept the visual spectacle going for days. The uninfected could only stand and watch in astonishment as man after man, together with the occasional female, surged forward and, quite literally hit the sea.

For those that had the means boats would take them out so they could take the leap to waters deep. Others had to paddle then wade until the water was deep enough for them to submerge themselves.

It wasn’t until the second day that anyone thought to question whether all ‘sufferers’ could swim. They certainly all disappeared beneath the surface of the waves and did not seem to bob back up.

Was it some kind of mass suicide thing; perhaps it was a secret cult, or maybe something passed on through subliminal messaging? How could you come up with answers when there were no infected to observe, to test. They all dropped in to the ocean and for all intents and purposes, just vanished.

As one of the uninfected, I can’t help wondering if it was some kind of revenge carried out on humanity by the diversity of fish. Will any of the sufferers return? Have they all drowned? Or maybe they are down there, having somehow developed gills, having quite simply a whale of a time? I guess I will never know, unless I suddenly find myself struck down with Fish Fever and decide to go and join them.

 


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