An Interactive Twilight Experience.
Turning on my computer and waiting for it to finish its start up sequence. I start to reminisce about the suffering of the English people and many of those in Europe when I was a fledgling vampire.
I pull up my search engine and type in The Black Death. The return list of information was varied indeed from band names to films about this horrible time.
I click on a link and start reading...
The black death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350.
There are many theories behind the etiology of it but recent DNA analysis from victims in northern and southern Europe indicate that the pathogen was Yersinia pestis. This bacterium causes bubonic plague. It is interesting that even in this day the black death exists.
The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social and economic upheavals which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover. The plague reoccurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century.
The 14th century eruption of the Black Death had a drastic effect on Europe's population, irrevocably changing the social structure. It was arguably, a serious blow to the Catholic Church and resulted in widespread persecution of minorities such as Jews, foreigners, beggars, and lepers. The uncertainty of daily survival has been seen as creating a general mood of morbidity, influencing people to “live for the moment”, as illustrated in Giovanni Boccaccio in The Decameron (1353).
Pausing a moment in reading the website I start remembering my own experience with The Black Death.
It was 1349 AD
It was a different time... a difficult time... very dark times...
I had been a vampire for 29 years and still looked not a day older than when I was changed. It was hard for me to view my reflection but that is for another day.
Traveling through the countryside of England... I journeyed into a village. I could smell the sweet fragrance of blood that was calling to me. However, there was something else. A foul odor I had never smelled before... the odor of death.
Walking through the winding road of the village I spy a public house. I enter in. There is a hush that comes over the inhabitants. I try a smile to ease them but to no avail. As I take my seat in the corner and ask the wife for an ale. I sit and listen as they discuss what is going on in the village.
I hear someone whisper of seeing people with black marks on their fingers and noses and huge, bulging sores on necks and under arms. He goes on to say that approximately three days later he saw the same people dead outside their home. He said that they were just sitting next to the doorway, stiff as a board.
This did not sound like any normal affliction that I had seen or heard previously.
I finished my ale and left the public house and set out on my way. I wanted to get away as quickly as I could not knowing if this illness would in anyway harm me as well. I walked to the next village and then the next but it was the same thing, the same story.
Finally, I reached a large city, I do not recall what it's name was then but I did find an apothecary and a physician having a discussion about this same phenomenon. Their original theory was that it was because of the pope's evil deeds but after awhile in their discussion. They came to an agreement that the only thing that has changed was the size of the population, the amount of rats in the city and the unsanitary condition the city was in.
I decided that I would definitely avoid the villages and cities for awhile and definitely bathe more starting that particular moment. I rushed to the the closest river far outside of the city and waited until it was dark.
I washed my clothes and myself, it felt oddly good. I vowed that I would acquire a new set of clothes and actually I amended it to a few sets of clothes when I got back home. There was a seamstress in the town and she never asked questions.