Gesundheit (an original short story)

A little something different here. I submitted this to a writing prompt on Reddit which challenged users to write something based on the following statement: 

A virus has broken out. Whenever you sneeze, you lose an IQ point. Everyone has it.

So here is my submission. Hope you like it as much as my wife and daughter did – which is to say not much. 

“Danny, get in here now!  Oh my God! Is this a joke?”

I ignored her grating New Jersey accent where “here” was pronounced “hea” and God was “Gawd” and continued logging in as my fingers raced furiously across the keyboard.

Her exclamations of wonder and horror continued their sporadic interruptions of the “special news alert.”  I still caught enough to understand that the world was screwed.

“The latest viral outbreak, dubbed  the Gesundheit virus, has already affected 100’s of thousands, if not millions of people,” read the perfectly haired anchorman from his Tele-Prompter.  He remained professionally emotionless in his explanation of how the world’s entire population risked losing an already declining  asset in the form of IQ points – one sneeze at a time.

“Danny are you hearing this?!  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  Oh my God!  I thought it was just a cold!”  Her final statement was accented by three violent sneezes.

I chuckled…  “Three more points down, babe,” I thought, shamelessly. I refocused on my laptop and saw the anxiously anticipated response.

Trade Executed.

“Her sobs began to intensify as the reality set in.  “Danny, please come hold me.  I’m literally losing my mind here!”

Content with what I saw before me, I left the laptop and joined the most annoying woman in Jersey on the couch.

As I sat down she struck me and demanded, “what were you doing in there that was more important than holding your girlfriend during a time of need?”

“Relax,” I said, “I was buying 10,000 shares each of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithCline and Merck.  If they find a cure for this, I’m going to be filthy rich!”

She struck me again, “Are you freaking kidding me?”

“Babe!  I had to do it tonight. If I get this stuff tomorrow, I may not be smart enough to even log in to my brokerage account, let alone make a trade.”

She stared at me in disbelief and then… Sneezed. She broke down and fell onto my lap in tears as I fought really, REALLY hard to keep from smiling.

If you enjoyed this column and would like to see more, click here.

© Michael L. Collins

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2 thoughts on “Gesundheit (an original short story)

  1. So it’s true that men really want dumb wives??

    Your writing is evolving very well! A few more years and you will be syndicated! Glad you can write through your pain. God bless, Ma

    Liked by 1 person

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