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Day 151: Frozen Fruitlessness

I’m extremely sorry for my light-witted comments about Hurricane Luke. Orlando is in pieces. The looting is relentless. Local reporters pose before phalanxes of masked Guardsmen framed by flames. Will Disney World burn? Melt?

I could use some power, too.

BLINK (Kieran McGonnell)Early this evening I heard a woman screaming below. I leaned out of Sneeky’s window to see a woman in green backed against a car. I couldn’t see what she was scared of, thought it might be rats. Then she started pleading with someone human to leave her alone, a high-pitched spoken wail that conveyed real terror. It sounded like she said she had the flu, probably to frighten an assailant.

I grabbed a metal bar I keep handy and ran toward the stairs, putting on protective gear. I was ‘safe’ by the time I reached the last flight. She sounded about 20 feet from the door, bleating for mercy—desperate, deranged, maybe both.

I charged down the stairs, rod in hand.

My world imploded. I couldn’t breathe, realized I was choking on lunch. My heart went into overdrive. Hunched over, drenched in sweat, I shook for so long I forgot about the woman I was trying to rescue. By the time I remembered her, I felt better, clearer. I took another step, became horribly dizzy. I vomited into my mask and all over the stairs. Had I somehow caught H5N1?

People ran past the front door, shouting as they chased someone. They sounded like good guys, volunteers.

It must have been something I ate. I’m not a coward.

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