"Thanks Sandy. Probably the longest putt I sank all day. Oh hey ... I've been meaning to tell you ... thanks for hooking me up with that ranch in Glendale. We're staying there this weekend. It's exactly what we were looking for."
"Anytime buddy. It's the least I could do. Hey you've got something on your neck there..."
"Do I? Where .. OUCH! SHIT! What the hell was that?"
"I don't know. It looked like a shiny red beetle of some kind. Never seen anything like it before."
"Ya, well the damn thing bit me. Hurt like hell."
"Mr. Sheegl is here to see you Sir."
"Oh right. Yes, let him in."
"Sammmy! How have you been?"
"Fine, Sheegs. Well you know, this crap isn't going away. I can't believe this fire hall shit has so much traction. Maybe if I keep giving out keys to the city people will get distracted and forget about this mess before the next election."
"I can take the fall for you Sam. You know .. GAAAAAK. KAACK. Uhmm. Ah, sorry about that. Ya, anyhow, I was saying ... Sandy just hooked me up with a sweet ranch in Phoenix. I should be spending more time down there anyhow. You know, maybe it's time .. GAAAAAK."
"Don't even think about it, Sheegs. I got a sneak peak at the report. Douglas will take 90% of the hit, or at least we can spin it that way. You're fine buddy. I can't do this without you. You know that."
"When does the report come out?"
"It goes to the PCS and then council in two weeks."
"Alright well keep me posted. GAAAAAAAAAAK. GAAAAK. Uhh.
"Christ, dude. That's a nasty cough."
"Ya, I think I'm getting pneumonia or something. This climate up here doesn't agree with me. I'm telling ya Sammy, I need to move to the ranch. GAAAK.
"Hi, I'm Maralee Caruso and the top story tonight continues to be the as yet unidentified illness that is sweeping across the nation. Experts from the GAAAAK. Excuse me. Experts from the Canadian Centre for Disease Control are focusing on Winnipeg as the epicenter of the outbreak, where the disease has killed dozens of people including CAO for the City of Winnipeg, Phil Sheegl. It gets worse for city hall: CTV has now learned that the mayor Sam Katz and every councillor except Harvey Smith has been hospitalized with the illness, leaving Smith in charge of the day to day administration of the city.
People are being advised to stay at home if at all possible, and avoid air travel. Health agencies in Europe and Asia are on high alert and have issued travel warnings for all parts of Canada; and South Korea has once again banned beef exports from Canada."
As Harvey Smith sat and pondered the turn of fate that left him as the last person alive on earth, the emotions ran through him like prune juice: guilt, grief, anger, frustration. Why did it spare him, of all people? Why did it happen at all? The silence of the city around him drove daggers into his heart.
It was a beautiful early-summer day by appearances, as a pungent breeze tussled the curtains of Harvey's apartment, conducting an elaborate dance of sunshine across the hardwood floors. A shiny red beetle flew in with the breeze and landed on his side table.
"Odd looking bug." He thought to himself, before killing it with his cane.
Tune into 101.5 FM Wednesday October 31 at 5:30 pm for a spooktacular Winnipeg Internet Pundits.
Tuesday, 30 October 2012