April 28, 2020 06:42PM
If I'm inspired enough there might be more parts :-) (And here in this country we have a so-called Intelligent Lockdown, which means we can still do a lot of things, just use your brain. Very useful for a story.)

Chapter one

“It’s Mrs Long,” gasped Mrs Bennet from her vantage point by the window. “She’s outside.”

Mary and Kitty came to watch. It was absolutely shocking. Very few people had been seen since the lockdown had been imposed, because they were told to stay at home, although Mrs Bennet had been on the lookout for anyone daring to go out regardless.

“One is only supposed to go out on necessary errands,” Mary lectured. She too had been looking, if she was not looking up information, and she would have liked to tell anyone just why they should not be there. “Such as to a supermarket or a pharmacy. Mrs Long cannot be on her way to either.”

“Mrs Long is approaching our house,” Mrs Bennet reported excitedly. She opened the window. “What could she mean by being outside?”

“Be careful, Mama!” shrieked Lydia. “We’ll get sick!”

Mary knew what to say. “So far research is not yet clear on whether it is possible to get infected over such a distance. I have read a study by the university of –“

Mary was cut short by her mother shouting enthusiastically out of the open window. “What are you doing out there?”

Mrs Long replied something that the girls inside could not hear. Lydia, in spite of her fear of getting infected by airborne particles, had squeezed herself between her mother and the window frame. So few interesting things had been happening so far that even a sighting of Mrs Long, who was otherwise as boring as anyone middle-aged could be, could intrigue her.

Because there was nothing else to do, Lizzy fought the urge of squeezing herself in there somewhere as well. She wished she had Jane’s patience. Jane knew her mother would tell them all about it, but unlike Jane she did not trust it would be an honest account.

After several minutes of speaking to Mrs Long Mrs Bennet closed the window. She turned around and faced the room, looking excited. “Mr Bennet!” she addressed the one person in the room who was the least interested in what Mrs Long had had to say. In fact, it was not even clear whether he had noticed his wife had been speaking to Mrs Long at all. “Did you hear that Netherfield Park has been let at last?”

“No.” He did not raise his eyes from the crossword. After a long day trying to work in his study, which had turned out not to be soundproof, he really deserved this crossword. Unfortunately Mrs Bennet would not accept it if he stayed in his study after dinner and he had to sit here.

“It is! Mrs Long has just walked by and she told me all about it.”

“Mrs Long is in lockdown. She cannot be out and about.”

“It’s an intelligent lockdown,” protested Mrs Bennet.


That was invitation enough. “She says there’s a young man there now, just returned from abroad on a repatriation flight. And some friends possibly, to spend the quarantine with.”

“What’s his name? Is he famous?”


“Is he married or single?”

“Single, of course! Oooh, a rich man. How nice for our girls to make his acquaintance!”

“Why? They are in lockdown.”

“Oh, don’t be like that. It’s always good to know rich men.”

“He came to spend his quarantine here because he knew you have five daughters you want to get rid of?”

Having them all home from their various educational establishments had proved to be rather tough on Mrs Bennet’s nerves. Her husband locked himself in his study, claiming work, but Mrs Bennet bore the brunt of prodding them into action – in theory. Not all of them actually did anything, study-wise, and their mother complained of it daily.

Not now, however. “Nonsense! But he might like one of them, because they’re the only girls worth noticing around here.”

“He might even notice you.”

“Oh, nonsense! But you should go and have a look.” She had not set foot outside the house herself. It was dangerous out there.

“I don’t think so.”

“Drop a note about the balcony bingo our girls are arranging.”

“We’re in lockdown,” Mr Bennet reminded her and that was the end of the conversation as far as he was concerned.

Corona Chronicles

LiseApril 28, 2020 06:42PM

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