A debut story, a dramatised (or romanticised) interpretation of the world under COVID-19. Inspired by La Peste by Camus and 1984 by Orwell. I do hope you like it, and that you forgive the amateurish and make place for courage!
I feel the mud on my cheek, the grass lingering between my fingers. The sky is clear, and nature is back roaring with a vengeance. My eyes remain closed to the world, thoughts spiralling, struggling to recount the events that led us here. Our world has stopped spinning, and all has come crashing down. We were forewarned through biblical prophecies and journalistic endeavours, but we ignored them all and accepted our fate. Inside my head, all is calm, peaceful. A sure contrast to the madness that must be slowly brewing, itching to spill onto the streets. The reality that I had known, the reality that personified all that I understood, was no more. Everything has changed, and for someone who had waited for this change for so long, it all came so quickly… too quickly.
I open my eyes, and the colours that surround me are a stark contrast to the darkness that unfold inside my brain. My house, situated beneath the Heathrow flight path, is blessed by silence. A silence that eventually becomes eerie; a hollow echo of a world that stopped functioning. Instead of the jet fumes and engine blast, birds are singing and flapping their wings across the still sky. Birds whose names I do not know, despite having a grandfather who spent his retired years bird watching, dragging an ungrateful grandson in his steps. It is within this moment of chaos that I feel grateful for the stillness of memories. Whether the memories are sharp or slightly warped, they remain cemented in a time gone by. No amount of chaos or uncertainty could dislodge those memories from my being. Memories of my childhood or blurry recollections of adolescence are pebbles that form my identity.
It has become somewhat of a challenge to comprehend how we came here. It borders on torture to retrace our steps and to look back on the warning signs that we brushed away with innocuous laughter. We were carefree, perhaps because we were young, perhaps because we truly believed that we would live happily ever after. You and I grew up with the fairy tales and the action heroes; you and I were sold a dream; one that we took as reality.