HEAVENS ABOVE! by Marguerite Shaw
Never, since the early trials of the One-way Interdimensional Communications System over thirty years ago,had there been such a large, hushed assembly of like-minded spirits.
All, from the earliest recruits to last year's new arrivals, were hoping for a personal signal from below..
Nothing. Silence. No bells for Mothering Sunday, no clamour of voices, alarming motors or other interference with reception. Something was amiss. Surely OICS had not disintegrated?
Rob nudged Mary. 'I CAN SEE HER. SHE'S THERE IN HER YELLOW JACKET AND GREEN HAT. LOOK, GETTING UP SPEED SHE IS, COMING DOWNHILL PAST A BIG TALL BUILDING'
'ABBEY. THAT'S THE ABBEY,' sighed his son-in-law. 'I KNOW THAT PLACE, BUT SHE'S NOT GOING INSIDE, IT SEEMS TO BE LOCKED UP.'
And so it was. And so it remained, day after day, week after week, lifeless. Humanity had disappeared from view. Humanity had been struck by a pestilence of Biblical proportions, a killing virus. Where was everyone?
'Stay in the house? Never go out? No way! That's not healthy, you must be joking!' she cried.
And away she went for her daily exercise, wheels spinning, heart singing along the Spring-green lanes. Not alone, for cyclists and walkers in search of clean,fresh air were out on roads and footpaths, safely spaced along the way.
Then They saw her yellow jacket and green helmet, long grey hair bunching around the rim. They saw her in the garden, too, digging, raking, pruning.
'THERE'S MY LITTLE DOG-DAISY' cried Rob. 'DON'T CALL HER THAT, SHE'S AN OLD WOMAN NOW,' Mary said. 'SHE'S MY WIFE,' whispered the third and her thoughts were intercepted so that, now and then while the fear of infection slowly dwindled, OICS was not totally one-way. She knew they were watching her.