“My nona used to trap songbirds,” she said. “In Torino. She told me that they used to string nets along the trees. In the morning they would bring ladders and pluck them out by the dozens.”

“That’s cruel,” said the boy.

“They were starving,” she said. “You know how that feels.”

The boy knew. “Can we catch them too?”

“Nobody can eat them now,” she said. “The birds are why everybody got sick.”

“The birds?” It seemed unlikely.

She went to the window. “The flu came from birds. They gave it to the pigs, who gave it to us.”


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10 Replies to “Innocence”

    1. Humans can catch flu from birds or pigs, but it usually needs prolonged/repeated contact, so poultry farmers succumb but the spread can be contained. The real danger is if a mutation occurs in a bird or a pig to give a strain that can spread easily from person to person among humans.

  1. I like the way you gradually reveal that the characters are living in a post-apocalyptic world. The anecdote about her Nona trapping birds in Torino is a great way to open the story!

  2. Love the Torino moment – I was there in the Summer. Liked the shift from a long time ago to a horrible future [?]


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