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playingthepianodrunk
May 22nd, 2012, 05:07 AM
Strange days we find ourselves in. Strike that because I think people have always felt that way. So maybe it's a strange world we find ourselves in. Like a friend who shows us two sides. The world amazes us and depresses us just as well and just as often, though I maintain it was never as complicated as we have liked to make it. In these modern times our world doesn't need anymore complicating. I have somewhat succeed in living on the outskirts of society. I am unemployed but I find work whenever I need it freelancing for major newspapers or underground magazines.


Right now I am two weeks late on the rent but my landlord can't evict me if he can't find me. I got a call from my friend Bill. He sells weed and works at the city morgue. I thought he was going to tell me about some new plants he got, instead he said he had a story he couldn't trust anyone else with.


When I got down there Bill wasn't sitting, more like fidgeting around the kitchen of the morgue. He was drinking a cup of coffee and a pot was brewing. It looked like he was drinking coffee all day. He was nervous and paranoid constantly looking over he shoulders as if the walls would wake up and grab him. His eye were sunken and I got the impression he hadn't slept in days. He spoke in a hushed tone. It sounded like he almost refused to believe what he was telling me but despite some effort he could not ignore the facts he faced.


He told me in the last few days an unusual number of homeless had been brought into his morgue. That wasn't exceedingly unusual and I said so. He said he thought the same at first but as the days went on he thought differently. To start of all the deceased died of the same illness. Illness. What illness. He said the best of his efforts and expertise did no good in identifying the mysterious disease. Some kind of strange disease was spreading with rapid ease through the homeless population of the city. Yesterday he said men in cheap black suits came to his office and told him he would keep quiet if he had any sense. I asked him what he thought was going on. He became very excited and said something about the plague. I told him I thought he was jumping to conclusions. He began to walk to the room where the bodies are held. He opened the door and casually pointed to about 25 beds filled with 25 bodies. Each body was covered from head to toe with the same ugly boils. The hair had fallen out and the victims, had it seemed clawed themselves never to death. But they did not die that way he said. They would have been lucky to have died that way. I asked to hear no more. I left and I told him I would find out what I could.


As long as I had known Bill, I had known him to be a very stable person. Level headed and sane. But his behavior back inside threw me off, though I couldn't shake what I had seen. It was very much in my mind and I certainly couldn't explain it. For my own reasons I did not want to believe what he said.


I walked the streets for a while thinking. I tried to see some signs of a malignant disease developing beneath the surface but I couldn't everything was normal. Pleasant even. So pleasant in fact that soon I thought it as just some story, a way to pay the much overdue rent. I couldn't go home so I walked to my girls house, carrying a bottle of whiskey and a good deal of enthusiasm. Determined to forget we spent the night together, but things catch up with you especially when you try to run away.


I woke up the next morning to sinister shadows and my own wretched appearance in the mirror. I staggered to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. I went in the shower and just let the water wash over me. I hoped cleansing me of whatever I did yesterday. I had no idea but my head hurt so bad I was sure I had a good time. The empty bottle lay on the floor and the coffee table in the living room was covered with a fine white powder. Marissa must have went to work and I left to wonder the streets.


It wasn't even noon yet. What was I doing up at such an unholy hour? I squinted in the morning sun struggling to adjust from that dark room with the heavy curtains. I remembered that I knew a girl that worked at a clinic nearby. Whether or not see would want to see me was a question I was unsure of but she had a nose to the streets. All the addicts, whores and bums would visit the clinic. I headed over there hoping to get some answers.


When I got there she was applying some bandages to a child. She was just as I had remembered her. Her long black hair hung in a pony tail and her skin was almost as soft as her mannerisms. She didn't see me at first but when she finished she looked up. She spoke first with the greatest grace. We began talking about things people talk about in such a reunion. She said she was happy and I said I was glad. She said she was going on break and asked if I would like to get something to eat. When she speaks it is if she is bypassing all considerations and falsehoods and talking to you, to your heart. Our conversation was effortless but I had to interrupt. I told her about my meeting yesterday and instantly the saintly look vanished from her eyes. She knew all to well of what I was speaking of and I could see a fear she could not express well up inside her eyes.


What was going on? Why were people acting so strange? She looked suddenly uncomfortable in her setting a feat that was not easily accomplished.


We walked and she told me about the patients she treated. Nobody knew what was going on and there was a great deal of effort concentrated on keeping the whole thing hush. Somebody higher up was concerned about inciting a panic.

Kevin
May 22nd, 2012, 05:30 AM
You got to toss in some commas: "As long as I had known Bill, I had known..." "..threw me off thought I couldn't..."? "So pleasant in fact, that..." "My girl's house.." "..had, it seemed, clawed.." and a bunch more...

playingthepianodrunk
May 22nd, 2012, 06:16 AM
This is just a first run through I am going to continue to edit as I go along. I am more concerned about the content of the story.

Kevin
May 22nd, 2012, 01:02 PM
Hey, it's only nine paragraphs. Hardly enough to talk about plot and character. The last paragraph has some stuff in there, I don't even know what you call it, but it's like giving unsubstantiated facts.... Anyway, you got edit this some, or we'll struggle so hard to read it, that we just won't, read it, that is. There's"see" for "she" etc. If you want feedback, that's what it takes...(I bet you thought this would be easy..)