The Outbreak. Flash Fiction.

Ugh. So Tired. Been pretty wrecked the last while, and have had some cramping and stuff, which isn’t exactly fun. I’ve a doctors appointment in a few weeks, so gonna find out what’ll be happening then. In the mean time I’ve to basically avoid most fresh fruit and veg, but I can have pretty much any junk food I want so silver lining and all that!

Yay Crohn’s.




Dennis stared straight ahead as he walked with slow, steady steps. Occasionally someone would call out to him as he bumped into them, but he didn’t pause or look around. His eyes were slightly unfocused and glazed, his face slack, rain began to fall from the sky, cold heavy drops. Dennis kept walking, not bothering to use the umbrella gripped loosely in his hand. The route was familiar to him, the same one he took home every day and he passed by it all without seeing it.

When he reached his building he entered the door code and continued to the lifts, water dripped from his drenched clothes, leaving small puddles on the tile floor. When the doors opened he stepped inside and pressed the button to the top floor. He rode the elevator in silence, the only noise was his steady breathing. The doors opened and he stepped out into the hall, he turned to the left and opened the door to the stairwell. It didn’t take him long to climb the steps.

The air was cold on the roof and the wind tugged at his clothes. The rain had stopped. Thin grey hairs started to sprout from his skin, each one detached from his skin and caught on the breeze, floating freely. Dennis stepped up onto the edge of the roof and without a pause, stepped off. He didn’t scream as he fell. The thin grey hairs came in larger and larger numbers, a thick cloud of it trailing him.

His body hit the ground with a sickening thud, nearby a woman started screaming. The grey hairs continued to grow, covering his entire body. The woman’s screams started coughing, a few others on the street started coughing too.

Later that night Jennifer sat in her apartment, sipping a glass of wine with still shaking hands. She had told the police everything she had seen and after questioning her for a little bit they had finally let her leave. John was already on his way over, though she hadn’t told him what happened yet. It didn’t seem like something you could say over the phone, even now she wasn’t sure how to bring it up to him. “My day was fine, by the way I saw a guy splattered on the pavement” Didn’t exactly roll off the tongue and then there was that weird thing with the grey stuff that seemed to be coming off his body. The police didn’t say much about that, it seemed like they didn’t know what it was themselves. Jennifer’s head jerked to the side, then she stood and still holding her wine glass, she went towards the door.

Jennifer stood on the ledge of the roof, glass of wine still held in one hand. Thin grey hairs began to appear across her skin, her eyes were glazed, her face slack. A gust of wind caused her to rock back and forth slightly, a cloud of the hairs blew into the night. Jennifer took one step forward and then she was falling.

John yawned as he approached the building, he’d had a stressful day in work, Jacob, his boss, was being a complete dick as usual. He was looking forward to a few drinks and maybe a Chinese, it had been a while since they’d gotten take away rather than cooking. John jumped as he heard a heavy thud to his left, he turned and stared at Jennifer’s body, his eyes widened slightly, his heart was beating heavily, the sound of rushing blood drowned out all other noises, he could feel the vomit rising in the back of his throat, behind him there was another thud, then another.

About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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