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 Two Hundred Forty Six

A skiff of snow covers the roads and paths, while fog creeps around every corner filling up the darkness with a ghostly white. We walk in this shrouded empty world, no one visible except a few distant cars, their headlights distorted.

A figure emerges from the fog, a woman, hunched over and moving with an odd, lurching gait. There is something in her expression – anger or fear, it is unclear – that is disturbing. Her eyes downcast, she moves past us hurriedly vanishing again into the fog.

Further on we hear a low rumble of an engine idling. It sounds like a tank approaching, its treads grinding into the ground, but it is just a pickup parked at the corner of the street. The lights are on, but the cab is empty, waiting for someone.

The fog thickens through the morning, so that even as a little light steals in the shroud remains heavy upon the city. It moves in clouds, thicker here and there, strange entities commuting through the city. Snow comes and goes, heavy with moisture, almost rain.

It remains through the morning, as immovable as any mountain. Yet come the afternoon it is gone, within an hour almost every trace of it burned off by the bright sun. There is a moment before it vanishes, when it still holds a kind of sway upon the city, stalking the streets, but the sun is already cutting through its mantle, casting everything in an ethereal, fragile glow. It lasts only a few minutes and then the fog slips away into the air as silent as its arrival.

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