Lys: After-Sickness

Before Aithne could come in for another hit, the pair rolled in her direction, and she was knocked to the ground, her weapon spinning out of her hands. She scrambled back, onto her hands and knees. "STOP IT!" she screamed. "STOP! Leave her ALONE!"

Then into the nightmare came an angel, who thrust something into her hands and then pulled the Guttersnipe out of it all, while another pulled back Calidus, screaming louder than she had. The two resolved themselves into Gwenhwyfar and Wulf, and the thing in her hands turned out to be Maidenhead's reins. Realizing that fact, she scrambled to her feet and did her best to keep the horse well away from the action.

One moment Calidus was screaming bloody murder, and the next he was sobbing horribly. Unstable. she thought. Raving mad, and living in the midst of us. Would this place EVER stop surprising her? The Guttersnipe had warned her to be at the ready, but the morning's peace had lulled Aithne into security. And now the Guttersnipe herself was paying for it.

Just when things seemed to be winding down, Calidus rounded on Gwenhwyfar. He spat out his words as though they were poison, and Wulf laid him low for it. Be grateful the bard does not satirize you for that! Gwenhwyfar, as a Christian and a Bard, had a whole lot more power in her voice than even Wulf could have in his fist.
Calidus rolled as he hit the ground, and she leapt back to avoid being dragged down with him. Unfortunately, the combination of movements spooked Maidenhead, and she hurried to calm the horse- without a clue as to how to do it properly.

She sighed in relief when Gwenhwyfar took the reins from her, and more than gladly put an arm under the Guttersnipe's shoulders and helped her away.

She had to get directions from the poor girl, having never been there before, but they made it alright. Aithne thanked God that Mordred hadn't shown his face again.

But she sat the Guttersnipe down, fetched a pail of water, a bowl, and some cloths, and started to wipe her down, cleaning off the blood and sweat, taking extra care around the bites. Unbidden, tears came to her eyes. The danger was past, and the rush of it was taking its toll by amplifying her emotions. It's so WRONG! How could he... how could they let this... She swallowed them back as long as she could. The Guttersnipe needed strength right now. She needed help. But the tears came, anyway, until she could no longer see what she was doing. She wiped her eyes with the back of her arm, sniffed, and made the girl lie down on a small couch, a light blanket over her and a cool rag over her eyes- the best she could do to keep the swelling down.

Then, with a reassuring brush of the Guttersnipe's hair, Aithne went outside for a moment-

And left her breakfast under a bush. Shuddering, she heaved more than once, her eyelids fluttering and her brain unfocusing. When she was fairly certain she was finished, she managed to drag herself back in and then curled up at the foot of the couch, ready should the Guttersnipe need her.

"I'm sorry."

She did not know what else to say.


Jenny said...

That last bit? Yeah, did that once. Was hiking out to a waterfall and feeling sicker with each step. Bestowed my food upon a bush (and nearly a snake), then spent most of the time there sleeping it off while the other kids played in the water.

Not the best day ever. But to this day I swear that rock was more comfortable than many of the beds I've slept in in my life.


Jenny said...

Eh, I'm sorry. I laughed at the snake. I always say, if you want sympathy, don't be funny or cute. :P


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