A Short Story 2021


My troublesome neighbours were taken last month. I felt as a law abiding citizen it was my duty to call the track and trace hotline and report them for having visitors. The government said it was for our safety and they would only be placed in a quarantine facility for two weeks.

A two week holiday of peace and quiet before they returned and hopefully started obeying the rules.

It’s not been six weeks and they haven’t returned.

I’d originally felt like boasting about having reported them. I was the one responsible for getting rid of the undesirables. Dobbing in anyone flouting the new laws was my civic duty. I even got a bonus stimulus payment for doing so. With each passing week the less I want anyone to know. What if
they never return?

I used to fall asleep at night wondering who the strangers were, visiting my neighbours day and night. Now I fall asleep wondering about the growing reports of no one ever returning. The politicians and the news keeps extolling the need of the track and trace hotline and the quarantine
facilities. However, more and more stories are circulating questioning if we are being told the whole truth.

I’d still be calling those spreading stories tin foil hat wearers, except my neighbours still haven’t returned. The more I try to uncover what might be happening the more I’m left scratching my head.

Any reports different to the official narrative are deleted as soon as they are published. I don’t even know how many will get to read this before it gets censored.

I have to remain anonymous so I apologise you won’t be able to verify any of this. I don’t want to end up being one of the disappeared. If we are ever let out of this lockdown how will I ever face my neighbours friends and family? If they come asking after them, how will I be able to look them in
the face when I am the reason they were taken?

According to their neighbour on the other side, they were helping those that had resisted the mandatory vaccination program. With growing unofficial reports of thousands of deaths of those that had been vaccinated, I’m left wondering more and more each day if maybe I was the crackpot
believing what we were told.

Story first published 16th June 2020 and voted as the winner of the Ballarat Writers June Flash Competition by public online vote.

I had no idea when I wrote this piece of fiction it would become non fiction only 2 months later.

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