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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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A Terrible Plague! (Part Six): France, 1337.
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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French residents are powerless to stop an outbreak of the "black death" that has devastated their countryside. The story picks up with young Hermine, who has lost her family a year ago and fears for her very life, as well as the lives of those around her ...

February 1337~

If this pestilence that's wrought havoc on our beloved countryside doesn't ease up soon, I shall go stark raving mad ...

People are still dying at an incredible rate.  Every day we receive word that more people have sickened and died of this horrible malady that's taken over our lives ...

And meanwhile, here I am, toiling dawn to dusk, living with a most horrible human being.  I lost my own family; Toulouse, my littlest surviving brother and I (Hermine) are the only ones left.  Martha (I secretly call her Mad Martha) is raising us as her own children, and she treats us cruelly.  Nothing we do seems to please her; we are always getting shouted at or beaten within every inch of our lives!

Surely, le bon Dieu cares about us more deeply than that; He wouldn't keep bringing strife and malace to our once peaceful world ... it is getting to where I find myself not wanting to believe in Him anymore.  So far, all He's brought upon me and my family is nothing but sufferage and death!

It appears to be a cruel trick ...

March 1337~

More rats discovered in the food warehouses, garbage continuing to litter the street.  People staying indoors, for fear of catching this plague that's gripped our land.  Our area, usually thriving and bustling with people, now resembles a ghost town, a shell of her former glory.  It is frightening to see ...

And more reports of people sickening and dying, even as I write this down in my secret journal.

I saw a man the other day die right in front of me.  He was walking his dog when he started coughing; he then fell over and died.  His dog died shortly soon after.  Not even the animals are safe.  The man's body still lies in the street as far as I know; I have been too scared to see if it is still there.  Hopefully somebody got the "death cart" and got rid of it by now ...

May 1337~

Spring has arrived, but the fear remains.  The plague continues unabated in our country.  Over 100,000 people (and probably even more than that) have expired; the plague is still running at epidemic levels.  Even doctors are sickening and dying; they are powerless to stop its menacing work.  A new fear has arisen: What if we run out of doctors? What will happen to us then??

July 1337~

If I hear about another death, another person becoming sickened, it will be too soon.  I am more than ready to slit my wrists and just end it all.  Martha continues to torment me and Toulouse; life surely must be better than this ... this is when I imagine myself as living in a castle with chambermaids and fine clothing, and no worries to stain my mind. 

I don't know where else to turn but to you, dear diary; you are my only salvation.  I have given up on le bon Dieu: He has seemed to stop caring for my welfare long ago.  He is a cruel and jealous god ...

September 1337~

Hopefully within the next few weeks, the first frosts will put an end to the rats, the stench and filth of sickness and disease ... I am more than ready to live a normal life (or as near normally as possible)!

Martha continues to control us; she must be a torturer.  She thinks of new ways to make our already miserable lives even more so.  I have never heard anything nice issuing from her lips, not even a "J'taime".  I know she must truly hate us for taking up her precious time of entertaining party guests.  We changed her life dramatically.  Well, the feeling is mutual.  No matter how long I've been here with her, I or Toulouse, my little brother, cannot call her "Maman"; our Maman is long dead.  We don't love her; we loathe her with a purple passion!

The only reprieve we get from Martha's cruel tactics is when we go to school.  Too bad we can't live at the school; life is so much better there than it is at home ...

November 1337~

After months of fear and worry, the disease is finally showing signs of waning: fewer people are sickening, and even fewer than that have died.  The rat problem seems to have been taken care of, thanks to an influx of cats that have been brought in from a neighboring town to get rid of the vermin.  The trash has also been picked up, and our village is slowly coming back to life.  I just hope we don't have to go through anything like this again; the plague has changed Toulouse and I forever, and we will always miss Maman, Papa, and my brothers Jean-Luc, Robideaux, and Jaques, and my sisters Josephine, Celeste, and Marie!

Whoever thought that a sickness could take so many of my family members??  I don't think I shall ever forget it as long as I live, even when I am old and feeble!

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Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 11/4/2010
Super narration of what was certainly a horrible time. Patrick
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 10/28/2010
A horrific time in history, you write about the subject with great passion...well done, Karen
peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 10/27/2010
Sadness and terror in these lines, Karen. Well penned!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 10/27/2010
I was always so happy that I hadn't lived in this time of History, another great write Karen.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 10/26/2010
A powerful write, you draw us into a very scary time in history and do it well, thank you for sharing this powerful story
In Christs Love

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