The world afterwards

Because it’s Sue’s prompt, and because I like the image.


There’s a lonely hill above a lonely valley, and no one treads the high paths anymore. Once there were forests they say, latterly herds of brown cattle and flocks of sheep, but the soil thinned until the grass grew brown as the cattle.
No one treads the high paths anymore, and in the valley the sheep have gone, the cattle long since bones beneath the bracken.
Only I go there at times, when the air is not too sharp and the glare in the sky not too fierce. I stand on the hill and try to remember what green looked like, the smell of gorse flowers, and the song of the skylark above the heath.
I strain through my mask to hear that music of a dead time, but the only sound is the rattle of the wind in the heather’s dry bells.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

56 thoughts on “The world afterwards”

      1. Optimism is something we need to find in ourselves.Sometimes all the situations around us might not be positive,but how we receive the things and our perspectives matters a lot..Stay away from negative circles or reduce interactions with those people and rest for situations in our life, need to be handled by ourselves.

      2. I know what you mean, and on one level you’re right, but I don’t feel that it’s in my power to change the world and it isn’t going in a good direction. Nor can I reduce my concerns to my personal happiness. Happiness and hope are brief sparks, but sadness and despair are great rolling oceans.

      1. I seem to have been stuck within a ten miles radius of home for almost a year, apart from two short trips down the road just before I collapsed. Frankly, here…that’s no life.

      2. It all depends where you are. Ten miles is pretty suffocating if there’s nothing in it but houses and a bit of green. I’ve not been outside the ‘garden’ in four months except to the outskirts of Agen, 45kms away a couple of times and to Marmande once to buy a bed. It doesn’t bother me much but it would if I couldn’t walk without meeting anyone and have the silence that goes with isolation.

      3. Depends what you want them for. The bars and restaurants are closed and the shops all close by 5.30pm but the people are still there and the parks and the buildings.

      4. I used to visit galleries and museums often before we had the children and when they were young (and biddable). Somehow, once there was no one to ‘take’ around a gallery, I stopped going.

  1. I don’t want to be that depressed. But I can’t see a near future without masks at the moment. A vaccine means nothing if there’s not enough of it for everyone. (K)

      1. I haven’t managed to get an appointment for a vaccine yet, even though I’m old enough to be eligible. By the time they have enough to go around, you’re right–it won’t work.

      2. Where we are, they’re vaccinating (slowly) the over-75s and those with pathologies like obesity and diabetes. Then it’ll be the over-64s.
        Since we fall into the ‘rest of the population’ category it will be not before April at the most optimistic. Since they’ve had one body blow after the other over vaccine delivery, I’m not holding my breath to be ever offered one.
        Mind you, put it in perspective. Husband has broken a tooth and tried to get a dental appointment. The soonest he can get one is May, for an emergency.

      3. They keep changing the rules for who gets vaccinated. I’m over 65, but I can easily avoid people, so it seems like they should be concentrating on other groups first. Still, I would get it if I could.

        Normal medicine can be like that here too. That’s why so many people just give up on seeing a doctor and go to the hospital emergency room.

      4. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to get the supplies of vaccine that have been promised. You’d think that they were able to predict how much each lab could produce. Seems not. Or else they’re selling their production to somebody else.

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