“No, no, no. We don’t know what the repercussions will be,” said the environmental scientist. His arms flailed around him in his attempt to stop further barrels of contaminate from being transported from the lab’s warehouse.
“Look,” said the plant manager. He massaged his temple only to then straighten his scuffed hard hat, and waved the fork lift over toward the barrels. “We’ve got a permit here to dump the waste.” He kicked the barrel to emphasize his point. “We’ve been doing it for weeks and nothing has happened. Our water is safe. If it wasn’t do you think we’d just get rid of it where it would affect us too? Wait guys outside and let me deal with this.”
“But we don’t know how this will affect wildlife,” the environmentalist said. “And if it ends up in our drinking water. Everything has its tipping point. The pathogen will spread.”
The plant manager sighed, and glanced at his watch. They were running behind schedule to get this load uploaded and delivered. When a holiday hit, especially one that required a party or two, and promised sexy pumpkins, it required timing. Keeping his men happy meant appreciating their time and not wasting it.
“What could happen?” he chuckled. His gaze fell on the water fountain in the corner. He walked over to it, turned on a tap and filled a paper cup with the water. “What you want me to take a drink and show you that this is completely safe?”
“The water supply had been contaminated through aging pipes,” said the environmentalist, “ lead, arsenic, and copper combined with numerous unnamed pharmaceuticals which the water filtration plants never searched for. I wouldn’t do that. This is one big science experiment. We are the test subjects. The contaminated water causes a form of Encephalitis, inflammation in the brain that triggers the amygdala and hypothalamus. Rage and an insatiable hunger begins. It sets off pleasure centers, allowing for an emotional reward for release. The homicidal rage, mania subsides and a thirst for another living host without the virus sets in. I’ve studied it. I’ve seen what it can do.”
“Can’t reason with crazy?” the plant manager muttered.
“It’s madmen seeking prey.”
“All from a glass of water?”
“It will spread in search for another viable host to incite. It already has.”
The plant manager gulped down the water. “See nothing happening. Now, get out of my way before I call security on you. I have a job to do.” He whistled. “Load ‘em up boys!” He headed towards the palettes.
“You are making a mistake,” the scientist called after him. “Please listen. You must stop this.”
A sweltering heat filled the scientist’s throat. He coughed to clear it, and stopped walking away, but turned back towards the plant manager. His fist clenched and unclenched while the pounding in his head grew stronger. What started out as a wisp of anger unfurled its wings and blazed.
“I told you to let me do my damn job,” the plant manager said.
“And I told you that this is wrong!”
Without further prodding the scientist advanced. His shoulders stiffened and his back rigid. He yanked a pen knife from his pocket and advanced on the plant manager.
“What…what are you doing?” the plant manager sputtered. He took a step back.
“I told you to let this be.”
The rage and hunger had begun.
His knife’s blade scraped against newly acquired piece of flesh. He placed it to his nose and inhaled its gaminess. Each movement of his hand removed more of the fat and flesh from the desired skin.
With caution and care he slowly and meticulously dragged his knife against it to not make a hole in the precious material for a project he’d always somehow wanted, just didn’t know he’d wished for. His cell phone beeped with the text. He’d need more material to continue to work on his new pet project and the evening’s Halloween party would be a good place to start.
He even already had a blood-spattered costume….
Stay tuned for Episode 2!