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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2257319
A pandemic anniversary
“So you’re really not going to get vaccinated.”


“Not even before we go out for our anniversary?”


“Not even to save countless lives?”

“Countless? Pretty much just risking my own, here.”

“No you’re not. You’re putting everyone at risk.”

“How do you figure?”

“If you get COVID, you could end up giving it to others!”

“So could you?”

“How do you figure?”

“Well, getting vaccinated doesn’t prevent you from spreading COVID.”

“It doesn’t?”


“I’m sure it helps somehow.”


“I don’t know! I’m not a doctor! Look, just get vaccinated. If everyone gets vaccinated, then the virus will die off.”

“That’s not true either. The vaccines aren’t perfectly effective.”

“Well, they’re like 95% effective. Close enough.”

“They’re actually only 70-something against some strains. And not at all against others.”

“That’s not true.”

“Why do you say that?”

“Because it’s not!”

“So you haven’t heard of the lamba strain?”

“Lamba? I thought it was delta!”

“There’s that one too.”

“Good grief, Carl. Just get the damned vaccine already. 70%, 90%, they both beat 0%, right?”

“What about the side effects?”

“Side effects?”

“Yeah. Heart problems and whatever.”

“Carl, I took the vaccine! And my heart is fine!”

“For now.”

“For now? Good grief, Carl?! Are you expecting me to keel over any second now?”


“Oh, my God. You can’t be serious!”

“Why can’t I?”

“Because it feels like you’re rooting for me to die or something! So you let me get vaccinated when you thought it might kill me?”

“Well, I… Eleanor, don’t cry.”

“I can’t help it! You’re just being such a jerk!”

“Okay, okay, I’ll get vaccinated already!”

“No! I care about you, and if there’s potentially a risk to your health, I don’t want you to.”

“It’s fine, Eleanor. The risk is tiny.”

“But it’s still a risk, right?”

“It pales in comparison to the danger posed by the virus.”

“Are you sure?”


“Then why were you saying all that stuff before?”


“No, lie to me. Of course, honestly!”

“I’m scared of needles.”


“You heard me.”

“My big strong Carl? Afraid of needles?”

“Don’t laugh too hard now...”

“It’s the least you deserve after what you put me through just now.”

“Oh, lord.”

“Don’t roll your eyes at me, honey. You owe me!”

“How do I owe you?”

“For all that anti-vaccine nonsense you were spewing!”

“How do you figure that means I owe you?”

“Because I said so!”

“Geez. Here we go again…”

“No, here we go for the first time. Get in the car. I’m taking you to get your shot.”

“I’d rather go alone.”



“Because I want to see you cry for a change!”

“Nice. Spoken just like a wife of 25 years.”

“I am a wife of 25 years.”

“I know.”

“Happy anniversary, honey.”

“Happy anniversary.”

“Now let’s get you stabbed.”

498 words
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