• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 11
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It had been a fine night out in the pub and then to a friend’s house for a prolonged nightcap – a welcome yet pathetic escape from the confusion of the Covid plague and the associated conflicting dogma which shied from the scientific while humping the leg of the arbitrary.

His eyes, as the vernacular went, were “standing in his head” as he made his way home, blurring the hateful reality into a pleasant fog and allowing his mind’s eye to supplement his chosen world with memories of childhood and ghosts of untrodden paths.

He wore no mask on advice from his doctor, and had drunk more alcohol than had been recommended by that same professional.

A jam-jar with a paintbrush in it, forgotten on a lonely stoop conjured images of spiders and caterpillars captured and coddled by a short-trousered version of himself – raiment he had abhorred for its tight or loose chill and embarrassing migration between his bum cheeks.

He laughed aloud at the thought and noticed there were none around to think him odd.

The town was dead at nine o’clock. Not even the winos or recently advertised homeless were to be seen in the wasteland of Covid.

An image of Charlton Heston racing through empty streets in a red convertible flitted through his imagination – a scene from the 1971 movie Omega Man and left an eerie aftertaste.

New normal? He thought not. He’d sooner…

He retreated to the prior fog and walked on. He was sure there was wine in the fridge.