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Conquering Pestilence (For GG's Resolution Contest)

Short story By: aaihalbs

My attempt at pleasing the judges of GG's Resolution contest. :)
Theme: Pestilence
Reason for Theme: I've chosen pestilence but more specifically the HIV/AIDS virus because I feel that in reality we can be on the verge of a breakthrough if we only fund the mission and TRY.
Word Count: 1,169

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to read and please leave a comment!

Submitted:Aug 4, 2011    Reads: 48    Comments: 8    Likes: 2   

Things don't matter until they matter to you. Until they affect you personally, worming their way into every fiber of your being and raking through your thoughts until memories turn to scars, things are simply fantasies. Some are dreams...but others? They're nightmares. The possible is impossible until it touches you. Rape, murder, death, betrayal, none of these things hold any bearing on the blessed innocent mind. But on the troubled mind, the cursed mind, they weigh heavily. I used to think I was invinceable, too smart for folly, too lucky for danger. I always thought I could protect myself from all the evil. In the end it's not about myself at all because now I don't matter because I'll die soon. And that's not what upsets me. If I died and this nightmare ended I'd sleep in peace. But this nightmare isn't only a fixture in my life, it's an epidemic that drapes itself among the living each night. Crawling in their beds each night under the most despicable guise the epidemic slips silently from one to another, creating a far branching destructive path. The branches curl out like claws, grasping the naive, grasping me, and pulling me into the downward spiral of a disgraced, diseased life that ends with untimely death.

For me the disease came in what people find the most deserving way. Disguised as what others already say is trouble people can't help but mumble that"I deserved it." This death, it hides in the very life of us all. It courses through our blood. It coursed through the blood of a woman I barely knew into my own. We shared a few stories but more importantly we shared a high, and the needle that provided it. I never saw that woman again but I think of her often. I'm not angry, I just wonder if she knows. I guess I got sick but I felt pretty shitty all the time back then. Chills, fever, sweats, I just took more drugs. Losing weight? It's hard to notice when you're already a walking skeleton. I take more drugs. Why didn't I see a doctor? I didn't know I was sick and no one cared enough to notice. I didn't have someone to say, you should see a doctor, you don't look well. People take that for granted, having someone that cares. But that's besides the point. The point is in the winter of 2004 I was diagnosed with the HIV infection. The winter after that they changed the name to AIDS.
But really it's all the same to me.

There was no cure, only prolongement of life. There are however a thousand people who can sell you a cure, it's called false hope. I looked through them all, not because I'm scared of dying but because I know that thanks to me there may be a hundred people out there who are. A cure, a solution, would have to remove every single infected cell. It would have to cleanse a body and soul. But that's fantasy. The reality lay with a cure that could control the disease, force it into a harmless hibernation. That's the cure I sought.The problem is the rest of the world had already given up hope. I got my luck after I thought it had all run out. A rather wealthy grandmother had left me an inheritance to be recieved the day I turned 25, which occured the spring after I "got" AIDS. Having this stroke of luck inspired me. I had money and a will, so there had to be a way. I set out for Germany where I heard there had been a breakthrough in an HIV cure. They were looking for HIV and AIDS patients to test their theories on but were running into a lot of problems. Sure, there are a million AIDS patients destined to die, but to die at the hand of another being? That just wasn't moral. Wouldn't be tolerated, no, the people wouldn't stand for it. Couldn't the world see that we only had to sacrifice a few damned to conquer the damnation of a world?

In Germany I met with a team of seven destitute doctors. They were thought of as "quacks" in the medical community because they had made the impossible possible. They had "cured" HIV. In one man. In a stroke of luck or a moment of pure genius I did not know but I was willing to take a chance. Money talked to the doctors and they talked to me. Three months of hard planning rushed by and a plan formulated between the eight of us. Our operation would take place in Belgium where a Euthanasia Act was in effect. Through tricky legalities we some how found a way. Money talks but glory shouts. Belgium took a chance. Our plan was simplistic, juvenile almost. There would be a clinic for AIDS patients who wished to die but also further the cause. The doctors would finally have human guinea pigs, the very thing they felt was the missing piece of the puzzle.

Good does not make the news, evil does. Evil is frontpage unless the bizarre appears, the freakish and unknown. They can steal the frontpage in a heartbeat, which is just what we did. The clinic attracted hundreds of participants. It's hard to live when you know you're going to die but it's even harder to live when you know you are going to die soon. Who could blame us? Under the guise of "assisted suicide" the doctors progressed their work. I recruited volunteers while being experimented upon. I had stopped the drugs after my diagnosis and had grown as pretty as I had originally been destined to be. Even though the disease was ravishing my looks now I was still a young woman with certain appeal. And I was American. Everyone loves to make a sideshow attraction out of an American. I met with journalists, TV show hosts, and interviewers. We made quite a noise in the world. The doctors published continuous reports and eventually balanced gallantly on the edge of glory. I watched from a hospital room and prepared for my fate, whatever it may be. The doctors, high on near perfection, launched their final tests. They could cure almost everyone with HIV but were also nearing the task of conquering AIDS itself. I went through another cycle of testing and watched some fellow subjects perish while others perservered. I followed the former and faded into the descent of death.

AIDS is not cured yet but I feel I've set the tools in motion. Belgium and the German doctors are rich yet good hearted. Glory has not tainted their morals. People feel volunteering is a win no matter what. You get cured or you get glory, and often people can't decide which is better. The disease conquered my body on asunny spring day. I died with my heart well-knowing that someday AIDS wouldn't conquer people, people would conquer AIDS.


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