LOCKDOWN

Shutters down, windows boarded up, phone disconnected.

Four months since the lockdown began, enough food and toilet paper for another year.

Tap, tap, tap. What is it? She won’t risk finding out.

Until then, she will stay in the basement.

***

Agnes knocked on the door again.

‘Let’s go,’ said Archie.

‘It’s been two weeks, she could be lying dead in there.’

Not the worst outcome, thought Archie, remembering the endless gossiping whenever Agnes and Sylvia got together.

‘She probably went on holiday as soon as the lockdown was lifted, you know what she’s like.’

Agnes tried to peer in a covered window, ‘Alright, we’ll try again next week.’


photo
Copyright Douglas M. McIlroy

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more detailsย HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this weekโ€™s prompt, visitย HERE.


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90 responses to “LOCKDOWN”

  1. I hope this won’t be the scenario when our lockdown is lifted…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There will be some who might like to stay cut off from the rest of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I’m going off this world by degrees…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. At least she has toilet paper… lol

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Right, that precious commodity.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure if this is funny or sad.
    Reminded me of the tale of Japanese soldiers in the jungle years after the war was over,
    I like the two different POVs, not easy to do in 100 words.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks CE, I think it’s a bit sad and a bit funny, and that’s okay. Much like the real life situation we find ourselves in – desperately sad and worrying, but we need a bit of humour to help get through.

      Like

  4. Send not to ask for whom the bell tolls. Good one, Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Iain,

    Let’s hope she’s off on holiday and got caught in lockdown with friends. Nicely done.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Well, at least we’ll know she’ll emerge eventually when the toilet roll runs out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’ll be in for a shock ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  7. Always worth keeping an eye on Twitter for the latest news… ๐Ÿ™‚ Great take on the prompt, Iain. Though the mystery needs to be solved – where did she get a year’s worth of loo roll from?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She got in early, the first of the panic buyers – it might have been her that sparked the whole sorry mess! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

      1. Ha! At least we know who to blame now โ˜บ๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the added realism of the year’s supply of toilet paper. I recall in Nevile Shute’s On The Beach there is a broken shade that has fallen across a telegraph key so it sends random signals from a dead place. Much of this situation reminds me of that book. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll need to look it up. Thanks J.

      Like

  9. O Archie, were is your soul. The term toilet paper reminded me of a time now long ago, when I used to help cut newspaper into squares then string them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ah, best to laugh with the lockdown. It’s a matter of laugh or statistic. Nice one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Laughter is the only way to get through it I think. Thanks Anthony.

      Like

  11. You crammed a lot into 100 words – I think the lockdown will affect us all in different ways!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There are extremes both ways, some taking it too far, some not doing it at all. Thankfully the majority are being sensible.

      Like

  12. Hope Sylvia is okay.
    They are maintaining social distancing too rigidly…
    Stay safe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Better than not doing it at all. Thanks Anita

      Like

  13. At the end of the Cold War everyone laughed that I kept my fallout shelter stocked. Well, I’ll show them… Good one. I’m sure there are some out there like that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There definitely will be. Thanks Trent, enjoy the fallout shelter!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. A year’s worth of food and toilet paper. She’s all set for the lockdown.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Be prepared ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are already in the lock-down phase. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Same here, hope you are safe and well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes, thank you for asking. Hope you and your family are safe and well too.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. A scary scenario. Can’t help but think that something has happened to her.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’ll soon be rescued I’m sure. Thanks Colline.

      Like

  16. At least someone is taking the lock-down seriously. A little too much so, perhaps, but better safe than sorry.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s her attitude. I’ve seen an awful lot of people doing the exact opposite…

      Like

  17. Great story! (Now I must go check my supply of tp!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ours is doing okay, we just got some in our weekly shop ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  18. […] with a bunch of other folks) met while participating in a series of internet writing challenges such as this one. That’s where I found out that he’s the undisputed master of murder mysteries, only in […]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for this review James, it’s so pleasing to hear you enjoyed the book so much. Thanks for reading and taking the time to write the review – I have shared it around!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries. Glad to do it. Posted it on Amazon, too.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Cut off from the outside world because of her fears? Poor Sylvia!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’ll be fine ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

  20. Kinda scary to think what things will be like on the other side, isn’t it? We are Shelter in Place which is a little looser than lockdown I think.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s the thought that worries me more than the current situation. Will we ever get back to how life used to be? Some things are definitely going to change for good.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This is rather sad… Hopefully, at the end of the year, all will be clear and she will dare open the door.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Maybe she quite likes sitting in on her own… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is that.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. I know I will want to be out once this lockdown is lifted. Nice take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to do a few things that I’m missing. Fingers crossed it isn’t too long and we all learn to appreciate life a bit more.

      Like

  23. Maybe keeping connected in lockdown is keyโ€ฆ but I guess when the toilet paper runs out in 2037 she will come out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’ll have to. Who knows what she will find.

      Like

  24. The paranoia could be just as dangerous as the virus depending on how people respond. If disaster movies have taught us anything, it’s that people are capable of doing some crazy shit. I think Sylvia on the lighter side of that. She’ll eventually figure it out and be all right.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The paranoia and panic are worse than the actual virus at this stage, makes it feel like the whole world is in meltdown. Sylvia will be grand though.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is really good, Iain. You make it clear by implication what Sylvia has done, and how that has puzzled her family (daughter plus husband I suspect). The writing is so clear and effortless it’s a delight to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Penny, very kind ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Sounds about right for many. Troubling times we are in, Iain. Timely story.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I slipped a note under a neighbour’s door and wondered at the mail adding up in his mail slot, thank goodness, my thoughts were correct, he high-tailed it out of dodge to quieter realms…we also have a large black crow that we’ve nick-named, Knock-Knock as he comes right up to our windows and you guessed it, “knocks’! Your flash fiction sure echoes my real life at the moment, Lol!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, I’m glad to hear your neighbour was okay. Strange times, but it helps if we all look out for each other.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I agree! Stay safe…

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Great story, Iain. Poor Sylvia. I have missed your Agnes and Archie stories.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. They are always kicking about, occasionally they still make an appearance ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Seems to me she could very well end up dead in the basement! What a terrible way to live one’s life.

    Iain, I got slowed down in reading your book. I’m over halfway now and should finish it this week. I have to say that I’m very impressed with the technical writing, weapons, robotics, communications and so on. You’ve truly created a whole new universe ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m also enjoying the characters as I’ve gotten them all sorted out. Their loyalty to their captain, their personal relationships, and how much more human Aja is becoming as the story moves on. It’s really good. Extremely good ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you Linda, I really love to hear such positive feedback. Hope the rest of the book lives up to expectations. I’m making good progress with the third and final one, so you have probably timed it quite well ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  30. She’s like those soldiers you hear about in the jungle who haven’t heard that WWII is over. I guess she’ll emerge when she runs out of provisions!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. With some kind of PTSD no doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. staying off the grid must be her means to survival unless toilet paper runs out. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Maybe she enjoying the privacy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does have that silver lining.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. An unexpected mix of humour and sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I am afraid this scenario will be played out many times over the next few months.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There will be some who are left behind unfortunately.

      Like

  35. She needs a tv or radio or something down in the basement! Something to get her the good news.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait for that bit of good news, but at the moment I’m trying to avoid the TV and radio news as much as possible!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can understand that. There’s only so much “news” I can take.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Ha, like the Japanese soldier in the jungle who didn’t know the war was over. I’m sure there will be a few reluctant to come out again when all this is over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the moment, I’m quite enjoying the peace, a daily walk, a bit of family time. But I think it will wear off soon! Hope you are well Michael.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iโ€™m fine thanks, putting the final touches to book 2 ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Looking forward to it. My book 3 is almost there too.

        Like

  37. Crikey, thats bleak, but who knows where the virus will take us, our behaviour is already an anthropologists dream. Good stuff Iain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is taking us to some strange places.

      Like

  38. A great portrait of paranoia and how it can go really, really wrong. Good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. The world is ending, let’s stock up on toilet paper. I don’t think she is coming out even when the pandemic ends.

    Liked by 1 person

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