September 07, 2017

The Trials of Dr. Reed

Slowly, things fell apart. People fled their homes and holed up in what safe spaces they could, barricading themselves against the horrors outside. The creatures battered themselves against the thinly paneled walls, raking bloody fingernails across the boards as they felt their way through the darkness and toward their next meal.

One group of these survivors had a doctor with them, a man who could have helped them weather this tumultuous time. But instead, my god, what he did instead…

The following story was originally published on Twitter, day for day. The passing of time between each cipher is marked with two crosses.

Faith, hope: they died as we festered and fell. We are but 13 now. We hide, we survive, but I know not why. I am not the man I was.

++

Three died the first day. Two bitten, one scratched, all raving. I shot them myself. We did not yet know only to leave the barn at dawn.

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The infection is potent. Odd. I began an autopsy yet the corpse—but two hours dead—contained only moths. Living moths and no organs.

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I administer medicine 2x daily, but tonight the bottle spilled. It spilled and… No. The confinement wears on my mind. I must rest.

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Two moths court the candle's light. Came they too from the corpse? From flesh we have come and to flesh we shall return.

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I awoke this morning blanketed in flies, crawling across my skin as if I was a corpse. My head aches. I must rest. I must rest.

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The night screams. The walls scuttle and moan. Sleep is impossible, the fever unbearable. I sketch to pass the time, though I shake.

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I am thirsty, so thirsty, but I do not wish to talk to the others. Their presence is…offensive to me. They smell of refuse and offal.

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My strength wanes; yet, when the boy approached, it...I enjoy his company now. The others fear he's been taken. He has.

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Who saw him die?

I said Fly, with many eyes, I saw him die

Who caught his blood?

I said Fish, with my little dish I caught his blood

++

They speak of a Dr. Reed but I do not remember him. Perhaps they are mistaken, and he was never here. Their faces go dark when I suggest it.

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I did not know this Dr. Reed, yet today the old man addressed me as such. Reed left his notes in my bower, but they are beyond sense.

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They believe me to be this Dr. Reed. And for the first time I notice that I no longer remember my name. I am weary, feverish. I need to eat.

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More blackouts now. Today I came to and found the boy gone. My only comfort. They look at me strangely, and I hiss when they near.

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Two men are missing, and they must suspect. I begin to remember… I will wait for them tonight, wait. I am spider and scorpion and moth.

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I came to among bodies and blood, still warm, still running. The scent was…divine. I feel a new sense of purpose.

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Flesh parts, butter beneath the warm knife. I do not wait. I do not pray. The flesh dwindles. Body and blood, given for you.

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I must leave them to the maggots now, my brethren. Bread of life, body, red, red water. I will find strength within myself.

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I have removed the leg. I felt nothing, not even the vibrations of the bone saw against my femur. I dined by candlelight, alone.

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The stump festers. Puss pools in the wound. I feel nothing. The flesh does not respond, and I bore deeper, and deeper. Nothing.

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Sores belt my arms. The flesh crawls and bleeds. A moth flutters at my ear. I flee sa fi tyeh ytr ot ekta orot. Dsrow no het gepa a a