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 Three

Waiting in a closed room, the blinds drawn shut. A dim light from the bedside, but I sit in the shadows of the corner. My eyes are half-closed, though not from drowsiness. I am ragged with unease at what is to come.

Standing outside the old grain exchange, while the wind blows newspapers by, gusting and floating. For Lease signs on the darkened windows. The doors are locked, no getting in.

A dog snarls and snaps, held back on its chain. Menacing eyes stare at me, daring me to give them a reason.

The clouds pile up, adrift in the sky, staying where they are. Trees in the distance, waving in the wind. A magpie struts along the fenceline calling out warnings. One step too close and it flies away with a taunting caw, landing in some tree to shout down obscenities.

I wander across field and pasture, no direction or purpose. The hills roll on like waves of some dead sea frozen in antiquity that we have forgotten ever existed. I glance off to the side and see a coyote upon one of the hills, staring back over its shoulder at me. Our eyes lock for an instant and then it is gone, a blur of movement along the horizon.

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