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Black Death Journal

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May 2, 1349

Merchant ships came in today. Not that it really matters to my family or me, the lowly serfs we are. Remi, my brother always takes me down to the ports to watch them come in, though. He says the people on the ships are very well educated and rich. He says we will learn new methods to work, and to live easier from them. I think the ship crew is dirty and the only thing I see leave the ships, are thousands of black rats.

May 7, 1349
No one understands. Everyone is panicking. The stench of blood lingers and mixes with the always present scent of human waste. This product would cause anyone to become nauseous, not just the victims. I hear my mother praying each night before she lies down to lay awake all night listening to coughs, screams, and moans. “Heavenly Father, protect my daughter from the Black Death that looms over us and bring mercy and forgiveness to my son by healing him.”
The Black Death, is some sort of sickness that has been spreading rapidly through my city. The name is frightening to me, but the people suffering from it are even scarier. If I had to imagine what death would look like, the face of Remi is what I would see. I sit by his bed and bring ginger to him to help with nausea and headaches. I keep a bucket of cool water by him so I can cool him off as the fever increases with each minute. Mother shoos me away whenever she sees me with Remi; she knows I will be infected, if I’m not already. But I stay, I have to. In the pit of my stomach I know that I won’t be able to avoid this plague, and neither will Mother, so I might as well be infected while trying to help Remi. Mother was very right, “Death is looming over us,” and I know there is no way of escaping it.

May 10, 1349
“Remi is going to be with our Heavenly Father soon.” Mother tells me this morning when I notice the black spots dotting my brother’s skin like ash. Red, apple-sized lumps grow larger and larger on his thighs and neck. As far as I’m concerned, Remi is already gone. I know I’m next too. A splitting headache pounded against my temples as soon as I stood up. I coughed into my elbow but pulled my head back to see red speckling my arm.
Mother has been begging the priest to come forgive Remi’s sins, so he can go to Heaven as soon as he leaves this earth. The priest won’t come. It makes me mad, and upset. I know I shouldn’t feel this way towards the Catholic Church, it is a sin. Luckily, the exception to anger is preserved for hating the Jews. So I direct all my resentment and anger towards them. I don’t really know why, but everyone says the Jews caused this plague. To be honest, I don’t care if they really did or not, I just need someone to blame for it.

May 11, 1349

Remi has been gone for more than a day now, but his body still lays in his bed, lifeless under Mother’s chest heaving with sobs and prayers. Mother says Remi is in purgatory since he died without his sins being forgiven by the priest. I asked her why she doesn’t pray to our Father, as she always does, about letting Remi go to Heaven. “The priest is the only one who can communicate with God; I pray just in case He can hear me. But do you really think God would answer a serf like me? No. He will respond to the holy priests who were appointed for this purpose.” I didn’t reply. I couldn’t remember why I had wanted to know this; I couldn’t remember what I had asked. My mind is unhinging a little each day, I feel so different from who I was a couple days ago; I am completely unrecognizable as well. The spots and lumps have taken over my body just like they did to Remi. Mother is frantic, trying every possible remedy for me. Nothing really works well. Mother insists that the leeches will suck all the ‘bad’ blood out of my body in a week or two. We both know I won’t live that long, though. For Mother’s sake, I let the leeches suck my blood a little each day.

May 12, 1349

I can no longer see. The fever has gotten out of control and I feel half gone. I can hardly feel my pain, I have stopped living; now I am just breathing, barely. I know Mother is next to me, she gives off a warmth that is welcomed by my feverish body. Through my sub consciousness, I can hear Mother’s voice, wavering. “Heavenly Father … please … Heaven …please…forgive…please…”

Then I felt Black Death embrace me.



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