Fallsday, 06 Torp
Earned 32 / Spent 14
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I take the gold needle every day. My nervous hands feed the syringe into the fissures of my petrified shins, deep and deep until I feel the nip of the needle against the secret flesh within my leg. Close to the bone. The outer two inches of my legs are stony wood now, grey and unfeeling. Amazingly, I can still flex my toes and ankles. The petrified wood creaks and complains when I do. I am unforgiving with the long, glass needle.
Does it make running any easier? When I pass through the muddy thoroughfares of Kernel, past The Den and along the edge of the jungle, I don’t notice much of a difference. But has the infestation of the drakeroot slowed a little? Are the writhing tendrils, which are at their worst first thing in the morning before the sun rises, a little less vigorous?
It will take another month for the gold needle to build its cumulative effect and start to defeat the infestation. Meanwhile the Disc moves back and forth across the sky, sometimes breaching the edge of the sun’s radiant circle. Other times it disappears behind a cloud and, although I can still feel its gaze burning into my chest, I can almost ignore it. It will be long into Vernuz before I settle on the gold needle dosage. By then I’ll know whether the alchemist will have to up the amount. At least I’m not fiddling around with blue totems anymore.
She warned me of side effects. Nausea. Loose bowels. Impotence. I remind her that I’ve taken the gold needle before and that it beat my infestation. I never felt for a second that the drakeroot hadn’t been completely scorched from my system. But maybe it hadn’t been; perhaps a lingering tendril of the invasive little plant still remained, deep in the marrow of my bone.
Of course, like the most frightened of cancer victims, I carried on sucking in smoke. The drakeroot infestation took hold again. Sometimes you’re just too scared to do anything else, and the root is part of my life. I can’t run without it, even though it’s destroying me.