Cold #4

“Most people never die suddenly. Your body spends years sending you warnings. A man of 55 dies and it’s a tragedy, yes. But not a sudden one. Habits, They can be read like a timeline. We ignore Doctors and keep on with our lifestyles. One day the body just … runs out of road. You want to live healthy? Start talking to your  Doctor when you’re 28, before you start falling apart.” 

Janice was examining a body on the table. All of the lights were off in the room. None of the computers were running in the background.  It was quiet. It had been swept clean from budget cuts. Making it easier to hear her through the phone call. 

” So when I tell you, this body. These bodies. They shouldn’t be here. I mean it. These cells. Agent, They’re billions of years old.” 

She stood up straight. 

“Infected with Virus. They’re reproducing through bacteria from the site. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

– what do you mean from the site? He could feel the pressure in his gut. He was suddenly aware of the limited space of his Bronco. Driving back to the site where they found the hunters and the Coyote. 

“I mean,” Janice was saying…

“- I don’t know how, maybe it was dormant deep in the earth. Somehow, through rising tempatures. These cells, they’re awake. Infecting the water. All of the wildlife in areas red and yellow? Infected. Our hunter had a good hunting day. And was infected as well. Passing it to others. And then you have the water and the town.”

– so this is a virus? 

“Unlike we’ve ever known. This is older than anything we’ve ever seen.” 

He pulled to a stop. Hanging up the phone. The area was on fire. As men were putting up road blocks. 

“What’s going on here? We need to close this area and quarantine these people…”

“Baldwin, I can’t just quarantine an entire area like this. The paper work alone- listen, It’s State Property. Slotted for fracking next year. It’s already in the budget. And you know just like anybody else… that money is already spent. No refunds.  We’ll torch it. And restrict the area. That’s the most we can do.” 

“People have died. And will cont-”

“Hey, we’ve already sent in the report to the Feds. It was imported food and big pharma.” Nothing else. You did a good job. Let it go. 

He couldn’t believe it…

And thought again of Janice’s words…

No one just dies suddenly. It builds up slowly overtime. We just ignore the warnings. 

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Cold #3 

The girl was there in the floor. Cold and lifeless.  Her limbs spread like wet pasta. Her eyes open and grey. 

Agent Baldwin walked through the house. His clothes wrinkled. He had grabbed whatever happened to be laying across a chair in the middle of the night, when he got the call. 

“What’s the story, Sarah?” He asked while rubbing his eyes. 

Sarah just looked at him. 

– how long do you have? 

She asked. 

– I’ve got a female adult body. With no markings of any kind, dead in her own home with no signs of breaking or entering. More than that…

She stood up and stood closer. Whispering while looking straight ahead. 

– I’ve got three more bodies from across the county.  All the same.  

– shit. 

Baldwin took his phone. And texted Janice. 

– I’ll get Janice on it. I better bring her some chocolate cake for this one. 

– you’d better add beer and pizza 

Sarah said dryly. 

– it’s going to be a long summer. I hope you already got your PTO in. 

Cold #2

The bell jingled for the third time. Elisabeth sat up in bed.

 “Lou Lou?” 

It was a little girl’s  voice.  

She fumbled in the darkness to check her phone. 3am …

The hallway was pitch black and felt longer and colder…

The bell jingled again. 

“Lou Lou.” 

There in the darkness at the end of the hall. Was a little girl …

She tried to breathe…she didn’t have children… and she didn’t babysit…

The girl just stood there

That’s when elisabeth saw the dark figure behind the girl. It’s big eyes 

And smiling face. 

The clown holding a bell and a knife 

“Lou Lou” It said. 

The girl laughed

Elisabeth grabbed the wall looking behind her. 

“Lou Lou.” 

The little girl laughed again.

And the bell rang one last time.

Cold 

The River was still. Bugs swarmed the area. Agent Baldwin slowed his Bronco to a stop. Looking the area over. The dead coyote laying still beside the bank. 

– What’ve we got? 

– Another animal gone rogue. Jumps a local while he’s fishing, in broad daylight. Crashed into his driver’s side window. Lucky it was up. First thing he noticed was all the bugs. 

He shrugged his shoulders and swatted the flies away. Looking over the dead coyote. 

– Strange behaviour. Especially for this time of year. 

He sighed. Checked his phone. Another call. Another local. 

– Bag it up and bring him in. I’ll have Janice look him over. Thanks for calling me, Darryl. 

– Don’t mention it. 

Darryl shook hands and climbed back into his car. 

Baldwin looked over the area one more time before starting his old Bronco and heading to town.