At the periphery of your consciousness it starts; an oozing fuzz lurking round corners, darkening the sky.
The silent weapon of potent power, picks apart your strength and courage as you look up into the light. Something is wrong. A wave of lethargy descends and you know it it too late. Your head lifts, your eyes close and your mind freezes.
3.. 2.. 1 ..
The signal has been given – the sensory assault is underway. Mucus reacts immediately, placing blockades at the nose and ears. Meanwhile the vision is impaired as the basel tears stream down your cheeks. The battle commences and as the casualties spill from your face, you know the drill; you know what you have to do.
You. Must. Drop. Everything.
Alerting all to the battle raging within, your primary objective is clear. Authorization is a mere formality and you plan your escape. From your desk, down the stairs and out into the cold light of day, the defense falters.
A vindicating “aitchoo, aitchoo, aitchoo” bursts from nowhere, bouncing off buildings and frightening strangers. A fuzzy brain peering through bleary eyes marks out the route. You start with small steps as you begin to manage your increasing vertigo and your terminal velocity is perhaps not what it once was. But you power on, keeping your goal in mind.
Setting yourself on autopilot, your mind scans through the items you need to survive. Your mind focuses on striding purposefully. 1, 2, 1, 2.
Home. Your hands reach for the keys, your quivering body unable to hide its strife. The hallway. Bag drops to the ground and you head towards the kitchen. Supplies. You gather all you can carry in your arms and head for the stairs. Oh! the stairs. You drop to your knees and hang your head, casualties of war spilling all over the carpet. You start to crawl, utilising all your waning strength to maneuver the tiered mountain.
After an age you pull yourself up to the last step. Your perfectly apportioned energy is drained and, running on empty, you inch your way across the landing towards your goal. A cruel twist of fate sees the bedroom door shut and you leave some supplies and take only what you immediately need.
The bedroom. Heading towards the bed; the home straight. Somehow, your mind struggling to stay afloat in a sea of phlegm, your limbs pull together to deliver you to your fluffy infirmary.
Horizontal now, the mist starts to clear. Your hand reaches shakily for the weapon and you press the button. The flatscreen before you springs to life, the moving images blasting through the haze in an attempt to provide entertainment to this shell of a man.
You’ll live to fight another day.