I know they are there, well hidden, but making sure I am aware of their presence, just in case I was about to forget. This is tyranny, being on an apparent lose leach, but one that can be shortened at no notice: suddenly the pain, the endless despair.
I see a glimmer of blue in the sky. No frost last night. There is hope in the air.
How long will it take? I know they are expert at rearguard actions too. Signs of withdrawal can be deceptive! Like this weather, it can move swiftly back to ice and doom.
Marking time, observing, solace in sleep.
Spring will come.
Image: Max Clarenbach
They land in waves, silent and lethal. It starts with this crippling feeling in the arms, the shoulders, then the vice at the back of the neck. The throat is soon paralysed, breathing becomes a struggle.
Soon the only respite is sleep, assisted by Codeine. Their numbers are beyond mathematics: maleficent molecules to the end of the world… They need no rest.
But where do they come from? They resist everything, there is no treatment, only time.
The world smells and tastes different: one is inhabited, the alien bodies have taken charge. Their weapons, suffocation and pain, a diluted slow death.
Each morning begs the question: when will they withdraw? But they are in no hurry. The host, weakened into lethargy, is powerless, the flesh submissive.
Maybe, this time, they will stay?
Image: Rotavirus reconstruction, English Wikipedia user GrahamColm [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
In their millions they invade the huge organism, and they die in their millions, slain by the fierce defenders.
Yet their legions keep their assault, step by step gaining territory despite the enemy’s resistance, blind to their losses.
So small in proportion they are, a fraction of a millionth of the size of their target: invisible to the living.
Waves after waves they are pushed back, but already they feast on the corpses of the vanquished.
As I succumb to them I wonder if they are our ancestors: the most deadly fiend of all living creatures.