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"Delirium - Juggernaut of Disease"
By: Daphne LeFay
Site: LiveJournal - Everlovingmoon


A burning sensation in the pit of her stomach woke Matti up. She slowly 
opened her eyes, adjusted her eyesight to the psychedelic world around her, 
and willed the bed to stop spinning. She crouched on her knees, slowly 
pushing herself up, her head hanging low, her shoulders bunched up, with 
her half long, peroxide blonde hair hanging in dirty strands around her 
face. After a couple of agonizing minutes, she was able to sit up, and she 
folded her legs underneath her to sit cross-legged, throwing her head back 
to loosen the tight muscles. She brought her hands to her face, to touch 
the alien mask imposed on it. 
Matti's hand stilled, and Matti remembered.
Her fingertips touched the cruel ridges of raised flesh, the raw abyss of 
her nose, the stitched corners of her mouth, her lips, bleeding still. 
Jamming a finger in the mistreated flesh, she opened her mouth and tasted 
a blend of copper and disease as she sucked on her blood. 
With one finger still jammed into her mouth, and the other one around her 
own chest, she started rocking back and forth, trying to access her 
memories, trying to banish them. Salty tears spilled from her eyes and 
made agonizing trails in the ruins of her face. She cried out to the 
ceiling, but no sound came from the raw insides of her throat. 
After her crying subsided and her frail body stopped shaking, she lowered 
her hands to run them over herself. Instinctively she realized her white 
flesh was still untainted. Her spidery hands flecked her skin with blood, 
from her small, pointy breasts over her abdomen, the narrow ridges of her 
hipbones and her skinny thighs. 
Through the salty, sticky tears gathering in the corners of her eyes, it 
became increasingly difficult to open them again, but Matti inhaled and 
exhaled as deeply as she could and applied a little more physical force. 
Her eyes pried open and she was looking down on the white sheets and 
pillows, stained with bright red blood, swirling and wavering elegantly 
into intricate patterns to any artistic eye.
Matti kicked her legs angrily forward, smearing the blood out with her 
heels, destroying the patterns and breaking their lifelines. Her hands 
clenched into fists and she felt bile rising in her throat. The sight of 
blood had always made her sick. Even when she had been 15 and for the first 
time attempted to pierce her own lobes and it had grossed her out. She'd 
become used to it, and had for a while thrived on it, but she hated the 
sight of her own blood now, knowing the disease that cruised through her 
veins. 
Concentrating on her breathing and this memory in the fleeting blur of her 
conscious mind, the throbbing pain in her face slowly started to subside. 
It numbed to a dull ache, barely noticeable and a strong resolve nestled in 
her brain, as strong as it had come to her in her delirium. 
She positioned herself lying on the bed, her head resting on the pillow, 
her naked frame spread out over the blood stained sheets, her arms flexed 
to the sides, with her palms up. Staring at the ceiling, she started to 
count, and slowed her breathing, until nothing was to be heard.
Her mutilated face twisted in a wry smile, and she dreamt once more. 


Earlier

Matti had caught herself staring into the mirror as she went through her 
careful ritual of covering up her face before she pocketed her prized white 
tabs and going out on the street to make herself a living. It was not as if 
anyone would give a damn what she looked like. As always, she would be 
wearing a worn down dress over her jeans and the large scarf over her hair 
and hiding her face as in a cowl was enough signal to anyone. 
Yet, she could recall better times. She could recall times she was actually 
filling out the dress, and the times where her customers were after more 
than the contents of her jeans pocket. But all of them were aware now, and 
they did so no longer. And even though she had cursed them time and time 
again over the last few years, a strange void of missing something had 
settled into her. Sure enough, she realized what it was.
Matilde, as the name given to her by her parents, 20-odd years ago, had 
always been center of attention wherever she went. She was not 
extraordinary beautiful, her nicely shaped face adorned with freckles. Her 
eyes had remained, even till after her childhood, ridiculously big in 
contrast with her face, giving her an innocent, wide eyed open look, which 
she always found as being regarded extremely attractive. Early on in her 
teenage years, her body had started to develop curves and she'd worn them 
proudly as her mother had taught her. 
Matti snorted, and shook her head. Her mother wasn't present anymore to 
watch her, and she should know better than to reminisce on times gone. 
She left the dump she called her home and wandered out into the streets. 
The weather was cold, but dry and her breath came out of her mouth in puffs 
of swirling smoke. The wind rattled her bones, chilling her to the core and 
she pulled her thin black jacket around her tightly, making her way through 
the East. The East in London had been where she had grown up, and she had 
only shortly left it to attempt a study on the other side of the city, but 
within half a year she had been back, homesick for the well known streets 
and the raw manner of the East people. 
Well, that and some other things.
Matti headed straight for her usual place and hoped her customers would 
show up quickly. She did not really feel like hanging out in the cold for 
too long. Approaching the steps where she usually dealt with her business, 
she lengthened her paces and stalked to a small corner in between two empty 
houses, with the roof of one of them hanging over turning it dark and 
perfect, although ridiculously stereotype. But the kind of customers she 
had liked that, anyway. 
The first two were relatively new. They had hung about her for months 
before they had actually approached her and only this morning they had 
called her privately. 
After exchanging some empty chatter, Matti expertly, inconspicuously, 
produced two white tabs from her jeans pocket, and handed them over. She 
stuffed the bundle of twenty pound bills in her other pocket and after the 
exchange they chattered some more, but she noticed they were in a hurry to 
go, and they parted. She knew that was because they were new. They would 
learn how to go about differently, soon. If they came back.
She shrugged. Not her problem. There were more than enough others. 
Shivering in the cold, she stamped her feet to keep warm. She wondered if 
she should wait for a longer time. It was not very likely anything was 
going to happen anytime soon. Making her decision, she turned on her heels 
and wanted to head back to her pad, when she noticed a striking figure 
making his way towards her. His composure, the way he walked, his clothes, 
everything spoke to her.
She froze. Within a couple of seconds, the man, in his early thirties, 
slightly receding hairline, expensive, tailored clothes adorning his 
athletic body, halted in front of her.
"Matilde," he said, as if it was a pleasant surprise to run into her here.
"What do you want here?" she shot back, recovering, remembering who she 
was, and pulling her coat tight about her, indignantly, as she noticed him 
measuring her up.
"Well, I hoped you hadn't changed your habits, and you don't seem to have." 
He smiled. "Don't worry though; I just want something from you easily 
provided." Smiling, he extended his hand and patted her jeans pocket. She 
did not react, simply slowed her breathing. He gave her a devious look and 
let his fingers slide over a sensitive area. Even through her dress and her 
jeans, the touch burned. 
He pulled his hand back and used it to tug on his tie. "How was your 
mother's funeral?" he asked casually. "I am sorry I could not be there."
"I bet you are," she whispered back, barely controlling her anger.
"Yes, I know. And I am sorry," he taunted her. "After all, if we had gotten 
round to getting married, you would kind of have been my daughter."
Her eyes shot up to him. "Asshole." she muttered under her breath, then 
spoke up. "Are we doing business?"
The corners of his mouth curled up, as cruelly as she had thought it when 
he had done it for the first time she saw him.
"Oh, yes." He pulled something out his coat and offered it to her, 
enclosing it in his palm with his fingers so she could not see. He knew 
how it was done.
Her hands went to her own pockets. She chose the pocket where she had just 
shoved the bills into and fumbled under them for a small white tab, 
enclosed in its protective plastic envelope. The only one she kept 
specifically in that pocket, and had done for quite some time. She clasped 
his hand and they exchanged. 
In a fluent motion, he let the tab disappear into his coat and looked at 
her directly. Swiftly, before she could pull back, he cupped her chin.
"So good to see you. You're a real daughter of your mother, you know," he 
added, taking another look at her. "You look so alike."
Hot tears burned in Matti's eyes and throat, yet she said nothing, just 
looked defiantly.
"See you," he told her, with amusement lurking in his eyes and tugging at 
the corners of his mouth, and he stalked of. 
With little satisfaction, Matti thought automatically that he was making 
the same mistake as the boys earlier on. And with grave satisfaction, she 
knew he would not come back to her for this kind of business, anyway.
She started to retrace her way back home, but she wouldn't trace it fully. 
Now, she had other plans.
Robert. Thinking his name, feeling it in her mind, it all felt disgusting. 
She reached for the last tab she was carrying and popped the acid in her 
mouth, to get rid of the nasty taste. She savored the taste and was, as 
every time, even after all previous ones, excited with the feel of it 
sliding through her throat and nestling in her, and taking effect slowly. 
She walked about for half an hour, feeling her heart beating faster and 
faster as she was used to, until it hammered in her chest with the rhythm 
of her feet. Her vision narrowed, turning everything at the fringes into 
long shadows, slipping in and out of her vision at a sickening speed. 
The familiar rush of the delirium came over her, and she decided she was 
ready. 

Matti's thoughts ran through her scenario continually as she made her way 
out of the East, into the richer parts of London. She knew the way by 
heart and did not need to look anywhere out of her narrow, straightforward 
vision, self imposed by the acid, limiting her visually as well as 
mentally vision-wise. She knew that, and that was the way she wanted it 
now. This was the one time. She would no sooner have the guts than right 
now, so why not, she reasoned. 
She wished that, for dramatic entrance and the like, she could produce 
something cool to get into the posh flat where she knew Robert had a small 
apartment, one he solely used for his "unusual" escapades, not risking 
doing so at his even swankier apartment south of the river. He had done 
that for all the five years she'd known him, and she doubted he'd changed 
his ways. 
Well, the truth of it was that she still owned a spare key to the 
apartment, of which Robert knew nothing about. 
Matti bounced up the two sets of stairs, slipped past some women in 
colorful, thickly padded woolen coats, who were giving her the evil eye. 
She knew, but didn't care, could hardly notice with the nausea rising up 
in her as it always did. She just needed to live out this delirium a 
little longer. 
She was only slightly disappointed when she didn't meet any resistance 
gaining access to the apartment- somehow she had thought it would give the 
entire affair some more drama. But nothing and nobody stood in her way and 
she found the scene as she had pictured it in her head, more or less. 
Robert spread out over his couch, splayed out strangely, as he had 
anticipated feeling weird from the junk, she supposed, but not passing out. 
For the first time that day, a smile curled around her lips. 
She left him be for the moment-she had calculated the time she had 
carefully and knew she didn't need to be in a hurry. In the kitchen she 
collected the things she needed, the things she knew her mother had left 
behind gradually in the years of her relationship with Robert. Kitchen 
knife, nice and sharp for clean cutting, a collection of needles and sowing 
thread. 
Going back to the couch, she realized he was in an uncomfortable position 
for her purpose- she'd need to shift him. She knew that the junk she'd 
given him had not only made him unconscious, also unable to move and 
slightly limp. It was going to be hard to roll over the heavy weighted man 
for her, but she was not going to let something like that stand in her way.
With a lot of effort, she managed to get him on his back. She moved to sit 
on his legs with her legs on either side of him and nearly laughed at the 
irony- yes, at last she was straddling him then, a year after he had 
stopped wanting it, for the reason she was about to unleash on him. 
Since she found it offensive, in a strange way, to either open the buttons 
of his shirt or to rip it open with her hands, she used the knife. Then 
she tugged it aside and looked for a nice little spot she could place the 
incision. Just below the heart she pressed the tip of the knife in the 
flesh and watched a small crimson droplet appear on the blade. It was 
actually harder than she had thought. Her hand, for some strange reason, 
didn't appear to be really steady, nor was his flesh, but she dragged 
along and opened his skin, deep enough, but not overly dramatic. A little 
blood swelled from the clean cut and she dabbed it away with some kitchen 
towel. 
She reached up to her own face next. The tip of the blade hovered there 
for a long time. She placed it between her eyebrows, closed her eyes and 
slowed her breathing. Carefully, she slid it through the scar tissue, 
following the lines of all the old marks, opening them once more, 
allowing her life juices to flow out and fall down. 
When she opened her eyes again and looked down, she was even a bit 
surprised at the mess it had made. The blood was everywhere, on her 
clothes, his clothes, the couch. Her blood. 
It wasn't hard with her hands covered in her own blood as well to mix it 
with his in the wound on his chest. Matti imagined the cells binding 
together, her diseased blood attacking him from inside. No matter how 
long it would take, he would die. He shared it now. He'd exchanged his 
poisonous bodily fluids with her mother, what he had called his life, 
but what had killed her.
Reason had said her mother had been too old to have a child. Matti didn't 
care. She had her revenge. Her bodily fluids traded for his. He would 
find out exactly how poisonous hers were. 
She took up the thread and needle, and forced herself to stay focused for 
a little while longer. With expert hand, she sewed the wound up, sealing 
her blood in with his. 
After she was done, she used it on herself to repair the worst damage. 
Her face had been patched up so many times it didn't really matter 
anymore. Not to her anyway.
When she finally put it down, she rested her head back against the couch, 
exhausted. She realized the acid was past its peak and that the loss of 
blood was going to put her out soon. Only her strong resolve got her back 
on her feet and she dragged herself to the bedroom, where she collapsed 
on spotless white sheets on a four poster bed. Her face was burning now, 
searing with pain as consciousness rushed back into her and brought back 
her senses. 
Matti cried out as stabs of pain from her mutilated face let her whole 
body burn in rage and agony. She screamed until her throat hurt, and the 
intended screams were reduced to whimpers. Slowly, the white of the linen 
stained red. Matti's mouth grew still, and her body stopped shaking 
gradually. 
And Matti dreamt. 








(c)opyright 2004 by Daphne LeFay