It is now the year 1353 and the plague epidemic is over and life is beginning to look up once again for everyone except me. My father’s haggard, hopeless face haunts me to this day; stalking me in my cruel dreams by night and lurking in the shadows of my mind by day.
I turn my face back to the window once again and began aimlessly staring out at the rain as it continued to beat down upon the earth from the heavens. It was not long before sudden movement, coming from the paddock across the road, caught my eye. It is StormChaser’s, our youngest mare’s, new colt, Wildfire, galloping around the pen with his head lifted up towards the sky; he must not mind the rain. Wildfire reared up on his hind legs and let out a high pitched whinny before turning around and, once again, disappearing into the stables; having heard the call of his mother. I let out a deep sigh and lean my head against the window pane. Is it possible to be jealous of a colt? I miss my mother so badly that, at times, my emotional pain transforms into physical pain; causing my chest to feel like someone just ran a sword through it. I wish so badly that my parent were alive and here with me, but that is just a dream; an impossible, childish dream that I know, will never come to pass.
The unremitting, torturous throb in my chest, however, is not the only thing I gained on my seven day journey from my hometown of Denain, France to Alphen, Netherlands; where I now reside. Since I arrived in Banie, I have learned a great many things about the Black Death and the destruction that it brought. By the early 1340s the Black Death had already infested and deeply devastated the countries of China, India, Persia, Syria and Egypt; I suppose they just thought it was just Europe’s turn to suffer. I feel nothing but pure detestation for the fleet of Genoese trading ships, or “death ships” as they are more commonly referred to as, that docked at the Sicilian port of Messina in 1347 and spread the epidemic to Europe. I also, cannot help but wonder whether or not my parents would still be alive today, if those twelve accursed Genoese “death ships” had never docked in Messina.
I stood up and stretched out the cramps in my body before making my way over to my bed. I know that I should at least attempt to get some sleep, though I am rarely ever successful. I pulled the covers up to my chin, striving to prepare myself for the horrors I am sure I will see in my nightmares tonight. I feel one last shudder race down my spine at the thought before I close my eyes and drift off into my prison of horrors. For my mind is like a haunted forest where my fiendish memories are my only company; I can never seem to escape them. I am a prisoner of my own memories, my own mind, my own personal, living hell; I am a destroyed survivor.