The Flu Gremlins

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The squadron of Flu Gremlins lay in wait, watching as their intended victim got into bed and settled down to sleep. It wasn’t long before she was dozing peacefully, her blankets tucked under her chin.

The gremlins hopped onto the pillow and faced their mission. The prospect of another night of pillage and mayhem had them psyched up. Their eyes were shining and some of them had tongues protruding from between their sharp, long fangs.

Then, at a barked command from their leader, they swarmed as one into their victim’s left nostril. They did not stop charging until they had reached the back of her throat. There, they gleefully dug their nails into the soft lining of her throat and, hanging on by their nails only, let the weight of their bodies carry them down her throat. Once at the bottom, they again dug their nails in and began to climb back up, trying to dodge comrades making their own hurtling descent. Occasionally, a gremlin would get hit by a descending body, knocking them both into a free-fall to the bottom. How everyone cackled with laughter when that happened!

This boisterous mayhem continued for some time, but it did have a purpose. Strings of mucous began to build up at the bottom of the throat, ripped out of the lining by the gremlins’ sharp nails. Once a large enough pile had been gathered, the squadron commander blew his whistle. The gremlins gathered the mucous strings into clumps and hauled them back up the throat for the last time.

They did not stop at the top of the throat however, but continue up the sinuses to the bridge of the nose. The gremlins slung the mucus clumps off their backs here and began packing the sinus passageway closed.

That’s when tragedy struck. Their victim had started tossing restlessly while the deep throat assault was ongoing. She had even started coughing before the gremlins had reached the nose bridge. Now she woke up fully and noticed how stuffy her nose seemed. Before the gremlins could retreat to safety, she had grabbed a tissue from her bedside table and had blown her nose.  Half the squadron got blown away and their hard work was undone. A couple of squirts of nasal spray dissolved what was left of the mucus barricade before she dropped off back to sleep again.

Once she was back in the REM cycle, the commander gathered what was left of his squadron; just 26 hardy fighters. They were devastated by the loss of their comrades and disgusted that their work had been undone but, like all good flu gremlins, they still stood tall and proud. The commander praised them for the work they had done that night and told them not to blame themselves for what had happened. He said they all knew the dangers that faced them and their colleagues had died a hero’s death.

To lift their spirits before heading home, the commander led his gremlins to the brain, where they stomped out all their anger and frustration and loss. Their victim may have saved herself from a stuffy nose in the morning, but she would not escape the raw throat and pounding head – not while the Flu Gremlins were around.

 

Inspired by: Daily Prompt

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