She was having a somewhat pleasant dream when a beam of light came from above her and awoke her. The second the light had hit her closed eyelids, she sat up in bed to see who or what had disturbed her sleep. But, as she looked around at the small, box-shaped room with her ocean-blue eyes, she realized that this was not where she fell asleep last night; this was not her bedroom. It was a hospital's room.
She flung the sheets off of her bare legs, and attempted to move forward when she was tugged back by the IVs she only now realized were placed in her arms. She laid back down on the hard mattress, afraid of what would happen if she tried to move again. The few cuts from the IVs straggled down her arms, splitting her newly pale skin wide open. Blood from her lacerations seeped into the once clean and white sheets, and at the sight of so much of it leaving her body and pooling around her, she screamed. The high-pitched, blood curdling noise erupted from her chapped lips, and it refused to stop coming. Tens of doctors and nurses flooded into the cramped room, some of them trying to calm her down, others trying to bandage her wounds. And for some reason, all of them were wearing breathing masks.
"Avril, honey, please settle down! It's gonna be alright, we're gonna get ya some clean sheets and bandage you up. Ya fine, Avril, just settle down!" A heavy-set nurse said, her southern accent muffled- courtesy of the mask she wore on her face.
Avril didn't want to 'settle down'. She was scared and confused. And so she let the scream live on. After a couple more tries from the nurses to get her to relax, a tall and greying man leaned forward and pressed a needle into her hip. At the cool yet painful touch of the needle in her skin, she felt woozy and tired.
It was only a few seconds after he had injected the medication into her body that she fell asleep.
She awoke again- same room, but with clean sheets and arms wrapped in gauze. And she wasn't alone, either. The old doctor who had given her the shot stood opposite of her bed, scribbling something down on his clipboard, occasionally glancing over at Avril. A young female nurse with short brown hair adjusted something on her IV stand, then exited the room. The man pulled a chair over to her bedside and stared into her eyes.
"Hello, Avril. How are you feeling?" His voice was deep and loud, even with the breathing mask on.
I ignored his question. "What's going on? Why am I here? How did I get here? Why is everyone wearing those masks?"
"Avril, you have a very rare and contagious disease. So rare, in fact, that you are the only known person in the world who has it, and only one person had it before you, thousands of years ago. And it's so contagious that if someone were to breathe the air of the room you're in, even for only a millisecond, it would infect them as well. That's why you're here and why we wear the masks around you. And, if you haven't noticed, your room is the only occupied room in this wing, and the door is heavily sealed. We can't risk our other patients or visitors to get your disease. Any other questions?"
Avril was skeptical. She didn't feel sick at all, leaving her pale skin out of the picture. Maybe this was all a dream. A really, really realistical dream. "What's it called?" She crossed her arms under the sheets and a single wooly blanket.
"It's called Calamitous Acumen Chassis Pathosis." The old man replied.
Half of her was starting to believe him after hearing the name, but the other half wasn't.
"How did I get it?"
He set the clipboard on his lap and looked me in the eye.
"To tell you the truth- I have no idea."