"Clarissa and I were in the airport when we first heard that the plague had broken out at home. I suppose I was an old fool to be traveling in such dangerous times. But I've spent a lifetime waiting to be old enough to play a truly great Lear - how could I say no to the part? And at my age, how many more chances will there be to top the bill at the Globe?
It was the sort of bedlam I hadn't seen since the Blitz. It brought back the memories thick and fast - I felt like a boy again. The panic, the desperation on every face as people suddenly realized how far they were from their families. The raised voices and the anger and the tears as they fought and begged for a seat aboard the first transport home.
I upgraded our tickets immediately to first class and got us two seats aboard a plane to Philadelphia. But the military jets forced us to land to La Guardia [SIC], and Clarissa and I were separated there at the quarantine camp - she was taken to the women's facility and I was sent to the men's. I tried to fight them, knowing what it would do to poor Clarissa to be taken to a camp again, after all these years. But they wouldn't listen, and there was no way out - she made me see that in the end. They promised us we would be allowed to leave once we had proven we weren't infected.
The city fell three days later. By the time I reached the women's facility, it was burning, and the dead were pouring through the walls. She was gone.
My Clarissa was gone."
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