You Can Beat the Black Death: Use the Power of Your Mind to Conquer the Deadliest Pandemic in Human History

An English Village in 1348. PETER, a peasant in his thirties is sitting by a well, reading a book. Suddenly, several panicked villagers, some with large bumps or boils on their faces, run past. NIGEL, another peasant in his thirties enters running.

PETER: Nigel, what’s going on?

NIGEL stops and doubles over, catching his breath.

NIGEL: The plague has struck the village!

PETER: Again?

NIGEL: It’s worse this time. There are bodies everywhere. The sick are covered with boils that ooze pus and blood.

PETER: Well, what do you expect, lemon custard and champagne? It’s the bloody plague.

NIGEL (standing up fully) I just don’t remember so much pus and blood the last round.

PETER: I mean, that’s one of the defining characteristics of the plague: boils or bubos in the groin, neck or armpits that ooze pus and blood.

NIGEL: Well, it’s gotten worse.

PETER: You know, you should really try to be more positive.

NIGEL: Positive? My mother just screamed, coughed up some blood and died in my arms.

PETER: Well, I’m sorry about your mother, but–

NIGEL: And you should have seen her boils.

PETER: Give us a rest on the boils, will you?

NIGEL: I’m just saying–

PETER: I know, lots of pus and blood.

NIGEL: You wouldn’t believe it.

PETER: Look, all I’m saying is maybe there’s a silver lining to this whole thing.

NIGEL: A silver lining?…to the bubonic plague?

PETER: (holding up book) I’ve been reading this book…

NIGEL: Book? It’s 1348. The printing press isn’t even invented yet.

PETER: It’s called Command Your Destiny. It says there are no accidents. Everything that happens to us is the direct result of our own thinking.

NIGEL: What?

PETER: It’s called the “Law of Attraction.” People and their thoughts are made of pure energy, and the energy we put out attracts more of the same kind of energy. So if we’re thinking negative thoughts–

NIGEL: Wait a minute, you’re saying half the world is covered with hideous, excruciating boils and dying horrible deaths because…they’re thinking negative thoughts?

PETER: (rising) Exactly!

NIGEL: You’re mad.

PETER: No, listen, there are two types of people in the world. Those who feel powerless and accept whatever happens to them passively and those who see adversity as an opportunity to unleash their unlimited power within. Which type of person do you want to be?

NIGEL: The type that doesn’t die covered with hideous boils lying in his own vomit.

PETER: Listen, Nigel, I’m telling you this is an opportunity! What do you think is going to happen in a month or two when half the peasants in the area are dead? The lords will be begging for labor, and we can write our own ticket! We can farm some land for ourselves and maybe even buy some! Then we can start a business, hire some people ourselves and become entrepreneurs.

NIGEL: I don’t know, that sounds pretty–

PETER: Remember, Nigel, you attract the kind of energy you put out. So if you’re thinking negative thoughts–

NIGEL: I’ll attract negative consequences.

PETER: Exactly.

NIGEL: Okay, so we hide out somewhere for a month or so, and then we come back and shake down the lords?

PETER: Now you’re thinking right!

NIGEL: This could be a whole new beginning for us. (coughs) No more bowing and scraping to the toffs. I’ll get hold of some land, take out a line of credit and start that tannery I’ve always dreamed of!

PETER: Nigel, you’re blossoming in front of my eyes!

NIGEL: Oh, I know some people think tanning is a filthy business, but I don’t care…(coughs) The beautiful and finely crafted leather products I make will be worth all the stench involved in treating animal hides with urine and pigeon shit…(putting his hand to his forehead) Boy, I feel warm all of a sudden…but let me tell you, I’ve got designs for leather jackets, clothing, saddles and accessories that’ll blow people’s minds…(coughs) And I’m going to make it happen! (feels his armpit) What’s this?…There’s…there’s a bump.

PETER: A bump?

NIGEL: (coughs) There’s a…bump in my armpit.

PETER: (stepping back) Listen, Nigel…I’ve…I’ve got to run.

NIGEL: What?

PETER: I, I have to go check on something.

NIGEL: But…(coughs) what about our plan to shake down the lords?

PETER: (moving away from him) Hold that thought.

NIGEL: Where are you going, you bastard? What about your positive thinking?

PETER: (exiting) Good luck, Nigel!

NIGEL: (coughs stronger) Okay, I’m embracing my inner power…putting out the positive energy…Nothing will stop me from achieving my goal. (coughs) The bubonic plague can’t defeat me!

He suddenly collapses.