02 September, 2011

2 September 2011

Morning, and Liz, much to Einar’s dismay, was not alright. Her pulse was alarmingly fast when he took it, and it seemed she was terribly nauseous, vomiting as soon as she sat up and--she didn’t want to complain, but he was asking--mentioning that she had an awfully bad headache, vision blurry and the sense of not quite definable foreboding that had plagued her that pervious evening--a certain not-rightness that she couldn’t quite put her finger on--stronger than ever. She didn’t want to get out of bed, finally forced herself to sit up and was going to tend the fire but saw that Einar had already done it, so sat back down on the bed and stared blankly into the crackling flames. Einar was busy with something but she couldn’t really tell what, seemed to be rather intent on whatever work he was doing and then he went outside, and she laid down again…

When Einar returned, he had to shake her awake, gently lifting her head and trying to get her to drink some water, but the water just made her feel sick to her stomach again, and she lost it. Einar looked concerned, and she hated that she was making him worry, that she was being such a problem and leaving him to do extra work, especially with his ribs still troubling him so badly. Sat up in an attempt to show him that everything was alright, would be alright, but he didn’t look particularly convinced, didn’t look very much like himself at all, come to think of it, and she rubbed her eyes in an attempt to get the image to clear up, but without success. The strong, snow-reflected morning light hurt her eyes as it streamed in through the open door and she squinted, tried to block the light with her hands. Einar brought her a pair of the elk bone sunglasses he’d made for them against the coming winter, elaborately decorated with carvings--hers a network of delicate oak leaves and acorns, his displaying an elaborate mountain scene with two ravens circling over a dead-burnt pine--around the eye-slits that would protect them from snow blindness if they had to be out for long periods of time in the open, glaring spaces. The glasses helped. She was finally able to un-squint her eyes without making the headache worse. Didn’t want it to get any worse; was pretty nearly intolerable at the moment, and she wished for some willow, but knew she shouldn’t have it, not with the baby… Einar was speaking, trying to get her attention, and she looked up at him.

“We’re going down to Susan’s. She’ll know what to do for you.”

“But the storm…”

“Storm’s not here yet. We’ll get there ahead of the storm. If we leave right now, we’ll get there ahead of it.”

“But what about you? I don’t want you to be in any danger, and I don’t want us separated…”

“I’ll get you down there, then stay in the woods, keep away from the house and keep an eye on things, make sure you stay safe there. We won’t be far apart.”

“Einar, I don’t know…you’ve said over and over again what a bad idea it is to go down near other people, even people we know and trust…maybe we should give it a few days, see if things improve? Maybe I still just need more protein, some rest...the baby’s still very active, seems healthy, so maybe we should just wait.”

Einar shook his head, didn’t say anything but she knew what he must be thinking: we may not have a few days, not if this thing keeps getting worse at the current rate…we’ll be doing well to get you down to Susan’s before you’re in real trouble, you and the baby both, and if this leads to the baby coming early--this early--he wouldn’t have much chance at all at this altitude… And she knew he was right, but still didn’t want to go. Didn’t want to leave their home, walk out into the coming storm and abandon everything…

“But what if I can’t make it that far, right now? I’ll try, but…”

“Then I’ll carry you.”

“No! Oh, no, I can make it. If you really think this is the right thing to do…”

“Yes, I do. You’re already packed. I got your pack ready while you slept. And secured everything around the cabin. Let’s go.”

Einar’s pack, when she got herself outside and took a look at it, was huge, loaded down with what must have been well over fifty pounds of meat and hides and weapons and supplies, larger of their two bear hides rolled up skin-side out and tied on top, and she shook her head, wanted to tell him there was no way she could let him carry that much, that he had to split it up more evenly rather than giving her a tiny ten pound pack with nothing more than water and spare clothes, as he had done, but already he was struggling into the pack, hoisting himself upright under its weight and taking his first steps, and he did not look back when she spoke, didn’t even seem to hear her…

It was all moving too fast; Liz didn’t really understand what was going on and she wanted to stop, sit down and discuss it with Einar over breakfast, only she didn’t much feel like breakfast, and Einar showed no inclination of being willing to sit down. He was ready to go, and she didn’t have the energy to try and dissuade him, and then they were out the door, Einar barring it, stacking up rocks in the hopes, apparently, of keeping roving scavengers from breaking in while they were away…too late for bears, she figured it was probably too late for bears, after that last snow, and the thought was some small comfort amongst all the chaos. Chaos, and the realization that in leaving, they were in all likelihood losing irrecoverably the life they had struggled so to build together up there; chances seemed very great that circumstances might arise which would prevent their returning, even if they made the trip down to Susan’s safely and without contact with the enemy. Losing the life they’d built, but worse would have been to lose the child whose future now seemed so uncertain, and she knew his safety had to be the primary consideration. Still, as they made their way into the timber, storm-tossed spruces overhead and the cabin rapidly disappearing behind them, Liz wept for the life that might have been…


  1. I did not expect this turn of events. That's a long way for someone in Liz's situation to walk. Einar isn't in such great shape either.

    I know it's the weekend FOTH and you probably have a hankering to wander, but please don't leave us hanging too long on this one. If you have to though, I guess we can all cut you some slack, you've been great about keeping the story steady. Thank you for another good one.

  2. Well.......I don't know what to expect now.
    Don't want E caught.
    Don't want Liz to lose the baby.

    Thanks FOTH

  3. Kathy/ LADY KAYDEE02 September, 2011

    Oh boy , I sure hope this is a bad dream.
    Goes against everything they have done thus
    far and it's happening way too fast!

    Thanks FOTH.