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Writing

Quarantine

The last few days I’ve been woken by murmuring voices. At first I thought it was because we’d opened the windows a crack and there were sounds coming in off the street. The conversations were always brief, sometimes just a few words, before they were cut off. Interrupted.

Yesterday, I was woken a little earlier. There was a brief flash of laughter. Glittering. It stopped though, as suddenly as it began. I waited. But it was quiet. When I got up I looked out of the window nearest the road. It was empty. Not surprising in this time of quarantine.

This morning I was awake before anyone could hasten me from sleep, and I lay in bed, waiting. It was a burst of music. Something military. With brass. Bright. And then silent again. I got up. And though I felt hesitant on the stairs I followed them down.

Without the distant traffic of the usual mid-week bustle it was still, the quiet broken only by the liquid song of a blackbird outside. The light poured through the window. And, for the first time, I realised the sun must have hit the radio on the bookcase at the turn of the stairs.

The wind-up radio, the one with a small back-up solar panel. It’s a heavy thing, robust, from when I worked in disaster relief. When I lifted it I found it was switched on. Ready. Waiting. To use that brief burst of energy to create a little mayhem in my day.