My grandson asked for a Nan story. With Covid-19 top of my thoughts the story of Brian the Big Bad Bug emerged…..
Duncan lived in a very tall building. Each day he used its lift to reach his front door.
Duncan loved going to school and at weekends playing with his friends in the nearby playground.
One night Duncan was a little late home. The moon was showing its face while the sun had almost disappeared. He rushed along his road. As he reached his building he thought he saw a shadow flit across the door as he opened it.
He walked into the lobby to the lift. Again he thought he saw a shadow, This time it ran over the button he was about to press. He stopped and quietly whispered, ‘ who are you’.
The shadow giggled and stopped. It said nothing.
If you won’t give me your name I shall call you Brian.
The lift doors opened and Duncan and Brian got in. Up and up they went. When the lift doors opened again Duncan left first. He turned and beckoned to Brian.
‘Are you coming Brian?’, The shadow slid down the wall to the floor and silently followed Duncan. While Duncan fumbled with his keys Brian slid under the door unnoticed.
Duncan rushed into the kitchen. His tea was on the table but his Dad was nowhere to be seen. He stopped and listened. All he could hear was cough cough cough. He followed the sound to his Dad’s bedroom. He peeked around the door, not only did he see his Dad but Brian was there laying on his Dad’s chest smiling. Duncan was not happy.
What are you doing? His Dad turned and said ‘Duncan please speak politely when you are talking to me’ Realising his Dad could not see Brian he apologised. His Dad went on ‘ I had a busy day and was taking a nap and when I woke up I had this horrible dry cough’.
Duncan took a hard look at Brian. Brian licked his lips and laughed. ‘Brian did you do this to my Dad’. Brian nodded.
Duncan realised that Brian was not just a shadow but a Big Bad Bug. He lunged at Brian who slipped from his grip. Brian fled to the open window and threw himself into the air immediately breaking into tiny pieces. Lots of little Brians’ flew threw the air looking for their next victims.
Duncan was horrified. This has to stop. He could see the little Brian’s slipping into building after building, sliding over people in the street. The coughing got louder and louder.
Duncan rushed to his bedroom and pulled out his megaphone. A toy which has always annoyed his Mum even though she had given it to him the year she died. He kissed it and whispered ‘ I know you can help us now Mum wherever you are’.
The megaphone shone in the moonlight. Duncan thrust it out of the window and bellowed.
‘Everyone…wash your hands now….Brian cannot survive soap and water. He hates it.’
Duncan did not know how he knew this. Then he remembered that his Mum would say ‘wash your hands Duncan’ whenever he came in. ‘You have to get all those bugs and germs off of your hands. It may save your life one day’. He knew his Mum was right. This was the moment.
He bellowed again, ‘wash your hands’. People started washing their hands, over and over. All the Brians began to get smaller and smaller, one by one they faded until they disappeared. The coughing stopped.
The evening was quiet. An owl hooted.
Duncan felt a warmth as his Dad put his arm around his shoulder. ‘Time for tea Duncan?’.