Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Ninety Two

He walks with an arrogant swagger, hips loose and head jutting out in challenge of anyone who walks near. A sneer twists his lips, his hands clenched and swaying widely, announcing his intentions.

Comes another man down the street, younger and slouching, wheeling a bicycle, his clothes loose fitting and layered. His whole life is on his person. A meek expression, eyes downcast. He doesn’t see the other until it is too late.

A terrible dance ensues. They circle one another. The arrogant elder, grey stubble on his face, his eyes dark and furious, lunging and muttering as he stalks around the other. It seems he is waiting for an opening. The younger keeps pace with him, not quite looking up, hand still on the bicycle, though he makes no attempt to get on.

He is looking for an escape and when he thinks he spies it he goes, dropping the bike and darting down the street. But there is no escape, the elder man pounces, pressing back against a building, leaving him nowhere to go. He clenches his hands around his throat, the younger offering no resistance, eyes downcast, expressionless.

“Give me the money. Give me the fucking money,” the elder mutters in a low, dangerous voice.

The younger doesn’t say anything in return, his gaze fixed in the distance, surrendering to whatever his fate may be. “Give me the money.” The repeated refrain.

Finally the elder releases his quarry, stepping back with a glare of warning, before moving on, unsated. His hungry eyes scan the horizon like a hawk afloat in the air.

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