The Doctor Of Mercia [P1]

Chapter One

Survival

I barely knew my father. Apparently, my mother met him when they were teenagers and they fell in love. We weren’t rich but we weren’t poor either, but lived in a humble house and we were happy. I was young when it happened. My father was called to Queen’s Province. You see my father was a skilled doctor, he learned from his father and so on and so forth. He was called to help create a cure for the plague that devastated everything. This plague torn life from within. If you were sick you were placed in a building with the rest of the sick people. In some places a simple cough would get you thrown in there.

All the cities had them, they were required to. It became law after it got so bad. My father did not want to go, he told them no multiple times, but it got so bad and the government thought he was their only hope, so they forced him to show up. He was forced to leave my mother and me. I was a baby at this time and had no clue on what was going on outside our humble house. My father assured my mother that he would return alive. Thinking about it now, I think she knew that he wouldn’t be coming back. She smiled to him and said “I believe you”. Those were the last words my father heard from my mother.

My father kept a journal throughout his time in Queens. He kept note of every patient he saw and pretty much everything that was going on with the plague. On the day of his arrival he wrote this: “Day one, it’s a terrible sight to behold. Sickness everywhere, you can smell death, you can feel death. I don’t know what they want out of me. At this point I don’t know if anything can cure this plague. It seems hopeless but I am forced to be here, I might as well try to find a solution”.

He met with the highest ranking monks to see what they could come up with. Nothing. They came up with nothing. Nothing helped. They made multiple types of medicines and nothing worked. Nothing could keep the coughing down, the fever down. It seemed when you got sick, that was the end, they told you to go to the building and that is how you would die. It’s sickening just thinking about it really. Imagine just having a small cough and then being basically sentenced to death. Life isn’t fair huh?

My father studied every aspect of the plague. Was it airborne, bloodborne? What caused this plague? Where did it come from? He went to the Monk library to see if they had anything on where this sickness could have come from. Nothing. No one had any idea on how it came to be. The monks told my father “It came out of nowhere, multiple people were getting sick and when we studied them, it only took a couple of days before the plague killed them. None of our medicines have worked, it seems God has forsaken us”.

My dad wasn’t much of a religious man. He had faith, but I don’t know if it was in God. His first real patient came to him after he was there for about two weeks. A young boy by the name of Charles. Charles was thirteen at the time and was showing very early signs of the plague. Cough, fever, and stomach pain. My dad was forced to wear a mask which they called the “Plague Mask” the monks developed it to help keep them from inhaling the fumes of the plague wearers. I don’t know if it actually worked. My father studied Charles for many days until he finally passed away.

“Day #22. Charles passed away. His immune system was way too weak to combat the plague. It killed him within four days. I don’t know how this could be happening. Patients bodies aren’t fighting back. It just seems that the plague is too strong and nothing can be done. I’m losing hope. I don’t know what to tell the King and Queen. It seems impossible.”

The death of Charles rattled my dad. As a Doctor he wants to cure everyone and everything. Besides monks there were no real doctors like my father. He continued to do some research in hopes of finding a cure. He tried mixing herbs together and making them into a fluid. Nothing. As he went on and on mixing and trying new things, the monks eventually just went to prayer and gave up on finding a cure that could be mass produced. They had given up. It was just my father at this point.

My father would write to my mother every once in awhile. After months went by though the letters stopped. My father was consumed by the need to find a cure. He forgot all about his home and his wife. A passage in his journal shows this. “Day 52. My mind is not even for this challenge. There has to be a cure, there has to be a cure. I know it. I didn’t waste my damn life for this. I am smarter than this plague, I will fix this plague. My wife and child will wait, they are patient. They will understand. I need to fix this. I need to end this plague”

As time went by the King and Queen kept asking my father for progress and the answer would always be the same. “Nothing”. As more and more people kept dying and it seemed the towns around Queens Province were becoming wastelands. People were dying left and right. Whole towns seemed to just disappear. The people that did not get the plague seemed to be “touched by God”. That is what the Monks said at least. The King and Queen told my Father that he had two more months to find a cure or be killed himself.

“Day 60. The King has given me an ultimatum. I either find a cure or be executed. This isn’t fair. There is nothing for me to do. There is no cure. It will just consume everything it touches. I told the King to start mass producing plague masks, but he told me it would be too expensive and not worth it. All he wants is a medicine to cure this damned plague. I don’t have it. I will never have it. I will die here.”

A couple of days before his deadline, my father made a breakthrough. There was a woman living in the town who said she could help my father. Clara, that was her name. She said that her blood could be used for a cure. “I’ve been around sick children for months and nothing had happened to me. It has to be in my blood! Extract it!” My father didn’t know how to take this. Could this random woman’s blood be the cure to all of this? Nevertheless, my father extracted her blood with a knife and compared it to victims of the plague.

Her blood was thicker than the rest, but the logical explanation was because she was not infected. The plague did a lot of things to the victims bodies but it still struck odd to my father. She was perfectly healthy and had been taken care of sick kids that were not taken to the building. She didn’t wear a mask. How could this be? Witch? Blessed by God himself?
How could my father make a cure from this woman’s blood? “Day #82 I came to the King and Queen with this woman’s blood. I needed test subjects though. They told me they would get some from their building. I don’t know what I am to expect out of this. If this doesn’t work, I will be dead in a couple of days. I requested if this doesn’t work that I would like to see my family before I am killed. They told me that they would do that. I have never believed in prayer but I hope to God this works”

They brought an elderly man from the building. Gregory, he was seventy years old and had the plague for a couple of days. My father took Clara’s blood and put into a vial for Gregory to drink. “You have nothing to lose, drink this blood and we will see what happens” Gregory took the vial and drank the blood, every last bit. “We will wait and see. I will be monitoring your status” my father told him.

It was a wait and see game at this point… My father’s life depended on it. I don’t think he cared for curing the plague, he just wanted to live.

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