| "Something Going Around" |
Set in OTL
|Type of Appearance:||Direct first-person narrator|
|Date of Birth:||20th century|
|Spouse:|| Unnamed first wife (divorced)|
Cyndi (second wife) (div.)
|Children:||Unnamed adult sons|
Stan was a Germanic languages professor, specializing in Gothic, at a university. He was twice divorced with two adult sons. He spent much of his down time at the local bar, Mandelbaum's. As the community had scene a recent rash of pedestrians being struck by cars and killed, Stan (who'd seen the aftermath of one such accident) often employed the bar to avoid the horrors of what was happening around him.
During an evening at Mandelbaum's, Stan met parasitic ecologist Indira Patel, who also taught at the university. The two hit it off discussing their respective fields. After Indira explained how certain parasites, such as malaria, flatworms, and Toxoplasma gondii could influence the behavior of their respective hosts, Stan wondered if there could be a parasite that could live in people, but required another host for sexual reproduction, and whether such a parasite could alter human behavior to allow for the required change in host. Indira allowed that, unlike some other animals, human behavior is difficult to influence, but would not say if it was impossible.
The two continued to see each other after this.
After a brief relationship, Indira was killed when she inexplicably stepped into the path of a car. Stan, who'd been passing by, realized who the victim was. He also realized that Indira and the others hit by cars were hosts to some sort of parasite, and that their careless actions were actually the parasite trying to escape the humans and find a host suitable for reproduction.
Stan ran into the bathroom of Mandelbaum's, vomited, and washed his hands, uncertain as to whether or not he'd been exposed to whatever parasite Indira had been carrying.