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Flash Fiction: Isolation


Road Monkey always wanted to be an author, almost from she first learnt to write.

BillyBuc's Challenge 1

Just catching up now to produce a story in response to William D Holland's first photo challenge prompt Instalment 1.

I have chosen to write this as flash fiction, so only about 600 words.

The Graveyard

Dear Mum,

How are you keeping? I thought I should take a walk somewhere where no people are likely to appear. With the third wave of this new coronavirus and MORE of these self-isolating laws coming out, it’s getting harder and harder to get some fresh air, without one of THOSE stopping you and asking for your papers. I couldn’t take the car, or I would be stopped, so thought I would slip out early and visit the old graveyard, where your great (however many times) great granny was buried. It looks so different now, the graves are disappearing under grass and no cut flowers anywhere. I must say, the wildflowers look a lot nicer and it’s very pleasant walking there now. I cleaned the gravestone off, so have sent you a photo to show you. I only just realised, it’s the 250th anniversary of her birth this year and your 50th too!

Country Lane

Country Lane

The Old Road

The road up to the graveyard is also getting overgrown. You can see that the grass is starting to grow up the centre line and it won’t be long before the branches make it hard to get a vehicle through. It’s great for walking though and means I am less likely to be followed.

The Old Barn

The Old Barn

The Barn

Uncle Jack’s barn is looking very dilapidated. I can’t get anyone to come out and mend it. Not much point now we haven’t the labour to plant the grass, I suppose, and the house is not in much better shape. I check it every so often. At least there are no squatters trying to get into it, though I think there may be a few mice. I’ll have to bring the cat up with me next time I come. I have tried advertising for tenants or even just renters but there are so few people needing accommodation now.

The Old House

The Old House

The Old House

The House

Maybe I should just come and live in it myself. There would certainly be space to plant my potatoes and peas and plenty of room for my painting, though no one is buying them now! It just would be hard getting the car out of there when I am allowed out to shop and you know I can’t just carry the stuff when you have to buy a month’s worth of goods at a time. Of course, there would be plenty of space at Uncle Jack’s to store stuff and I might not need as much if I reinstated Aunt Jane’s kitchen garden.

At The Lake

The Lake

I sat down by the lake for a while after visiting the old grave, and have caught a few fish, so that’s tonight’s tea sorted and maybe even tomorrow’s too. The fish stocks seem to be increasing, now with no fertiliser or pesticide run off from the fields and I haven’t seen any of those two-headed fish recently either, so that’s good too.

Have To Go Now

I was just thinking about this new coronavirus and all the other ones you have lived through. You must have been just a child when that covid-19 came out. You said your mum told you that kids didn’t get that one, or at least it seemed quite mild for them, they just passed it on but your grandparents both died from it? But it was a bit different with the rotovid-25 wasn’t it? That’s when your baby brother died? And dad died from SARS-30? It just seems we have never got away from any of these covids and rotoviruses at all, so odd they just seemed to turn really dangerous all of a sudden and the new vaccines never caught up. Wonder when they will get a vaccine for this Covid-69? Ah well, at least we don’t have all that pollution your mother talked about.

Well, I am going to have to go, my pesky robot is buzzing me, wondering where I am. Enjoy the photos and don’t let your robot stop you getting into your greenhouse to check your tomatoes. They don’t seem to realise that the glass is a barrier between you and others!




RoadMonkey (author) on September 22, 2020:

I didn't realise that! All the hubs I have commented on recently have all allowed comments, thankfully. Hope it's sorted soon. Thanks for visiting and commenting Denise

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 21, 2020:

LetterPile is one of the few of the new network sites that will still allow us to make comments. It's a shame really. I want to comment to so many things and they haven't fixed the glitch yet that will allow it.



RoadMonkey (author) on August 14, 2020:

Thank you for visiting Bill. Happy and healthy, yes, hope you are too.

Billybuc on August 14, 2020:

I was just checking in to see if you had written anything lately that I missed. I guess not. I hope this finds you healthy and happy, my friend.

RoadMonkey (author) on August 11, 2020:

Well, all past pandemics have mostly disappeared. The black death (bubonic plague), Spanish flu, Hong Kong flu, SARS, MERS, Ebola, etc. They all may still exist in some pockets but in general, we do not worry about those pandemics now and the same will happen to Covid. We will get a general immunity to it. This doesn't mean that no one will ever get it again but that it will become a milder illness, more like the common cold. For instance, scarelt fever was a dreaded serious illness when I was a child, now it seems to be much milder and hardly affects people much. Ozymandias had the right idea - "This too shall pass".

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 11, 2020:

I tell you, I cannot get this premise out of my mind. Every time we talk about this virus lasting a year, your story pops into my mind and I think, "if it only lasts a year that will be good."



RoadMonkey (author) on August 10, 2020:

Thank you very much Jeremiah.

Jeremiah on August 10, 2020:

Hi Road! You are doing a fantastic job. Keep it up!

RoadMonkey (author) on June 04, 2020:

Things have changed considerably in a very short time, Denise. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 04, 2020:

When I first read this a couple months ago it seemed very far fetched. Today it doesn't seem so unreasonably impossible anymore. This is almost a Ray Bradbury point of view.



greg cain from Idaho, USA on May 17, 2020:

I love the idea of a letter to Mum, including many family members, many iterations of pandemic viruses to the point of it just becoming part of the everyday. I am hopeful that in '69 we are not still dealing with all these sorts of issues, but if we are--and as a certified introvert--I'd like them to be in a world such as the one you describe in this very nice short. Well done.

RoadMonkey (author) on May 04, 2020:

Thank you very much for your visit and comment Beth Perry

Beth Perry from Tennesee on May 04, 2020:

Good story! You did an impressive job incorporating today's events into your futuristic tale, and I like the family love that shines through the narration.

RoadMonkey (author) on May 02, 2020:

Thanks for visiting Flourish. I hope your grandmother manages to overcome her pneumonia. It's always a worry and even more so at this time, when you cannot be with them.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 01, 2020:

I like how you incorporated events from the news in this creative challenge. Well done although it does frighten me a bit about our future, particularly when some say our social distancing will have to go on for two years perhaps. My grandmother typically gets pneumonia about three times a year and requires hospitalization and today they took her away by ambulance. We know it may very likely be a one way trip. She didn’t realize it though. It will set in when she cannot have visitors.

DocAndersen from US on April 23, 2020:

you are most welcome!

RoadMonkey (author) on April 23, 2020:

Thank you for visiting and commenting Doc Andersen

DocAndersen from US on April 23, 2020:

i really enjoyed this! thank you so much!

RoadMonkey (author) on April 21, 2020:

Thanks for visiting and commenting Nell Rose. The world seems very different from what it was a few weeks ago!

Nell Rose from England on April 21, 2020:

The lockdown sounds terrible until you mention planting and painting. Sometimes we have to look at the good stuff, to avoid the awful. and I loved the way you called your phone the pesky robot! lol!

RoadMonkey (author) on April 20, 2020:

Thanks for visiting Jack. On re-reading this after a couple of weeks, the social distancing and isolation is getting worse!

Jack Shorebird from Central Florida, US on April 20, 2020:

I enjoyed my Isolation here. Not too bleak. I fear mine get a little dark. This one, too me, has lots of light.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 22, 2020:

I certainly hope it doesn't come to this Denise but there is the possibility, unfortunately.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 22, 2020:

Thank you for visiting and commenting Mel Carriere. I like to leave these kinds of stories "bare" so readers can paint their own versions.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 22, 2020:

Okay, that is such a sad thought that it could get so much worse.



Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on March 22, 2020:

Killer viruses could certainly have a few benefits, couldn't they? Give the survivors a little bit more elbow room, one could say. I like this dystopian picture you have painted. Great spin on the photo challenge!

RoadMonkey (author) on March 21, 2020:

Thank you M G Singh, very kind.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 21, 2020:

Thank you Bill Holland. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

MG Singh from UAE on March 21, 2020:

With the virus on its a beautiful story. So sentimental and touching. Thank you

RoadMonkey (author) on March 19, 2020:

Thank you very much Venkatachari. Glad you enjoyed it.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on March 19, 2020:

A beautiful story that suits the present conditions of our life being forced to live in closed doors. You took it far into a future time to make it more appealing and entertaining. Enjoyed it.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 17, 2020:

Thank you very much Kyler

Kyler J Falk from California on March 17, 2020:

The travel forward and backward in time was definitely an expert touch to this little story here. Absolutely excellent.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 17, 2020:

Thank you very much Shauna. I'm glad you didn't expect that. It's always good to surprise your readers.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 17, 2020:

Thank you very much Pamela Oglesby. Yes coronavirus is sort of on everyone's mind at the minute!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on March 17, 2020:

I love this, RoadMonkey! It was very creative of you to write a letter from daughter to mother. Then you brought current - and future - events into the story. I wasn't expecting that. Nor was I expecting this story to actually take place in 2069.

I'm glad you didn't abandon Bill's first challenge. You responded brilliantly!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 17, 2020:

This is a cute little story and it is fitting with the coronavirus problem.

RoadMonkey (author) on March 17, 2020:

That was fast! I only published it 5 minutes ago! Thank you very much for reading and commenting.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 17, 2020:

A fun read about a serious topic. I was laughing at the thought of the robot walking through the glass greenhouse. Use plastic next time. lol

Thanks for taking the challenge, my friend, and blessings to you always.

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