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 Three Hundred Ninety Three

A town surrounded by mountains, their peaks white with gleaming snow in the sunshine. Everything in the town feels small by comparison. It is being swallowed by a gaping mouth with jagged white fangs that will forever be hungry and open. There is a strange claustrophobia about the place as a result, a feeling that there is no escaping this place.

Normally the streets are busy, crowded with visitors, but today it is empty. There are few cars on the road, no one walking about to the various shops. The dread lord still stalks these parts and people are staying away. Oddly that only accentuates the sensation of being trapped. People provide a distraction from that feeling, but there is no avoiding it now. The shopkeepers minding their stores, all open and empty, feel it acutely. They ramble on at anyone who ventures near, desperate to keep a conversation going, to not let the quiet back in.

It is locals only on the patios at the bars, the tables spread out across the courtyards, those who have lost their jobs with the latest quarantine protocols commiserating with those who have them. But for how long? Everyone knows everyone and yet they keep their distance, friendly but unavailable. Someone talks about leaving, about an opportunity in another town further west across the mountain range. No one else seems interested. There is no leaving this place.

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