Pandemic. Plague. Call it what you will, but it spelled stay-at-home isolation for Leo and his neighbors. Except the new neighbor. Interesting looking but probably not gay and already hauled off to the hospital. That’s how Leo ended up with his cat, and mail, and food packages. A caretaker now, and he doesn’t even know the guy.
A major storm blows up, and people start piling in: the sick neighbor’s grandson and some other kid. The old lady neighbor with a tree through her roof and her long-lost flame. So much for social distancing, particularly when sex gets into the act.
Except for poor Leo. Odd man out. Until they decide to spring the sick guy from the hospital. What could possibly go wrong?
The storm raged all night, but the rain slacked off toward five in the morning. They were up and dressed and somewhat fed, by half past. As they dashed towards Leo’s car, Raven complained, “If I’d worn the fishnets, we’d have something for lunch! Oh I think I stepped on a crab!”
The water was only a few inches deep, but it meant something wasn’t draining properly, which could cause a big problem later. Their condos were only two streets away from the ocean. The drive to the hospital was all uphill, heading into the wind, but there was hardly any traffic. Raven, in the back seat, was snoring softly.
Em, who had kept herself busy second-guessing all of Leo’s driving choices, sat up straight as they pulled into the hospital driveway. “Shh! Be very quiet!”
Leo muttered something that sounded like why, are we hunting wabbits? but bit back his laugh as Em glared at him.
She directed him through the confusing parking lot, “Over there, not there, there, turn right there, no turn left right there. Finally she said, “Park here next to the door. Now here’s what we’re going to do; listen carefully!”
Leo listened; Raven still slept. He woke up only when the car doors opened and Em said, “Okay, everybody out. Through that door and then do your part!” Raven was last out of the car, and last through the door. They entered a completely dark hallway. As soon as Raven could see anything, there was nothing to see. Em and Leo had both disappeared. What was it he was supposed to do? He saw the outline of another door, opened it, and entered another short hallway. There was a light at the end of it, coming from yet another door, this one open. He approached it, and darted inside.
A naked young man stood there drying his armpits. “Oh say, I don’t know you. You must be one of the new guys flown in from the mainland. Welcome to hell!” He shook water off his blond curls, yes you guys, I know what you’re wondering, the carpet did indeed match the drapes. “Can I help you with something?”
Raven stammered out, “I ... lost ... I’m ... I lost my mask. That’s it. And I’m looking for an old man.”
“Ooh,” said the blond, batting his eye lashes, “Like that, is it?”
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” blubbered Raven.
“OMG first time! Richard where are you!! Fresh meat!”
Raven fled. Back down the hall, through the door, took the wrong turn, and kept on going. When he came to yet another door, he stopped to catch his breath, and when he had calmed down, he had to laugh at himself. His mask was right in his pocket; he had to wonder what would have happened if he’d worn the fish net stockings. That blond, he was really cute. He hoped he’d see him again. Although at the same time, he hoped he wouldn’t.
This door opened into a type of office; there weren’t any people, naked or otherwise, but rows of filing cabinets. He started looking at the letters on the drawers, hoping to find his grandfather’s files. How old fashioned could you get ...
Em had found the red aprons that volunteers wore; she put one on, pleased that it matched her red mask. She grabbed a trolley full of books and flowers and started wandering around, wondering if she could at least find the right floor; what would an X-ray have revealed that made the man be hospitalized so quickly? Heart attack? Stroke? Prostate cancer? She was going to try to find an unoccupied computer, and hopefully, find the man’s whereabouts, that way. But; wait a minute; what the hell was his name? She didn’t even know what he looked like! Had they been that drunk when planning this?