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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.

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!

THE AUTUMN SERIES