A YEAR UNDERFOOT – entry #74

A Year Underfoot


October 26th, 2033

I woke up with a raging fever yesterday morning. I tried to lay back and sleep it off, but by mid-morning my headache had only grown worse. By noon I was burning up and by mid-afternoon I had done the hot and cold shuffle with the blankets a dozen times. I was miserable, freezing in my sweat-soaked sheets and on the verge of giving back last night’s dinner the shack had so graciously provided. I was a mess, and set to get a whole lot worse.

My temperature continued to rise and the next few hours took on a decidedly hallucinogenic bent. Sweat poured from my fevered brow, and as I lay on the cot my body shook and shivered uncontrollably, dancing to the tune of the virus as it fought to expel it just the same.

In the midst of my delirium, I saw the little girl from the transport standing next to my cot. She was dead, her eyes were black and dull and her face had been drained of all its color, – but she was talking to me just the same.

“You can’t let them get away with this.” She said.

“I won’t.” I replied.

“You have to make me a promise.” She pleaded, and as she spoke a blood red tear fell from her right eye and I watched it fall and splatter on the ground. “Do you promise?”

I looked back up to her through bleary eyes.

“I promise.”

The room spun and she disappeared in a kaleidoscope of color and I found myself walking alone down a long, dark hall. I had no idea where I was, or where I was heading. Physically, I was still on the cot, but I was walking down a strange, narrowing hall just the same. I was so confused.

When I reached the end of the hall I found myself standing in front of a large red door. I reached for the handle, but the door slowly swung open on its own. Without a second thought, I stepped into the dimly-lit room and I caught sight of the mysterious alien woman from the visions exiting a similar door on the opposite side of the strange space. I ran to catch up with her, – maybe she could make sense of this, but as I followed her through the second door I found myself falling headlong into darkness. I fell for what seemed like hours until I spotted a pinprick of light rushing up to meet me. The light grew larger as I drew closer and when I was fully encompassed by the light I awoke with a start to find that my fever had broken and I was laying back on the cot. It was soaked in sweat. I was cold and clammy and I grabbed for the covers that I’d kicked to the ground at some point during the night. I pulled them back over me and curled up into a ball, shivering for warmth and trying desperately to regain my wits about me.

And, I was tired. So very tired.



About paul nevins

Fiction writer, reader and baseball fan.
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