As the virus spread, the animals retreated into the underground lair and planned a counter-revolution.
Hidden away from all the humans and their wasted ambitions and abandoned hope, there’s a lizard in charge and he is getting his information from a squirrel who was injured in a previous conflict.
The lizard, who regards the squirrel (and all his type) as perfidious, uses a pandemic-detecting periscope with a radical new spiral design that will never be emulated for reasons he doesn’t yet understand.
There is also a badger in the lair and although he is becoming anxious about the confined space. He turns to the squirrel and says, I know what’s going on in your head,
I can see your voices.
The squirrel ignores the apparently insightful advances and pours boiling water over the mint leaves in his pot. The lizard retracts the periscope and asks: When will this ever end?
In the space above, a lone piper can be heard playing a lament.
Henry Bladon is based in Somerset in the UK. He is a writer of short fiction and poetry with a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Birmingham. He is the author of the novel Threeways, and several poetry collections. His work can be seen in Poetica Review, Pure Slush, Truth Serum Press, Lunate, and O:JA&L, among other places.