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Covid Party

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
You can’t fix stupid, but sometimes, stupid fixes itself.

Submitted: July 19, 2020

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 19, 2020

A A A

A A A


Jacob didn’t bother knocking on the door, he walked on in.  Like all of Matthew’s parties, the stereo was too loud to hear anything else.  The first thing he saw was his friend, at the head of a Conga line.  The human snake was weaving its way under a banner that read “Elwood College 1st Annual Covid Party”.  The wording was framed with hand drawn images of the coronavirus.
 
Matthew noticed him and shouted.  “Hey Jake, glad you could make it.” He pointed at a large glass bowl on a table.  That was where Matthew mixed his famous Hunch Punch, 150 proof and guaranteed to get you drunk in the shortest possible time.  Today, the bowl was dry, filled with money.  “The ante is $20, first person to test positive for Covid takes it all!”
 
Jacob opened his wallet and deposited a twenty.  It took three hours running the grill at Burger King to make that much money.  He wasn’t a gambler, and was usually tight with his cash.  On this occasion, he had a plan.
 
He washed his hands in the sink, grabbed a beer, and found a chair near the corner of the room.  The Conga line had dissolved by then.  Matthew walked over and offered him a joint.  “Have a toke my man, several of us have already gotten our germs all over it.”
 
Jacob shook his head.  “Not now, I’ve got a headache.  Maybe after a few beers.”  Matthew had an amused look on his face.  “Wow, it’s not like you to turn down weed.  Must be a bad headache.  You’ll never catch Covid like that.”
 
A few minutes later, Emily McAfee strolled over.  Jacob could tell she was already drunk.  “Jacob my boy, how about you and me sneak off to the hot tub and swap some spit?  I might even let you get to third base.  And give us both a better chance to collect that prize.”
 
He waved her off.  She pouted and said, “Well if you’re afraid of catching the disease, you should have saved your money.  Coward.”  She walked away, looking for another victim.
 
Jacob smiled to himself.  He wasn’t afraid of getting Covid at the party.  He wanted to make sure he didn’t give it to anyone else.  He’d done his homework.
 
==========
 
Jacob knew the average incubation period for the disease was 5 to 6 days.  A week ago, he’d called up Hannah, a coworker at Burger King who’d just tested positive.  She was having mild symptoms and was self-isolating in her apartment.  Hannah was an easy mark when she was drunk.
 
“Hey girl, I’ve got a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label, how bout I come over and we drink til it’s gone.”  He’d never spent that much on a bottle of Scotch but he knew it was her favorite.
 
“Jacob, you know I’ve got Covid, right?  You shouldn’t be anywhere near me.”
 
“Aw, I ain’t afraid of no virus.  I can dunk a basketball and bench press 350 pounds.  Some invisible bug has no chance in my body.”
 
One thing led to another.  Jacob snuck out of her apartment early the next morning.  Hannah was still asleep when he closed the door.  His plan was in motion.
 
============
 
Jacob saw Matthew and Emily in the hot tub.  He downed the last of his beer, and made his way out the door.  No point in breathing on other competitors and risk squandering his advantage.
 
The next morning, he woke with a coughing fit.  He was aching all over.  He staggered into the bathroom and put the thermometer under his tongue.  101.3 degrees.  Despite feeling like death on a cracker, he grinned.  His plan was working perfectly.  Matthew’s parties were famous all over campus, Jacob expected at least 150 people would attend.  Three thousand dollars would make his car payment, rent, and cover next semester’s tuition.
 
He grimaced when he pulled his car up to the back of the long line, waiting for a Covid test.  This was going to take all day.  He consoled himself by daydreaming of the money that was practically in his pocket.  After six hours, someone in a gown, gloves and a mask had him tilt his head back while they swabbed the inside of his nose.  After he got home, he vomited, then passed out on the couch.
 
Three days later, he was feeling better.  The phone rang.  It was his doctor’s office.  His heart started racing.  This was what he was waiting for.  He was shocked when Sara, the nurse practitioner said, “I’ve got good news for you.  The test results were negative.  You don’t have the virus.”
 
“But what about the symptoms I’ve been having?”  He recited the list.  She said, “I can’t explain that.  But if you’d like, I can schedule you for an office visit, we just had a cancellation for 8:30 tomorrow morning.”
 
He gave Dr. Watts the rundown.  “Hmm.  It’s possible you have a cold or the flu.  Jacob, all I can tell you is, Covid is a brand new disease.  We are just now learning how it works.  Someone could have the virus but still test negative.  To be safe, we’ll run another test.  While we’re at it, we should check some other things that might cause similar symptoms, like...”
 
Jacob’s attention flagged and he didn’t hear anything else the doctor said.  All he was interested in was the new Covid test.
 
Things began to look up when Sara called him.  Her voice was somber.  “Jacob, you need to come to the office now.  We’ll work you in between appointments.  You need to talk to Dr. Watts as soon as possible.”
 
He flew out of the apartment and had to force himself to drive slow.  The last thing he wanted was to get pulled over for speeding when he was about to get the news he’d been waiting for.
 
Dr. Watts looked serious when he began talking.  “Jacob, I want you to know, what I’m about to tell you is far from a death sentence.  We have a battery of treatments available for your condition.  The good news is, your second Covid test was also negative.  Unfortunately, your HIV test came back positive. We’ll get you started on a regimen that I hope will prevent you from developing full-blown AIDS.” 
 
============
This is a work of fiction, but as always, truth is stranger:
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/12/us/30-year-old-covid-party-death.html


© Copyright 2020 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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