Green for Go.

The hustle and bustle. The crowded market.

The anxiety.

Tell yourself they’ve all been vaccinated. Tell yourself the numbers are small.

Faces unmasked. Breathing. Germs. Raw meat. Sweating. Palpitations. Get out.

An open street and space. Relax, everything is normal.

The green signal flashes. Step out onto the road.

The driver doesn’t see their red light.

Blaring horn, loud engine. Make it to the other side.

Get back home. Close the door. Safe space. No danger.

A drink. Water. A couple more Valium.

How many is that today? Can’t remember.

Peaceful slumber. Drift away.

Red. Stop.

Copyright Brenda Cox

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details 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 week’s prompt, visit HERE.

For the month of April I am taking part in the A-Z blogging challenge, and am posting about my State Trilogy novels each day, including plots, themes, characters and the writing and publishing process. So if you’ve read the books, or haven’t but might be interested in them, I hope it will be of interest to some of you. All the posts published so far can be found HERE.

76 responses to “EASING RESTRICTIONS”

  1. Some days are like that.
    And then you find your friends were not taking precautions, like quarantining after exposure when dancing to a live band in an enclosed space. And they’re standing right in front of you, eyes wide, mouth open, waving their arms for emphasis.
    Yellow light….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, everyone has to use their best judgement, but I’ve found quite a few people I’ve previously thought sensible do not share my judgement around issues of a pandemic! Thanks Liz

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s going to be a while before I feel comfortable in those kinds of spaces. I was fortunate enough to be able to work from home and have other minimal exposures. This was a wonderful use of the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like . . . dare I say it? . . . the new normal in our anxiety-ridden age. And you capture it perfectly. We may just have to all turn into zombies to survive. If that’s survival. Curious to know if the ending is a clue that he/she’s overdosed on valium and is DOA, as it were.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think it’s going to be as simple as telling everyone they CAN go out. As a ‘shielder’ I remember my first trip to the supermarket in many months as an unpleasant stressful experience. I was in no hurry to do it again. You captured that uneasiness.


    • Yes, I think the government and business will be keen to get us back out, and may be surprised that many will be cautious and choose not to rush back. Thanks Sandra.


  5. What a fabulous piece, Iain. So atmospheric. It describes beautifully the notion of panic and disorientation I experienced when I first saw the prompt. Glad I decided not to go down that route. You’ve done it so well.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Unfortunately, this is way too many people’s reality nowadays. I hope the person in the story hasn’t taken too many Valium. If so, I’m afraid there is also too much of that. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well crafted story, Iain. Overdosing on Valium wouldn’t be a bad way to go, but what a waste of life! (Your ending was completely clear, btw.) Anxiety disorders can horrid (personal experience), but there are treatments for many people. Hypnotherapy worked wonders for me, for example.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You built the tension so well here, Lain. Loved it! I was right there with him. It does feel oh so very weird to go out and about these days. Just going to the market is a bit like going on a vacation abroad. It’s interesting to see all the “different” products on the shelves that the stores have never carried before.

    Liked by 1 person

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