typhoid we were still running.
it was raining again.
the clouds darkened the late evening sky and made it impossible to see more than a few feet in any direction, and only shadows at that. half blind and stumbling, tripping falling into muddy puddles as thunder roared overhead.
this storm wasnt like any of the others.
it was like a blessing turned sour.
whirligirl :( 000622
typhoid after an indeterminate stretch of time, she collapses in a pile on the side of the road.
shivering, exhausted, she stutters "i... i can't go any further... i need to stop here..."
i look around. it's almost completly dark now, the first_quarter moonlight filtering down through the dense cloud layer just enough to distinguish the direction of the road from the edge. the rain comes down in torrents, freezing cold. the occasional flashes of lightning don't help, either, upsetting aquired night_vision in a fraction of a second.
i know that there isn't any shelter for at least another 5 miles down the road, and stopping here won't get us any warmer. i don't know what to say though. we've been going for hours, before the rain even started. i decide to give her a few more minutes before i will say anything. but we've got to keep moving.
whirligirl *wah* 000623
typhoid i crouch down beside her and put my arm around her shoulder. she's too tired to even shiver, breathing heavily, rain drenched clothes pulling her down closer to the ground. i wait until her breath slows down, then speak to her softly, but loud enough so to be audible over the storm.
"you know we've got to keep moving. we'll freeze here if we stop. a few more miles..." she groans. i continue "c'mon, hold on to me, dont think, just keep your legs moving and i'll lead the way..."
"do you really think there still after us?"
"it doesnt matter at this point, though i bet they gave up long ago. any sane person would't be caught out in this weather."
she manages to look up at me, and smiles though i can't see it.
"i wish they could just..."
"shh. we all do. they're afraid, and can't be convinced otherwise. they feel their way of life is threatened, and believe they must protect it. leave them be.. we'll find a way out soon."
i gently pull her up until she is standing, place her arm around my waist and start us off again, slower this time.
i feel the raindrops pelting down on my skull, plastering my hair to my face, dripping down the base of my neck.. my face, hands, legs numb, breath still short.. but i've got this rhythmic pounding, step step thud thud splash thud, to tell me i'm still alive. too cold to think straight. two hours ahead, an old abandoned shack, dilapidated beyond repair, but hopefully dryer than out here.
whirligirl sigh and lean. 000625
typhoid so we finally get to the cabin. it has stopped raining by this point, but the night air has gotten even chillier. i can tell that we are close because i can see a familiar shape towering over the short trees as a shadow against the moon_infused clouds, an giant out of place rock formation sticking straight up out of the ground and 30 meters into the sky. i can remember scenes from my childhood, another lifetime, picnics up to the clearing near this enclave, exploring the area with the neighbor kids, the cabin, the curiosity of the huge worn black stone mass in the middle of this atypically flat forest, the devil's nest, i think they called it. perfect for hours of hide and go seek, creating as a collective fantasy a race of gnomes that lived thereabouts but would of course hide in the smaller cracks or change their shape into a patch of weeds or something as soon as they saw you coming...
the cabin is a ways off the road, not visible through the low trees. i steer us toward it, the path so long memorized that i can easily find my way in the dark. there is no door in the frame, windows broken. the cabin only has one smallish room, but half the roof has collapsed. rainwater drips into a puddle in the center of the room. i lead her into the far corner which has managed to stay remarkably dry, and slowly lower her down. i go back to the entrance, pull up one of the floorboards, and, crossing my fingers, pull out plastic baggie containing a silvery emergency blanket, hidden there along with a rusty pocket knife and a few long decayed cookies. secret childhood store, in case of a make believe disaster or a secret campout. these blankets were made to last.
she is already unconscious, but i manage to get her muddy shoes and most of her soaked clothes off as well as mine though i am shivering violently. hypothermia is already setting in badly, as i wrap us up entirely inside the huge blanket. the last thing i can remember is feeling her heartbeat before myself blacking out from exhaustion.
whirligirl dreams of sadness 000626
typhoid my dreams are vivid, what some might call "fevered", but i dont the words applies remarkably well. nightmares. over and over.. waking up holding not a living breathing person but a corpse in my arms, an impossible sense of loss, fear, aloneness, to realize that it was only a dream, wake up and find it again, over and over.. the cabin closing up and collapsing over me crushing me hiding me destroying me.. and then, in the silence following, the new clean cloudless sky, the moonbeams highlighting a single red flower in the middle of a clearing... 000626
whirligirl sounds awful...
but i want you to feel safe.
i think that you are.
typhoid i wake up. pain, my legs are cramped. a hot mass of flesh next to me.. she's quite sick. has a fever. burning up. this isn't good, but not anything more than i expected. im surprised i'm not ill as well. not that i feel good. my head is throbbing, feels like someone shoved an ice pick at the base of my neck. she regains consciousness and manages a smile at me before dropping back under. thats right. keep the good spirits.
i have absolutely no idea what i'm going to do with a feverish girl with no dry clothes in the middle of the woods with probably a posse in one direction and total uncertainty in the other. i couldn't abandon her here, but i couldn't bring her with me either. i'm stuck. i can't think of anything to do for the fever, either. i don't know how sick she really is, even. the only thing i can think of are pain killing pills and ice on the forehead. neither is available.
i go try to find something edible growing nearby. miner's lettuce, blackberries, crab_apples. not much, really. i set apart a greater portion for her, if she wants it, and wait till she comes to on her own.
whirligirl i am fluttering awake. lying with a blanket over me, miraculously in some building. moving my head, i see him looking out a window, slumped to one side. so i move my legs a little to get his attention and woah am i sore. i need to throw off this blanket too, oh. i don't have any clothes on.
he's sitting by me now, eyes anxiously questioning me. "hello. how do you feel?" i moan, and i sound worse than i want to... so i smile. i really don't know what to say. i want to ask if we're safe. there are some berries and crab_apples in front of me. looks like a bed of lettuce too. i smile wanely again, "you found food and shelter" he nods, "can you eat?" he's very anxious, so i sit myself up, leaning heavily against the wall. i swoon a little. i really don't feel very good. "do you know where my clothes are? i think i need something from them." and he hands me my jeans and my sweater... they are completely, completely soaked. but i get out my pocket pouch, and dig for the pain killers. i pop a few. he's watching me quite intently now. "do you need some?" i hand him a few, "what are they?" "timed-release naproxen. they're great because they work all day." "are they good for fevers?" "well, maybe acetiminophen would be better for that." i feel my forehead. "yeah, i guess i do have a fever." he pops his pills.
i groan again and fall over. i really don't feel like moving, but i look up at him, and can't ask the question.
typhoid mostly what's running through my head is "where the heck did she get those", and ... i guess i should just count my blessings. i still need to figure out what to do about this wretched situation. i wander back outside, and, after standing just outside the doorway for a few minutes, decide that i'll go wander around the towering rocky grove.
which, for some reason, does not conform at all to my memory of the place. the tallest spires of rock are on the outside, making a sort of wall and giving it that nest like look. it's not contiguous, though, and there are places to walk in through and up around.. it almost reminds me of climbing a tree, the way i can climb all over it.. but it's much much larger.
and does not seem to have nearly as many places for me to enter as before. i can only find one that i can manage to fit through. a couple more are just like little more than a handsbreadth thick.
very odd.
whirligirl wake. feel better. the sun lower now, coming through the window onto my face. a flock of birds flies by, and i notice that the leader is a tiny bird, i wonder how the rest of the birds can keep him in sight... sitting up, no boy. my clothes are on. i don't know where i am . i need to get somewhere else. i need to talk to people that i know. 000628
she My dad used to sing "Sandman" by Metallica to me to put me to sleep. It's kinda creepy, now that I think of the words.

He meant well.
what's it to you?
who go