Humming a Children’s Song as Merrily We Go Along…


I coughed, blood dislodged with a mucus bulge nestled near my tonsils and settled on the corner of my table. I knew the end was nigh. I straggled toward the door and entered the streets of Caffa. Merchants stationed along the curb were replaced by the infected, moaning in anguish as their sores babbled puss. A man with a lame leg approached, his stance postured as a sickening lean…he begged for money. I said I hadn’t any to spare. He then requested death and I felt his sincerity like a revenge stabbing. We both ventured in opposite directions taking with us the knowledge of an approaching extinction. Still I persisted walking until abscesses covered my toes and I could continue no more. I found refuge by the bay. I threw a pebble into the sea and another and another but the last one struck the shoreline as the wave receded. It lodged into the sand, posted in defiance as a wave advanced. I ambled toward the pebble and stooped to observe it. A coughing fit assaulted my lungs and a fresh dollop of blood emerged and I spit it to rest alongside the pebble. Both thwarted drowning for a few moments but the inevitable capture was proven honest as the blood was pulled with the pebble. I followed them having murdered anticipation to appease circumstance and acknowledged with each oncoming wave that the choice was never mine to begin with…

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