He’ll put a spell on you

I remember the feeling came on at about 8:30 on a recent Thursday night. It was that feeling of impending illness, as if a cold or flu bug was digging in and quickly getting an upper hand. But this was different somehow, a stronger and faster kind of sinking than the normal submission to a cold or flu. By 9 p.m., I was vanquished, in the grip of a sickness that I had no chance to fight off. “Damn,” I thought, astonished by the swift power of this nasty onset, “if I didn’t know any better, I’d think some damn witch just put a spell on me.” That was what it felt like; as if someone had literally put me under a spell.

By morning, I was flat out wasted. In the grip of a fryin’ fever combined with a thick and thorough fatigue, I dragged myself to work and counted each second until I could leave. I was thinking this must be some kind of new strain of exotic flu, but I wasn’t convinced. There was something about this illness that wasn’t flu-like at all. No sneezing, no congestion, no coughing, not even a sniffle. Again, I was reminded of a spell more than any virus I was familiar with. Weird, I thought, as I socked in for a weekend of delirium and chills.

By Sunday morning, I wasn’t feeling any better, still riddled with the same strong and disturbing symptoms. And then, by accident, I found him. The little sorcerer who had blown his hot devil smoke into me and stopped me in my tracks.

At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. But there he was, stuck in me head-first, a wicked little bastard indeed, dangling there with completely revolting intentions, pushing the malevolent juju of his foul guts into my blood, a juju that contained horrid tiny agents of ill will and despair. Now, it all made sense. My suspicions had been dead on. I had been vexed by a spell after all, the spell of The Gray One. The Fat One. The Blood-sucking Brujo whom I had carelessly forgotten.

I looked at him, this ancient mortal enemy, and knew the time for battle had come. I grabbed the tweezers, dug them deep into the place where he had hidden his hideous clamps, and attacked. The struggle was grisly, filled with horrific details that are best left unprinted in any reasonable newspaper. But in the end, I prevailed, as I had to prevail. The evil brujo was mine, wiggling his useless legs as I held him in the tongs. I then indulged in the satisfaction of ending his primitive, troublesome existence.

I write of my woes to warn you; these ornery little warlocks are out there, in the hills, the weeds, the grasses, eager to fill us with their hot smoke fevers and 104-degree pestilences. Be aware of them. Put the Deet on them. Drive hot needles through their hearts. Because man, I’ll tell ya, you don’t ever want to mess around with that crazy tick fever.