Solar Urticaria

Submitted into Contest #92 in response to: Write about a character who thinks they have a sun allergy.... view prompt



Dylan’s log 

Day 1: 

It is with great sadness and reluctance that I begin this log to document a life that is both cursed and tragic at once. You see, I have been diagnosed with an illness that I, until recently, believed to be merely hypothetical. A thought experiment that I had devised in order to remain absent from a monotonous and fruitless pedagogical endeavour has unfortunately been actualized. I began this day, however unfortunately, besmirching my own name with a fabrication. A fabrication that had been immaculately devised in this author’s humble opinion. 

My tale begins on the eve of this author’s twelfth birthday’s eve, merely a dozen hours prior to the creation of this sordid document. Upon my return from the confounded nuisance that has been so named “school,” I begrudgingly dragged another day’s worth of inane mathematical quandaries into my bedroom. I lay upon my bed and cursed the being that devised such a torturous thing as school. It may come as a surprise to whoever will inevitably read these logs, but my standing within the elementary school hierarchy is nearing rock bottom.  

I can only surmise that the other students fear my superior intellect and firm grasp on theoretical concepts. Concepts such as fractional division, the calculation of surface area, volume and more; all easily mastered. It seems the only thing left for me to master is the use of the semicolon. Although, the target of their ridicule is often my sense of fashion and unfortunate unfamiliarity with the ridiculous social norms I am expected to adhere to.  

However, I have digressed. Upon reviewing my day at that wearisome learning institution, I devised a plan so sinister it would make Ol’ Wil-E-Coyote himself blush. I devised a plan that would see to it that I would never have to return to school again. At first, I decided that I would feign pyrexia. A fever. I could explain to my mother that I was not feeling up to the weather, upon hearing this she would inevitably have doubts and issue an edict for thermometric evaluation.  

could simply wait until she exited from within my chambers and place the thermometer within the coils of my nightstand’s lamp. A trick I had seen countless times in old movies. However, I had my doubts that modern light-emitting diode bulbs would provide the heat required for this. In addition, this would likely work a maximum of three times. I needed to craft something bigger. I never wanted to return to that malfeasant institution.   

That is when the idea struck me like a bolt of lightning. I would develop an allergy to the sun. A simulated allergy of course, but it was a requirement that it look genuine. My parents would only need to see the evidence of my allergy once, upon this they would indelibly and indefinitely forbid my return to school.   

I have heard it said that every great lie begins with a grain of truth. If this assumption is to believed then my sun allergy would have to be composed of a real allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis was out of the question as I would immediately be evacuated to the nearest hospital and upon arrival my ruse would be dissolved. It was a great fortune to me that I had already developed a contact dermatitis to certain plants. One of these plants being Zamioculcas Zamiifolia – or the common house plant.  

I awoke this morning at the rooster’s crow (metaphorically as we live in a heavily suburban area) and brushed my arm upon the leaf. I made silent haste to my bed and awaited my mother’s call. As she entered into my bedroom, I enacted a forlorn look upon my face. 

“Mother” I said, “I am afraid I have been afflicted with an incurable ailment” 

“And what Ailment would that be?” she responded, exasperated (I assume from the anticipation of the knowledge that her only son would momentarily deliver incredulous news, but it could have been any number of reasons). 

“Dear mother. I...” I hesitated, creating a masterful level of dramatic effect “I have developed a debilitating solar allergy that is... “another hesitation with a mournful look towards my curtained windows “is chronic and untreatable.” 

“Oh is that so?” she responded calmly (likely repressing her emotions in a valiant effort to comfort me). 

“I am afraid it is so.” I said “I am afraid that if I leave for school today-” 

“School?” she interjected (probably bewildered by the fact her son’s first thought after receiving such a diagnosis was his education). 

“Yes. School. If I leave for school today, I may never return.” I said and revealed to her my gruesome, deformed arm. 

“Oh dear. Let me go get your father and I’ll have him take a look.” 

 My plan was progressing admirably up to this point. Upon my mother’s return with my father, I received news that troubled me deeply. As he examined my upper extremities he paused when he came to my elbow. I had no recollection of engaging the ZZ-plant with either elbow so they should have remained rash-less. He left the room for a moment and returned as he was concluding a cellular telephone conversation.  

“Okay thank you. I’ll let him know doctor,” My father said and holstered his phone. He looked towards me “Son, I didn’t believe you at first but it seems you’re telling the truth. I can’t believe it. While the rash on your arm seems to be harmless, I was worried about that abnormal spot on your elbow. I called the doctor and he confirmed it to me. You have solar urticaria. You are allergic to the sun.” 

I felt as if I had been stricken by rigor mortis. The plan that I had devised in order to remain absent from a redundant learning institution had led to the discovery of the real thing. He continued: 

“It’s lucky we caught it now. The doctor says it develops randomly overnight and many people don’t catch it until it’s too late. So, no school today for sure.” 

It seems I had at least achieved my goal. I would never have to return to that place. Until he concluded: 

“Unfortunately, the doctor also told me that the lights in your video games could trigger a reaction as well. So you will have to stay away from those for the rest of your life.” 

I had been dealt a blow so inconceivably powerful it shattered all hope in the world. My parents left the room and I initiated the construction of this journal. It seems as if my life will be constricted to this room for the foreseeable future. I have begun a tally of the days in preparation for the inevitable onset of madness.   

To whomever reads this journal in the future, this is the first journal entry of many to be written. 

Beth closed the journal and looked to her husband Nick. 

“So that’s what he was doing yesterday” Beth said “I wondered why he came downstairs at midnight and rubbed his arms on my ZZs.” 

“When did he start speaking like an enlightenment thinker?” Nick asked incredulous, “And he seems so dire.” 

“I think he may have gotten into your old Lovecraft collection.” Beth teased.  

Nick chuckled, “ah, makes sense. At least he’s enjoying reading. Do you think it was mean to mess with him like that on the day before his birthday?” 

“His birthday’s eve you mean?” Beth joked. “In all seriousness, I think it’s fine to let him sweat for a little while. Once he sees the date, I feel like he’ll realize he’s been tricked anyways.” 

"I can't believe he didn't realize that I had faked the call to the doctor. That quick Wikipedia search really paid off."

Dylan’s log 2 

Too hasty by far! I have come to the realization that the present date is that of the week’s end. Saturday by my own calculations. There was not to be school today. Upon this realization I have concluded that the “Solar urticaria” my father informed me of mere hours ago is in fact false. The mark upon my elbow appears to be dirt.  

Dylan’s log 3 

My parents have returned my original log and informed me that they were aware of my intentions from the beginning. As they are the beings that created myself, I expected nothing less. They inquired of my reluctance to return to school and I informed them that it was due to the unintelligence of the other students. The other students are weak-minded and moronic and when I inform them of this they seem to respond thanklessly. 

My parents have advised me to refrain from informing others of their inadequacies (a strategy that I remain skeptical of). Regardless of my skepticism I have a renewed optimism for Monday’s class. Plus my birthday is tomorrow and it’s supposed to be sunny. 

May 08, 2021 02:37

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Hugo Millaire
12:07 May 12, 2021

Wow great job with this prompt the story was really interesting, and I liked the format with the log's!


A.J. Constantino
21:08 May 12, 2021

Thank you! I thought it was a fun exercise in verbosity 😂


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