Patient Zero – Friday Fictioneers

Greetings, Friday Fictioneers! Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the group and for choosing my photo this week. Thanks so much! The challenge is to write a 100-word story based on the photo. All are welcome to join in. Here are instructions.

One would think that you if offered a photo, that you might have a story in mind. Not so! I look forward to reading what everyone came up with.

A little background on the photo: (If you don’t want to read this, skip to the story!) I took this in La Jolla near San Diego, a rather upscale beach neighborhood in a trendy shopping area. I found this site in an alley as I was walking through a few of them. Many of them were very quaint. This rundown stairway seemed out of the ordinary, so I snapped a photo. I didn’t go up the stairs…


(100 words)

Patient Zero

“It’s not condemned. It’s a ruin,” said Tony, putting on his mask. “A regular tourist trap.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better? If you’re stupid enough to come here, no one’s gonna miss you,” said Chuck.

“Someone’s being dramatic,” said Tony. He touched his finger to the faulty rail. It wouldn’t help him on the cracked stairway, choking on overgrown ivy and debris.

“If you come back out, I’ll join you,” whispered Chuck.

Inside Tony witnessed cats roaming on mutant paws, flashing green eyes, encircling him. They slashed him with their claws until their mouths filled with blood.


Click here for more stories from the Fictioneers.


90 thoughts on “Patient Zero – Friday Fictioneers

    1. You call me Quentana. haha. I guess I was in the mood for a little gore and sleaze. I need to get it out of my system. Thanks for the kind praise and encouragement, Perry. Appreciate it!


  1. Great story. You caught me out – I thought Chuck would be the one who missed out, by being a wuss. In the battle of conflicting proverbs, ‘look before you leap’ was more apt than ‘he who hesitates is lost’ on this occasion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right you are, JS. I don’t think Tony got a chance to look long enough, because once you get circled by cats…Thanks so much and for your email. I’ll respond soon. Sorry for the delay.


  2. Dear Amy,

    I’ve had cats and I suspect this came from the mind of one. 😉 Those stairs have spawned quite a few dark ones this week. Nothing like a little blood and gore to go with my coffee this morning. Good job.

    On another note, although I often use photos of my own, rarely, if ever to I have a story in mind. Often I’ll stare at the photo and wonder what possessed me to choose it.
    Thanks again for a great photo.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Rochelle,
      I am a cat lover so I don’t know what got into me! I could see a bunch of cats hanging out here….and you know, of course they’re mutants. I did run into a colony of cats once and it was surreal and strange. There must have been close to 100 cats in this grove. Some of them were mutants, but they didn’t attack. 🙂
      Good to know about the photo. I wonder. There must be something about the photos that draws them to you. You just never know what you’ll write until you put the words on the page. Thank you for choosing my photo. It’s an honor!


    1. Thanks, Mark. It was fun story to write. Glad you liked it. No, I didn’t go up the stairs and now I wish I had. But right when I saw it, I thought “prompt.” That doesn’t happen that often and maybe for that reason I didn’t want to clutter my mind with the real image. Now I want to know!


  3. So the zombie apocalypse begins with cats?! I believe it. I’m not a cat person. I’ve always thought those creatures are susceptible to the dark side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T-rent!! I actually love cats! I just thought they might like to hang out here. I also ran into a colony of cats once. It was wonderful and eerie at once. Many of them had mutant paws, too. No joke!


      1. Well, nothing particularly alarming. You know, extra digits and missing tails! The usual. This particular hub of cats had a lot of that going on. Maybe there was a lot of inbreeding?! No pics. I saw it years ago before I even had a camera. But, I remember it well.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Patrick. Chuck is one lucky fella.
      Yes, indeed. It’s the La Jolla near San Diego (I just added that in my post. Thanks!). There are many nice galleries. I stare at things from the window, too afraid I will break something if I go in! Glad you liked the pic.


  4. So, patient zero – is Tony going to come back with green eyes and mutant claws to start the next epidemic? They always look for the first person to catch the virus (zombie/mutant disease?) so i can only assume… anyway, very nice.


    1. I left it open. It’s anyone’s guess. I envision that Chuck rescues poor Tony and the cats vanish before he sees them. And anyway, yeah, then he’s infected. But Tony is Patient Zero and I bet he will have green eyes and claws. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Chilling and gory, as others have noted. In not getting to stories until Sunday, I fear I often sound repetitive! The imagery really is scary, Amy. Nice photo for inspiring us all, and La Jolla is one of my favorite places to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You know I love kitties – don’t want to think of any of them as mutants, but I will let this go because I know it’s just your fabulous imagination at play! The twist really hit me hard on this one!


  7. Ooh, sounds like alien cats, bloodthirsty alien cats at that. That should be a warning to anyone going up a stairway like that. Thanks for the great picture, Amy. Who would imagine that stairway would be in an upscale area? It seems the area is old mixed with new. Maybe those stairs have a history. If not, we gave them more than one. Well done, Amy. 🙂 — Suzanne


    1. You never know what’s on the other side. I guess that’s my angle on this photo, but there were many other ways to look at it as seen in all the stories this week. I’m glad you liked it, Suzanne. It struck me as odd right away.There is a good mix of old and new in the area. That’s very true! Thank you. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much, Mark! Oh, so nice to hear. I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t get it out until Friday pm, so I can see how you missed it. Thanks. I like that staircase, too. I think you’re special for noticing.


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