The Plague

To whom this may reach,

Two days before the day we’re on, I awoke with such a headache. One that started at my frontal lobes and seeped through every crevasse of my brain. There was so much pain I actually awoke with a startle. Before I could even taste the raw skin on the back of my throat, I knew the plague had touched my soul. A cough ringing in from the room next to mine gave a glimpse into my future. The hacking was vibrating a stale air from deep within the lungs of the small child lying in his crib, his nose red from rubbing and dripping into the unknown. I tried to gasp for my own breath but found no air able to touch my tongue without a drying sensation taking over.

A fortnight prior, my own lover had come down with the sickness. The pain spread from her body and collapsed her heart. A whiney like sensation had filled her lungs while they worked to push phlegm from them. At the time, I was bound and determined that I would overcome the likeness of such a plague. Surely, my sickened lover would keep her disgusting breath to herself. Unfortunately, in our time of great cold air and small quarters, a pandemic was natural.

As I listened to the first sniffles of our young i thought to myself, how Ironic: not three days before, I myself had been imagining myself, an eradicator of such evils. Yes, my brethren and I hung our heads over a small board as we planned our way into saving the world from such a Pandemic. Just like others before us, we failed. The small world sitting on the wooden table was merely my own foreshadowing into a germ filled house from which nothing would escape.

Fever was the next symptom. For four days and nights our eldest fought a low-grade fever. And while the fever was not severe, his mood was. I have never met a creature so into the act of cuddling. It sickened my heart with delight. He took in fluids by the cup, hour after hour. His bowel movements were certainly that of a sickened child, need I say more? My lover and I battled his sickness with medicine form the local shaman, a man by the name of Mike. Weeks before he had helped us select the perfect syrup to give our small ones. With his guidance carefully written on the side of the container, we helped our son to the syrup, our hopes high.

The smallest of our children came down with the sickness not two days after the eldest. She hasn’t even been alive for six months and she is forced to swallow her own mucus, only to expel it hours later. The worst time for her seems to be the morning. Night after night the dirty, bodily mucus drips into her lungs and in the early morning she cries as she coughs it up.

Between the times of the first and the second child becoming ill, I understood my fate. I denied it from the start but one can only deny evil for so long. Especially when the eldest comes over to me for the biggest of hugs and instead a mighty force overtakes his body. He shivers quickly and sneezes directly onto my face. Yes, the germs were plenty. They fought into my nasal passages and before I could stop my self-regulated systems, I inhaled. The horror transferred from his mouth onto my face.

Now, three days after symptoms, five days after contact: herbs sit in my favorite snowman mug, honey drop wrappers cover my desk. And in the most ironic twist, my lover, the one who started this unfortunate chain of infection, is feeling better. She has overcome the greatest of challenges only to leave me and return to her place of business. The oldest is on the mend. His nose still drips a smell of death, but at least it’s not running out of control. The Youngest? She will live. She is cranky, but also on the mend. I thank the heavens that they are well-behaved while I recover from the blackness that surrounds my eyes. We will make it through, we will live to see another day.

-AF

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