A Martian Crisis

Two entries from Iii’s e-diary.

4462853.S.E.C.: A new epidemic has swept Tyrr. This highly contagious disease is manifested by the outpouring of an infectious music in an unknown language; it is beyond the control of the people singing it.[1] The music is a virus that is making people ill.

Crowds of people are flooding the hospital to be treated for this spreading illness.[2] The patients are in an advanced stage of the bizarre flu; many of them believe that they are from a planet called “Earth.”[3] One of them has concocted an entire history for this song[4][5] (I recommend wearing a protective mask while listening to it.) She claims that it was written by someone called “Lord Byron.” Even more puzzling is her translation of the second stanza: “One shade the more, one ray the less,/Had half impair’d the nameless grace.”[6] The idea of a subtle change in lighting having such a large impact seems so strange,  but then again, so does this pandemic;  the victims are dancing into insanity with these simple tunes.

Children have been infected, too. The translation of their song is, “When she got there, Thecupboard was bare.”[7] I don’t know where Thecupboard is, but imagine coming to a city or planet to find it empty! While the children sing, women are panicking.[8]

4462854.S.E.C.: Tonight I heard a strange tale from the day side of Tyrr. The music virus has struck again after a year. The man was delirious as he described the transformation of an entire town; the infection was so great that they even changed the name of the town to “Green Bluff, Illinois.”[9]

The man is covered in itchy spots,[10] which is a more advanced stage of the music virus than what we have seen before. He is currently in isolation, but I fear that it may already be too late; my skin begins to itch and I am humming an unfamiliar tune.

Works cited:

Bradbury, Ray. Martian Chronicles.1.August 2030:Summer Night.”All over the night side of Mars[they]lay humming”2.August 2030:Earth Men.”They pass their insanity over into us so that we see their hallucinations too. Telepathy.”3.August 2030:Earth Men.“There are many of us here from Earth.”

4.August 2030:Summer Night”She walks in beauty[…]”

5.Mazumder, Bhaswati.”She walks in beauty[musical version.]” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsJKcA5HCrY

6.Byron, Lord. “She walks in beauty” http://www.bartleby.com/106/173.html

7.August 2030:Summer Night”the children sang:’—and when she got there, the cupboard was bare'”

8.August 2030:Summer Night”in a thousand villas[…]women awoke, screaming.[…]’Something terrible will happen'”

9.April 2031:Third Expedition“This[…]is Green Bluff, Illinois”

10.June 2032:Moon Be Still as Bright“What killed them?”[…]“Chicken pox.”

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