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Thread: 1975 Virus Epidemic

  1. #1
    Registered User DRayVan's Avatar
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    1975 Virus Epidemic

    August 1975

    Above the calm ocean waves, the full moon reflected and sparkled off the expanse of open water to Jenny’s left. Her partner, and current lover, Henry, was piloting the sleek motorboat northward across the Caribbean Sea. Below decks and safely tucked away, Henry and Jenny were transporting cocaine from a storage yard near Cayo Cruz, Cuba to Little Creek Settlement, The Bahamas, a mere 120 nautical miles and riches beyond their wildest dreams.

    The Hacker-Craft Racer’s engines purred along, barely taxing the available power of its twin inboard engines. Jenny snuggled next to Henry, and he put his arm around her, hugging her close. Although the warm August temperatures were comfortable, the ocean spray raised goosebumps on her arms and legs. She regretted wearing a skimpy halter-top and short-shorts.

    Jennifer “Jenny” Wilson, twenty-eight, tall, blonde, and shapely, was an exotic dancer at the Club Essex, Miami, Florida. Henry Smith, thirty-two, muscular, reddish hair, and medium height, was a wannabe “big-player” in the drug trade. To that end and after a month-long love affair with Jenny, Henry convinced her to undertake this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His contacts provided a boat and the drugs, all they had to do was smuggle them into The Bahamas. Easy peasy, so Henry thought.

    With the coastline of The Bahamas ahead, off to their left, Henry made a course correction, swinging northwestward. In less than twenty nautical miles, he planned to turn due west and enter Little Creek.

    Jenny tugged on Henry’s arm to get his attention. “What’s that light, Henry?”

    “Where, love?”

    “Over there,” she said, pointing east, toward open waters.

    “Bloody helicopter, that’s what.”

    “From where?”

    “RBDF.”

    “What?” asked Jenny.

    “Bahamian Navy, love. We’re cocked up.”

    “What we gonna do, Henry?”

    Henry pushed the throttle forward, full hilt, and the twin inboards responded with renewed vigor. The craft lunged forward with its tiller turned toward the shoreline.

    “Get three packages from below.”

    “Why?”

    “You a good swimmer?”

    “Can hold my own.”

    “Gonna have to abandon ship, love, and swim for it, but I ain’t leaving empty-handed. Now get three packages like a good girl.”

    Meanwhile, the light was getting closer by the minute despite the boat’s engines roaring a full throttle. Jenny opened the hatch and slipped inside. When she put her foot down, she stepped on a rat’s tail. It squealed, turned, and bit her on the ankle.

    “What the bloody hell, Henry? There’s rats in here.”

    “Get the coke. We don’t have much time.”

    Jenny retrieved four packages and sat beside Henry. “Now what?”

    “I set the boat to autodestruct in five minutes.”

    “I’m ready,” said Jenny.

    “Jump, love.”

    The water felt surprisingly warm when Jenny went under. She quickly bobbed to the surface, tightly holding onto her two packages, one under each arm. “Henry? Henry, where are you?”

    “Over here, love.”

    The roar of the boat’s engines faded as the sound of the helicopter grew louder. But it passed to their right, chasing after the boat. A few minutes later, a bright flash on the water’s surface signaled the auto-destruction of the craft, followed by a loud boom. From their vantage point, Henry and Jenny watched the helicopter’s lights circle the explosion site several times and fly off in the direction it arrived.

    “Well, love. It’s three miles to shore, give or take.”

    ###

    It was daybreak when Henry and Jenny pulled themselves on shore, exhausted from their night swim.

    “Where are we?” asked Jenny, standing at the end of a dusty road.

    “Must be Pleasant Bay,” said Henry, getting his bearings. “Yes. It’s Pleasant Bay, alright.”

    “Still doesn’t tell me where we are.”

    “Three-hour walk up this road is Little Creek Settlement. That was our drop point.”

    “We going there?”

    “Why not?”

    “What about these?” asked Jen, holding her two packages.

    “See your point. Better hide them.”

    ###

    After stopping at Mars Bay for breakfast, Henry and Jenny walked to Little Creek Settlement and pounded on the warehouse door. A burly man opened the door a crack and gave them the once-over.

    “Who might ye be, mate?”

    “Henry Smith.”

    “The boatman?”

    “That’s me.”

    “Where’s the stuff?”

    “Well, ya see, the bloody swabbies intercepted us, and we...”

    “A caption always goes down with the ship, don’t ‘e.”

    “Not this captain.”

    The door swung open, and two ruffians joined Burly at the door.

    “Take ‘em to Charley. ‘E’ll deal with ‘em,” said Burly.

    Each ruffian grabbed an arm and escorted Henry and Jenny to a back room where Charley, a fifty-something, graying-potbelly, cigar-smoking bloke looked up from his desk. “Who these two?”

    “Captain of the boat who was to deliver the goods last night,” said Burley.

    “What’s yer name, captain?”

    “Hen-Henry. Henry Smith.”

    “Well, Henry. Where’s my stuff?”

    “Like I told ‘im. I had to scuttle the boat when the swabbies showed up.”

    “Lost it all. Eh?”

    “All.”

    “Come now, Henry. We both know that ye rescued a wee bit for yourselves before abandoning millions of my merchandise to Davey Jones’ Locker,” yelled Charley, slamming his fist on the desk. “So... Where’d ye hide it?”

    “You got us all wrong, Charley. We couldn’t swim ten miles with packages.”

    “Ten miles? Ye be lying to me, Henry. I know for a fact ye were no more than three miles offshore when the boat exploded. Where is it?”

    “We don’t...”

    “Maybe she’ll talk after we be through with her,” said Charley, gesturing to his men.

    “Henry... Don’t let them,” pleaded Jenny.

    Henry looked at the floor.

    Jenny stepped forward. “It’s buried...”

    “Don’t say anything, Jenny.”

    She turned to Him. “Oh, bollocks, Henry. They ain’t gonna rape you.”

    Jenny gave Charley detailed instructions on where to find the buried coke, and he sent two of his men to retrieve it.

    “See how easy that was,” said Charley.

    “Then, you’ll let us go?” asked Henry.

    “And let everyone know how soft I’ve become. Not a chance, mate.”

    “It’s all my doing,” said Henry. “Let her go.”

    “She’s got eyes... And a mouth. A beautiful mouth, at that,” said Charley, getting up from his desk. “Come here... Jenny, is it?”

    “Yes. Jenny. Jennifer.”

    “How ‘bout a kiss for ole Charley?”

    Jenny turned a spat on the floor.

    “So, that’s how it is, is it?” Charley grabbed Jenny and forcibly French-kissed her. As soon as she could, she spat on the floor again. “Like to spit, do ye? I’ll give ye something to spit. On your knees and open the beautiful mouth of yours,” said Charley, unzipping.

    “No. I won’t!”

    “Put a bullet through his skull if she refuses,” ordered Charley, pointing at Henry.

    Jenny slowly knelt, closed her eyes, and opened her mouth. When Charley was done, she gagged, coughed, and spat a mouthful of Charley’s semen on the floor.

    “Take her and have fun,” said Charley to his men while he zipped up.

    “Sorry, love.”

    “Rotter,” yelled Jenny as she was forcefully led away.

    ###

    Henry looked up when the door of the small room opened, and Jenny was dumped on the floor. She was naked, shivering, and sobbing. He took off his shirt and wrapped it around her. “How many blokes?”

    “Quit counting after fifteen.”

    “Deal’s gone all to pot, really ****-up.”

    “What’s gonna happen to us, Henry?”

    “Fishbait, I reckon, love.”

    Henry had his arms around her when the first pain hit Jenny behind her eyes and turned her stomach over. A tickle, deep in her throat, caused her to cough. She spat blood-tinged sputum on the floor.

    “I don’t feel so good, Henry.”

    “After being shagged like that.”

    “It’s different: headache, sore throat, sick stomach.”

    “Still...”

    Without warning, Jenny’s stomach muscles spasmed and expelled its contents against the wall. Contracting repeatedly in conjunction with an onset of severe coughing, it left her writhing on the floor, trying to catch her breath.

    Henry was stunned but tried to comfort her the best he could. When the first wave passed, he banged on the door. “Help! We need help. The woman’s sick.”

    No one answered.

    Meanwhile, in the main warehouse, Charley sat at his desk with his gang awaiting his instructions.

    “What ‘bout ‘em two, Boss?” asked Burly, gesturing toward the small outbuilding where Henry and Jenny were incarcerated.

    “Take ‘em out and feed ‘em to the fishes but wait until the moon sets.”

    “Hate to waste a good woman like that, Boss.”

    “Have your fun with her, but dump ‘em like I said.”

    “Sure, Boss.”

    “How much product was salvaged?”

    “Four kilos,” said Burly.

    “Cut it extra and get into distribution today.”

    “Right away, Boss.”

    ###

    After an hour of banging on the door, Henry’s hand was bloody. Jenny laid on the floor, comatose, having convulsed repeatedly. She was barely breathing.

    “Nobody’s coming, love.”

    Jenny didn’t respond. He slumped on the floor next to her, head in his hands.

    “I’m so sorry I got you in this bloody ****e, love. If only...”

    Another round of convulsions wracked Jenny’s body as she puked and coughed uncontrollably. Henry watched powerlessly. She gaged and choked, unable to breathe. Her lips turned purple, her bloodshot eyes glassed over, and she collapsed on the floor.

    “Jenny, love,” said Henry, shaking her. He put his ear to her chest. Nothing. “Oh, Jenny. What have I done?” wailed Henry, holding her and rocking back and forth.

    ###

    “Product’s ready,” said Burly.

    “Push it out,” said Charley.

    “The woman?”

    “A reward when the job’s done.”

    ###

    Henry’s first symptom was a tickling in his throat and then a cough, evolving into a full-fledged coughing-fit, followed by intense pain behind his eyes. He screamed, clutching his head. Soon, he was vomiting and convulsing, unable to catch his breath. Bloody mucus drained from his nose, and blood-tinged tears welled up in his eyes from the strain of puking.

    His misery lasted nearly an hour before a stabbing pain shot through his rapidly beating heart and radiated down his left arm. Henry clutched at his chest but to no avail. The muscled chambers were fluttering, not pumping life-sustaining blood as they should be. As darkness closed in around him, Henry was profoundly relieved his end was near.

    ###

    “What’s wrong, Boss?” asked Burly.

    “Nothing. Scratchy throat. Distribution?”

    “Up and down the island, spread as thin as we could.”

    “Good. What took so long?”

    “Ye know these feckers. They got birds to supply and satisfy.”

    “Wasn’t the woman enough?”

    “Never enough, Boss. Never.”

    Charley coughed and cleared his throat. He reached for a bottle of Irish whiskey and poured a generous portion. When he slammed it back, his stomach rebelled, and the projectile-vomitus missed Burly’s feet by inches.

    “Boss?”

    “What the...” Charley’s second retching was accompanied by coughing, for he had inhaled some of his stomach contents, and his bronchial tubes were revolting. The diaphragm and chest muscles contracted, expelling air, and irritants out his mouth.

    Charley gasped for a breath of fresh air, but his stomach was ejecting its contents at the same moment. He inhaled more fluids into his lungs, but they tried in vain to eliminate them. When the excruciating pain hit at the base of his brain, Charley collapsed to the floor and convulsed.

    Burly backed away, ready to flee. “Boss?”

    A few moments later, Charley was dead, and Burly ran.

    ###

    Burly and two ruffians unlocked the door to the enclosure where Henry and Jenny were kept. When they pulled the door open and saw them dead on the floor, they backed away.

    “What’s goin’ on ‘ere, Burly? First Charley. Then these two.” asked the first ruffian.

    “Don’t know, mate,” said Burly. “But I don’t like it.”

    “Sumthin’ wrong wit dis place,” said the other ruffian. “I’m goin’ to shoot off.”

    “Wait up, mate,” said the other ruffian. “Burly?”

    “Blimey. Wait up.”

    ###

    Within two days, Burly and Charley’s men had succumbed to the virus’ attack, each dying horribly. Those who were infected by Charley’s men, and those who they had contaminated, also perished. Before it was over, nearly three thousand died. Then the virus disappeared, vanished without a trace.

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    This one was gritty and suspenseful. The underworld is a slimy place. Well done.

  3. #3
    Registered User DRayVan's Avatar
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    Glad you liked it.

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