Sunday, December 26, 2010

Karachay: Part 10

Monday, June 19th, 1967
Fret not for me, I have too much a professional's mien to panic. The women, however, are falling to hysteria, and the men to madness. More have died. I will not list a number, for it will surely have grown by the time this letter reaches you. Know only that this disease discriminates neither for age nor health.
Mikhail is, I'm sure, as trustworthy as always. So too are you. You must not let paranoia wedge itself between you. Disease is beyond our control, and poison would surely be from beyond, especially on such a scale. At this point, we can little afford to lose our friends. Without them, how can we continue?
I've become a grave robber. Please, do not be disgusted. Find what humor there is in the situation, for only that can continue us. You see, I'm certain that a clue can be found in the exhumed. Indeed, I've already discovered that in addition to a few similarities of the exterior (hair loss; spongy, loose, peeling flesh; tooth loss), there is a peculiarity of the interior. Many of the dead have suffered severe internal bleeding. They all show significant wear in the esophagus, indicating vomiting. Most curious of all, however, are the cysts I've found. A surprising number of the fallen have fleshy polyps throughout their bodies.
I continue my nightly examinations, and they exhaust me. Nonetheless, I may learn something significant. The villagers are no help. I was already an outsider before this divided us. Now I'm lucky to merely face the evil eye when I try to speak about anything but their health.
May health find you,

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