‘We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.’-Lynda Barry
Kate and the Free Man | part III of Future Darkly Pandemic
KATE AND THE FREE MAN opens on Kate (Cherie DeVille) in bed. She lays under freshly-bleached white sheets pulled up to her shoulders, wearing earplugs, shop glasses, and an oxygen mask. She takes a panicked breath, sitting up suddenly.(CUT TO TITLE)
Kate looks at her to-do list on the kitchen counter, a list of all of the rituals she has developed as coping mechanisms for her agoraphobia. Kate reviews the list. But, looking at all of the individual items on the list, Kate quickly becomes overwhelmed. Finally, she slams her marker down on the counter. Suppressing her panic with controlled breathing, she disinfects her hands, puts on a pair of latex gloves, and walks briskly away.Determined, Kate goes down the list, meticulously cleaning and safe-guarding every corner of her home. Suddenly, her landline rings. She glances at the phone and decides to let the answering machine pick it up. On the answering machine, Kate’s sibling leaves what sounds like a frustrated, repeated message, reminding her to take care of some plants that she got Kate. The message hangs up, with a beep.On the front steps of Kate’s small house, the front door opens a crack. Using a grabber stick, Kate sticks her gloved hand out the door to try and grab the plants. But she can’t reach, and after several painful attempts to drag the plants inside, she gives up and slams the door. Kate immediately goes to the shower and scrubs her body to disinfect herself. As she scrubs, her eyes close and she begins to let her mind wander. She thinks about crowded streets, people smiling, talking, coughing, shaking hands, wind blowing through the trees. The tension on her face is clear as she keeps scrubbing. Her thoughts race through a series of blurred faces, all wearing masks. She sees a pair of boots slamming down on some dirt. Kate licks her lips and allows her hands to slide down her body. She is beginning to feel aroused. She visualizes a mask slowly falling to the ground, before being stomped on by the boots. She then sees the face of the man (Dick Chibbles) who wears the boots. This sends Kate over the edge and she begins to pleasure herself feverishly.Who is this mysterious, maskless man that has invaded Kate’s mind?
KATE AND THE FREE MAN | part III of Future Darkly Pandemic by Bree Mills