I hope this 2nd day of January 2019 finds everyone well. This was an extraordinarily busy day for me and I didn’t have as much time as I would liked to have had to this inaugural short story.
If you are unaware every Wednesday I’m going to post a short story of 300 words or less, or at least I’m going to try. This story (albeit nowhere near complete) is brought to you by the one-word prompt. . .
Feel free to tell me what you think.
Today was supposed to be like any other Monday. Markus and his team would sit around the table and debrief about the progress they made the week before, but today — this Monday was unlike any other Monday. It was a day they all knew could occur, but hoped would never happen. Today they had come together to decide how they would and if they would notify the public that a deadly pathogen was stolen from the lab.
Everyone took their usual seats. Markus at the head, Jacob to his right and Ariel to his left. Markus looked around the table and could see the fear in everyone’s eyes. He knew what they were thinking and he knew a solution would not come easy. The pathogen was out. It was out there somewhere and they had no idea how it got out, who patient zero was or would be. There were more questions than answers.
The video monitor clicked on and it was the team from Prague, another click and Stockholm was online, then Frankfurt and Paris and everyone had the same terror-stricken look.
“Well, let’s get right to it,” Markus said. “About 10:26 pm Eastern Standard Time and 1:26 am Central European Time a coordinated break in was made on our laboratories and Pathogen #8ZEN1157 was stolen.” Markus pauses, takes a deep breath and looks around the table and the monitors before he continues. “Unfortunately, at this time we have nothing further to report. We are still trying to determine who the thieves were. Does anyone have any new information? Any clues? Anything?”
There was a collective shaking of heads and look of despair.
“The only thing I can add; which we all suspect is that it has to be an inside job,” Joseph said from France. There was a collective rumbling. “I know no one wants to believe that one or more of us could have done this. But the reality is that there is no other explanation. The thieves knew exactly what they wanted and exactly where to go and how to avoid security.”
(To Be Continued)
Coming up on The Broken Spine:
- Thursday – Review: Pride by Ibi Zoboi