Flash Fiction: Patient Zero

This was written for Carrot Ranch’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week’s challenge is to write to a prompt in exactly 99 words. This week’s prompt is to write about someone who is unremembered. How does one write a story about one who is unremembered? I can’t remember. “There was once this man… maybe. He was shortish tall with light black, curly, bald hair… I don’t remember what he looked like or what he did, but he may or may not have been.” This is the only way I could think to do this.

Patient Zero

“I’m ready. Who am I killing?”

“Your great-grandfather.”


“He was patient zero.”

“My great-grandfather is responsible for Extraterrestrial Xenotropic Disease? How can you know that?”

“It was his breakthrough that made intergalactic space travel possible. He was on that first mission that brought back E.X.D., causing the Great Plague.”

“If I kill him before his breakthrough, I can stop the plague and the deformities that followed.”

“And the collapse of civilization. You can make humanity Earth’s dominant species again.”

“Will I cease to exist?”

“We may all cease to exist. The world of 1989 could look completely different.”


In case you’re wondering, she failed. That’s why humans look like (see mirror), and anyone who has pets knows that humans are not the dominant species.

I’m not a fan of anti-science science fiction, but there are dangers out there. Maybe we’ll find them someday. I am a big fan of sanitizer and keeping your damn germs to yourself. Maybe wash your hands after playing in Uranus.

7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Patient Zero

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  1. I can buy that we are the failed results of a time-reversal. 1989 seemed when it all went downhill, those the rise of pets was going on long before. Fun take on the prompt and commentary! Yeah, kind of challenging to write someone unremembered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The failed joke doesn’t even make sense. We obviously haven’t been wiped out by a plague or achieved intergalactic space travel. I ignored both facts in favor of some self-deprecating humor. Unless it was a hard reset a few hundred thousand years ago. Where did Atlantis go?

      Thank you. It was a fun one to write.


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