Sunday, March 2, 2014

Worse Than the Plague

Event: 500 Word Snatch
Location: Milk Wood, Second Life 
Host: Lizzie Gudkov
Prompts Siclit Prod: medieval marketplace, 1348; brush, itchy, invisibly, death
Time: 30 mins

1348 was a wonderful year filled with richness, health and… No, it wasn’t… There were a lot of those dreadful itchy people roaming the marketplace. The clothes were the worst possible thing, the poor, the smelly, and all the illnesses. And death, oh, death… That bothersome Black Plague. Why did Douglas have to live in these tormented times? Why couldn’t he live in the, say 21st century? Real richness, health, and… 

For a second Douglas felt that something was not right. A shadow lurked in the darkness. He turned around, but couldn’t see anything. Then he moved to one side of the room and hid just behind the long heavy curtain and waited patiently and invisibly. The figure walked close to the walls and paced back and forth. He tried to make no noise; however, even his own breathing seemed to echo from the thick walls. Suddenly, the shadow jumped towards him. He twisted his torso to one side and the shadow bumped against the stone wall with a shriek of agony. Douglas grabbed the man by the collar and shook him mercilessly.

“Who are you?”

The man tried to speak, but all he could do was mumble.

“Speak up, man!”

“I, I… I came from the 21st century to spy on the 14th century.”

Douglas was stunned. He was just now thinking of the 21st century!

“Well, good man,” he said, trying to smoothen things slightly. “Tell me about that century of yours.”

“I… I am here to take the Black Plague with me.”

“For Heaven’s sake, man, why would you do that?”

“There are too many people where I come from. We need to get rid of a few millions, and they decided to add the extra touch of this old, original, purer plague, so to speak.”

Douglas was appalled.

“So, you came here to spy on behalf of the future?”

The man looked left and right and whispered.

“I came here to steal. Actually…”

And that was it. Douglas saw nothing else, heard nothing else. There was a whoosh and he was in the future.


When he came to himself, he heard some people talking.

“Where’s the plague?”

The pretense spy pointed at Douglas.

“He’s the plague?!”

“That’s what his wife always said, every single day I spied on them. She actually said Douglas, you’re worse than the plague.”

Their problem was not the plague anymore, but whether to return Douglas to the past, taking the risk of him talking total nonsense, or simply eliminating him.

They decided to send him back and Douglas bothered so many people with his story of traveling to the future that it was not only his wife who thought he was worse than the plague, the whole town did.


  1. A good twist and hilarious hyperbole!!

    1. It's sooo difficult to have a 30 minute deadline before you and drawing a blank in terms of ideas! So, as it always happens when I have no clue what to write, I simply start typing! And the end result is usually something rather silly! Poor Douglas... Or should I say... poor town?! LOL