My bed sheets are white. They are white and smooth against my hairless legs. If I'm trying to get comfortable, my legs will swim all over the bed, kicking this way, that way, this way again. When the fevers begin to chill, there will suddenly be warm blankets piled on top of the smooth white sheets. My body shakes. I can't stop it. Teeth chatter uncontrollably, arms and legs tighten, and I roll to one side, trying to bring my legs to my chest. It's so cold.
The demoral helps. It relaxes everything, makes the chills go away. It makes me even sleepier than I was before. My legs might rotate once, under the sweaty sheets, as I roll semi-consciously onto my back.
There is a village on my stomach, built among the foothills. My knees are a towering mountain, almost always covered with snow. Hundreds of tiny buildings -- houses, a monastery, various shops, the town square, a spiked wooden city wall -- sprawl from the foothills, scattered throughout the sparse hills and rolling countryside. Young men and women gather food from the wilderness. They hunt, or farm, or fish, whatever is necessary to survive the harsh winters and even harsher summers.
I will shift in my half-sleep, trying not to move my knees, knowing that scores of villagers will perish.
The survivors will bury their kin, set out to rebuild the broken buildings. I will watch the funeral pyres halfway up the mountain. Smoke and flame stand out against the snow. A long line of mourners winds its way back down the mountain.
It is an unrelenting existence.
There is nothing I can do. My face is flush. I'm sweating. I'm starting to get hot under the cover of so many blankets. I've got to get out. The demoral is wearing off, or the Tylenol, and I'm running from cold back to hot again.
I will have to destroy the village. I try not to think about it, try not to think about the carnage I'm about to unleash on so many innocent lives, both hoping and dreading that the village will return tomorrow, a new generation of villagers braving the dangers of the mountain.