ave / stories / You are on your own ch.4

fuck fuck fuck it hurts it hurts fuck drugs drugs i need more drugs medicine i need it its in the kitchen i crawl to the kitchen it hurts blisters pills medicine yes blisters yes i take them i bite them i chew them yes bitter yes swallow yes numb yes yeees . . .

Pause. Hold my breath. The numbness spreads through me, the base of my skull pulsing slower, weaker. Good.

I'm parched. I need a drink. Some food, too - I'm feeling more nauseous than hungry, but I've gotten into the habit of eating at least semi-regularly regardless of appetite. And I could use it now. Still lying on the floor among the pills and boxes, I look around to my food stash, careful not to turn my head too fast. A possum looks back, more fascinated by this mess of a creature than scared. Ah dang, I forgot to close the door, didn't I? How long have I been out? It's chewing on a dried-up carrot, so at least it hasn't gotten to the main stash yet. The fridge should be a bit harder to open.

I should chase them away and lock the door, but I'm too exhausted. At least the door, then - possums are not the worst thing that could have found me. Slowly and painfully, I drag myself to the door. The blisters on my arms have swollen and ripped open, the bloody, scarred flesh exposed under my flimsy shirt. Fortunately, the chemical numbness from the drugs kicked in and spread across my face first, so I didn't feel any of what the spores must have done there. It couldn't be a pretty sight. After adding another couple scrapes to my tally, I was finally in reach to swing the door shut, the latch fortunately falling shut by itself.

Yay, one chore down. The water tank is next to the door, due to the water pump being outside and me being lazy. Unfortunately, it didn't have a tap at the bottom, so I have to laboriously climb the door, hands shaking and staining everywhere. It must stink of blood throughout the house right now - I only have sheer luck to thank that no z had picked up and followed the scent of fresh meat.

I pick up the tin mug on the counter, and carefully dip it in, straining to keep my cold fingers still. I don't want to stain a month's worth of water, or even worse - knock over the tank. What felt like an eternity later, I had a mug of cold water in my hands, chugging it down like a fratboy and reaching for another just as desperately.

Many iterations later, I was slaked. Food could wait until I got a bit better - the pain was starting to become manageable, now I just had to sleep it off. Better not have anything to puke out - the lack of energy was more likely due to pain and autoimmunity, and not hunger. Crawling on the floor again - I doubted I had the blood pressure for walking -, I went back to the medicine cabinet, fishing out a roll of bandages and disinfectant, and got to work on my numb hands. I had some energy left, and festering infections were nasty.

It didn't look great, but it was something. I hope it helped - my shirt was wrecked. It had done a good job of letting me fulfill my destiny of crawling around like the bloody slug I was deep inside. I barely managed to finish before the first wave of nausea overtook me. I glanced back at the possum that was starting to check out my drugs. It didn't seem like it was after blood. I guess there was no harm in me passing out in the kitchen, I thought, and did exactly that.

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