She advanced mercilessly throughout the world. Born in a small, abject village, she took revenge by decimating all those in her path who had ignored her, scorned her, forgotten her.
There I was, holed up in my study like Prince Prospero, thinking I had defeated her.
I had taken every measure to transform my house into a fortress.
I installed the first barrier at the front door: I even disinfected the chains that raised the drawbridge between the garage entrance and the door to my house, a door that I painted red to throw her off guard, to make her think she’d already passed this way.
I blocked the rear entrance to prevent her from slipping in like an uninvited guest.
Inside, I placed an assortment of barriers in deliberate disorder to confuse her, in case she managed to steal inside despite the barriers, which allowed me to watch over the entire house and its various rooms from my desk.
I left two cans of aerosol disinfectant in strategic places for my personal defense.
I replaced the light bulbs with multi-colored ones as a kind of relief from my imposed quarantine: a blue space to remind me of the sky I couldn’t see, a green one to remind me of the plains of my native land, a black one to conceal my thoughts, and finally, a red one, my favorite color, to face up to her if it became necessary.
Like Prince Prospero, I felt protected. I had defeated her; I had managed to prolong my existence in my compound.
My computer screen lit up, and amid streaks of light, an image broke the surface. Tall, slender, in a red cape that floated to the rhythm of the sighs of the condemned, smiling with her pink, sensual, irresistible lips, the Plague bestowed upon me her fatal kiss.
Translated by Andrea G. Labinger
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