Bad NewsMature

An ordinary day. Sun shining, slightly breezy, clouds looming on the horizon, but fine all the same, quite normal weather for a spring day in Scotland. Sitting on my old frayed armchair flicking through the channels, sat with the love of my life, my wife Sandra. My name is James McGregor, or Jimmy to my friends and wife. We always lived in a quiet neighbourhood.

Nothing exciting ever happened apart from a few youths getting arrested every few months, and the neighbours we'rent always as friendly as you would picture them in a rural area. They were mostly other old folks who kept to themselves or younger couples buying their first home, either too shy or ignorant to acknowledge you.  I don't blame them, the less people you get attached to, the better in my opinion. 

I handed the remote control over to my wife like I usually do when we can't choose what to watch, she always finds something good I never would have considered watching. That woman always warmed me up to new things, such as fruity shortbread biscuits. 

" Cup of tea, my turtle dove?" I questioned as I rose steadily from my chair.

" That would be lovely, pigeon." That wrinkly smile I cherished spread across her face, lighting up her twinkly pale blue eyes.

We always referred to each other as turtle dove and pigeon. I nicknamed her after a beautiful, graceful bird, yet, as a tender joke of her own, she named me after a rat with wings. I smile to myself while popping tea bags into two the mugs we use all the time, and wait for the old kettle to boil. 

I was twisting my wedding ring back and forth, a habit I gained when I'm thinking deeply. Picking up the kettle while still in a daze, I was about to pour the water into our favourite mugs.  My wife's voice startled me back into reality. 

"Jimmy! Come look at this!" The panic in my wife's voice worried me, so I almost dropped the kettle in a rush to get to her. As I hurried into the living room, i found her leaning forward looking shocked and afraid. Once I clocked that she wasn't in any danger, I turned my head slowly to the television set. BBC news was on.

I shuffled to my chair and took my place next to my wife, reached out for her hand and clutched it like I never wanted to let go.  The banner running across the top of the screen in bold white writing claimed it was a breaking news report. The reporter at the desk looked terrified.

" This is no joke, ladies and gentlemen, this is a real breaking news report. Scientists in france have failed to contain a deadly virus they've been testing after one of their specimens escaped. A number of calls have already been made about people being attacked viciously, being bitten and mauled. The calls are getting more frequent, and all we can do at this moment is pray for the French nation, and hope it is contained."

" We'll have regular updates on the situation as it develops." The news reader looked awestruck and distraught. My wife looked exactly the same.

" Oh Jimmy, what happens if it spreads? We might be in danger!" Sandra turned to me slowly, in-able to take her eyes away from the shocking report. Her bottom lip quivered slightly and she tried to hold it together. 

" Don't worry Turtle dove, they know what they're doing, we're quite safe here." I comforted her with a warm smile and squeezed her hand. As she smiled back, eased by my words, I let go of her hand and raised from my chair. I Started to twist my wedding ring back and forth as I sunk back into my thoughts, this time shocked and sympathetic for the French.

" How about that tea then, my love?" 

The End

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