3.7 Delirium


For days my brother slipped in and out of delirium. When he was lucid he yelled and fought everyone near him will all his strength. When he was not he slept fitfully.

It was easy to lose track of how much time passed between the moment Altair was carried in, limp and unresponsive, and now when he slept under a veil of drugs. We had managed to clean up the worst of the wounds, stabilize him as best we could. Three days in and he still wasn’t running a fever, but the relief was short lived. I had gone to give the next dose of sedatives, and the needle just barely dented his skin when Altair snapped up, his one hand going straight to my neck and locking there. It hadn’t taken much effort to get him off, weak and drugged up as he was, but that look he had, as if he never left the line of fire. As if I was a stranger to him. It wasn’t something I could soon forget.

It was peaceful now, within the confines of the tent. As I sat in thought, it occurred to me that Altair probably thought I was trying to one up him when I enlisted. I was doing nothing of the sort. I did it because I wanted to be like my father, who would have come if he could. Because I trusted his judgement on this better than mine. Because there are things he has seen that I will never see, and times he has lived through that I will never live through. For him I crawled through the muddy trenches towards uncertainty.

My peace was interrupted when a nurse entered, carrying yet another tray of sedatives. “This is for the next 24 hours,” she said. “I’m afraid this will be the last batch for him.”

“I see. Thank you.”

I stood to take the tray, and the nurse gasped. I paused. “Yes?”

“Taurus, is that you?” She smiled at me expectantly.

“Ah…” I tried not to betray how lost I was as I took in her features. Brown hair, dark eyes- that described a good quarter of our town.

“Iris,” she said. “We lived next door? I moved away a few years ago?”

“Oh…” I smiled awkwardly in return. I barely paid attention to the comings and goings of neighbors. “Yes, I remember you.” Maybe. I’d definitely remember her now.

Iris’ smile widened and a blush crept onto her cheeks. As I stared in confusion, my brother started to stir.

“I’d better-” Iris backed out of the tent mid-sentence.

Left to myself, I carried the tray of sedatives over to my brother.

“Taurus,” he mumbled in his half-sleep. “Did I try to strangle you?”

I moved my chair next to his bed and peered into his face. His eyes were barely open.

“Well, yes,” I replied, deciding not to add anything that would remind him of his missing arm, but it was an unnecessary precaution.

“Get over it,” said Altair. “It was one-handed. Doesn’t count.”

“Doesn’t mean it was half-hearted.”

“I thought you were trying to kill me. I thought everyone was…” He trailed off in a groan.

I quickly pushed in the first vial of sedatives.

“Our family’s a bit different. You’ve noticed, right?” he continued. “Of course you have. You’re the smartest of us three.”

“We’re definitely not normal,” I agreed.

“There are things I can’t explain but there was always… something you had… that neither I nor Vega have.”

“You don’t have to explain.”

“Yes I do. You saved me. Shush. So I always hated you. Sorry ‘bout that.”

“It’s okay. You know I don’t take things personally.”

“Maybe I would have liked you more if you had.” His words began to slur into each other as he began to slip into drug-induced sleep. “It’s just easier with someone to blame. But it’s not your fault. It’s no one’s fault really.”


“I don’t know why I’m spilling this bullshit. Forget I ever said that.”

“We’re a bit far from those things here,” I said.

“Mm.” As my brother’s breathing evened out, I wondered if, for the first time in my life, we were at a cease-fire.

I wondered if I was forgiven.


I’m baaaack!! I’m going to try to write consistently again, now that I’m not as busy as I was before.

Random note: I don’t think liquid sedatives were a thing back in the day. But whatever, right? xD


Previous post <3.6 Red> / Next post <3.8>

4 thoughts on “3.7 Delirium

  1. Maybe there were liquid sedatives? Opium? Not sure … are we at 18th or 19th century?

    I loved this . It’s the introspective perspective in the midst of a bit of chaos that I adore . Eorz’s stories have a similar quality .

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We’re at about 1880, give or take. Maybe they had early sedatives then, but I can’t be stuffed doing my research xD
    And thank you! What better place to have introspection then in the middle of chaos? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok…. I am all caught up. This is so amazing. I just adore the interconnections and the fragmentation in this story. There just such a great flow that even as we take the story one piece at a time, I still can’t help but feel how its all connected. Can’t wait to see how this turns out. I have to admit I really, really like Taurus. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oooh this was interesting. I liked the brotherly bonding… well, sort of bonding. They certainly were expressing something that was a step forward. I wonder if Iris and Isaac are going to become a thing? XD

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s