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This Next Some year in Jerusalem.

I’ve been keeping up with friends via video chat. One thing that comes up frequently is what we were supposed to be doing in The Before Lockdown Time. We talk about the trips, celebrations, projects, parties—all that stuff we confidently planned in advance. The Hub and I planned to be on our first trip to Jerusalem. Before, you know, coronapocalypse cancelled everything and changed our world forever.

And just so this doesn’t sound like a Young Adult dystopian novel, I assure you I know the difference.

My Life as a YA Dystopian Novel 

My Life as Older Than Dirt Vulnerable Coronavirus Lockdown Ice-Floe Candidate Senior

I’m a completely ordinary looking girl with long straight (probably red) hair, enormous (probably green) eyes, and a slim athletic build but my boobs are too small and my legs are too long and I’m too slender and…where was I? Oh, yeah. Ordinary.

Yeah. Okay. I haven’t gotten my hair, eyebrows, or nails done in almost two months. On the plus side, I can rock a face mask and cut my own hair. So I’m pretty sure that makes me extraordinary…

I have no actual responsible adults in my life, as I am either an orphan or I’m handling all the family duties for my irresponsible parent(s). Somehow my kids get to be in charge. They check on me every day to make sure I’m washing my hands, monitoring my temperature, and not talking to strangers people anyone but the dog. And I think the dog wants me to wear the Cone-o-Shame for touching my face.
We live simply and humbly next to the wilderness that apparently has no roads or anything in it even though people have lived there ever since the [insert craptastic event] Before Time. But for some completely inexplicable reason, although we hunt with bows, wear anachronistic long tunics and dresses, and get places on horseback, there is fabulous technology that allows the [insert evil Overlord] a terrific internet connection and world dominance and some really awesome costume designers. We simply bellow across the road to our friends and neighbors ever since the lockdown. In the Time Before Lockdown, we had a social life. For a while, we had ZOOM, at least until it was porn-bombed.

Not, of course, that we had a clue how to use it. I have one friend who decided to ‘attend’ a virtual concert from her bath, not realizing everyone had video windows open. Or that it was being recorded. She’s pretty sure she NEVER wants to come out of lockdown.

When I reach puberty, I will face [the Test/College entrance exams/sorting hat] which will randomly assign my role in life. Plus maybe a death match or two. When I reach retirement age, I will face nobody because I’m not allowed out of the house. In revenge, I will embrace geezerhood as license to:

  • Call the kids and say we changed our minds and we DO want to be a burden to them in our old age.
  • Call the grandkids and tell them how in the Before Lockdown we had so much toilet paper, their parents used to hang it from trees belonging to people they had secret crushes on.
  • Call everyone we know who is trying to work from home and remind them that we are trying out new gourmet recipes, think all days are Saturdays, and only put on pants for alternate Dressed-Thursdays.
  • Forward every social media chain letter request to double the number of people required. I’m sure they will all appreciate the flood of dessert recipes, sentimental gifs, and sanctimonious favorite quotes they’ll be receiving, along with vaguely-worded predictions of dire consequences if they break the chain.
I am the Chosen One foretold by The Prophecy to take down the Evil Overlord and save the world but I’m conflicted about it. I’d much rather go back to my little family hovel and wear neutral-colored clothing.


We’re the Vulnerable Ones, foretold by the World Health Organization as easy virus prey. So The Hub is ordering supplies off eBay to build our own ventilators, virus and antibody test kits, while I’m stockpiling old copies of our weekly Banner and forwarding crabby tweets about people who stockpile toilet paper and hand sanitizer. (On plus side, future historians will marvel at how many people die with exceptionally clean hands and bums.)
I can’t go back to my little family hovel because I have to rescue my [insert name of loved one/sibling/pet] from the Evil Overlord. To do that I will acquire astonishing mastery of [insert weapon] in an unrealistically short time. (Of course, I will not actually apply the astonishing mastery when it counts, and will probably need to be rescued myself. Lots.) But Loved One’s actual rescue will take several film sequels/book series volumes/TV seasons, and—although eventually successful—will still result in Loved One’s death or severe maiming because that’s irony, baby. I can’t leave my little family hovel because it’s the only way I can safeguard family and friends. To do that I must also acquire astonishing mastery of the insta-facemask, constructed on the fly from women’s underwear and the odd hair-scrunchie.

When lockdown brings you way too close… [image credit: me.me]

I have assembled a (snarky, possibly LGBTQ, undoubtedly racially-diverse) posse to help me save the world. Although teenagers, none of us ever thinks about school. Bad news for them, though, is that they’ll probably mostly die.

I have the dog. That is all. Anyone else is a potential murderer.

Although I’m only a teenager and I’ve only spoken to one boy in my life so far, I’ve found my true love! Actually, I’ve found two of them and they are each incredibly handsome! What are the odds? I can’t believe they would be interested in me because I’m so ordinary. How will I decide which one to spend the rest of my life with once I’m done saving the world? It’s so hard to be ordinary-me. Although I’m a grandmother and I’ve been married for four decades, I’ve found my true love! Actually, I’ve found two of them and they are delicious! Mwa! Ben & Jerry and your sensuous frozen delights. Meanwhile, the Hub and I have spent more time in the same house in the past month and a half than in our entire marriage. New phrases are creeping into our conversation: “How much life insurance do you have again?” and “It has to look like an accident or they’ll never pay out.”


I want to make sure that you read the next book in my series, so I will end this one on a cliffhanger.


NOTE: For an excellent example of a YA dystopian novel, please come back tomorrow for my review of Gordon Rottman’s new release, Blaze Summer.