It is far past midnight, the dust has settled and the silence in the dim-lit corridors is deafening. Two nurses stand guard, ever-vigilant of their sleeping wards. The younger nurse, full of life, the hopeful one not yet bowed by their work, breaks the monotonous silence.
“Hey Ma’am Abi, isn’t the Psychotherapy Wing supposed to be closed? You know, after the incident with that one doctor’s experimental therapy?”
“That’s true, dear,” the head nurse replies. She is a beautiful woman now past her prime, her skin showing a tinge of grey.
“Are those lights from trespassers then? It’s too late for the construction crew to still be there,” the younger nurse continues.
“Oh, youth, so curious; vibrant like a blooming flower. My dear Bella, some things should be left unknown for the sake of safety.” The old nurse smiles, a Cheshire moon. “How about we pass the hours of the night with my collection of lost notes and journal entries? They have been great company to me since the government banned liquor.”
“Journals and notes? Aren’t those a lil’ bit personal, ma’am?” Bella is a bit taken aback.
“Oh Bella, their owners are long gone and I procure them in the most proper manner.” Her glaring eyes are not quite hidden by a sweet, innocent smile.
“Well, then I guess no one would care if we read them. I do like hearing hot gossip,” Bella says lightly.
“That’s the spirits, I mean spirit,” Abigail answers with a sharp cackle. “The first one is about a young man who collects insects. Such a cruel hobby.” She starts reading aloud.
Today was a good day for the collection. I’ve caught a few rare species:
·Giant Moth (Atlas Moth)
·Hercules Beetles (Dynastes Hercules)
·Dawn Ants (Nothomyrmecia)
·White Orchid Mantis
The locals called the giant moth ”Mariposa” they also warned me not to harm them. Such backward and uneducated beliefs should be abandoned; especially in the age of discovery and science. I will not be hindered by unfoundead beliefs. Unfounded*
Anyway, I shall start processing the specimens for preservation and I am fairly certain I found a new species of mantis that resemble white flowers. I almost missed them entirely their camouflage has adapted astonishingly to their environment. Ghost mantis sounds nice, maybe? I am very excited what the night will add to my collection.
There was no rest for me last night, I had to stay up and keep watch, something was stalking me in the camp perimeters, I used a torch to keep it at bay. The locals did not mention any large predators in the jungle. But alas I didn’t get through the night unscathed for there was a rather cheeky insect that stung me at the back of my neck. When I checked it this morning it’s a bit swollen but no visible stinger left. I immediately looked around the camp still in the hopes of finding the mysterious culprit.
It's afternoon now, the sting has swollen considerably at least three times in size, it covers the majority of my nape and seems to be filled with fluids. I feel a fever is coming. I will wait till the morning to see what I need to do.
I finally found my pistol. I hope I won’t need to use it. I wish for rest tonight.
My nights are restless. Today I found the boil drained but I see no discharge nor puncture in my skin. The fever has not passed. I drink like a dog left in the heat of the sun. I lost my pistol again. My body aches and there is an itch underneath my skin, it is maddening. I am certain I will return to the village and start the journey today. That’s all for now.
I do not know what day it is or how many have passed since my last entry. Consciousness illudes me. I know this. Eludes* I am lucid one moment next a hazy dream or blurry vision of a giant winged butterfly.
I found my pistol again. My body no longer aches, but I am in great pain it feels like something is burrowing through my flesh, I am uncertain if I am hallucinating but underneath my skin, something seems to crawl. The pain is blinding especially when my skin is moving.
I’ve managed to find the path leading to the village. I may be able to escape this green hell and the devil’s sting.
The damning image of these maggots, worms, crawling things bursting through the skin of my abdomen and pouring out every orifice of my body spells my doom. They’re eating me alive. Where is my pistol?