Our Survival
9 April, 2008
author: Rebecca Ditch-Hammack (aka Dreamer)


No more conquering heroes as in days past
The peasants beg for mercy and food amongst the rich
only to be thrown the garbage fit for that of rats
The rich punished for their greed surccumb
Begging for mercy where there is none


We watched as they died, first ten, then hundreds, then tens of hundreds. It was terrible to live and breath then. The death was horrible and had no mercy for anyone. The rich as well as the poor died and were burned together in mass fires of the most putrid of flavors.

Those of us that were still well, hid themselves away showing no love for those that were once our neighbors. The days of death were upon us. We were cursed by something we knew nothing of; paying penance for a crime we didn't commit. Children who knew no sin, even they didn't escape the horrors.

It was unimaginable the terror we felt as we watched the members of our families one by one surccumb to the illness of death. Their bodies decaying and flesh rotting before they were even dead. After a while it was all numb. Each of us knowing the time would come for us too to join those that had died before us. The fate the same.

We believe the ones that died early were the fortunate ones. The ones blessed by the God almighty for they didn't have to live day to day watching as humanity slipped away into a walking death.

My husband was one of the first to go. It tore my heart from me watching him die in such agonizing pain. For then it was new we didn't know he was infecting us all. Then my oldest daughter Mary was next. First the fever then her skin blistered and the stench of death began. Her soft delicate skin seemed to almost turn black and rot where the blisters peeled away from the red raw meat of her insides.

I tried to comfort her as best I could. Then mother and Charles. It wasn't a fast illness though it started fast. It could linger in some for weeks and for others it was over in a single night. Those that lasted longer needed constant care. They didn't know whether they were alive or dead for the pain was agonizing. The heat of their own body seemed to cook them from within changing them from the people we loved to creatures writhing in pools of sweat, blood, puss, and their own excretions..

I will admit there were times I wish the death would hurry up and over take me as well. I thought I could bare no more of it.

The city that had once been bustling with activity was near a skeleton of what it had been. As the death seemed to slow. People didn't know if it slowed for lack of more victims or if by some miracle the grace of God had granted his pity to those of us that remained.

We struggled with the reality of it every day. And those of us that had survived went on. We cried day in and out for those we lost.

My nightmares were torment only a soul tortured in hell could have. The Dead calling my name from all directions reaching towards me. Not just one or two but all the people I had known and cared about. Strangers that I had only seen from a distance or in passing once a life time ago.

For they were all gone. Except for my brother Charles' little daughter Kamara. She was only 5 and could no longer talk. The horrors had stolen her voice from her. She never left my side. Had it not been for her I know I would not have survived it. She was the only piece of sanity that was left to me in a world gone crazy in the nightmare of death. There were some people like Kamara and I that seemed immune in some mysterious way.

Some domestic animals had also survived. Some fell to the death, while others had died for lack of care. Many just went back to being wild. I am not sure if it was from the grief of their own losses or a need for survival. Animals, dogs I had known for years no longer came near and would growl if I even looked as if I was going to approach them.. It was so sad to see them suffer in their own ways..

The fires went on for some time after the death was finally over. Cleansing some called it. To others it was such a waste of what we had left. They burned many homes and the possessions of those that were no longer with us. They thought the things carried the death in them somehow.

I had hid some of our things in the woods, buried beneath the log where my husband and I had always gone to be alone; away from other's ears. Special things that were, of no meaning or worth, but to me. Books and letters from Charles and William. I miss them so terribly. Sometimes I would go and find them just to touch them; to bring them close to mind for a while. I would then bury them again so no one would find and destroy the items in fear of some remnants of the disease lingering in them too.

Slowly we began to live again. People seemed to create families now. Some of us living together in little groups, both for safety and for the companionship.

I come to you now as only I can.. A voice in the wind; a whisper in a sleeper's ear, hoping I will be remembered. hoping I can share the story of who am and how it was. I know it may all be in vain. But alas, I can only try.

There were no conquering heros.
Just tired broken people
surviving the best we could.
And survive, we did.......

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