Two “PrepTober” Pieces

These have been sitting in my drafts bin for a bit, but here we go…

Based on Twitter Prompts

Write your character sick  – Deline, Bear Empire, some time before the book

“Bear Claws don’t get sick.”

Deline had been saying this for a week, but the evidence was mounting up against her: chills, fever, an unfortunate habit of losing whatever she put in her stomach, an increasing inability to stand up.

“We don’t.   It’s part of the magic of the Claw.  It’s part of the initiation, it’s part of what we are.  We don’t get sick.”  She wasn’t really arguing with Anire, her husband’s junior wife; she was more arguing with the facts.
Anire had never turned down a fight.  She looked Deline up and down and huffed.

“Well then, someone poisoned you.  Or cast a nasty sort of magery on you.  Something like that.  Either way, you cannot go on a mission today, and you shouldn’t be going to a formal dinner. You shouldn’t be going anywhere except to bed.”  Anire took a firm hold on Deline’s arm and tugged.

It was a sign of how miserable that Deline was feeling that she didn’t feel strong enough to resist the tug.  “We have to be at that dinner.  Any absence, any of the four of us, it will be noted.”

“This, this is why you need another husband.  You need someone to send you to bed and then take your regrets to the dinner.  You need someone to tell you when you’re being foolish, Deline.  And make sure that you don’t knock yourself over.  If you’d listened to me, if you hadn’t gone out on that hunt yesterday-”

“Enough.”  Deline tried to put some firmness in her voice, but she found she had none to offer.  “Enough, Anire.  I will go to bed and sleep until an hour before the dinner.  You can send your junior husband in, if you’re worried about me staying in place.  And then, when it’s time for the dinner, I will put on my best gown and my best bright-eyes spell, and I will walk around.  Then, if someone has poisoned me, they will see that they’ve failed.”

“Sleep.”  Anire shoved Deline lightly into bed and hauled a blanket over her.  “If you sleep now and drink broth when I bring it to you, I will make sure someone wakes you up in time for you to dress for the dinner.  But if you give me any trouble at all, I’m going to sit on you, and we will both miss that dinner, and the scandal can say that we would rather spend the day in bed together than meet with the governors.  Which, considering it’s the Lynx and Elk governors, has more than a small grain of truth to it.  Sleep, Deline.”
Deline blinked up at her husband’s junior wife, wondering why she looked as if she was shining.  “Sleep,” she agreed.  She was so cold.  “Another blanket?”

“Another blanket.  And, you know, Deline.  I’m a Claw, too.  You know I know there’s no such thing as magic to keep you from getting sick.”  Anire kissed her forehead lightly.  “Rest, Sister Claw.  I’ll watch your back.”

“Write what your character sees”  – Eva, during the novel I am writing about her, Aunt Family

The living room isn’t a mess anymore, but it still looks pretty bad.

Under the 1970’s-mustard-colored couch, you can just see the edges of the shoeboxes. Eva is ignoring those for the moment, because she has some idea of what’s in them.

Cataloguing the things is going to be the work of months, though, if not years.

To the left – from where she stands with her back to the front door, ignoring the boxes stacked in that little foyer – she sees stacks of smaller boxes. They are long and flat, and she has opened only the top one, which has proven to be full of newspaper clippings. They peer out from the half-opened box, taunting her.

The stack comes up past her waist. She hopes beyond hope that they are not /all/ newspaper clippings.

To the right are bigger boxes. She has moved things so that one can actually sit on the couch, if one is feeling particularly daring – its springs suffered, clearly, and it is sagging in the middle. The cushions are closer to pancakes than pillows.

There is a small display case on the wall between the stairs and the Quilt Room door; Eva is trying hard /not/ to look too closely at that right now.

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