Warning: Steem witnesses executed a hard fork on 2020-05-20, seizing 23.6M STEEM from 65 accounts. The funds were transferred to an account named @community321, the ownership (and intentions) of which have not been revealed. The witnesses claim to have been targeting accounts which defended against a hostile takeover in early March, but at least 2 accounts on the list have been inactive for over 4 years.

- Decrypt.io: Steem network to seize $5 million from its own users
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What you can do:
- Send exchanges a notice of the pending class action lawsuit.
- Switch to HIVE, the community-led fork. Visit Hive.blog and Hiveblocks.com.

Plague …Part 4 ...A Glimpse of the Infernal by johnjgeddes

View this thread on steempeak.com
· @johnjgeddes ·
Plague …Part 4 ...A Glimpse of the Infernal
<br><br><center>*Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives*
― W.H. Auden</center>


<br><br> Sarah Richardson had finally begun to disclose the secret she was hiding and I knew in my gut it was true.

I have a distinct aversion to conspiracy theories, especially ones involving a government cover-up—but this one was different.

I knew in my gut it was true, but didn’t want to go into detail to explain to Sarah how I knew since it involved a particularly painful and embarrassing period in my past that I’ve spent years trying to forget, and to tell the truth, I’ve struggled to suppress.

It was a Pandora’s box that I locked a long time ago and had no desire to pry it open again.

<br><br> But despite my reluctance to revisit my past I had to know one thing for certain.

“Tell me this much,” I asked Sarah, “is the plague real or is it an elaborate hoax?”

“It *is* real and extremely deadly—much worse than the Spanish Flu that ravaged the world at the end of the First World War. That pandemic infected a quarter of the world’s population and about 100 million people died.”

I knew in that instant that if the plague was real then the government cover-up consisted of something even more sinister and deadly.

I suddenly felt cold and weak. I actually began to see black spots before my eyes and had to sit down on a nearby fallen log in case I fainted.

<br><br> Sarah instantly saw my shock and took off her hoodie and draped it over my shoulders.

I felt weak and vulnerable but couldn’t help myself. 

She came over and sat down beside me and saw I was beginning to tremble so she put her arm around me.

“It’s okay,” she soothed, “I had the same reaction when I found out. Fortunately, with my background in psychology I knew how to self soothe but I’ve been struggling with fear and depression ever since.”

<br><br> We sat wordlessly by the trail for some time. Sarah held and occasionally consoled me as I closed my eyes and tilted my face upwards to the sun, allowing its warmth to seep into my pores and restore me.

Finally, I felt steady enough to get to my feet and retrace our steps back to my house.

Once home, I felt more in control and poured us both two fingers of scotch in tumblers and savoured mine, taking small swallows, allowing it to warm me all the way down.

<br><br> “You’re feeling better I see,” she smiled. “Your colour’s returned to your cheeks.”

“*Craigellachie* will do that,” I laughed, “this one’s 13 years old.”

“Should I be impressed?” She teased.

“Not particularly—that scotch is at the lower end of the scale. Some are aged for 33 years. Recently though, the distillery released a 51-year-old batch but that one can cost thousands and is a bit out of my price range.” 

“Yes, the bane of the untenured professor. Poor you,” she laughed.

<br><br> There was a moment sitting there in my front room, the glow of the setting sun slanting through the window, her honey hair ruddy from its fire—there was a moment when I knew it wasn’t just the heat from the scotch but her warmth that touched me and made me feel whole again and I silently thanked her for that.

For that moment the hard heart of the world was not my business—it was being here with her, walled off from the troubles about to come and a world about to descend into chaos.

<br><br><center>© 2020, John J Geddes. All rights reserved</center>

<br><br><center>[ Photo](http://www.teenidols4you.com/picture.html?g=Actors&pe=elishacuthbert&foto=554&act=1037&mv=556&pic=177808 ) </center>
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