A pox upon my house! No, really. Right now. It has settled over our humble abode like a manky blanket, smothering all concepts of joy, light, and enthusiasm. All have been replaced with weariness, darkness, and phlegm. It’s quite dreadful.

As an aside, I love the word phlegm in an almost direct opposition to the thing itself. It’s just ludicrous in every regard, from the noise it makes as you say it, to the bizarre positioning of its constituent lettering. Just look at it. It even looks revolting. A marvellous word.

Anyway, I digress. I’ve spent the last week feeling roughly as though my bones are trying to stage an escape, causing a distraction by turning my nose into a faucet and my lungs into spasming useless airbags.

It was inevitable, really. Six weeks after moving our entire family to a part of the country we’d never been to before, sticking both of the kids into the germ-breeding cesspools that are schools, and myself into a massive office where the aircon battles the radiators for supremacy, we have all come down with the plague.

I’m not talking here about your common-or-garden-variety colds, no. This is full-on bubonic stuff, with sleepless nights, restless days, more mucas than you can fling off a stick and endless bouts of racking coughs.

Okay, so we’ve all got colds. There’s no need to paint my door with a black cross. Still, it’s pretty wretched when you’re too early into a new job to take time off and everyone feels dreadful all the time, taking out all the lovely weekend plans you’d crafted for your first payday weekend. 

My boy has come down with it worst of all, developing both a chest infection and an ear infection, kind of like an ungodly two-for-one deal that nobody asked for and we’d rather like to return now, thanks very much.

He went to the doctor’s this morning, where the diagnosis was made. Now, call me old-fashioned, but I’m used to that kind of diagnosis being greeted with some nice antibiotics to make it all sorted out, lickity-split. But not anymore, apparently.

When I asked my wife why not – as it was she who took him to said doctor’s – she commented that they apparently don’t like to give them out now, what with the growing immunity to antibiotics that humanity is developing. Then she added the line ‘it’s probably what’s going to cause humanity to die out.’


Now, I love my boy very much, but I really don’t want him to be the cause of humanity’s downfall. That’s an awful lot of responsibility to put on anyone, let alone a seven-year-old boy with a sore ear. I mean, it’s not the sort of thing you want on your CV as you go out into the wide world, is it?

Or maybe I misunderstood. I am pretty ill.

Blood on the Motorway: An apocalyptic trilogy of murder and stale sandwiches is out now in ebook and print from Amazon and all other good bookstores. You can get the first book free by joining my mailing list or read along at Wattpad. Oh, and I’ve got a Patreon.

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