Patient George J. David (17† - Born 14th August 1825) – Investigation and report of assumed suicide
“My brother and I, we never got along that well. Whenever I came home from the scrapyard he was playing with the other kids. I know that it was my responsibility to work for us both I mean he was only seven and that I was just egotistic not wanting him to be happy while I was working my ass of but either way, we never really built a closer connection.”
“Then why did you stay?”
“Thinking back, I would say that in a way I was living trough him. While I was angry that he, well, had a live, I thought that we together weren’t in that tight of a spot. I always soothed myself by thinking that when he spends his time happily that is still half of our collective time well spent. Of course, I wasn’t experiencing any of that happiness, but it was a lot easier thinking that we were living as a family then as strangers only bound by their un-mutual dependence on one another.”
“So, what caused you to part ways?”
“It was right after my 17th birthday, I got sick and couldn’t work. It should take another two months before I could finally get up again but by that time our savings were long gone. My brother tried to rely more on his friends, but it wasn’t just me who got sick. It was a plague, they called it the workers demise, it spread through the slums and ravaged it of all it’s workers. Some got back up, others didn’t but among the sea of corpses life stagnated. They closed the gates to the slum to prevent the spread of the plague, but it was to late. In a way it was a miracle that those gates kept shut as they blocked the mutations of the plague from entering our infested pit. Turns out that a lot more people run away from an epidemic outbreak then towards it. My brother was one of those who ran. One day he was just gone, he didn’t have the courage to tell me or even say a final goodbye.”
“Did he leave anything behind?”
“Yes, though no message or anything like that, not that he would have been able to write one as we clearly couldn’t pay for a school. But yes he left me a surprise though not of the fun sort. It was a few weeks into the outbreak, I had just woken up, it was already evening. The sun stood low and blinded me through my, admittedly quite corroded curtain. I was impatiently waiting for my brother to bring me my daily ration as I saw a collector walking by my window. He stopped and looked trough the window and stared at my face. I would have jumped up and threatened that man with my knife to stop peeking trough our window but I couldn’t. The fate of the infected is a cruel one. Those that live alone, are deemed the lost and I had just become one of them. They always died first, though never to the plague. First the hungry starve, unable to move their bodies to get food. Next the remaining get robbed by those taking advantage of the plague. If one was lucky enough to not succumb to the robbery and murder the third and in almost every case last stage sets in. As the live on the streets stagnated, the live in the bodies of the victims did so as well. Completely unable to move apart from their lunge their flash start to decompose, the lucky once starve before this happens, those that don’t take on a new form. In this state they are unable to even move their eyes and are to every non-trained individual indistinguishable from corpses. And then, they get collected. The collectors though, who could have guessed, are not trailed individuals and with no one around they pick up the lost not knowing if they are still alive or not. One can only imagine what terror and inhuman thoughts might cross a persons mind in such situation. This is what I would deem to be the last and final judgment one can receive, the very real manifestation of what that Christian folk would claim to be hell. With their only wish being the sweet relieve of death there is nothing to hold on to. All you can do is lie in your bed for days on end, feeling pain which can only be described as indescribable. Not that anyone could tell you about it, on the count of the fact that the lost don’t have time to tell their story.”
“And you, you are the exception to that, you are here to tell the story, of how brave you claimed victory over such a hopeless situation and emerged as a better person.”
“I don’t think you can call this a victory. Look at me, do I look brave? Do I look like someone that could be in any way called a victor?”
“But you are alive, aren’t you?”
“Listen, among the misfortunate I was one blessed by Fortuna, I wasn’t brave, I wasn’t smart, I wasn’t even doing anything. But even then, what I experienced is something that someone like you can’t call a victory. That man, when he picked me up and put me on his cart my leg just so happened to lie between two axels of the wheel. The man didn’t care, to him I was dead and so as he stirred the horses the wheel slowly crushed my leg and ripped it off. And if you think that sounds painful listen up. To get rid of the bodies they burn them, though they use the ovens of a local refinery. I honestly don’t think there is a more surreal and cruel situation then being put into an oven not even the size of a coffin and just lying there as they close the hatch behind you, knowing you are going to be burned alive in a few seconds. Though in a way while I don’t think that anyone is going to be happy about being burned, having it end is going to be a relieve to a lot of them, for at least in death, they might not be lost anymore. But as you can see, I am sitting here talking to you. That leg that was torn of while painful in the end saved me. A doctor was at the refinery and noticed the strong bleeding from my wound which would not set in long after death. He checked my pulse and said I was dead. I honestly never hated a man this much in my entire life and I swear if I ever kill someone its between my brother and this man. Anyways, as they put me into the oven I heard one of the workers who seemed to have had at least minimal medical training say that I did still have a pulse. The other worker begged him to just get on with work so they could go home but the man insisted on dragging me out to let the doctor check me up one last time. This time the doctor didn’t mess up and I was sent here to the Lacerte.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear all of that, I also have to listen to the other 27 patients assigned to me after all.”
“I hate this place, It’s the same, no matter where you go, there is always a small brother waying you down.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I am sorry, I should just let you work on the scrapyard and not bother you.”
This was the last conversation nurse 16. held with patient 7. the dialogue was written by nurse 7. based on her daily report (13. August 1843) in request for this patient file in case of fatality.
The patients remains were found in the cremation oven on the day of his release. They wrote a message on their clothes which lay folded in front of the hatch. A copy of the message is found in the end of the document.
Nurse 16. will receive punishment in form of unpaid work as well as cutting of expenses like medical treatment for wounds inflicted while working. Any further punishment is deemed unnecessary by the council.
Signed: William J. David – 13. August 1856
Copy of the message:
My release is coming up, but I honestly can’t bare it any longer. I know that I am obsessed with what I am about to tell you and have long since lost a clear view over the things I am thinking but even if because of this things seem illogical to you, they aren’t to me and it doesn’t matter that this is because of my mental instability, as my perception is simply my own world.
I had a brother when I was little, he always played with his friends while I was working hard at the scrapyard. He was living of my back and while I could put up with this thought back then I can’t put up with it now for completely opposite reasons. I am no longer the big brother, it is no longer me who is being dragged down but I am the one who is dragging down. I see how the nurse assigned to me is slowly losing her mind and while I don’t believe that I am the only one responsible for this I still can’t bare it.
I believe there are two types of people, ones that can give and ones that can take and it is simply not in the nature of either to do the opposite. I always gave what I had, and while I didn’t like it, I could live with it. But now I am taking and what is so painful about this is, that I have become what I hated. And I, and I am being completely serious here, don’t see what you can trust in, in a world like ours if not yourself. The logical conclusion I would take from this is that I lost my grip with reality and who I am but as the person I perceive myself to be, that is simply something that is not possible. And if I can’t trust in myself, and I have become my brother which I couldn’t trust in. Isn’t everyone like me. Trust is a deal that is broken as often as no other, to the point where trust is nothing but a lie. This is neither a world I want to trust in nor a world I want to give the burden of trusting me to. I am going back, for I should have burned in that oven. The doctor was right, and I know this is going to sound really dumb, but you can’t tell me what to do in my final words, I was dead that moment.
That plague, it killed me, like so many others. maybe, maybe it killed everyone.
Tomorrow is my birthday, this was the worst year a human could live, but in the end I lived it. And it is only now that I turn 18, that I am responsible for myself, that I am going to give it up.
Brother, if you’re reading this. You should have at least tried, I will never forget that you ran away.
Goodbye, George J. David