Quarantine, No Chill An Ella Thomas Serial Installment
I fled the kitchen for the quiet confines of my car before the whole sick crew could ruin my solitude. With the seat pushed back as far as the lever will allow, I sit with notebook on my lap waiting for the muse to strike. Nervous energy flows from my fingertips down the pen and onto the page. I swear my readers will be able to feel my irritable anxiety when this story posts to the website.
But where is my muse. I feel abandoned in this hellscape time. Trapped in my car in search of enough peace and quiet to pull anomie from my soul and spray paint the morning sky with scathing words. Oh, but what good would it do. Write for the base reason of nothing better to occupy time and space and the void of quarantine, dodging landmines both real and perceived…
A sharp rapping on the driver’s side window startles me, my flailing arm spilling hot coffee on my feet. I scream in pain and face my untimely visitor.
It’s the FBI.
This morning can get fucked.
The agent raps on the window again with the same urgency despite our eyes being locked. He motions for me to roll down my window.
"Haven’t you heard of social distancing? Are you going to arrest me for not wearing my face mask?”
Marcus sighs and holds up a coffee. “Are you going to unlock the door so I can get in or not?”
I take a deep breath and count. One, two, three…ten. I won’t kill Mr. FBI agent. I won’t kill Mr. FBI agent.
I press the button unlocking the doors and another lowering the window. “Get in before you make a scene. I swear men are fucking toddlers. Even FBI agents.”
Marcus circles to the passenger’s side after passing me a coffee. Unscrewing the cap, I take a sip. It tastes glorious. I must admit. He’s an intolerable shit so much of the time, but the man brings the best coffee. It’s the least he can do after making me spill mine.
“What do you want today, Marcus? You know I’m trying to write. This better be good. Can’t I get just ten fucking minutes alone? Who knew being trapped at home means you won’t get ten seconds to pee without someone wanting some damn fucking thing.”
Marcus removes a pack of cigarettes from a blazer pocket and smacks it against his shoulder several times. Letting out a low whistle, he unwraps the package and tosses the cellophane on the floor. He flicks open a butane lighter and puts a blow torch level of power forth to light the cigarette.
“Man, I love this fucking lighter.” He takes a drag and smiles in satisfaction.
“Jesus Christ men are such toddlers. Shouldn’t you wait to light a celebratory cigarette until after we fuck?”
He coughs on the smoke and hacks for several moments while trying to restrain a fit of laughter.
“You’ll always have that blunt sweet talk to seduce me. Never fails. But I’m afraid not today. That’s why I’m here…”
He’s interrupted by a siren and suddenly the day explodes with lights and horns and the calm voice of the police dispatcher giving orders to the town cop approaching Ella’s car.
“What now, Marcus. Be quick.”
The patrolman, whom I do not know, approaches my drivers’ side window. He calmly knocks three times and waits for me to roll down the window.
“Marcus…” I whisper. “Hurry the fuck up.”
The patrolman knocks again and points at his watch. I must act. Closing my eyes, I try to recapture the story I’d been working on before it flutters into the ethos, but I can’t go back. It’s too late. The patrolman raps on the window again. This time harder.
“This is Uxbridge Police. We have a warrant for an object that was delivered to this address yesterday morning. Please cut the engine and exit with vehicle with your hands in the air.”
Stay tuned for the next episode...coming next Sunday night to Moran Press.
READ THE FIRST INSTALLMENT THE MORNING ROUTINE, PANDEMIC EDITION