I’m writing a series of novels: the Seeking Scylla series. Some characters dance on the edges of the narratives. Some never make it in. In Beyond Scylla blogs, I share stories and vignettes about these characters.

—But this is your job.

—I didn’t sign up for this.

—You literally did.

—I signed up for moving people, but not sick people.

—She’s not sick anymore.

—Says who? Nobody really knows.

—This one won’t be any different than any of the others. You’ve been masking up since March.

—We have to touch all her stuff, then carry it through a closed building. And I bet she lives on the hundred and millionth floor. So, we’ll be locked tight in a rickety-ass elevator with all her infected stuff.

—That’s not how it works.

—How do you know?

—I read. I watch the news.

—And you trust everything your read?

—No, so I read a lot.

—I’m out. I could use the money but not that bad. Get Carlo.

—He’s sick.

—No! Why didn’t you tell me? I’ve been all around him.

—Calm down, already. He’s negative. It’s just a stomach bug, maybe food poisoning from that hot dog stand you took him to Wednesday.

—I’m not sick.

—You never get sick, so come on and do your job. Just double mask, put on your gloves, and, here, you can use my face shield, too. I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet, so basically, you’ll be triple protected.

—What about you?

—I have two of the good masks. I’ll be fine. Can we go already?

—I swear, if I get sick and die, I’ll kill you.

—Understood, now load up. We’ve gotta get her from Brooklyn to Long Island before dark.

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.