Tuesday, 12 June 2012

43: The Virus and The Mite

So, what is a ‘mite’?  To some, it’s a tiny insect that lives in the soil or in dust in a bed, often parasitic and feeding on a host.  To others, it’s a tiny child, probably quite endearing and possibly poor or needy in some way.  To yet others, it’s a small measure, a tiny amount of something.

But to The Virus?  Mite is the perfect sidekick.

First thing The Virus had him do is add ‘The’ to his name.  No self-respecting master criminal gets out of bed in the morning without appending a definite article.  Mite became The Mite.

Next The Virus had him chose an outfit, a uniform, a costume.  He was able to advise The Mite on what to avoid – no cape (risk of getting caught in something), never 2-piece (looks like pyjamas), bright colours (harder to hide and usually indicates the good guys) – and what to go for – smooth lines, dark colours and good, strong boots.  And of course he was able to make sure The Mite looked like the sidekick, not the main event.

The Virus stood tall at over 6 feet, The Mite a little over 4 feet.  Together they strode the streets of downtown LA, looking for... opportunities.  The Mite would pose as a hungry child or a sick old lady or an injured babysitter.  When the good citizens of LA came to assist, The Virus jumped out of the shadows and the pair robbed and stole everything they could.  The duo became infamous but The Mite was so cute people fell for the ruse again and again.

The cops had no idea how to stop them and looked for a hero to help them out.  They needed someone in Lycra on their side.  But who could they find?

The Police Chief had a daughter Chloe, aged 10, who adored her father and wanted to help him if she could.  When she told him her plan, he refused at once.  It was far too dangerous.

“But Pa,” she said, “It’s the only way.  We have to stop them before the rob everyone in the whole town.  Just get me a Mite suit.”  

That night, with Chloe dressed as The Mite, they drove to downtown LA.  Undercover cops hid in all the alleys, watching for the villainous pair.  They were spotted at last, and the location quickly relayed to the Police Chief.  He drove there and let Chloe out of the car right around the corner.

She crept along the street and into the alley.  Ahead of her, she saw The Virus moving into position and The Mite waiting for his next victim.  Dressed identically, she moved closer to The Mite, hunched over and started to whimper.  She turned towards the wall and collapsed into a tiny heap, shaking and crying.

Nothing happened for long minutes, and then The Mite came towards her, arm outstretched.  “Are you OK?” he asked.  From the shadows, The Virus also came forward, moving towards Chloe.  They both stopped a few feet from her.

“What is that?” said The Mite.

“It looks like you,” said The Virus.  “What should we do?”

“We have to see if it’s OK.  It’s so tiny.  And crying so hard.”

“Hello?” called out The Virus.  “Are you OK?”  The crying grew quieter.

The pair moved closer and closer, until they could touch Chloe.  She looked up, her eyes damp and large.  She said nothing, just stared up into their faces.  The pair began to relax.

Neither of them heard the advancing police officers but they heard the click of rounds being chambered into the police handguns pointed at their backs, as they fell for their own rotten trick.

Inspired by “Mite helps virus to wipe out bees”

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