The Plague Begins
We’ve been banished from the office.
The glass door has closed behind us as we stand in the hallway clutching our cell phones and rapidly cooling mugs of coffee with clever nerdy slogans on them. We have been cast out of the questionable yet familiar comfort of the khaki world of our semi-open office into the bright mystery of daylight.
The higher authorities of our organization who dwell in the tall tower two blocks away have read the portents in the excel sheets and see that the birds of the air have more to speak. They have summoned the corvid thanatologist to observe the patterns the crows are making on the rooftops. She gazes through the glass and mutters, “flaming fuckballs”.
The higher authorities blanch and mutter among themselves. The thanatologist is rewarded with silver and an extra-large soy mocha per the ancient custom and dismissed.
Some time later an email is dispatched. The doors open, we are herded through them and they close behind us.
Return to your homes they tell us. Return to your homes and avoid the unwashed. Cleanse yourselves. Seek shelter. The crows have spread their fine tablecloths upon the high places expecting a feast. Your labors shall continue as shall your wages. But be not too enamored of gold for it will not comfort you in your time of isolation.
Netflix on the other hand will be your friend.
We return to our homes.
Whispers of a pestilence from beyond our western shores had been circulating for some time. There is an easier time when the whispers are distant, now they appear in our own city. We had heard that the elderly were touched by this disease and very close by. There just wasn’t enough information, we didn’t know the shape of the thing or its reach.
There is no guidance beyond being clean.