May looked out the window for the sixth time in as many minutes. Sighing heavily she turned back to the table, scanned its contents and took a sip from the now cold coffee beside her.
‘this is driving me mad’ she said to the empty room.
Another quick check through the window to see if anything had changed showed that it was exactly the same as it always was. Picture perfect village green and gentle hills framing the cottages opposite.
Not that it had always been like this.
Just a few short months ago, the view was a bustle of buses, cars and many, many people all milling about, snapping cameras or heading to one of the village cafe’s for tea and scones.
Now, there was no-one, they weren’t allowed to come, it was forbidden by direct order of the Government and heavily enforced by the police. No-one left their homes any more. The most exciting thing to happen was the daily arrival of the delivery wagon carrying all the parcels, packages and food the local community had ordered.
May sighed again wondering what to do next. It wasn’t as if she were working like some of her neighbours. When the lockdown began her little shop had closed and she didn’t know when, if ever, it would be able to re-open.
A thin smile spread across her face as she remembered the many times she had rued the day she’d arrived in the village, complaining along with all the other residents about the grockles. It was a very different story now. With no-one the village was empty, not literally, but it had no personality any more, it was just another village going nowhere.
Sighing for the third time she looked at the jigsaw sprawled across the table. A well-meaning, if slightly dilusional neighbour had left it on her doorstep late one night when no-one was about to tittle tattle.
‘I might as well get on with this then’ she thought and started looking for all the straight edges.
As the light faded she squinted trying to see the colours clearly. Looking up she was surprised to find three hours had passed without her noticing.
The next few days were filled with the puzzle, trying out different techniques to work out which piece went where.
And finally, it was finished.
Logging on to the local online group as LuluTrixiebell she spent a few minutes scanning through all the other jigsaw images before adding her own version to the collection. One image shared 100’s of times.
Slipping out the house that night she walked along the lane at the back of the cottages, safely sheilded from view until she reached Marge, she put the box down and knocked gently on the door. Marge silently acknowledged her gift and headed indoors with the quarry.
May smiled to herself acknowledgeing the villagers own brand of civil disobedience repeated in communities across the country.
(Author’s side note: my husband and I took 3 weeks to finish this 1500 piece puzzle in May 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic).