23 February, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
I hear talk of a pestilance that threatens to take over our land; the very thought of it terrifies me to the core, almost as much as the rats that have run rampant on our streets.
If I see one more rat, I think I shall scream, plead for God's mercy.
There's talk of people dying of something sinister; they call it a plague of sorts. When people get it, they suddenly become chilled, develop a rapid heart rate, develop swollen nodules in their armpits, groin, or neck, become restless, delirius, or confused, develop a swollen liver or spleen, and get an extremely high fever, sometimes a fever as high as 106 degrees.
They think it was the rats that caused this. That or the garbage that litters our streets; there's trash, spoilt food littered everywhere; the smell is enough to make anyone nauseous. Don't know why nobody has come to clean up the mess.
Already, over thirty people have taken ill with the puzzling symptoms, and two have died. There may be more deaths to come.
A few days later, 27 February, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
The situation here has gotten a lot worse. More people getting sick, now over fifty people have died, including some of my friends. So far my family's been spared, but what's to say that they won't be next?? Our worst fears are coming true .
There's a plague running amuck in our fair city. I see people lying in the streets, terribly ill, some possibly dying; I do not want to get close to them, for fear I may get it next. They look horrible: swollen necks blown up like rotting fish, foetid breath, spots all over their bodies, faces red with fever. People now have taken to covering their faces or wearing garlic before venturing outside.
Mother and Father won't let me outside; they fear the very air is filled with sickness; they don't want me breathing the bad air. If I do go outside, I have to wear my garlic necklace, keep my face covered, breathe through my mouth, so the bad germs don't enter my body. Their voices have become sharp with fear, their faces pale with uncertainty.
The only place I am to go is to school. There and back. No stopping at the food carts or at the market, where I like to gather with my friends, perhaps get in a game of stickball or trying to knock the hats off of the uniformed guards.
Nay, none of that. We are to stay indoors, pray to God to spare us the indignity of illness.
5 March, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
I am at the orphan's home. My worst fears have happened. My family, my beloved family (Mother, Father, brothers Simon, Ned, Arthur, and tiny Lancelot, as well as my sisters Guinevere and Marion) have all died of this terrible plague. How they suffered!
One day they were all well; the next day, desperately sick. I saw the bulboes that clung to their neck, armpits, and groins like leeches, heard their gasping, labored breathing, saw the panic in their fevered faces; yet there was nothing I could do except, perhaps, to utter my cries heavenward, and/or watch them die as the disease took over their bodies.
I now remain here, familyless, at the orphanage, where people try to make me forget of what happened; however, I can't forget. I miss my family, I want my family, I want to be back home!!
I don't think I shall ever be happy again!
11 March, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
More and more death, more illness continues to grip our city. I am now in another location; some of the children at the orphanage where I was at became ill with the plague. So far, I've been spared; it's only by God's grace that I am. I wonder if I will get it next? Tiime will only tell...
28 March, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
Over half the people in my city have suddenly vanished. I wonder if the plague has gotten hold of them, taking them away, never to be seen again? So far, no symptoms of the plague have manifested themselves in my person; I pray to God this continues. Still at this new orphanage; it's hard to make friends; everyone is so scared about this plague; nobody wants to talk, for fear someone might be carrying it without their knowing about it...
3 April, 1215, The Year Of Our Lord:
The rats, the pestilence that gripped our city suddenly seem to be disappearing. It seems that the worst is overwith; however, our city has lost over 1,000 of its bravest citizenry. My family included. I'm the only one left; never did get the plague. I thank God for letting him spare me; however, I am saddened that my family, many of my friends, are gone.
I don't know why I was spared; maybe it was so I could record the events in my journal. I am no longer the same little boy I was; I have been forced to fend for myself, grow into a man, even though I am nowhere near manhood yet. I now live on my own, trying to earn substinance, so I can survive.
I work for the King; am one of his pages. I now live in a grand palace, clothed in garb that would rightly shame a peacock. I love my new place; however, I still miss my family, my friends, that this, the plague, took away from me. I wonder if they ever think of me, if they miss me as much as I miss them??
(End of part one)