The Mission. Flash fiction by Nicola Slynn

I’d never thought I’d volunteer for a dangerous mission. My father had impressed on me the army adage of “Never volunteer.” However, these were unusual times and I was doing it for my family’s sake. I’d weighed up all the risks and it had to be done.
My preparations were meticulous to minimise the danger for us all. I gathered my equipment together and retrieved our last bottle of hand sanitiser from the porch cupboard. My purse took longer to find as it had been ages since I’d last used it. I kissed the family farewell, stepped over the dog and sallied forth.
I donned my mask at the bottom of the High Street and almost immediately my glasses began to steam up. Holding the mask away from my face helped. I put the gloves on in the queue for Boots. There was some banter among the other shoppers. Probably like this in the trenches, before going over the top.
Once inside, we all performed complex manoeuvres to avoid getting too close. I managed to secure our hay fever medication, sunscreen and neurofen. Not as much of a coup as hand sanitiser would have been, but still a triumph.
As I removed my gloves and mask outside, my hands touched the possibly contaminated outer surface of those gloves. An irresistible urge to rub my eyes immediately assailed me. I remembered the hand sanitiser just in time.
“I’m home,” I called, as I made it through our front door. I so deserved the relaxing evening we’d planned watching an old episode of Foyle’s War.
I can really empathise now with the people of the 1940’s, with the queues, the food shortages and the worry. Though, our house isn’t being bombed every night. And our sons aren’t actually away fighting….

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