Memento Mori

I feel ill.

Should I get the chance to be face to face with the man who infected me I will surely kill him where he stands. The method is as yet undecided, but his demise will be a slow and painful one.

I am an unwitting victim of a man’s whim. Now I’m paying the price for the fact that they couldn’t keep their germs to themselves. Well, when I catch up with the one who infected me, he’ll remember that he too will die.

I may recover once the infection has passed, but for now I am left suffering the effects of an illness plaguing even my waking moments. I sleep for hours, no doubt I could sleep several days away too, and all because I’d been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Maybe I should cut his hands off first, maybe then he’d realise how useful they could be?

I could poke out his eyes; cut off his ears – something torturous and painful, but not enough to kill him outright….

Suffocating the cretin while he sleeps crosses my mind as a way to rid the earth of a man like him. Yet killing him while he sleeps seems an easy way out for him. I want him to suffer like I have. I want him to feel as helpless as I did when the virus struck.

Still, it doesn’t rule out gagging him while I decide on the best way of dealing with him. Thoughts of emasculating him and letting him live seem promising. How will he feel when he realises that he’s a lesser person than before?

That’s exactly how he’s made me feel: weak, pathetic, helpless.

Oh, the things that I could do to this man if only I had the chance….. I would make him suffer for his folly, his fate would be in my hands instead……

How would he like it if he were in my place, to feel as if you’re nothing more than a rat upon a wheel?

He’d hate it – I know he would – yet he seems to feel it right to do such a thing to me. I feel rage surge through my body, it’s enough to make me quiver.

And then I feel it.

His hands wrap around my body and lift me up, his ugly human face large and imposing, bringing me closer. I feel his warm hand stroke my body, from the top of my head to the tip of my tail. It is a sensation that compels me to bite him – hard.

I sink my teeth into his flesh, taking satisfaction from his surprised yelp. That’ll teach him to infect me with his human ailments!

He drops me back into the cage, thumping the lid shut, scowling as he shakes his head and walks away. “No cheese for you tonight,” he huffs as I hear a door slam.

Mission accomplished, I think to myself, making my way triumphantly back to my wheel.


Written in response to Thain in Vain’s Week 36 prompt: Memento mori (remember that you will die)



Filed under Flash Fiction 52 Challenge

7 responses to “Memento Mori

  1. Hi Heather – you are very good at misleading the reader until he or she gets to the end of a story! When I first started reading, I suspected the protagonist was a victim of a sexually transmitted disease – and a woman. What a surprise to learn it was a small animal who is used in lab experiments! Excellent misdirection!

    I am very conflicted about the use of animals for lab experimentation. I understand the arguments, but it still makes me feel quite horrid. These are creatures – like you and I. What makes us think we have the right to inflict illness and death on fellow creatures for our own gain? I don’t know… I guess because we can and because we want to make the lives of humans better. Yes, I understand, but it still makes me sad. It especially makes me sad to see chimpanzees used for experimentation. They are intelligent creatures who feel affection and have memory. It’s an ugly trade-off for our own well being.

    What if superior (intellectually advanced) creatures came to planet earth and had a genetic system similar enough to our own that they would consider using human beings for experimentation? Would their advanced natures making use of our bodies as test tubes be justifiable?

    Thanks for a great story. I don’t know if you meant to bring up any ethical considerations, but the story certainly brought up a few for me.

    • I am so glad that you liked the story Kate, and that it raised some interesting questions for you 🙂

      I do like employing misdirection as much as I can when writing short stories, I like being able to lead the reader down one path before abruptly pulling them in a completely different direction. It’s fun to sow the seeds quite subtly so that, upon a second reading, the reader picks up on the clues that were there all along yet never picked up on.

      Never let it be said that Heather is all fun and no seriousness! I like to write humorous pieces, but I also like to write the odd story that raises certain ethical questions and even though the story has a humorous ending, the message of the piece itself is of the ethical and moral greyness of testing human products and viruses on poor unsuspecting animals.

      Plenty of food for thought…

  2. I didn’t see the ending coming at all! What a tragic, yet triumphant story! I also echo Kate’s thoughts about animal testing. I kind of understand why animals are used for vaccine/disease testing, but not for cosmetics/beauty products. Don’t get shampoo in your eyes — it hurts!

    Anyway, a very clever story and great take on the prompt, Heather! TiV

  3. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week 36 Submissions | Thain in Vain

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