Plague 2020

Plague 2020

A Story by Lea Sheryn
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The Plague resurfaces in 2020

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Plague 2020

 

Prologue

 

Waking up in a cold sweat, Ivy Masterson pulled her plaid quilt with her as she rolled over in bed.  It must be the flu, she thought to herself as she coughed into her pillow.  It had been going around.  Trouble and bother�"dealing with an illness hadn’t been on her agenda.  In fact, sickness was never on anyone’s agenda.  For Ivy, it was the height of inconvenience.

 

Sure she had had a slow start getting her life together.  Since her move to San Francisco, things had suddenly taken a turn upwards.  Landing her first job at a small but popular dress shop in Union Square, she was supposed to start that morning.  Her clothes were all laid out in the bathroom.  Panties and bra on the vanity counter, dress hanging on the shower rail.  How could she call Maureen Tapper, the owner, to tell her she was unavailable on this day of all days?  It was impossible; it meant starting on the job search again.    

 

Ivy was a big girl�"six feet five inches in height, two-hundred and seventy pounds�"and built like a brick.  Her size and strength were intimidating for a woman.  Along with the gruff quality of her voice, she had the ability of turning many people off whether in the relationship area or in landing a job.  Any attempt at femininity was a losing battle although she put a lot of effort into moderating her tone and making her shape a little more appealing. 

 

San Francisco had been an open door for someone in Ivy’s position.  Wasn’t it an all-inclusive city?  Life had always been difficult for Ivy.  It was all about personality with her.  In her younger days, no one had understood her, not even her parents or her younger brother, Oliver.  Finding her place in the world had led her to the City By the Bay.  Landing an interview and then acceptance by Maureen Tapper had been a step in the right direction.  Now it was gone in a puff of smoke or, rather, a cough in a pillow. 

 

Born Ivan Geoffrey Talbot, he knew he was different from the other boys he in his life.  He was clearly unlike his brother, Oliver, who was all boy from the very beginning.  Ivan had no interest in playing football or with trucks in the spacious backyard of the many places his family had lived during his childhood; he wanted Barbie dolls and to dress up in his mother’s clothes and shoes.  How his mother worried and his father scolded when they caught him putting make-up on in the bathroom.  Oliver simply ignored him and tried not to acknowledge the boy who went to school in girl’s clothing.  They did everything they could to “normalize” Ivan, but nothing worked.  He wanted them to come to grips with him being who he was. 

 

Life could be difficult for Army Brats under more normal circumstances.  Moving from pillar to post every three to four years meant a new base school and a whole new set of friends.  Occasionally the two Talbot boys would meet up with children they had known in various places amongst their world travels.  When they did, rumors would begin to flow the moment they set foot in their new place of learning.  Being different in a military setting was difficult in the best of times.  Ivan endured all the endless teasing and not so funny pranks that were repetitively played on him while Oliver kept his distance.  When he reached high school, all he could think about was breaking away from an insufferable situation to escape to a place where he was understood. 

The facts were the facts.  His father was too important a man to have a son who wasn’t a son.  Retired General I. Jeff Talbot had a reputation to keep; his life must be without blemish.  While Oliver was the perfect replica of his father, Ivan was the zit on the family’s backside.  It was obvious, despite the prompting he received from his father, he wasn’t going to follow in the paternal footsteps.  Best leave that to Oliver who was happy to plan for a military career along with many of the other boys and girls in his class.  Ivan had to become his own person.  When he turned eighteen, Ivan settled everything for the family.   Leaving home to attend Swarthmore University in Pennsylvania with the view towards a liberal arts degree; he dropped out six months into his junior year.  There wasn’t anything wrong with the school or his ability to achieve his degree; he need time off to find himself.  In time, he promised himself he would return to school to complete his education.   

 

It wasn’t to be.  The conflicts within himself were too great to overcome.  Without his family to support him, he drifted from place to place, picking up work where he could.  In New Orleans, he discovered a patron in Acatus Evergreen who understood him like no one had ever understood him before.  Moving into his new friend’s massive mansion was a true turning point in the young man’s life.  He was able to express his feelings for the first time and laid out the course of his life in stunning detail.  With the financial assistance of Acatus,  at the age of thirty-six, he underwent a sex change operation, went through hormone therapy and changed his name to Ivy Masterson�"Masterson being his mother’s maiden name.  Alas, it wasn’t to last.  His wealthy benefactor passed away in his bed leaving Ivy alone in the world.  There was no legacy for her in the billionaire’s will and no point in facing the irate family member who wished she were gone.  As soon as she was ready, Ivy was San Francisco bound; there was no looking back.  

 

Ah, the City by the Bay.  Ivy thrived in the nightlife and the people she met�"people who had been in the same position she had been in and who understood the struggles of her inner conflicts.  The only thing that was missing was a meaningful career.  The job search had been long and arduous but, finally, she stumbled into Maureen Tapper’s boutique.  After filling in an application and going through the interview on the spot, she was hired with no questions of her past touched upon.  Happy to start the next day, Ivy went home to her small apartment and prepared for her first day of work.  Feeling a little woozy from the activity of the day, she stumbled into bed at one o’clock in the morning.  She woke up sometime in the night feeling miserable.  Thinking it was the flu, she felt the deep disappointment of having to phone Maureen in the morning to beg off from work.  Not the way to start a new career. 

 

For five days, Ivy tossed and turned in her blankets racked with intermittent fever and chills.   On the sixth day, a small round bubble appearing underneath her left breast.  At first she didn’t understand then it occurred to her that it must be a side effect of her operation.  No big deal.  Once she was well enough, she would see a doctor to have it looked at.  The next day, a second bubble appeared on her groin.  On the seventh day, Ivy Masterson was dead. 

 

By the end of the following week, the lead stories on all the San Francisco newscasts declared nine people, all a part of the LBGTQ community, had died of the plague.  


To be continued...

© 2020 Lea Sheryn


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Featured Review

Hi Lea, sorry it's been taking me so long to review you excellent stories. I really like The Plague; It is clear and concise, no hidden agenda here. I can empathize with "Ivy" as I personally know distant relatives who went through a sex change; the difference is, their families were supportive; whereas Ivy' family was not and that hurts and puts you in a very lonely, unaccepted life. I thin you did a great job writing this and getting the point across. Your writing is always clear!! Thanks and i'll read the next one to see what happens to poor Ivy. Fondly, Betty

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Lea, I forgot to mention the terrible tragedy the befell Ivy, in my first comments. This plague is killing young people too! And to die without a loved one nearby is the ultimate horror. Thanks again, good story!

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

Thank you for your comments, Betty. The current plague seems to have no boundaries. Everyone is a .. read more
Betty Hermelee

1 Month Ago

Glad you are doing it!! Yes ,we're all going trough our own issues at this time!! Fondly, Betty
read more
Hi Lea, sorry it's been taking me so long to review you excellent stories. I really like The Plague; It is clear and concise, no hidden agenda here. I can empathize with "Ivy" as I personally know distant relatives who went through a sex change; the difference is, their families were supportive; whereas Ivy' family was not and that hurts and puts you in a very lonely, unaccepted life. I thin you did a great job writing this and getting the point across. Your writing is always clear!! Thanks and i'll read the next one to see what happens to poor Ivy. Fondly, Betty

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thank You for dropping this into "Poesia" changed to "Sonder" group, you can view the published version here...https://sonderteam2020.wixsite.com/sonder/poesia

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

1 Month Ago

You're welcome. I'm a member of Sounder now and am enjoying it very much.
Aurora

1 Month Ago

I'm glad! Feel free to let me know any suggestion for improving it, also in case you're facing any t.. read more
Poor Ivan/Ivy tried so hard and went through hell in hopes of finding happiness, only to be thwarted at the last moment by disease. Hopefully, the afterlife will treat her better. Quite imaginative, Lea.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

2 Months Ago

Thank you, Samuel. There was happiness at the end since Ivan/Ivy found herself and felt at peace wi.. read more
plague,i doubt we have seen our last,reminds me of them all in past years

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

3 Months Ago

All things must come to an end, whether good or bad.
 wordman

3 Months Ago

nope nothing ends,just a new beginning
Lea Sheryn

3 Months Ago

Right. That's the way I see it.
Very interesting concept and story. I enjoyed it. c:

Posted 3 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Lea Sheryn

3 Months Ago

Thank you. I will write more soon.
JungLee

3 Months Ago

You are welcome. c: Please check out my new poems c:
Lea Sheryn

3 Months Ago

Yes, I will

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7 Reviews
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Added on May 8, 2020
Last Updated on May 8, 2020
Tags: Thriller, military, plague, LBGTQ

Author

Lea Sheryn
Lea Sheryn

Sarasota, FL



About
I love to write! To have the ability to put words together to express myself is an ability that I cherish. Working for years to strengthen my talent, I am a self taught Word Weaver. Up until now, I.. more..

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