The Shelter-In Gothic

  • It is the first Saturday of quarantine. You can finally clean up your dwelling. That night, you reward yourself with a beer and relax in the peace and clean. Sunday morning, everything is dirty again. What happened Saturday night? You find the audio file on your phone.
  • You heard coughing in the apartment next to you three days ago. An ambulance removed the bodies. You still hear coughing in the apartment next to you.
  • The 30 rolls of toilet paper you bought were the last in the store.  You bring them home and store them before going to the bathroom. There is no toilet paper.
  • The waters of Venice are clear. There is nothing to fear. You hear the chanting on the live-stream. What was that in the water?
  • A store’s employees were deemed essential. After an armed robbery several were shot dead. You go to the store. The employees are still working. The employees were deemed essential.
  • Food stocks run low amid the social distancing. You go to the supermarket for food. There are masked figures shopping.  They have no eyes. Horrible screams emanate from the masks as they spot you without one.
  • You pass a religious building on your travels. The worshipers look sickly and beg the gods for answers. You smell rotting flesh. The worshipers do not have shoes and are wearing black sun hats and hospital gowns.
  • It is the fifth day of quarantine. You wake up in the morning and make coffee. You do not recall the cars outside looking so rusty. Nor the pavement cracked. The sound of birds chirping suddenly wake you up.
  • You bought cases of Yuengling at the beer store. You come home, put them in the fridge, and shower. Afterward, you open the fridge. It is filled with Corona.
  • A hazmat team is spotted taking over the house down the road. It is burnt down. Why is this? The hazmat team is entering the next house.
  • A dog is walking around with a leash. There is nobody walking it. Another dog is walking around with an arm in its mouth.
  • Constant groans and growling is heard in the apartments neighboring yours. It gets louder through the night. In the sunlight it stops. You prepare for the next night.
  • A group of women with shades and bob-cut hair is entering the supermarket. There are five. They cough and a new one appears. It is time to go.
  • The next time you get into your car you find old-time radio stations are the only options. News of fighting after the war in Europe and the spreading influenza break the music.
  • Trash collection is now allowing suspicious burlap bags. You do not remember this. The garbage man assures you this was always the case.
  • There is a strange figure in black walking down the main street of town. As it approaches, you notice the beak-like mask and hat of the infamous plague doctors. The figure examines you and hands you a vial. It then moves on. You feel a sense of dread as you reexamine the vial. The figure is gone.
  • It has been days since last you slept. You move from one screen to the next as the world outside becomes a blur. How come sleep does not find you?
  • There is a forklift loading a tied pallet of white bags into a semi truck at the clinic. The police are telling you it is time to move along.
  • The news anchors are speaking of things as if they are normal and that people are healthy. Outside is a man driving an antique truck with a trailer full of bodies.
  • You smell the distinct aroma of steaks on the grill. From your porch you look outside. The yard next door is having a cookout. Each person that consumes the meat is now coughing. The sickly crowd cheers for you to join them.

I’ve been asking the WW2 corporal hanging up by my desk what I should do, now that my apartment is clean. He doesn’t answer… I think he may just be a greatcoat… I’m not sure anymore. What strange things have you been noticing? Is it normal to be hearing trench whistles?

Corona Grill Thumbnail


Small time military surplus and Lego collector with a penchant for pocket guns and dry humor.

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1 Response

  1. Exculpatory Shōgun says:

    “Another dog is walking around with an arm in it’s mouth.” Haha I certainly hope that if, or when that ever happens I’ll be long gone out of the city. Hopefully, I have enough logic and a sense of anticipation to make that decision before it gets that bad. What strange things have been noticing? Not much, more people wearing masks in my city, and just how noisy my neighbors can be when they’re stuck at home with no work. Luckily for me, my job is considered essential and I don’t have to hear them all the time. I’ve noticed hilarious things. Like people using empty water jugs for masks, or viral videos of people fighting over toilet paper, or people getting angry at hospital nurses for wearing masks and scrubs to the grocery store so they can get food for their patients. Haha I swear, I’m not the smartest man on the face of the Earth, but at least I’m not that fucking irrational and retarded.

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