Minimax Regret

Maximilienne was deathly afraid of the plague, ever since a gypsy fortune-teller told her she would die of it. The merest rumour of it could lead her to retreat to her four-poster bed, the curtains studded with barbed wire and the floor surrounded with rat traps and flea powder.

Her betrothed, Bjorn, obliged her as best he could. He would sit in vigil in her room, holding a large pair of brass bookends to squash any offending creature that tried to elude the traps.

Sadly, however, they both perished when the fire from a nearby warehouse supposed to be the centre of the infestation spread to the house of Maximilienne's family. She refused to leave her bed at any peril, and Bjorn stayed nobly by her side. The rats, more pragmatic, survived to serve as carriers for many more viruses.

Based on the words: Plague Rat Bookends Betrothed

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The Den of Ubiquity/ Aaron V. Humphrey /