Friday, April 22, 2011

A to Z Challenge: Quarantine


Athena had a bunch of questions to ask her mother, but nothing came out. Instead she reached into her pocket and pulled out the piece of macrame. Apparently her mother recognized it, because she got teary. "Where did you get that?"

"Mr. Rafferty. He kept going back into his bedroom, pulling things out. That shopkeeper, harmonica man, that you're sweet on? He was married to Mr. Rafferty's daughter, Jazlyn. They had kids. We didn't get to the part, though, where I found out what happened to her or the kids." Kyria said nothing, so Athena continued.

"He said my father was a representative, along with my friends' fathers, and that he was arrested and disappeared. Just like theirs did. But then who was the man who I thought was my father? And why did he disappear?"

Just as it looked like Kyria might answer, there was a tapping at the door. Athena wasn't ready to walk on her sore foot yet, so Kyria went to the door. There was a police officer there, with a hammer.

"Excuse me?" Kyria couldn't figure out what he was doing at first.

"Sorry about this. Your daughter spend time with Old Man today, right?"

"He's her patient, yes."

"Well, he has something contagious. The Captain said to quarantine him, and since your daughter was there today, she's under quarantine, too. You are too, of course, because if she caught what he has, then you'll catch it too."

"And what, exactly, does he have that needs to be quarantined?"

"Captain didn't say. Just doing my job, ma'am." Then the police officer turned around and went to get in the car parked at the curb. The police car didn't move, though. He and his partner simply sat in the car, watching the house.

"What!?" Athena was livid. "There's not a thing wrong with Old Man. I checked him out myself. He's as healthy as a horse! Contagious my ..."


"Mother, the man's not sick!"

"Are you absolutely sure? Positive?"

"Definitely. If he were sick now, he would have been just as sick when I was there. There's nothing wrong with him."

"OK." Kyria walked over to the phone and picked it up. The line was dead.


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