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The Plague

by Bunbry 

Posted: 13 October 2008
Word Count: 298
Summary: For Jumbo's Fly challenge

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It would have made more sense if I had killed them all, but I didnít. Now everyone is suffering.

The idea came to me when I was still testing insecticides. 100,000 flies would be released into a room in which fly spray had been used. Usually one or two would have an inbuilt resistance and live. We had to kill these with a swatter, as we feared that if they got out and bred, their resistance would spread through the fly population, rendering our product useless.

When the plant shut down, I decided to do some experimenting of my own. I took 100 locusts and used low doses of insecticide on them. The ones that lived, I bred and repeated the process on. Again and again.

My redundancy money lasted 3 years, by which time I had locusts that were damn near indestructible. I was ready to blackmail the world. I sent a batch to America in the post, to prove my claims, along with demands for cash. But the packaging came apart and they escaped.

That was 5 years ago, and they still havenít found a way to kill them. America, the supposed ĎBread Basketí of the world loses 80% of its crops to the offspring of those that I bred, and is on its knees. Africa is desolate. There is nothing to feed the cattle or people now. We thought Aids was hell on Earth, how naive we were.

And the Food Wars in Russia and Europe have reduced this continent to one inhabited by savages - peopled by those ready to kill for a loaf of bread.

You might wonder what I was going to demand from America. Half a million Dollars was what I wanted Ė yet look what Iíve got in itís place.

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Comments by other Members

Prospero at 13:31 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
Ah, a plague of truly Biblical proportions.

A typo: 'fly sp(r)ay'. Fly spay would work, but might take a bit longer.



Bunbry at 13:38 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
Prosp, you have inspired me to change the title from that tat I had previously thought of. So thanks [and for the typo too].


tusker at 14:19 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
What a terrible thought that this could actually happen. Already, there are resistant bugs. Good flash for the challenge, Nick.


Jordan789 at 16:32 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
What an oddball narrator! Not sure if his plot would work, but it would be funny to see the little screwjob attempt the blackmail. Slaving years and years mating bugs!

I like how the story is told, in an "evil-genius" aftermath eulogy-type speech, and it might work if the character were someone not quite so reputable, perhaps a kid (think Professor Chaos, from Southpark.) Perhaps he's a little kid, or a guy who's lost his marbles, and the final scene shows him talking into a tape-recorder in his mother's basement, or something. Or maybe the plot can fail miserably. Afterall, if it were so easy to kill off the earth through a freak, biological mutation it probably would have happened already.

But this is another angle, that is for sure.


Bunbry at 18:53 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
Hi Jennifer, talking of resistance, we have germs to worry about too. As Frazer used to say - "We're all doomed!"


Bunbry at 18:57 on 13 October 2008  Report this post
Jordan, thanks for the comment. This type of criminal is usually an older man who has a grudge against society. And he will be a loner.

We have had a few like this in Britain most famously a guy [ex cop] who poisoned baby food and an old chap who sent parcel bombs to banks. Both kept the police guessing for a long long time and caused havoc.


V`yonne at 19:45 on 15 October 2008  Report this post
GM locusts for GM crops and
this continent to one inhabited by savages
eh? So - nothing new ; Great take on the challenge, Nick. Like it.

LMJT at 13:46 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Great stuff. Scary.

No nits here!


Forbes at 18:39 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Scary stuff Nick. It rolled along believably. I was waiting for his come uppance - being eaten by the bugs would have served - there being not enough food for the beggars, they'd naturally turned to eating meat!

And this type of biblical proportioned plague could have happened in past. The last thing to die off would be the locusts for lack of a food source once they'd eaten everything they could.

I think they mention this type of thing in that there Bible... somewhere... (!)




It's called self limiting, I think.

Bunbry at 18:57 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Thanks for the comment Oonah, with a tweak or two I might send it to the Microhorror Comp.


Bunbry at 18:59 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Cheers Liam, glad you enjoyed it. I've a feeling this is the first of mine you have not found a typo in, so I'm pretty chuffed.


Bunbry at 19:03 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Thanks for the comments Avis. If you look how many eggs an insect lays, if they lose a predator the population explodes. Happened with frogs in Australia too if you remember. We must stop messing with nature!


PS Grey squirrels don't seem to have many predators and they are taking over now.

Forbes at 19:12 on 16 October 2008  Report this post
Yes I agree Nick,

but it's true that when it's food source is exhausted, a species with limited dietary requirements will die off. Maybe not in time in your story, but it will. Unless it adapts and starts eating something else. Now THAT would have been scary and given a twist - if the locusts had started coming after humans...

And news today is that there are 7 (I think) red squirrels who (?!) have been found to have a natural resistance to the virus carried by the bloody import the US grey squirrel. So a vaccine is being proposed to save our red variety. Hurray!


crowspark at 22:35 on 18 October 2008  Report this post
I like the idea of this, Nick (and the execution) It would have made more sense if I'd stopped the end of the world! I love to see big themes tackled in tiny flashes.

inhabited by savages - peopled by those ready to kill for a loaf of bread.

Sounds like Tescos on a Sunday just before closing.

Engaging idea and I liked the suggestion of his obsessive nature.

My only nit is that the ending could have been stronger?

Nice one.

choille at 00:22 on 19 October 2008  Report this post
Hi Nick,

What a rotter encouraging locusts to breed out suseptability to spraying.
Quite a feasible scenario. And it turns on him - affects him & shows he has a consciounce{sp?]

Could be much more punchy & brutal a the end - let him suffer I say.
But well imagined & topical.

Great in xuch a small word count.
All the best

Jumbo at 10:44 on 19 October 2008  Report this post

Very nasty, very concise. I like the idea of this - the sigtly deranged scientist and his mad idea.

This would make a great novel and a brilliant film.

Thanks for the read


Bunbry at 16:36 on 19 October 2008  Report this post
Hi Bill, thanks for the comments. Tesco's can get a wee bit frisky at times!

I will give the ending some thought.


Bunbry at 16:38 on 19 October 2008  Report this post
Caroline, thanks for your comments. I imagine he is suffering both physically and psychologically - I hope so any way!


Bunbry at 16:39 on 19 October 2008  Report this post
John, a flim and a book eh? If only!!

Thanks for commenting


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