Ray Bradbury. Fever Dream. Part 3
- strap— привязывать бинтами
- bruises — синяки
- choke— душить
- be still awake — бодрствовать (не спать)
- insane — безумный
- thrash — метаться
- faintly — слабо
- clench— сжаться
- numbed — онемевшая
At nine o’clock the doctor was going to his car followed by the mother and father, who handed him up his bag. They talked in the cool night wind for a few minutes. ‘Just be sure his hands are kept strapped to his legs,’ said the doctor. ‘I don’t want him hurting himself!’
‘Will he be all right, Doctor?’ The mother held to his arm a moment.
He touched her shoulder. ‘Haven’t I been your family physician for thirty years? It’s the fever, he imagines things.’
‘But those bruises on his throat, he almost choked himself.’
‘Just you keep him strapped; he’ll be all right in the morning.’
The car moved off down the dark September road.
At three in the morning, Charles was still awake in his small back room. The bed was damp under his head and his back. He was very warm. Now he no longer had any arms or legs, and his body was beginning to change. He did not move on the bed, but looked at the vast blank ceiling with insane concentration. For a while he had screamed and thrashed but now he was weak. His mother was near to put a wet towel on his brow. Now he was silent, his hands strapped to his legs.
He felt his body change, the organs shift, the lungs catch fire. The room was going around him.
Now he had no body. It was all gone. It was under him, but it was filled with a vast pulse of some burning. It was as if a guillotine had neatly cut off his head and his head lay shining on a midnight pillow while the body, below, still alive, belonged to somebody else. The disease had eaten his body and from the eating had reproduced itself in feverish duplicate. There were the little hand-hairs and the finger-nails and the scars and the toenails and the tiny mole on his right arm, all done again in perfect fashion.
I am dead, he thought. I’ve been killed, and yet I live. My body is dead, it is all disease and nobody will know. I will walk around and it will not be me, it will be something else. It will be something all bad, all evil, so big and so evil it’s hard to understand or think about. Something that will buy shoes and drink water and get married some day maybe and do more evil in the world than has ever been done.
Now the warmth was going up to his neck, into his cheeks, like a hot wine. His lips burned, his eyelids, like leaves, caught fire. His nostrils breathed out blue flame, faintly, faintly.
This will be all, he thought. It’ll take my head, my brain, my eyes and every hair and every tooth and every wrinkle in my ears, and there’ll be nothing left of me.
He felt his brain boil. He felt his left eye clench in upon itself and, like a snail, withdraw, shift. He was blind in his left eye. It no longer belonged to him. It was enemy territory. His tongue was gone, cut out. His left cheek was numbed, lost. His left ear stopped hearing. It belonged to someone else now. The thing was born.