Ray Bradbury. Fever Dream (in English, adapted for intermediate)

Ray Bradbury. Fever Dream. Part 2

  • tolerantlyздесь не спеша
  • whole and healthy — цел и невредим
  • scarlet fever — скарлатина
  • petrified- окаменелый
  • rot — гнилые
  • build up — зд. пропитывать
  • bunch of cells — скопление клеток
  • out здесь выжить
  • reproduce — воспроизводить себе подобных
  • take over — захватить
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‘May I come in?’ The doctor smiled in the doorway.

‘Doctor!’ cried Charles. ‘Hurry, take off my blankets!’

The doctor lifted the blankets tolerantly. ‘There you are. Whole and healthy. Sweating, though. A little fever. I told you not to move around, bad boy.’ He touched the moist pink cheek. ‘Did the pills help? Did your hand change back?’

‘No, no, now it’s my other hand and my legs!’

‘Well, well, I’ll have to give you three more pills, one for each hand and leg, eh, my little boy?’ laughed the doctor.

‘Will they help me? Please, please. What’ve I got?’

‘It’s a fever.’

‘Is it a germ that lives and has more little germs in me?’

‘Yes.’

‘Are you sure it’s a fever? You haven’t taken any tests!’

‘I guess I know a certain fever when I see one,’ said the doctor, checking the boy’s pulse.

Charles lay there, not speaking. Then he spoke slowly, ‘I read a book once. About petrified trees, wood turning to stone. About how trees fell and rotted and minerals got in and built up and they look just like trees, but they’re not, they’re stone.’ He stopped.

‘Well?’ asked the doctor.

‘I’ve been thinking,’ said Charles, after a time. ‘Do germs ever get big? I mean in biology class they told us about bacteriа, cells and things, and how, millions of years ago, they got together and made the first body. And more and more cells got together and got bigger and finally maybe there was a fish and finally we are. All we are is a bunch of cells that decided get together, to help each other out. Isn’t that right?

‘What’s all this about?’ The doctor looked at him closely.

‘I’ve got to tell you this. Doctor, oh, I’ve got to!’ he cried. ‘What would happen, oh just imagine, please imagine that like in the old days, a lot of microbes got together and wanted to make a bunch, and reproduced and made more —

His white hands were on his chest now, moving towards throat.

‘And they decided to take over a person!’ cried Charles.

Take over a person?’

‘Yes, become a person. Me, my hands, my feet! What if a disease somehow knew how to kill a person and yet live after him?’

He screamed.

The hands were on his neck.

The doctor moved forward, shouting.

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