Today we’re celebrating The Secret Life of Laird Barron.Â All across the internet, folks will be checking in with their tales of Laird’s exploits.Â You can find a central hub of sorts at John Langan’s Livejournal. Â
Chapter Six: Modern Medicine
At the tender age of eight, a fully-bearded Laird Barron challenged small pox to a fist fight.
And you thought vaccinations eradicated it?Â Fool.
The disease had been cutting a swath through humanity, striking down the firm, the infirm, and the kinda squishy with equal viciousness.Â Medical science had turned up Jack and Squat.Â Then Jack caught small pox and died.Â There was much mourning.
Enter Laird Barron.
Something should be known about young Barron: he simply did not give a fuck.Â As a bare-knuckle boxer, he had an impressive record of eighteen wins, zero losses, and one fight that was declared a no contest after his opponent spontaneously combusted out of sheer terror.Â Bullies begged him to take their lunch money.Â Usually, he took one of their fingers as well.
Because young Barron simply did not give a fuck.
Anyway, back to our tale.Â After small pox had taken the latest attempt at a vaccine and bent it over its knee, the head muckity-whosits at the CDC were sitting around, drowning their sorrows in old lab specimens, when a knocking like one thousand explosions sounded on the door.
It was young Barron.Â Even at the tender age of eight, he was a scary example of humanity.Â His beard reached his knees, which was pretty far, considering he stood an impressive seven feet, fifteen inches.Â His one eye glowed with either disease-killing rage or a hunger for Cap’n Crunch, the kind with the berries.
“Hello?” asked a doctor with a fresh mess in his undies.
“I’m here to fight small pox.”
“Whoop it.Â It’s been a problem too long, and I’m gonna end it.”
“Um, you do realize that, should if enter your internal organs–”
“I had my organs replaced with rabid wolverines when I was six.”
“You don’t say?”
“I just did.”
“Fair enough.Â Come in?”
Over the next hour, young Barron convinced the muckity-whosits that he was mankind’s last, best chance.Â Barron regaled the research staff with tales of closed fists and bloody knuckles.Â He showed them scars and did things with his beard that few would believe, if written here.Â What began as an audience of dubious scientists ended as a riotous throng of bloodthirsty savages.Â The really pissed kind.
Within moments, the research staff erected a boxing ring.Â The scent of old canvasÂ and stale sweat drifted through cigar smoke and broken hopes.Â Young Barron paced his corner like a caged tiger.Â Across the ring, small pox played it lazy, lounging against against the used ropes and smirking.Â He liked to think himself a smart fighter.Â A surgeon.Â He didn’t think young Barron–all wishes and brawling attitude–stood a chance.Â He would operate on the whelp.
He was fucking wrong.
The bell rang and young Barron waded out for Round One.Â Small pox hung on the outskirts, testing his range with slow jabs…
(Editor’s Note: Yeah.Â It’s ridiculous, right?Â No man living or dead could ever have a fist fight with small pox.Â Because small pox is a germ, and not a person.Â Bet you feel superior for figuring out that little puzzle, huh?Â Bet you think this is just bullshit.Â Tall tales.Â Well, fuck you.Â You haven’t lived Laird Barron’s Secret Life!)
…crushing overhand right!
Small pox fell apart like a starter-junkie come payday.
Laird Barron took his reward from the United States Government in the form of whiskey and flapjacks.Â The CDC initiated a cover-up to explain the sudden departure of a modern day plague, giving the growing inoculation market a nice little boost.
Laird Barron was not seen for another seven years.Â It was suggested in some circles that he may have been hibernating, waiting for the next threat to mankind.
What happened next is really amazing….