“What time?” The nurse’s questions seemed to quicken the drum roll between my ears. The pounding behind my eyes was making it difficult to comprehend. My hair seemed to ache and my skin felt as though it were puckering. “What time? What time did you say your first sneeze was?” That whining voice was beginning to penetrate the fog.
“Actually, I looked directly at the clock, knowing this would be on the test and it was precisely 8:10 am.” Or at least that’s what I thought I said. What actually came slurring out of my mouth, along with copious amounts of saliva and phlegm, “eighthtin.” Nodding as she noted her file, she turned and began to leave.
My mind was racing in a thousand directions simultaneously, and then when I blinked the thoughts were wading through quick sand. I couldn’t concentrate for the rattle under my scalp. Mostly I was relieved ‘Nurse Cratchet’ was away from my bedside.
My wonderfully caring husband had rushed me to the hospital. Having met us at the Emergency Room door, the personnel on hand had taken one look at me, tightened their protective clothing just a little more closely and hustled me into a room. A room! Not the corridor filled with rows and gurneys filled with aching and injured people. I got a room. Silly, stupid girl. It finally began to dawn on me, I was in quarantine. I could see Bob’s worried expression through the small window in the door.
Bob had found me that morning. I had awakened early. I was meeting friends for lunch and wanted to have the a few chores done and out of the way. I had been in the lower level laundry when I realized I was in trouble. I couldn’t catch my breath. He found me unconscious and sprawled across the stairs. At least I was headed up instead of down!
My back and feet began to ache. My skin felt “puckery” all over. I could breathe again. Taking in huge gulps of the oxygen hose they had under my nose I could feel the fog in my head begin to clear. In hindsight I am still struck by my thoughts.
It was as though my mind was performing a check on my body. It was as though I was of two minds. I could nearly see the secondary, new mind checking. Extremities – check four limbs. Gender – check female. Head – check proportioned appropriately with ample room for all. Unusual to say the least!
Then I got a look at my reflection in that little window. The last thing I remember before the drugs took hold….screaming….screaming….screaming…..my altered state was nothing that my mind was ready for.
A year has passed since then. Me, along with the few other survivors of this invasion. That’s what we call it, the medical field has a different name. They call it Pandemic 5462. It wiped out nearly two-thirds of the Earth’s population of humans. All off the great apes have been wiped out. Any primate in Africa was afflicted and perished.
We survivors are separated from the remaining population, fear of more outbreaks is the “official” reasoning behind the move. Fear is what I hear. Those of us who live with the infection? We are OF two minds. We can USE two minds. We WILL begin our move out of these confines……soon.