This is the first page, trying some of your thoughts, Slago... Better, or worse? I went with a radio announcer, rather than a headline... Played with the POV in the first 2 para's... is this closer to what you meant? Minor changes to the middle, then down to the fleshed out conversation with her DH (last 2 para's and a line), and a second radio broadcast...
But I'm almost at the word count limit now, so will have to seriously tighten the body to add more announcements and still meet that requirement...
Sometimes she feared she was the only one left. The last one who remembered….
It started unobtrusively. Everyone forgets things sometimes, right? ‘I’ve forgotten what I wanted, ha ha.’ So when it began happening more often, no one noticed.
“Good morning, it’s Monday, um… er… “
“It’s May 6th, Chet.”
“Ah yes... thank you. Now, over to you for traffic, um…”
Karen’s first inkling something was amiss came at work. Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Southern Exploration at a major oil company sounded prestigious. Truthfully, she thought of herself as a glorified secretary.
She knew her trim figure flattered the suits she favored, and her competence made her boss look good. Karen sighed. But I am SO bored! She blushed, feeling guilty admitting that even to herself.
As James often said, she was fortunate. Many people couldn’t even find jobs.
To kill time, she surreptitiously skimmed the Web. Videos featuring people exhibiting odd behaviors were posted everywhere she looked.
One man climbed into a fountain with his clothes on. If he had danced or jumped, it might have been funny. But he just stood there, observing the water play on his hands, as if he’d never seen anything like it before.
A woman, trying to walk in high heels, kept tripping and falling against people. She didn’t seem to notice. She’d walk a few steps, then twist an ankle and spill the opposite way. It was amusing at first, though it looked painful. Karen thought it was a miracle she hadn’t broken an ankle, and wondered if she was drunk. But the woman’s expression was so… bewildered…
There were more, all similar, and she watched for a while, before closing the stream. They made her uncomfortable, though she couldn’t explain why.
It was her husband, James (never Jamie, or Jim, and certainly never Jimmy), who told her about the forgetting. A serious man, not given to practical jokes, trying to hide a receding hairline and increasing stomach girth, James was the epitome of a ‘serious businessman, thank you very much’.
She was dismayed when he reported what happened. “Peter came into the office late. You must remember him from the Christmas party? Anyway, after getting in late, he didn’t recognize us. Looked at us like he had no idea who we were.”
He glanced over, confirming she was listening. “His memory was quite patchy, but reminding him of our names sparked a response. I quizzed him on what he remembered, which helped, I think. But he was forgetting again by lunch. Finally we called his wife, and she came to get him.”
I should give her a call, Karen thought, and see if there’s anything we can do.
“And a good morning to you all, on this bright May 13th, Monday morning!
Chet seems to have caught this darn bug that’s going around, so he’s at home,
as are many of you. I’m sure you all join us in wishing him a speedy recover.
Not much traffic today, with the new restrictions…”
As things worsened, Karen and James quarantined at home, like everyone else.