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  • Writer's pictureAnnie Harland Creek

I'm not sick, I'm mutating.

After suffering for over five months with an, as yet, un-diagnosed condition, I have finally realised something. I'm not sick, I'm mutating.

It started with what looked like a bite or blister which became infected. Probably with a Zombie virus as I have become like the walking dead existing on less than three hours sleep a night, walking into walls, scaring small children (Nah, just made that one up). Medication did little other than spread the infection to my throat instigating another mutation. The blob/ alien. My neck swelled to a point where turning my head made my skin split open spilling clear liquid (I'm sure it was some time of acid like in the Alien Movie) and causing my neck and chest skin to thicken. The doctor in Emergency really made me feel at ease when he gasped and told me my skin resembled a crocodile. His medical opinion was to apply moisturiser as often as I could. Really? Medical school was a real waste of time for him.

I spent Summer and Christmas watching my garden turn into a jungle as I was unable to go into the sun, even for short periods, without bursting into flames. Well, maybe a slight exaggeration but it hurt. Damn it hurt. Picture Dracula running the gauntlet to the airport in Hotel Transylvania and that's me going to the letter box .

Clothes and sheets became a problem too because my skin is sensitive to even the softest fabric. Going without clothes is not an option for someone my age (not telling) as it is not pretty. The specialist suggested sleeping in wet bandages to keep the moisture in. Not comfortable as the bandages felt like hessian on sensitive skin and, considering the pain and swelling spread from my neck, across my chest and down both arms, I looked like a Mummy. Yes, I know that with three kids I am, in fact, a mummy, but this was over the top.

I have - not by choice - become a night person. The Phantom. The ghost who walks. Usually I walk to the freezer for bags of ice to wrap myself in to try and cool my skin and help with the incredible itch that has me ripping the flesh from my bones. I imagine that's the way a werewolf feels during it's metamorphosis. My facial expression likely mirrors the changes of a lycanthrope as I'm usually snarling as I tear into my skin, cursing doctors for not being able to find a cure for my condition, fighting the desire to tear someone's throat out so they can feel my pain. Fortunately for my husband, he has been working overseas so he has survived my wrath.

But, as I enter the sixth month of my affliction, I have come to a conclusion. As a writer of the paranormal, maybe this condition was a gift. Maybe the experience has given me a better understanding of the trials and tribulations of the characters in my stories. Supernatural creatures aren't nasty. They're just frustrated and tired and jealous of humans who are able to sleep and eat and play in the sun. And who knows. My next transformation may be a phoenix. I may spontaneously combust and rise from the ashes a better person, writer or possibly new breed of supernatural creature. Stay tuned to see which.

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