When a person gets a really high fever, there are several things that can happen.
For example, you can die, which I think is probably the worst of all. I mean, you can debate that, but I think it's pretty unanimous. You can also sweat through the mattress, which is really good for your hydration and if you have a bunk bed, wonderful for the person sleeping below you in a Niagara Falls of salt and water.
A fever is a useful thing, as it speeds up your immune system and kills pathogens that can't survive at such temperatures. For me, it can be scary as hell.
When a fever gets too high, brain cells begin frying like eggs on a sidewalk, and you start to go a little bit nuts. It is especially common in children and the elderly. Can't wait til I'm 60.
The first time this happened to me, I was about six, and as is a common theme in bad things that have happened to me, I blame my mother. See, she and my Dad went to Los Angeles for a week, and left me with my grandma and grandpa. On my first night at their house, I noticed a spot on me that was not there before.
I brought this to the attention of my loving grandparents, and they told me it was probably nothing, and to go to bed.
Then I noticed more spots.
I woke up the next day like a damned leopard. I had chicken pox.
Things were going pretty well for a bit. My grandma loves me more than yours loves you, and took me to Toys R Us to buy me a bunch of Godzilla toys. The movie had just come out (the one where Godzilla lays eggs in Madison Square Garden), and those toys were awesome and pretty popular at the time. I wonder how many other children I got sick that day, and the evil part of me laughs at them.
Then things took a turn for the worse.
I went to sleep, and then woke up in a dream world, where various monsters were coming to get me. I was awake, and I could see everything as it really was, only more vivid and colorful. I saw no scary creatures, but I knew they had to be there, ready to eat me. I heard them, stomping toward me, like impact tremors from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park. I feel sorry for it to this day, because I know it must have scared the hell out of my grandparents. I was their adorable grandson, and I had turned into Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
GET ME THE AX
This was not an isolated event, as seemingly every time I got sick from that point on until I was 11 or so, it happened. Not just sick, but really insanely sick.
The time that sticks out the most was perhaps the scariest thing I had ever encountered.
Again, I woke up for real, but something was wrong. The room was extremely vivid again, and as I looked out the window, I saw armies assembling to take me out. They would advance on me and then disappear. They shot flaming rocks out of cannons and catapults at my window, but none of them ever made contact. It then occurred to me that it was the Confederate Army. I had to save my brother and sister.
I woke Tommy up and began screaming for him to get under the bed, because the Confederates were coming. He freaked out and went under the bed. My sister, on the other hand, ran to get my mother, whom I had already woken up with the sounds of my screaming about secession in the name of slavery and state's rights. Even as an 11 year old, I had a dislike for Jefferson Davis.
The dream then shifted to men who had entered the house. Not only did they enter the house, but they inhabited the bodies of my family, becoming my Mom and my siblings. They were coming to kill me.
Even worse.....they had markers for fingers. They were going to kill me, and they would do so in very inky, messy fashion. It's impossible to get a Crayola marker out of a white t-shirt, which may be the worst part of it all.
Just my brother and sister, wanting to eat my flesh.
As the night went on, my Mom tried desperately to impress upon me the idea that they were not there to eat my flesh, and that the Confederate army was not setting up camp at South Hills Village. It's good that she didn't tell me they (the Confederates) were all dead, or I would have a new thing to fear: zombies.
Eventually, my fever went down, and I became normal again. To this day, they make fun of me about the Marker People, and they all have a good laugh. I do not laugh, because I know the truth.
The Marker People still live within them, and will return some day to draw penises on my face while I'm asleep.