If you get ill after eating or touching something that didn’t make anyone else sick, you may be allergic to it. Especially if there’s a rash. Allergies are caused by your body rejecting substances it doesn’t like. There is no treatment but to avoid those substances. Fortunately, only a few types of allergies can kill you. Nut allergies, for instance. Bee stings. But I imagine most people with fatal allergies to common things have died by now.
I am allergic to wool, soy, peanuts, and pollen. Only my peanut allergy can kill me.
I nestle the video camera on its makeshift tripod, carefully centering my daughter’s image. She tucks her hair behind her ear and gives a strained smile. She is sixteen, and that hair is long and golden–kissed light brown and straight; she has the gangly grace only teenagers have, that sleek gazelle form. She is wearing khaki shorts and a striped tank top, and the bite mark on her arm is already putrefying.
It has been two hundred days since the door to my study began screaming. I was nodding over a volume of Edwin Corang’s collected prose when I first felt it; a curious ripple that moved through the
room, standing my hair on edge, followed by the sensation of coffee spilling into my lap as the screaming began…
“You don’t have to talk like that to us, mister,” I said. “We know town-speak just fine.”
The man with the hat put it back on his head and smiled with a hint of embarrassment. “Sorry, folks. Sometimes it helps, you know, smooth the way.”
That man with the computer was lurking by the corner of our porch, holding it up and aiming some kind of camera at the eaves. He steered a pair of laser beams from one end to the other. I figured I’d let him do what he was doing if I didn’t see any harm.
“Smooth the way for what?” I asked. I knew what was coming next, what was always coming: talk of imminent domain, of making way for progress.
“Something exciting,” he said, lifting up a foot onto the lowest step. “Opportunity of a lifetime…”
This episode of the Drabblecast explores science of the future. In the drabble, a lab rat learns to speak but still cannot talk the scientists studying him out of his eventual dissection despite their similarities. In the feature, government agents try to convince a family of aging farmers to join the rest of humanity by being uploaded into the singularity, a virtual world where everyone can lead any life they can dream up. No one can be left behind..