Hello my friends,
The past month has seen these pages exposed to my dream: my writing. I didn’t plan this for my blog but then I rarely plan anything blogwise. Sorry, unprofessional I know but this is my safe haven each week, to rant and celebrate, remember and honour, to … well whatever I fancy. I have received some very positive and complimentary comments regarding the story telling of the past month and so the trend is continuing. For how long? Who knows?
Fictionalised fact again this week, enjoy.
DEMONS OF THE NIGHT
The shivering racked her body, every muscle jived in tune to the fever. She thrashed from side to side, her forehead hot and clammy despite her body’s cold. The bed was suddenly enormous and she was sinking deep into its heart. It would swallow her whole, swaddled in every sheet, blanket and coverlet she had found in the dark depths of the wardrobe in her rented room.
She breathed in as deeply as the recent cough would allow, she summoned every ounce of her normally strong will and demanded her body to be still. Her stronger self rose out from slumber and chased the fog in her mind away as she assessed her situation. Staring up into the dark, clutching at the covers, fighting to keep the cold at bay, she wanted to cry out.
She needed water from the kitchen, maybe she was dehydrated? The day’s events replayed in her mind on fast forward. She had drunk little water, choosing to fill her bag with her laptop rather than water. She heaved her body onto its side and reached across the bed in the dark. The edge escaped her reach, it was no longer there. There was no end to the bed. She was trapped in its centre and it was intent upon consuming her.
Common sense intervened, its loud and sneering voice telling her not to be stupid, she had simply twisted in her thrashing and must now be laying horizontally. She rolled over and stretched out her arm again, if she could just reach the edge of the bed with her hand she would pull herself up and out from under the swaddling coat of covers that threatened to pull her down.
Her teeth snapped together cruelly banishing the voice of common sense. The uncontrollable chattering of her teeth simultaneously set off the crazed jive of her body and she curled into herself protectively as the fever defeated her will. She sank back into the folds of the sheets, the thrashing resumed and her mind freed itself from her control and entered the land of delirium where her fear of malaria and sickness ran riot.
The images raged through her mind. The ambulance, intensive care, IV’s being administered on the run as the doctors shouted orders in a language she could not understand. Watching as the medics pushed past her and swarmed over his body, the frantic stabbing at his bruised and needle sensitive arm as they tried to gain access to a vein. A different time, a different place, when there had been no emptiness in the bed to fear. The image of an IV unit stuck in her mind, this time attached to her own soft flesh, her body cringed and curled deeper at the thought. Now it was a strange hospital corridor she saw, one where patients, relatives and a man selling peanuts walked freely with no doctors in sight. She saw herself, the lone white person, trapped in a bed, unable to communicate and no one at her side to care.
The horror and terror overwhelmed her and she folded into herself, giving in to the hot. cold hand of fever, so be it. She let the bed consume her and allowed the swaddling coat of blankets to envelope her. Finally she slept.
“I will check for malaria if you want but there is no need with these symptoms, I can see the problem clearly,” the young doctor was Indian and spoke excellent English, she trusted and believed his every syllable. He was a doctor after all. All memories of the records of misdiagnosis fled her mind as she basked in the comfort of his words, it’s not malaria, she was his and would do as he bid. “A very bad chest infection, you should have come before. Never take over the counter medicine for more than three or four days without seeking a doctor’s advice. Take the antibiotics and medicine for five days, rest. You will be tired.” She left the clinic with medicines in hand and headed home to sleep.
The many friends, the warmth, support and help over the next few days lifted her heart and brought dry tears of gratitude to her eyes but in her heart she finally accepted.
“So this is it then?” Her heart knew the answer.
She would always face the demons of the night alone.