Well it has finally happened – it was only a matter of time really (I guess the idiom is true after all). Yesterday I found my first sore; I guess my naïve thoughts of being immune have been proven false now. I have not missed the irony that I will now suffer the same fate as those I have spent my life caring for, maybe though it is not irony, Time comes for everyone after all.
Just above the elbow, on my right arm, the sore is roughly the size of a large walnut. It is my fault really, I allowed a toad to come too close to me a few days ago, it is so difficult to avoid the vermin. When I told my brother the news he stormed out into the streets in a fit of rage, he must have killed almost 100 toads. It is of little use though – they breed too quickly.
In all my time caring for and treating the afflicted I have failed to find a cure; all my research, my experiments, all the countless people I have seen die, all of it, has been for nothing. Maybe though there is someone out there, a better doctor than I, who can use my notes and this journal of a first-hand experience of Time, maybe someone can use this to find a cure. I am not foolish enough to believe those ridiculous stories of people surviving Time.
I woke up this morning with immeasurably more sores. They are strewn all over my back and torso; my legs, arms and neck are equally covered. Even my face is now distorted by three large sores. Although they have not yet begun to itch; I know that this will begin soon, the slightest pressure causes a searing and burning pain… this likely explains why my patients often tried to take their clothes off. Similarly, my time is now spent nude.
I was right, last night the itching began. The pain is unbearable, I doubt even those with impeccable self-control could resist the constant desire to scratch everywhere. I remember tying the hands of my patients above their head to prevent them from tearing the skin from their bodies by their frantic scratching. In a malicious act of adding insult to injury, any discomfort that would be eased by scratching is transformed into the burning pain that still comes from any pressure placed upon the sores.
During my research, I learnt to loath Time because of its relentless nature to attack the entire body. I do not only mean the sores, but also the constipation, fevers and even blindness that afflict most of the infected. Thankfully I have been spared these specific symptoms, I have, however, not been spared the endless pus that pours from my wounds; it stings like acid. Furthermore, I am beginning to feel my mind leave me, every day I forget more and more, I predict that in a few days I will have lost all mental capabilities.
The toads are following me – they torment me with their boastful presence. Is it not enough that they caused this illness in me but now they must watch it devour me; taking notes and thinking of malicious ways to increase the suffering they cause. My sores have begun to peel, entire sections of skin are simply falling off my body. Even the greatest wordsmith in the realm could not describe the pain. I still hear the screams of my old patients in my mind; it drives me insane as I hear my own screams join them.
I’m not going to die! I can feel it inside of me. I have heard the stories before. There are those who simply wake up and are cured, they have no memory of what happened, their bodies just shake off Time and they continue with their lives. I just know it, I’m going to be one of those people. I deserve it, I have already given my life to Time once, now it is time for it to give me my life back.
I’m leaving. I remember my sister telling me of a friend who told her that her sister met someone who had survived Time, if I find him he will cure me! He will know how to make me new again. I have packed my bag I leave now, I don’t care that I can’t walk, I will make it, I will crawl to freedom from Time.
I have crawled endlessly for days, and yet I look back and my home is still visible. I have tracked dirt and gravel into my skinless body. The sun bore down on my back and forced me to reach the shade of a tree. The gentle breeze of the wind is my last reminder of sweet things existing in this world, yet it is no relief to my dying soul. I have given all to the things of this world yet here I sit in the taunting caress of darkness. I gave my life to the good things and yet the wounds of the world have swallowed me whole. I see no light at the end, only the cruel realisation that a good life is wasted. In this world there are only toads, Salvation is the bitter lie for those for those who hope – Time comes for everyone after all.
TO BE CONTINUED…