Lockdown Stories

Lockdown Stories: Beginnings part 2 by Ruth Page

single image

When he had a big pile of things around him, he settled down to make some big colourful posters which said…..

‘Your community needs YOU!!’

He sat back on his heels, thinking it was a good start, now he needed to be more explicit about how people could get involved …….

‘What a mess!’ said a stern voice just outside his doorway.

Julian sat stock still. He looked cautiously from side to side without moving his head.  He couldn’t see anyone in his peripheral vision, but he knew he was alone anyway. He turned around slowly, towards the door, but apart from Mungo licking his paw, there was no-one to be seen.

Lockdown was starting to mess with his brain – could that dismissive comment have come from his cat? Was he hallucinating?  What had he eaten earlier?  He hadn’t drunk thatmuch last night.  Things were bad: he thought he had found a purpose, clarity, but he was deluded.  He thought his cat was talking to him, well, abusing him, to be more accurate.

Twenty minutes passed with Julian dwelling on his deteriorating mental state.  He sat amongst the paint and bits of wood and other random objects he had collected and started to feel sorry for himself. He was really losing it and the disappointment he felt as his good intentions evaporated was just too much. His head dropped and a small sob rose and escaped from his mouth.

‘Come on Julian – are you a man or a mouse?’ said the voice.

‘That’s a bit below the belt’ said another voice. ‘I mean, he’s clearly incompetent, but a mouse?’

This last comment was met with laughter.  It sounded as if a small crowd had formed in the hall.

Julian couldn’t bring himself to raise his head and face whoever was there.  He must have left his front door open and perhaps his neighbours had come in to see what he was doing.  He’d never really made the effort to get to know them, but he didn’t think they felt any animosity towards him.  Hang on, what were they doing coming into his house anyway?  Didn’t they know about lockdown?   Julian’s misery rapidly turned to indignation.  He stood up and moved to face the intruders, saying ‘Stay in your own home!’  His eyes were still clouded by his pathetic tears, but he couldn’t actually see anyone in his hallway, and the front door was shut anyway.  Lockdown had really affected him badly – he was hearing voices, and getting paranoid feelings.  He looked around for Mungo, wanting to scoop him up and snuggle into his warm fur and forget the outside world for a while.  There he was, loitering by the door into the kitchen.  ‘Good old Mungo’ thought Julian as he moved towards him. But as Julian moved down the hall, and the tears cleared from his eyes, he noticed that Mungo was not alone. Further into the kitchen there were two more cats, and by the back door another 4! He stood in the doorway and watched as another cat scrambled through the cat flap in the back door.  There were now eight cats (including Mungo) in his kitchen.  There was quite an awkward silence as Julian took in the sight and the cats all turned to face him.

Julian crouched down and called Mungo over, ‘Mungo, come over here fella’.  But Mungo didn’t move.  In fact, Mungo turned away from him to face all the other cats and to Julian’s utter amazement, ……started speaking!

‘So everyone, this is Julian, my human.  Not at his best at the moment, but humans aren’t as resilient as us cats.’ At this point there was a general murmur of agreement from the other cats.  Mungo continued ‘But he’s not all bad, and I rather think he needs our help!’

Mungo turned to face Julian and raised a paw towards the other cats around the kitchen.

‘Julian, let me introduce you to: Tiger, Teazer, Toffee, Gus, Buster, Skimbles and Macca.’  As Mungo said each cat’s name, they sketched small bow.  He continued ‘We are at your service, and we want to help.’


So, where does the story go from here?  Have a go at writing the next chapter……


You may like