the punters perch on barstools, sat alone,
aware a virus spreads where shoulders rub
and hope the TV news is overblown.
Upon the screen we see a global map,
its centrepiece a crouching scarlet beast
with tentacles unravelling to trap
unwary, far flung folk on which to feast.
Japan and South Korea are in its grip,
and Italy, while faraway Brazil
is newly knelt beneath corona’s whip,
to stay until the monster’s had its fill.
This sickness, like Black Death and Spanish flu,
will fade, but first mankind must pay its due.
Below are links to my Global Short Story Competition winning story, my short-listed story for the National newspaper (Abu Dhabi's annual short story competition) and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment: