13 March 2007


I sat naked and sprawled out in front of the mirror, flaccid penis in one hand, empty revolver in the other.

Lazily I lifted the revolver and took aim at my image. The hammer slammed down on the empty chamber firing would be shots at my face and chest. I modeled in front of the mirror, placing the gun under my chin, at my temple, in my mouth.

The fevers were coming back. It took tremendous effort to breathe. The whole room stank of sweat and the miasma of illness pervaded the room. It was hard to move, hard to keep my eyes open. I focused on the crucifix in the corner. In the flickering candlelight something had caught my attention. I struggled out of my chair and shuffled closer to the crucifix, staring upward into the corner where it hung. Jesus was missing.

I was spun around and Jesus shook me by the shoulders, screaming in my face, his crown of thorns pushing into my forehead, bloody spit flying off of his lips: “You fool, I died for your sins!”

I sat bolt upright in the soaked bed. The room was dark, silent except for my panting. My hands searched for the pitcher of water. I tried to drink, but my throat felt tight. I collapsed back into bed, but the sweat had cooled, making the bed insufferable. I shuffled to the door. I pressed my face hard against the wood. The bedsheet wrapped tightly around me I wandered into the hallway. When I again emerged from the haze and noticed my surroundings, I found myself in the chapel.

I slowly remembered where I was, and the events that had brought me to this Brazilian monastery. My thoughts turned to Nwargo. I hoped he was well. It was an odd thought since I had just seen him two days ago, sitting up in bed, complaining about how his eggs had been prepared. My head slumped forward against the pew.

A gentle hand awoke me. My eyes refused to focus. I couldn’t stop shivering. Cold. My teeth chattered and I shook so violently, I thought my bones would snap.

Sunlight filtering through the small, high window of my cell woke me. Your letter, Ranger, was next to a fresh pitcher of water.

I agree that it is unlike Sarge to act in such a manner as to betray his comrades. To contemplate his betrayal causes a black hole of despair with no hope of escaping. I cannot think of it. He cannot have betrayed us. If he has betrayed us, then there is no Canada worth fighting for, and I should die. Still, I cannot place any trust in him for the moment. Going to Cairo as he suggested would have been foolhardy. Caution dictated calling upon a few favors and hiding Nwargo and myself here in Brazil while he recovers.

The peace of the monastery is seductive. I will do my best to enjoy it before the fevers come again.


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