Tuesday, 21 April 2009 - 7:13 pm


Sax woke up today, enough to speak and shout, but there was no sense in him. His eyes were open but he didn’t see us. He talked as if he was replying but not to any of us. Masterson says that it’s the fever and the dehydration, driving him into delirium.

I tried to be comforted by that. It helps to have an explanation, but there was something restrained in the doctor’s voice that made me press him.

It was good, surely, that he was conscious? Even if he wasn’t lucid? That was a good sign, wasn’t it?

He looked at me and made sure that we were alone. Then he said, “Not neccessarily.” He refused to say any more; he can’t be more specific, because he doesn’t know what this is yet. The symptoms don’t match anything he knows; it seems like influenza, but even that doesn’t fit.

Sax has a rash today that he didn’t have before, crawling up his arm and over his shoulder. Masterson is sure that it wasn’t there yesterday, or the day before. When I heard that, my stomach curled up into a small, hard rock and radianted cold into the rest of my innards.

“Don’t get your hopes up,” he told me gravely.


Hope is exactly what we need right now.

The worse Sax gets, the tighter tempers pull around us. I know it’s because they’re upset, I know it’s because they’re worried and hurting, but that doesn’t make it easier. We are all raw nubs right now; I almost snapped at someone today. The only reason I didn’t was because it was Matt and he looked particularly strained. It’s not a look that suits him.

All I can hear is raised voices. Sally talking to Sax between his raving, trying to get him to lie still and take the food she’s pressing at his lips; he thrashes sometimes. The boys snapping at each other – for once, Masterson isn’t one of them. Alice snipping back whenever she’s spoken to, at the end of her resistance to the erosion of insults. Everyone is impatient and short-tempered, even the usually laid-back Ben.

Trying to keep the others occupied with jobs and activities isn’t working any more. Arguments erupt at the first obstacle and then the whole effort is in tatters. I don’t know what to do any more. They’re not children that I can send to sit in the corner.

To cap it all off, the roof appears to be leaking. There are melting lines down the back wall, wriggling downwards from a stained seam. The room was full of violent language when it was noticed – cursing and griping and do we have to shift now? Because Sax is very heavy to move. Alice, in particular, was freaking out, though she had the grace to try to do it quietly.

We couldn’t move just then – it was still raining outside – so we just shuffled towards the front of the building. A couple of the boys have gone to check out the leak to see what damage has been done, in case the ceiling is in danger of falling down entirely.

Sax is still talking, down to murmurs in the darkness now. I’d try to get the others to sing, but I think I’ve forgotten how.