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Vol. 1:  On Isolation



Flash Fiction by Robin Bissett

Mathilde and I were walking around our neighborhood wearing our masks. She hopped
purposefully to avoid cracks in the concrete. In her light-up sneakers, each small footstep sent colorful bolts into the ground.

I carried a bucket of sidewalk chalk in my left hand. The wind blew the rainbow dust up
onto my palm, but I didn’t mind. At that moment, I had nowhere else to be.

We were still familiarizing ourselves with the neighborhood. It was a peculiar thing to
have moved houses, from across the bay, right before the effects of the virus set in.

Through the windows of a pale yellow house, about a block from our home, we saw a
family eating dinner. Two moms, a son and a daughter gathered around a dining table. Timidly, we waved, eyes crinkling as we smiled beneath our masks. They waved back.

We continued walking past a few more houses, silent in the hopes that we would one day
be able to congregate with strangers in public again.

Mathilde looked up at me, “Is Mom coming back?” she asked.

I swallowed. “No, it’ll just be the two of us,” I said. “I hope that’s okay with you.”

She took my right hand, and we made our way back home, where we opened our
windows to the world.

Robin Bissett is a teaching artist and writer from central Texas.

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