Death And Taxes
“Day 83. Gregory is not getting better but he’s not getting any worse either. I don’t know what to think of this. It’s only been a day but he’s not coughing as much. Everything else is the same. Should I give him more of her blood or just wait and see? Nothing I have learned in my life has prepared me for all of this. I’m tired of seeing death all around me. I need some help on this… I don’t want to resort to prayer. I need proof, I need something more”
How could a woman’s blood cure a man of this plague? Was he cured, or was he just stable? Who was this woman and why is she so important? These thoughts were in my father’s head for days. My father showed what evidence he had to the King and the King ordered my father to do more testing. He lived for another day. I don’t know how I would feel if my life depended on curing a plague. Why my father? Why my mother? Again, I was just a child at this point in time but thinking about it now, I don’t understand why my father just didn’t give up at this point.
While my father was doing further research on her blood, there was a breakthrough in another town. The town of Bywick had a Monk who had been studying like my father on this plague. This Monk proclaimed he found a cure for this illness. My father was ordered to go to Bywick and meet with this man and see what he knew and maybe work together. The trip took my father five days and when he arrived he went to the chapel to find the Monk. He entered the holy chapel and asked “Where is the monk who proclaimed he found a cure?” He was met by a young man, around age twenty who said “That would be me, and you are?” “Nevermind my name good sir! You found a cure?!” “Yes, at least I think I found a cure, would you like to see it?”
At this point my father was very hesitant, this was just a mere boy, how could he have found a cure when I could not? “Please, allow me to see it”. The monk led my father to an underground tunnel which led to a different part, a hidden part of the church. They walked into a room with a man resting bed. “This man has been recovering for some time now” said the Monk. The man had the marks of the plague. His body looked strained, you could see where the plague had ravaged his body, some of skin was missing, but he seemed to be resting just fine. “How? How did you do this?” My father asked. “We have been trying for months to find a cure. We had been praying for months as well. We had tried a bunch of mixtures and bunch of cures and nothing had worked”
My father had become intrigued. This young man seemed to know more than my father thought in the beginning. The Monk continued: “We isolated this man from everything he once owned and built this tunnel. We found that the plague had originated from rodents and their fleas. We don’t know where the fleas got the plague, but we believe rodents seemed to be the problem”
“We have ordered all rodents to be killed and all the bodies that had been killed by the plague to be burned, to get rid of any trace.”
My father was noting all of this in his journal. He had wondered why he didn’t think of this. Was it all the pressure? He felt failure shiver through his body but he also had a sliver of hope from these people. He wrote a note to be sent to the King about all of what he had learned so far. He told the King that all rodents should be killed and all bodies should be burned.
“Okay, but that doesn’t explain how you cured this man. Once you have the plague, that’s it. You are practically dead. I’ve been trying for so long and the only thing I have come up with is a woman’s blood!” My father told the Monk. The Monk smiled and replied: “That is the interesting part. We haven’t done anything to him. We isolated him from everything plague-like and his symptoms had just gotten better. We believe that to be the cure”
My father couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle. “How is that a cure? The world is dying from this plague, you can’t expect every town to be able to kill every rodent and burn every body. There has to be something else. Something you can eat or drink!” My father showed some frustration, he was hoping for something else, something more. “This is all we have right now, but you spoke of a woman’s blood? You had someone drink a person’s blood? How barbaric are you?!”
My father looked at the ground and said “I’m desperate at this point. I am willing to try anything and he seems stable. His coughing went away and he hasn’t gotten worse at this point. He’s still under heavy monitoring but I wouldn’t say his situation has improved. He isn’t dead though.” He did not give the reason on why he is so desperate.
“Listen, I am willing to believe anything at this point too good sir. Why do you think this woman’s blood will help people? Is there something special about her? Have the monks said anything about this woman?” The monk asked. “Something special? Yeah, she’s been around people with the plague for some time now and has shown no signs. She’s perfectly healthy. No cough, no fever, no nothing. It’s like she is immune” My father said with desperation in his voice.
“Let me come to Province with you and let me see this woman for my own eye’s. There has to be something we can do to cure this. I will also need all your notes so far. I believe I can leave this man to my fellow monks. I will come back with you. Maybe, just maybe we can figure something out together. We will ride back in the morning. Get some rest and let us pray”
My father was always awkward towards prayers, he didn’t know he should kneel and close his eyes or just stand there and pretend. This Monk seemed to think sanitization was the cure. Remove all things plague-like and the body would cure itself. Interesting theory, my father would soon learn what this would do widespread.
The next morning the left and went back to the King and Queen. My father introduced the Monk to the King. “This is the Monk who proclaimed he had a cure”. “It is an honor to meet you. My name is Monk Jackson. We believe that being in a clean environment will help the body rid itself of the plague. I will be taking a very close look at this man’s work and this woman’s blood to see if I can see anything as well. With your permission of course”. The king nodded and they went to their rooms and studied. My father went to see how Gregory was doing. Dead. He died while my father was away. The guard that was there told my father he passed away three days ago. The plague had finally killed him. The blood was meaningless. He was back to square one. Desperation took ahold of my father once again. How was he going to tell the King? Was this the end of his life?
He went and told Jackson what had happened. Jackson said “Well, he survived longer it seems with this woman’s blood. Maybe, we have something here. I want to meet this woman and ask her some questions. This is all too odd for me to believe” My father nodded and replied “I will get her tomorrow. I need to rest. This is taxing me and I don’t know how much I can take of all of this. It’s been almost one hundred days since I started this venture… If the plague doesn’t kill me, this will”
My father went to rest and he slept for what seemed days. He had nightmares of failure and fell deeper and deeper into depression. He missed his wife and child, he missed his old life. All my father wanted was to go home and be at peace. I believe at this point, seeing all the death was getting to my father. I think it would get to anyone. My father contemplated asking the King if he would get my mother and I where he was but he didn’t want the chance of us getting the plague.
As He rested, the kingdom was purged all of visible rodents and all bodies that had been killed by the plague. The kingdom was clean or was it?