The Metal Infector

57 04 April 27th 2014

Copyright- Al Forbes

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The Great Metal Infection of 2052 actually began in 2050. Biologists who studied the microflora of the Amazon River had trouble identifying a certain strain of bacteria in one of their samples. These bacteria had a highly unusual cell structure, and despite genetic testing, they could not say what the strain had evolved from, or discover its closest relative.

After a short period of time, the biologists began to notice something odd about their tools. Overnight, anything made of metal that was exposed to these bacteria, even the implements they had supposedly sterilised, began to warp out of shape, and odd protrusions would appear. Closer inspections revealed that the bacteria had managed to burrow into the metal and multiply within little surface nodes.

Their hottest incinerator seemed to deal with the affected instruments, but the laboratory couldn’t contain the infection. Within two years, there was devastation. Luckily, the same biologists also discovered the organisms’ aversion to gold, silver, copper, and titanium. The resulting production of alloys which are resistant to “metal rot” allowed humanity can carry on as it once did.

Which is a shame, really.

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Alastair’s Photo Fiction – Pinned

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Copyright – Alastair Forbes

This prompt came from Alastair’s Photo Fiction Blog.

The sun moves through the sky.

Well, that’s a lie. The Earth moves around it. As I lay on the ground, with thousands of miles of rock beneath me, contemplating our planet’s rotation causes my body to feel lighter. I feel scared that gravity isn’t sufficient to keep me from slowly floating away. People smile and talk about rising like a star, but why would you want to ascend up and away, away from everything you care about? I feel like I’m about to fall upwards and be swallowed by an infinite purple sky.

My family would be lost from sight within minutes. My sister’s freckles would be the first thing to disappear, fading into her brown face. My mother’s anxious features would shrink into a fleshy pinprick as I move further and further into space.

Instead, I lay on the ground. I’m heavy and cold, but safe, pinned to the Earth where they can always find me.

Friday Fictioneers – The Worst Ride Of His Life

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Copyright – Jennifer Pendergast

I love this photo! If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers, click here.

His car was gone. He had no other option, Oliver thought. This was an emergency.

Outside the compound was Bertie, the twenty foot long honey bee they had accidentally created when trying to produce a more resistant species.  As ominous as Bertie appeared, he was actually harmless. His sting had been removed, and most of the time he wandered placidly around the enclosure.

Oliver snapped Bertie’s restraints, took a deep breath and leapt onto Bertie’s back. Bertie, startled, immediately launched into the air with Oliver desperately clutching his fur.

Oliver had a sudden thought; how was he going to steer this thing?