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  • Writer's pictureSimon Howard


Updated: Mar 20, 2020

He hated his family. Every member of it – old, middle-aged, young and babies. All of them. Every day he thought up ways of making their existences horrible. He’d sent hate mail about most of them: told terrible lies, lost them their jobs, their places at school and university. He’d written every one of them out of his will, and his lawyers automatically cut out the newly born. There’d be a hell of a lot in his will when the time came. He was filthy rich.

But the Coronavirus pandemic filled him with hope. It might wipe out all of them. He loved it. He embraced it in his dreams: caressed it, stroked it, kissed it, ravished it. Coronavirus would bring him unbridled joy – it would leave him familyless and free!

Every day he watched the news on television, read it online, listened to it on the radio, devoured it in the papers. Every day he waited for evidence of familial death. Neighbours died, employees died, celebrities died by the score. The world was becoming unrecognisable except for one thing – every member of his family was alive. The old nattered on, the middle-aged demanded, the young were everywhere, the babies bounced. In despair, he switched on the television.


He stared at the screen, entranced. There was Gregory Peck in The Million Pound Note, penniless except for the million pound note, which two strange brothers had persuaded the Bank of England to print, and then given it to him.

A million pounds. What would the members of his strange family do to get their slimy hands on it? What wouldn’t they do? The thought stayed with him for days. Like a virus.


‘I’ve contracted Coronavirus’ he wrote in an email to the family, ‘and I’d like to hand over personally a cheque for a million pounds to the first member of the family to enter my isolation zone.’


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