The Fall

Prompt: Translate

woman-bath

The worst part was the ride back across the river in that little wooden punt. The stream was high and jostled them, and the rush of adrenalin that had earlier blocked out the pain had subsided, leaving her to feel the intense pain in her foot, and in her right elbow, where she had landed so hard, and in her upper rib cage, which had borne the impact on the massive tree root as she landed. The scrapes on her hands and legs she didn’t yet feel.

Paul was concerned and apologetic, though why he kept saying he was sorry was a mystery to Catherine. She had fallen under her own steam, if not intentionally. Colin wondered where the nearest doctor might reside, he rambled on and on about it. Emily took her left hand and squeezed it encouragingly. That hurt, and Catherine winced. Everything hurt.

Back at the Soulis house, Mme Soulis greeted the three healthy hikers and the one battered one with her usual aplomb, as if it was to be expected that one of them should pitch down the dry waterfall. Colin wanted a doctor but she ignored him and summoned old Soulis, who gave her a rather personal, and painful examination right there in the front foyer; twisting her ankles and arms, poking her abdomen and asking questions in French that Catherine could not understand.

“I think he asked if you have a headache?” Paul said, from his position beside her chair, a large carved piece of furniture more like a throne, and completely out of place in the hallway. He put his arm around her shoulder as he bent over to ask.

Dammit, she did have a headache, she hadn’t noticed until he asked. Dammit. Colin took it upon himself to feel her scalp for bumps, and found none.

“I want drugs,” Catherine said.

“Nothing is broken,” Paul said, “He says you are fine.”

“What?” said Catherine, who felt for the first time the sting of a scratch on her cheek.

“It is probably a sprain, that left ankle,” Paul continued.

“A sprain can be worse than a break,” Colin said unhelpfully.

“And maybe a nasty bruise on the elbow,” Paul said, wincing in empathy.

“We need some stretchy bandages for the ankle,” Emily said, and Mme Soulis, whom they hadn’t notice had left the foyer, suddenly reappeared as if on cue with a roll of beige stretchy tape. She also had a bottle that suspiciously looked like Iodine, which Catherine, remembering it from her childhood, planned to resist.

Mme Soulis spoke, and Paul did his best to translate. “Your condition is not serious, and you do not need a hospital, but your own doctor when you get home. Something like that.”

“It feels serious,” Catherine said sulkily, her eyes welling with tears. “Ow, I might have broken a rib!”

“Can you breathe?” Paul asked, on old Soulis’ behalf.

“Um, yes.”

“No broken ribs then,” said Paul morosely, as if it would have better if she was right even if it meant broken ribs.

Mme Soulis disappeared again and returned with a cup of hot herbal tea. Catherine sipped while old Soulis wrapped the tape expertly around her left foot, under the watchful eye of Paul and Emily, who had done many an impromptu ankle taping. Someone handed her a kleenex to blot her tears. Then old Soulis took the nefarious little bottle from Mme Soulis’ hand, and dabbed it on a square of folded gauze.

“I’ll do that,” said Colin. And as he dabbed, painlessly, at her legs, arms and cheek, Catherine sipped the last of her tea, suddenly drowsy, aching, spent. “You’ll be ok, baby,” said someone. Colin?

Later, she slept. The soft, cool dry sheets of their bed felt heavenly against her aches; she didn’t think she had ever felt so comfortable, the fall notwithstanding. She awoke when she heard the door close tentatively. On the bedside table was another cup of tea, and a large ceramic basin, steam rising from warm water, a pale yellow sponge floating on its surface. She didn’t have the energy to give herself a sponge bath. Where was Colin? She tried awkwardly to heave herself up into a semi-sitting position, and saw she was naked and pulled a white sheet up around her chin. Not before noticing one large rib bruise and two small purple smudges on her right breast. Ouch.

Catherine took the cup of tea in her hands and sipped—it was obviously medicinal in some way, some crazy magic Soulis way, and the closest thing to drugs she was likely to get here— and stared out the window at the clearing around the house, and the forest beyond, edging closer. It was grey, and she had no idea of the time and no idea where her watch was. It must be late— dinner time? Was Colin with Emily and Paul, enjoying a gourmet dinner while she suffered with a basin of water and a cup of indeterminate tea?

Colin burst in to the room at that moment, flush faced and a glass of white wine in his hand. “Ah, you’re awake!” He sat in the desk chair that had been brought close to the foot of the bed. Catherine hadn’t noticed it there before. “I’ve been sitting here for ages, honest! Just went down for a glass of wine. It’s happy hour. Emily and Paul send their love.”

She could tell by the flush in his cheeks and they way he unintentionally mimicked their English accents, that this was not his first glass of wine of the evening. Colin was what she would call a cheap drunk. Drinking was not his thing.

“Madam Soulis is making a dinner tray for the two of us,” Colin said happily. “I think it’s chicken.”

“With wine? I wouldn’t mind some wine. A lot of wine.”

Colin stood and set the almost empty wine glass down on the desk. “Is the water still warm? Let me give you the sponge bath of your life.”

The water was still warm, and he bathed every part of her body with the soft yellow sponge, silky and soothing, kissing all the tender places. If it hadn’t hurt so much, it would have been the most erotic moment of her married life.

 


Culture and Day 29

Prompt: Culture

culture-the-priest

Culture is the prompt today. Hello, Culture, are you being a good word today? Are you colourful, fascinating, inclusive, ethical, inspiring, and spiritual? If not, go away.

Yes, I’m exhausted on Day 29 of NaNoWriMo. I will reach my wordcount goal, but not the main goal of having a coherent story to share.

Tomorrow when I officially upload my 50,000 words, the universe will rejoice. Or, no one will notice, and I will be disappointed that I didn’t accomplish what I wanted. And work a lot harder next time.

Thank you for all the amazing support and encouragement!

 


Vigor and Day 28

Prompt: Vigor

surreal-moon-and-dock

You know who is filled with vigor? The young son of two intergalactic travellers, named Radical, the second child born on a distant planet. His parentage is somewhat of a mystery, as he gestated longer than normal human babies. Despite that, he is a curious and active child. What will life be like in this new civilization? Who and what is Radical?

Yes, I am eager to get back to my people, the people I write about here, once NaNoWriMo is done. Nano is a great challenge, and an exhausting one, and if anyone is interested I will put together the chapters I finish writing in some kind of order, ready for comments and suggestions. I think the story is interesting, but I have been wrong before.

The problem with the Nano novels is that after a month of concentration, you only want to be free of that particular plot and those particular characters for awhile. I want to get this one done, however, as a first finished attempt, or what’s the point?

At this stage in the process I just feel tired! I want cucumber slices on my eyes and a good neck massage. I want a clean house and stacks of clean fresh towels and laundry.

I can’t decide yet what kind of entity Radical will be, but I think his journey will be a lot of fun.

 


Pungent and Day 27

Prompt: Pungent

art-smells

Red wine vinegar has a pungent smell, and so do gorgonzola cheese and cigar smoke. A back alley or urban tunnel can have pungent odors too, of garbage and piss. What else is pungent besides smell?

I don’t know. I only know that on Day 27 of my NaNoWriMo novel, I still don’t have the murder scene organized. That’s because I changed the identity of the person to finally be arrested and charged, and it relies on planted evidence. Also, the murder has changed from premeditated to somewhat spontaneous, and who takes a large knife on a walk in the park? I might have to change it back to premeditated, but I do want to hold onto some shred of sympathy for the murderer, and that’s hard when someone plans a bloody homicide.

My next Nano novel will be about unicorns and rainbows. …Pungent, gangster unicorns maybe, and rainbows made of acid rain drops. As you can tell I could use a dose of sweetness right about now.

 


 

Liminal and Day 26

Prompt: Liminal

liminal-trapeze

“She was very liminal.”

Ok, that’s the prompt out of the way, although it is an interesting word, and the base for the more common word “subliminal”. It means “threshold” or, a kind of transition from one psychological state to another. I spent a lot of time procrastinating (Nano) by looking up this word and trying to comprehend it properly. Seems like a left turn by the Holy Prompters.

Anyway, I have no time for liminals. I am writing a book, for pete’s sake, in 30 days. Today I powered up and made the goal almost possible. Four days to go.

Do you believe in God? Then why aren’t you praying for me?

Sated and Day 25

Prompt: Sated

water-saturation

I spend most of my NaNoWriMo days looking for ways to procrastinate. Why do I do that? It is a holy quest, a kind of Game of Thrones challenge, to figure out ways to avoid actually doing the writing that I am supposed to do.

I plan to win NaNoWriMo this time, as I always have, because I need to. You know how there are some things in your life that define you, even as they are not important to anyone but you?

Meanwhile, I am so missing all my people, the ones who populate my fiction on this site: Leep, Envy, Lily-Rose, Bernard… all of them. They are dying to tell their stories.

As for the daily prompt: I got nothing but the image.


Chaotic and Day 24

Prompt: Chaotic

chaos_theory__2_by_momentica_one-d34ui94

I thought this illustration of chaos theory by momentica-one on the site Deviant Art was pretty cool. Please visit the site and let the artist know you like it too!

Meanwhile, back at NaNoWriMo, chaos still reigns, in the sense that I simply can not seem to focus and get the requisite number of words done per day in order to get to 50,000 words by midnight on November 30.

I used to work in advertising, where unreasonable deadlines were daily occurrences, so I am hoping my eleventh hour determination will kick in soon. Please? Kick in soon?