by C. Ikpoh

For years, I have called Tuesday the most useless day of the week. Sunday is the Lord's day. Monday signifies the first day of work, and though it is particularly loathed, it is a weekly milestone nonetheless. Wednesday marks the middle of each week, letting us know we are half way to Friday. Thursday is the unofficial beginning of the weekend for many. Friday needs no introduction, and Saturday is the holy grail of all days. Tuesday, however, carries no real significance. It is the day that marks nothing of importance outside of randomly occurring individual events, and it has been this way for a long time in my world... until today.

I couldn't tell you how long it has been inside me. I only found out, well, I was more so enlightened this morning. A dream I had woke me up around 3:02 a.m. In actuality, it was more like a nightmare. Something was invading my body. Something foreign... something alien. It crept into my open orifices with stealth. If I were not witnessing the invasion during an out of body experience, I would not have believed it in the dream. Nevertheless, I witnessed it seep in and sink its roots deep within my system. Then, as I sprung from my night terror covered in sweat, I knew something was not right.

After throwing some clothes on, I walked to the corner store and grabbed a home pregnancy test. As I stood at the register under the buzzing noise of the old, dull lights overhead with their slightly orange tint, my face was moist and my hair was disheveled, prompting the store employee to laugh and say, "Relax, man. It's not as bad as everyone says."

Caught off-guard with my mind still racing from the dream, I replied with agitation, "What?!"

The man looked at me in a confused manner and said while holding the pregnancy test, "Kids. They aren't as bad as everyone says. I have three. I'd know."

Realizing his words, I sighed and retorted, "Yeah, sorry. Kids." The store employee simply smirked and shook his head while completing my transaction and wished me well as I stormed off.

When I got home, I ripped open the pregnancy test. Slamming it on the bathroom counter, I opened the cabinet under the sink and grabbed the hydrogen peroxide and a safety pin. I pricked my finger with the sharp end, dabbed some blood on the exposed end of the test stick, and carefully dripped some hydrogen peroxide on it. Finally, I placed the test on the counter and breathed deeply. As I waited, my hands shook uncontrollably. The sound of the air around me became like gushing winds as I lost control of my mind. "Get it together, Tom. Get it together," I told myself. "You are fine." However, the second hand on the clock ticked like a thunderous boom. Then, just as I couldn't listen to my surroundings anymore, the waiting time was finished. One more deep breath was taken, followed by a glance at the test. Positive.

Fucking Tuesday. It cackled in delight as it exacted its revenge for all those years I ranted about it being useless. It reveled in the truth that on this Tuesday I discovered a fact which would change my entire life. I am infected.

Friday, April 3, 2015
I think the only thing which has kept mankind sane is the belief we are God-like. Whether you interpret that as meaning we merely were made in the image of a higher being, we are gods ourselves, or something inbetween where we share abilities with a higher being but are not divine, that is for the individual to decide. What I do know is us scientists, for the most part, generally fall somewhere between the middle and the last example. Obviously, not all of us do. I know plenty of great scientists who hold firm beliefs in God, and that science is God's way of helping His children satisfy their innate drive to understand the world around them, and with each discovery, they become more in awe and stronger in faith once they see the power and depth of God's creative power and understanding. These scientists I am thinking of truly are some great ones. I, however, am more of the middle or last example: I believe the power of creating life is within me and flows from me. I don't doubt the existence of a higher power, but I am able to shape the world in my image. It is that belief, though, which led me to where I am today. Fuck... I shouldn't have ever spoke up. I should've never tried to understand their mystery. Oh well. No use in regret now. It will only leave me dead. I have to figure this disease out.

The first signs of infection manifested as a simple tickle in my throat, which persisted despite drinking an absurd amount of tea, and general soreness at the base of my neck. Since Tuesday, the infection has spread, amplifying these to aggressive flu-like symptoms. Medication has not helped either. I have never handled sickness well, so, needless to say, feeling terrible while my life is on the line is torturous. Thus, why I've been in my home lab since I discovered this disease is inside me. My blue metal stool has been firmly attached to my backside as I've sat on the gray, uneven concrete-paved floor. I've been toiling endlessly at my large wooden workbench - a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling as a guiding light - utilizing every tool at my disposal while fading in and out of sleep. I'm exhausted. Not only can I not sleep due to my illness, but when I do, I have vivid dreams of this "thing" further invading my body. It's almost as if it speaks to me during my slumber. I knew this "thing" was intelligent. I warned them. Of course, they didn't listen. Fuckers.

In any case, I've been able to make some headway studying this disease:
- The incubation period is much shorter than anticipated. From my calculations, it seems I had been infected for 24 hours before the first symptoms arose.
- The cellular activity I have observed is completely unprecedented. The mitochondrial manipulation has created an ability for the cells to increase energy efficiency and productivity a million times over.
- It recodes the DNA in a number of minutes, perfecting it in ways millions of years of evolution can only do.
- Once this "thing" has mapped an entire cell, it is capable of replicating perfect copies of the newly advanced versions to join with original ones through cellular osmosis to replace any damaged or ineffective parts.

From the outer membrane to the nucleus, my cells are being transformed, and if what I am observing is correct and not a hallucination, my theory is this "thing" is working to my benefit. Why is it making me progressively more ill then?

Sunday, April 19, 2015
It is fair to say I never knew what pain was until I became infected with this thing, whatever the fuck it is. I spent the greater part of two weeks in bed sweating profusely, shivering, vomiting, and my entire body sore. It hurt to roll over or even just lay still. Calls and texts continued to flood in as I was incapacitated.