October 6th, 2010– I’m dying. I can’t believe it. I was so careful my entire life; so sheltered. God, I can’t believe it.
Help! Help! Anybody out there? Can anybody hear me?
Can’t keep screaming like this- work up too much blood. Circulate too fast.
My legs hurts. Is it broken? I’m too afraid to check. No, it’s bruising already; maybe I should try walking.
Augh, feels like my brain is being stabbed through my ear. Makes it hard to balance. I can feel the bite, right on the cheek, it’s puffy and sticky. I wish I had a mirror; I want to see where the bastard bit me.
It’s this stupid nature walk. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Whose idea was this again? Sherry’s? Typical. She always wanted to marry someone more burlesque. By morning, she’ll be a widow. Thirty year old widow.
All those climbing lessons were a complete waste of time. I practiced hand grips, toe stands, belaying, Swiss Harness tying, but what they don’t teach you: while climbing out in nature, a giant snake will bite your face before you’re twenty feet off the ground.
It’s really sticky- the bite. That means it’s poisoned, right? I read about this somewhere, poison being proteins in saliva in which your body has severe allergic reactions. The sticky ooze is white blood cells secreted from the wound; it’s the body’s natural fighting mechanism.
Is that all poisons? The Komodo Dragon is poisonous because of high concentrations of mouth bacteria.
Does it matter? I hiked over twenty miles to get to this rock face. I’m at least a mile off the path, maybe more. If I stay, I will die. If I try to hike back, the increased circulation will spread the poison more quickly, and I’ll die.
Might as well stay put for the night.
October 7th, 2010-– I couldn’t rest all last night. I can’t sleep on my back, and every time I drifted into sleep, my body would roll over, and I would wake up screaming.
God, if you can hear me, I’m in a lot of pain. I could use some help. Some cross country back packers, maybe. A park ranger. Maybe a snake bite kit that someone dropped in the bushes behind me? No. Okay, I’ll wait. Not sure what I’d do with a snake bite kit, I don’t really know how to use one. It’s just that, I know you want me to marry Sherry, and I will, I promise, but I just have to-
DAMN IT! Stupid tree branch. Ah, that was painful. I think I’m going to be sick.
What the hell kind of snake was that? I could have sworn rattlesnakes were the only poisonous snakes around here, and rattlesnakes aren’t black. They shouldn’t be this high up anyway, I mean that’s snow right there, in the shadow of the-
Snow! Maybe it will ease the pain. It’s worth a shot.
Helps a little, I guess. Smarts touching it though, and this snow is so dirty. Hope the bite doesn’t get infected. Do snake bites get infected, or are they already considered infected?
I doubt it matters.
I think I’ll just lay in this snow for a little while. My joints ache, my muscles are stiff. I feel warm, really warm. Why am I shivering? I am warm, look. The snow is melting all around me; right there, it’s formed a stream. I’m soaking wet. Is that the snow? Or sweat?
I should follow it. Follow the stream.
That’s not a good idea.
What? Why not?
Are you sure you know where you are going?
Yes I’m sure. The path runs along the bottom of the mountain. As long as I head down, I will eventually hit it.
The most frightening thing happened to me, not even ten minutes ago. I’m afraid the poison is settling in. I heard a voice, and we began talking. It seemed normal at the time. Not sure why.
Maybe it’s fever. People hallucinate during fevers. I was feeling warm, then hot, like I was on fire. I said it out loud, just like I’m talking now, and I heard a voice say Not yet.
Suddenly, I really was on fire. I was burning and screaming and thrashing, rolling around on the ground. I could feel my skin burn. I could see the flames. I could smell the smoke, and I could hear my flesh sizzling like bacon. I ran down the hill and threw myself into the river. The water boiled around me, and it was freezing, but still I writhed in agony from the fire. The water did nothing to help.
I heard the voice, as I twisted in the darkness. The voice was laughing.
I must have lost consciousness, because I woke up on the river bank absolutely drenched and shivering. My body was tender, and hurt as if I had just been pulled out of a furnace, but I couldn’t see any burns.
I can’t open my left eye anymore. My swollen cheek has closed it shut.
I’m getting closer.
What? I heard that! Where are you?
I have been creeping in your veins.
I don’t understand.
Your heart pumps faster. It’s so close now, I can taste it.
No. No! Get out! This can’t be happening.
Clawing at your face won’t do you any good, though the pain brings me pleasure. I’m in too deep. I am yours, and soon you will be my child.
I don’t understand.
Don’t worry. You will. I promise, you will.
October 8th, 2010– I feel like death itself. I want to die. Why am I not dead already? It’s been days, the poison is slowly crawling through my veins. I haven’t slept, haven’t eaten. I’m so tired, but I’m still awake.
Please let me die. I need rest.
October 9th, 2010– I spent the entire yesterday writhing in agony. It’s torture to speak, but I’ve been alone for three days, and I’m slowly going insane.
I feel numb, icy almost, but I’m sweating like mad. My chest is cramped, a vice squeezing my lungs, my ribs, my heart.
I’m getting closer.
Closer to what? Who are you?
Your veins are cold. I am your slow, painful death. A wicked soul, slowly crawling through your blood. I am the spiders that crawl down your throat while you sleep. You are my child, my creation, and soon we be complete.
Poison. You’re inside of me.
Not inside, but a part of you.
No, no, no, no, please God, no…
A part of me was inside you before you were born. I lay waiting; waiting to be awakened.
By a snake.
No, THE snake! You remember, surely, the Bible stories, the garden, the original poison.
That’s impossible. You’re in my head. It’s all just in my head.
Very good. You must be so relieved.
No, no, no!
October 10th, 2010– I can’t even talk now. Just whispering inside my head. The voice can hear those thoughts, and right now it is laughing. It hasn’t stopped laughing. My tongue is swollen to the size of a lobster, and my mouth is so dry that is shares the same texture.
The voice hasn’t left me alone, and I can’t block it out.
Just let go, Johnathon, what’s the point? You must let me in, for us to be complete. Do you want to live?
No. Not anymore.
Of course not! Do you know why? This home you call a body is just a useless pile of shit. You haven’t held a job more than a year your entire life. You’ve never been married, and you’re already thirty-two.
You’ve been dating Sherry for seven years, and you still aren’t engaged. You’re afraid she’s cheating on you. Of course she is, idiot, who wouldn’t? You know why she’s been hanging around recently? Her college fling just dumped her for some girl ten years younger. She’s been rejecting you, all while being rejected herself. The worst part is you don’t even find her attractive-
Yes I do.
No you don’t!
You settled! She knows it, and hates you for it– wait, what was that? Did you just try to move? Ha, pathetic. If you could only see yourself now, absolutely pathetic. You can’t even roll over to piss.
I guess it doesn’t matter now.
You should be so lucky. Imagine dragging this useless existence out for another forty years. You should be glad that I’m taking you away from your Hell.
I stopped praying, except for death.
Poison’s cold claws have scratched out my blood. My entire body is one gigantic bruise. Even lying on my back in the soft grass feels like laying on a million daggers, but now I lack the strength to move.
You will become my child. My protégé.
Leave me alone, and let me die in peace.
Far too late for that.
What do you want with me?
My whole body tenses, and the pain almost causes me to black out, but I can’t help it. The voice is screaming. I can’t think, it’s getting louder and louder.
Bright light. I’m finally dying! Thank you God, thank you for this!
Why is it so painful? I can feel wind, and something louder than the screaming thumps in my ears. Voices, I can’t hear. The screams are so loud.
I force my eyes open, but everything is blurry. Bright lights in the night, and shadows moving quickly. They are moving my body. I am screaming, but it makes no sound; my throat is too dry.
I have the feeling of floating, but I know I’m not dead. More voices, but I can’t hear. It’s help! They’re trying to save me. No, don’t, go away. I need this, I need to die! What are you doing?! Stop! I was so close to death. It was like sweet water that cools and soothes.
Don’t take this from me.
Whatever you do, don’t save my life! Just leave me alone, leave me to the darkness.
There’s a pain in my arm. A needle. I’m falling asleep, but I don’t want to dream. I don’t want to wake up. Please, just leave me…