So! Here's the thing....

Jan 25, 2020 11:48

I've been watching a show about pandemics (called, appropriately, 'Pandemic', on Netflix), which of course covers the 1918 Influenza pandemic. The pandemic that Steve was basically born into.

So, of course, me bring me, I had to research and read up about it, and I found that...

...children who had been exposed to the 'Spanish flu' in utero had a bevy of life-long physical health issues, from lung to heart to vision..... Sound familiar? Oh yes.

Also, pregnant women were the most at-risk for death by this flu, and if the woman survived, one in four miscarried. So of course....

I'm thinking about how not only are many, many men going overseas to fight in WWI, but also many *nurses*. And how neighborhoods already stripped of fathers and brothers are now seeing mothers and sisters and aunts die, leaving grandmas and grandpas and babies to fend for themselves (this flu, unlike most, targeted younger, healthier people, instead of the typical senior and infant populations).

So how terrifying is that, to be alone in this shaken, deserted, grieving neighborhood and city, seeing people dying all around, hearing about death, and death, and more death literally all around the world. The war finally ends, but the flu keeps on going for another month at least, until it finally burns out.....

Talk about collective trauma. And then of course the aftermath of the war, with all those men returning home to fractured families, to no jobs, to a life possibly of dealing with both physical and mental injuries....

So I got inspired and wrote a little something. :D Almost a drabble, but i'm over by 36 words.

Steven Grant Rogers was born in a grave. While his mother groaned and sweated in the smothering heat of a New York summer, bringing forth pale, wailing life, other lives were snuffed out. Across the sea, Belleau Wood and Reims, Soissan and the Marne were groaning under the weight of bombs and bodies.

And then the flu came, gripping soldier and civilian alike, twisting them in fever heat and bone-deep ague. It circled the globe, Death winnowing left and right, without mercy. On islands no more than dots in the vast Pacific sea, and in the frozen Arctic, people gasped out their final, rattling breaths, just as Steven Grant Rogers screamed out his first.

Forever after, his mother would tell him it was that great 'flu that had made him so delicate. So easily fractured and crazed, egg-shell thin. She had taken to her bed for three days in early May, terrified, alone, curling around the kicking life inside her. His birth, she said, was a miracle. Life from the grave.

Bucky was safe from it, born as he had been in fields and plains, far off and away. No rows of rotting tenements and limp, dingy washing to hem in the air, keeping the smoke of death always one thin breath away.

For years, Steve would imagine that the pall of funeral pyres, and the dust of mass graves were what choked his lungs, and clotted his heart, and dimmed the world to dull colors. Death, jealously, would not let go of Steve's hand. Until Doctor Erksine, and Howard Stark. Until hot, silver radiation and quicklime injections forced that bony grip loose and let Steve, finally, slip his winding sheet.

Turned out, he'd carried it all along, invisible; turned out, it was a coffin of ice waiting for him, instead of cold clay.

Turned wasn't done with him yet, but he still carried in his bones the chill of the grave, and tasted the ash and oil of last rites on his tongue.

I'm hoping to do more writing this weekend. I feel inspired! And omg, there's the sun! We've had nothing but grey and overcast and 'wintry mix' of rain/snow/sleet for the past five days. Just - slush and mess everywhere, and luckily the temps hovering just *above* freezing, so no ice-rink streets. Still cold as fuck, though. I wear so many layers to work, I start to feel a little like Randy from 'A Christmas Story'.

I didn't do the Snowflake Challenge this year, either. I almost did, just felt a little too repetitive. I dunno. I feel like I'm being so lurky and passive here and in fandom in general, and I hate it, but i'm having a hard time engaging and i *do not like that*!!

I am, however, really enjoying Show's last season. Really am.
ALSO - reading the penultimate 'The Expanse' novel and OMFG!!! Bastards.
Also reading an amazing Downton Abbey AU all about Thomas and it is SO FUCKING GOOD. Updated fairly regularly, nice length of chapters.... The kind of fic where you see the AO3 alert in your inbox and you go 'eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!' :D

Part one (complete): Halo Effect.
Part two (WIP but regular updates):
Soldier's Heart by Alex51324.

Hope all of you out there are well and happy and enjoying your January!

Originally entered at - comment where you please!

fandom, personal, marvel

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