Joe woke up, used the bathroom and washed his hands. Then he looked at his face in the mirror and thought, who is the real you, now, Joe? This early morning ritual had become a call of duty for him. It wasn’t easy to be at home, locked away from his friends, having to restrict his movements. Keeping his distance now, reminded him of times in the 70s.

In the cult he was bound by certain rules, but this was worse. He had no person to give him a morning greeting, no inspirational gathering ending in a hug. He realized now that was all made up, fake, and with that thought he managed a smile, thinking fake news. That’s what everyone said they were preaching in the commune. The world was coming to an end, and you needed to join them to be saved.

Joe looked back at himself and shrugged. As he looked around his home, he thought the only one he could count on now, was himself.