Imaginative Coursework – A Germ’s Life

It’s not easy being a germ. When you’re just a tiny bacteria, the only thing you will try to do is to get attention. That’s what I do, apart from trying to survive (obviously). Which is an extremely tough job by itself when you measure only a few microns in length. Humans should at least try to come to know us before constantly trying to exterminate us. Not all of us are as evil as some of my brothers and other counterparts. I am a completely harmless creature just trying to live! It all started on that fateful day.

I was hanging around a human settlement in the air, waiting for someone to inhale the air around me and taking me into their not-so-pleasant depths. Within a few seconds, I was caught in the stream of breath of a young man. Perfect. Just what I was looking for: a young man who has the resources to harbour me for many months to come. I was immediately sucked into his nostrils. The hairs in nostril and in the lining of the bronchi could not trap me. I was constantly getting sucked deeper into the lungs, until I heard the familiar sound of blood gushing past the organ, almost like water rushing down a waterfall at full speed.

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Soon, I was waiting in queue for the carbon dioxide saturated cells to flow past the alveoli. A few more seconds, then I was sucked into a red blood cell which had just turned bright red in colour. It was quite cramped in the disc shaped cell along with all the oxygen molecules taking up most of the space. The cell then manoeuvred past the thin walls of the capillaries in the lungs at a reasonable pace, continuing to jostle the other cell as it moved along. I noticed a few familiar organs, large and pulsating with energy as the cell started its journey around the body.

I was in. The first thing I did was to destroy the red blood cell I was in, to get complete access to the man’s resources. I expanded myself to the largest possible size I could, thereby exerting large amounts of pressure on the walls of the cell. The cell burst, the action similar to the bursting of a balloon. The debris if the cell scattered all over that capillary, sinking to the bottom as if floating lazily in the wind. I picked up speed I started to feed immediately, without a moments delay. I had forgotten how good it felt to be filled with energy.

I caught glimpses of the various capillaries branching off from this main artery, leading to the seemingly endless depths of the human body as I moved on. The moment I passed the liver, I noticed my brother feeding on all the glycogen, which the liver had worked so hard to process. He was constantly looking behind his back and using his straw like mouth to work the glycogen out of the organ, as the liver looked helplessly on. Now my brother, HE was a nasty little specimen. The only thing he was hell-bent on doing was causing pain and destruction, even though I had tried to dissuade him from doing so.

He was quite the sadist. I was sure the man had already begun to sense that something was wrong, since I had begun to notice that an already increasing number of white blood cells had started patrolling the human highways (the largest of the blood vessels) for any sign of an infestation. Their style of walking, their keen eyes and their hands constantly in touch with their staffs all emitted an aura of power and a no nonsense attitude (not to mention their large caps broadcasting they were the police).

Every time a white blood cell came around the corner, I had to hide myself in one of the multifarious nooks crannies in the spaces between the nearby cells. I would hold my breath and flatten myself. As I kept going forward I noticed the cells now armed with machine guns which would freeze the offender until the officers arrived in person. I was sure it was my brother; who else could be so noxious and hebetudinous enough to trigger the sensors? I had to try and save him. Although he is a loathsome little creature, he is family after all right?

I sped down to the spot where I had last seen him, dodging the cellular barricades the white blood cells had now set up, by blending in with large groups of cells as they passed by. I was sure he had not been caught because of the police hovering around the area. I started at the heart working downwards. I sped down the spinal cord, being the highway for cellular traffic would be ideal for me to blend into and go at high speeds at the same time. I found him near the pancreas, proximal to the liver itself. I search all over the body ad forget to start near where I found him!

Anyways, I thought that it was quite an astute hiding place he had chosen. The white blood cells try to avoid too much intimacy with the pancreas. Too much could go wrong; which is why my brother was here. He was in the shadow of the pancreas, but he was also surrounded by 3 sides of cells. If he was spotted he would be caught like a rat in a trap. Before I could even utter a work of warning, a patrolman spotted me. His whistle attracted 2 more patrols like honey attracts bears. I ran. I was sure my brother deserved the fate he had chosen for himself.

A quick glance behind when I was sure I was not being chased told me that my brother was being captured the same way a pack of wolves surround their prey to trap it and eradicate it soon after. I had had enough. I went as close to the lungs as possible, jostling my way through all the carbon dioxide cells present. I hopped in a red blood cell, which took me to my destination. Moments later, I was free. Looking behind, I noticed the human looking as peaceful as ever. Since then I have known that humans always jump to conclusions. I will try to stick to animals from now on.

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