Isolation – Part 1 – Contemporary Fiction

Podcast Episode

This is a work of fiction.

I wanted to know what happened to Billy after the events in “Lockdown,” and being in his head was so much fun.


Mom and Mona are both asleep.

“What should we do now?” I ask Dad.

He looks exhausted, and I hope he’ll decide to go home to bed. There’s nothing we can do except take care of each other, and that includes taking care of ourselves.

“We need a new fridge,” he says.

“My house has one. Would you like to . . . well, I don’t have beds yet, but you could come over to eat. I bought you some cinnamon buns this morning.”

“Thanks. Do you think I should stay here?”

We’re standing in the hallway outside Mom and Mona’s hospital room.

I shake my head.

“I’ll call an appliance store and order a fridge. Then we should get some dinner at my house and some sleep at yours.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Billy, did I say I was sorry for how I treated you?”

“Yes, you did. I accepted your apology. Let’s go home. Would you like to drive?”

He shakes his head.

“I might fall asleep at the wheel. Thanks for not letting me drive us here.”

I nod, and we leave the hospital.

We’re quiet on the drive home, but as we arrive at our street, Dad says, “Would you mind dropping me off at home? I’m too tired to eat.”

“Sure. I’ll come back and bring you some cinnamon buns and you can eat them as soon as you wake up.”

Victoria’s car is still there. Dad doesn’t seem to notice it, and I decide not to say anything.

Dad’s unsteady on his feet, and I help him into the house.

“Want my bed tonight?” I ask him.

“What?”

I decide not to explain that their room needs to be cleaned.

“It’s closer.”

He smiles. I walk him there and he collapses onto my bed.

“Billy, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, Dad. Don’t sweat it. Do you need anything?”

He mumbles something and closes his eyes.

“I’ll bring cinnamon buns and a glass of water.” I doubt he’s heard me, but that’s okay.

I get the water and write him a note.

Dear Dad,

I love you. I’m going to my house to bring you some food, and then I’ll go back and sleep there. I’ll help you clean the house tomorrow. Or if you want, I’ll drive you to visit Mom and Mona and then come back and clean the house. Call me when you wake up or any time. Love you.

Billy

On the way out, I see the old fridge. There’s nothing wrong with it, but maybe we should get a new one anyway. I shrug. I’ll leave that up to Mom and Dad.

I go to my house, grab the cinnamon buns and a few other things that don’t need to be kept cold, and return to our house.

I set up breakfast for Dad in the kitchen, and then I go into my parents’ room. If Dad wakes up in the middle of the night, he might forget where Mom is and go into their room to look for her. I don’t want him to see any of the weird stuff.

Victoria’s suit is there, minus the face mask, which is outside where I threw it.

I also see her knife, a gun, and a set of keys.

The knife is a good-quality kitchen knife, but I don’t want it. I’ll have to get rid of the gun without touching it with my bare hands. I’m sure it’s loaded, and if what I’ve seen in movies is right, it’s got a silencer.

I go into the kitchen and find some rubber gloves.

I go outside and pick up Victoria’s mask.

Back in the bedroom, I pick up the keys.

I go outside and try them in the black car. The second one unlocks it.

It’s a fancy car with leather seats and a new smell. In the trunk, I find a suitcase.

Probably more protective suits.

Might as well check.

One of the keys unlocks it, and I stare at stacks of good old American dollars.

I close it and take it to the house.

There’s a pile of ashes where Victoria died. I sweep up her remains and put them and her suit into a trash bag.

“Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” I whisper as I tie the bag shut.

Where will I bury her?

Carefully, I pick up the gun and put it into another trash bag.

I empty out the suitcase and put in the two trash bags and the knife.

I check the car but find nothing else except some papers, which I don’t touch.

I take the suitcase and go for a walk.

About a mile from our house, there’s a small river.

I step onto the little bridge and walk to the center of the stream. I look around, see nobody, and toss the suitcase in.

I take my gloves off and toss them in after it.

I stand there and look up at the sky, which is darkening with approaching night.

“Our Father, Who art in Heaven. Hallow’d be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

I pause to get a breath.

“Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

The wind gusts around me and I shiver.

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Part 2

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