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image empty cafe
Image by Peter H from Pixabay

During this Coronavirus lockdown I haven’t really wanted to do too much other than what I’ve been doing, i.e., writing. My normal routine is working on our two businesses, t-shirt decorating with embroidery & vinyl print and our apartment in Kouklia for holiday rental. As both of these have been stopped dead in their tracks I have managed to do quite a lot of writing instead. So much so, The Brittle Sea 2nd draft is almost completed.

But there has been one overriding desire that we have wanted to fulfil and that is to drive to Dhekelia, about half an hour away and visit the Lambros restaurant and take away for fish and chips. Yep, call me a limey or whatever, but you can’t beat eating that good old staple of a British diet, battered cod and chips. Sat in the car, looking out to sea and crunching on a piece of battered cod was brilliant last Friday… though it was a little disconcerting.

If we stay in our district we can do this, so long as we are legitimately shopping, which we were because the butcher’s was in the next village. Lambros were allowed to do a take-away service so it seemed like a good idea. It was fine, as the roads were quiet. But when we got to Dhekelia, oh boy was it empty. The two car parks, large enough for around 60 cars was empty. The restaurant was obviously closed and the takeaway manned by two people. We ordered and were served at once and we left to eat in the car.

It was like a scene out of Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach. Shute’s masterful and powerful novel has been a bestseller for decades after publication in the 1950s. His vision of a post-apocalyptic world is chilling. In the film of the same name, there is a scene where the crew of a US submarine visit San Francisco to find the source of a mysterious radio message. The shocking scenes are just of empty streets, no carnage of death, just shot after shot of empty streets.

Sitting, on that deserted Cypriot beach on a hot and sunny day, a beach that would normally be packed with people, with not a soul around was a chilling experience and one I will never forget.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

Here’s a collection of Science Fiction short stories and flash fiction by yours truly