June 28th, 1947
What a day. Let me just say that children are messy, loud, unruly, and generally give me anxiety. On more than one occasion I caught the little ones climbing on things and had to lunge to catch them. I thought for certain I would die of a heart attack before Cyrus woke from his slumber. It was especially difficult to keep them entertained while also attending to the sick child. I was frazzled and trembling all day. I have a deeper respect for women, as there must be some inner mechanism mothers possess in order to deal with these issues. I simply do not have it. I feel a mess!
Cooking meals, cleaning messes, getting baths; exhaustion! Granted there is three running around with a dog and one on death’s door. I suppose if I were to take the plunge in being a father that I would start out a bit slower than this. Not that I am thinking of becoming a father! Goodness I can barely take care of myself.
But on to more important matters.
I survived the day only to see the boy take a turn for the worse. By sundown he was no longer fevered, but instead he began to grow cold. His breathing was increasingly shallow and his color had become ashen. I concluded that his body was giving up the fight. He was not going to make it even to the morning.
Sitting at the boy’s bedside, I stared at my hands, watching the way they quivered. I had washed them so many times that they were reddened and flakes of skin sloughed off my fingertips. I was helpless. With all my knowledge, I was helpless.
Cyrus had arranged some sort of activity in the living area for the other children, then walked up behind me and started to massage my shoulders. He stated that he could smell the death surrounding the boy’s body. At first I said nothing, but he eventually I found voice enough to explain I had a theory of how to save him.
I talked of my ‘witch’s brew’ that I had been working on and what it needed to be complete. He listened quietly, his fingertips working on the tight muscles of my neck and shoulders. When I was finished, he merely asked if I was completely certain it would work. I shook my head, and stated, no, I had no idea if it would work. What I did know, was that when I was younger I saved a Jewish boy in similar straights, though not nearly as close to death. That was what had given me the idea and part of the reason why I researched the combination of vampire blood and modern medicine.
Cyrus was silent for a moment longer, and then two of us began a conversation. We spoke calmly about my time Der Tod Labor (The Death Lab) and how, though I loathed the atrocities committed there, ultimately some of the research could benefit mankind. I had never spoken of that place, and definitely not recounted what went on with any sort of niceties.
After the conversation fell into silence, Cyrus took a deep breath, leaned down, kissed the top of my head and then mumbled into my flesh. “All right.” That was all he said to consent to giving me his blood to save the child.
I sat still for a moment and then animated. It’s all rather a blur. I remember pricking Cyrus’ finger and then mixing up the concoction. I vaguely remember putting it into an IV drip, but it comes in flashes of color. I worked in a sort of automated mode. I suppose that I was mentally preparing myself for the child to die anyways, and so I needed to dissociate myself from the waking world.
When I had done all I could do, I took a bottle out of my desk drawer, along with a pack of cigarettes I hardly indulge in. The other children were asleep with their dog, and so I tip toed around them and disappeared out the front of the apartment to sit on the steps outside. Amongst the cool air of the desert I drank straight from the bottle and took deep drags from the cigarette.
After a while Cyrus joined me. He came out and sat beside me on the steps. We didn’t say anything. Both of us were content to be near each other. I was glad in that moment he understood my needs enough to just be with me. I drank the entire bottle, sucked down two cigarettes and then returned to check on the child again. His color was better, but his breathing still labored.
All I can do is wait until the morning and see if his body reacts positively. Either he will wake or he won’t. There is nothing left to be done.
I am going to stretch out on a cot nearby so that I might hear the boy if his conditions changes.
Until later, Journal.