Philip Evans (part ii)

Philip is discovered towards the end of the first AUTUMN novel by Michael and Emma. A sad and lonely bachelor, all he knows is the house he shares with his elderly mother and the small village community nearby. Anyone would struggle to comprehend the effects that the virus has had on the rest of the world, but Philip’s naivety distorts his understanding of what has happened to everyone else.

In the 2009 Renegade Motion Pictures film of AUTUMN, Philip was played by the legendary David Carradine.

In the 2009 Renegade Motion Pictures film of AUTUMN, Philip was played by the legendary David Carradine.

This is the best day! I can’t believe it – it looks like Mom’s going to be all right!

She woke me up this morning. I opened my eyes and she was standing at the end of the bed. Scared the life out of me, she did. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, I was sure she was dead, but she must have been in a coma or something like that. I saw a programme about that once on telly. Anyway, she wasn’t talking and she wasn’t very steady on her feet but at least she was up and about. I knew Mom wouldn’t leave me. She’s still very ill, mind. She doesn’t look well and she smells really bad, but that’s nothing a good soak in the bath won’t cure.

She’s been really shaken up by all of this, has Mom. She’s not herself at all. I’ve had to shut her in her room to stop her wandering off. She just keeps walking around, banging into things, and she won’t sit still. I keep telling her she’ll do herself an injury if she’s not careful, but she won’t listen. She won’t sit in her chair or lie on the bed or anything. I expect she just needs to keep moving for a while after being still for so long.

I’ve felt so scared for the last couple of days, trying to imagine life without Mom, but now I feel much better. Everything is okay. I knew she wouldn’t leave me.

I had to her to the bed. I didn’t know what else to do. She just won’t stay still and I’m scared she’ll do herself even more harm if she keeps on like this. I know it’s not right, but what else can I do? There’s no one around to ask for help and I still can’t get anyone on the phone. I keep telling myself that it’s in Mom’s best interests if I’m firm with her. If she keeps wandering off then who knows what might happen? I could find her halfway down the road or worse. What would they say in the village?

I didn’t need to tie her down tight or anything like that. She’s still hardly got any strength. I used the washing line from the back yard. I got Mom back into bed (I had to hold her down while I did it) then wrapped the line right the way around the bed and the bedclothes. Since Dad died she’s only ever had a single bed. That meant I could wrap the line right around a few times. I left it quite loose because I didn’t want to hurt her or upset her. She can still move but not enough to get up.

I keep telling her I’m doing it for her own good but I don’t know if she can hear me. She might be getting that Alzheimer’s disease. She was always scared of getting that.

I went into the village again this afternoon. I didn’t like it. Some of the people who got ill around the same time as Mom are getting better because they were walking around too. There were some still lying where they’d fallen, though. Poor old Bill Linturn was still in his car, dead to the world.

The people who were walking about were just like Mom. They didn’t answer when I spoke to them. They scared me with their empty eyes and grey skin. I got out of the village fast and ran home and locked the door. My place was at back with Mom.

More good news! I still can’t get Mom to eat or drink anything, but when I went in to see her just now, she turned her head and looked at me. I think she recognised my voice. She tried to get up but I told her not to. She’s still trying to do more than she should. She’s her own worst enemy, that one. She’s wriggling and twisting on the bed all the time.

She’s getting stronger by the hour. I’ve just had to tighten the ropes. I think she’s going to be all right!



Autumn: The London Trilogy omnibus edition