A short personal blurb today, due to the super-duper fun happenstance of owning a pair of malfunctioning ovaries (aside: it's not actually fun at all). I have polycystic ovaries... 0.5 out of 5 stars, would not recommend, super painful ruptures, and other "milder" symptoms suck.
After having two kids and a partial hysterectomy, I've gone from regular cyst ruptures a couple times a year down to one or two every couple of years. The most prominent symptom I get which has alerted me to every new cyst since I was a teenager is hormonal vertigo. Once the vertigo starts, it usually lasts a couple of days every month while getting worse as the cyst(s) grow(s), and clears up after the pelvis-destroying pain of however many ruptures will clear up the total amount of cysts I have at the time. (My cysts don't get big enough to qualify for surgical removal, and the multiple hormonal treatments I've tried over the past 20+ years never worked for me.)
Today is day 2 of mild vertigo, controllable with motion sickness medication, and came with a side of uncomfortable hormone migraine. These migraines aren't blindingly painful, they just sit behind my eyes and make my vision weird while threatening to get blindingly painful if any of my other migraine triggers join the party.
So, moral of the story, malfunctioning ovaries are not fun and I'mma go have a day involving lots of sitting and not much thinking. Hope you're staying well and healthy and safe this weekend!
6. Better Together
Justin grinned at the retreating backs of the three remaining guards. Tor had been beyond good at using both swords he carried, Justin now had his favored combination of two swords and a knife to back it up, and Tam had been surprisingly capable. Not surprising to Justin because the first thing Tor had done when the fighting started was throw a sword to her, but the two corpses in the snow in front of her still wore the same shocked expressions they’d had for their very short fight with her.
Justin dropped one sword, lifted the knife to his right hand as he was eyeing up the running guards, and then launched the knife after them. The one in the middle of the three starfished and then sprawled into the snow. Justin grinned wider as the guard who’d been last to retreat tripped on the body, scrambled in a panic to stand, tripped on themselves, and then finally got up and started running again.
“Don’t,” Tor cautioned when Justin knelt beside the nearest body and started searching his clothes for supplies. Justin arched an eyebrow, but continued checking pockets.
“The items they carry are either poisoned or made to break,” Tam stated. Justin quickly pulled his hands back and looked up to see if she was joking about the poison.
“Only take things you saw them using,” Tor said. “Anything else they carry is meant to hinder or kill escaped slaves and prisoners.”
Justin stood and looked down at each of the nine bodies in the road. He could recognize all of them easily and – now that he was actively thinking about it – could recall the items they’d taken to hand each night: who had provided the striker for the fire, who the others always asked for a kitchen knife, and all the other things that he now realized were single items distributed across all the individuals in the troop which, when assembled together, would make up a single set of supplies. He went from body to body and took the working, safe items he knew he needed and wrapped them into an impromptu satchel he made using a couple of jackets. Then he went around again and collected the things he’d seen handled but not used and wrapped them up the same way.
“What are you doing?” Tam demanded, stepping back and raising her sword when he approached close to her.
Justin sighed. He didn’t want to bother with the lengthy explanation of how useful decoy and broken items could be, especially since they’d likely be releasing the other prisoners and didn’t need that group being as well-armed and supplied as his group was. Rather than reaching to tie it onto her again, this time he held it out at arm’s reach toward her.
“Bring it,” he rasped.
“Put it on the ground and step away,” she answered.
Justin smirked at her, bowed formally, and set the bundle down. Tam waited until he was picking through the choice of swords scattered around, in case he could upgrade what he’d already found, before she lifted the improvised satchel and tied it around herself. Once he was comfortably armed, Justin picked up the bundle of useful things and tied it on himself.
Tor was already walking back up the road, Tam following, as Justin finished the knot in the middle of his chest. Justin glanced up at the clear sky, considering the option of quietly parting ways by simply ducking into the trees and walking away. It would take him months to get back to the coast on his own, dodging armies, villages, and scouts, and he’d likely starve to death as he didn’t know any of the local foliage and had only seen a few small animals during the past weeks.
“You’re better off with us and you know it,” Tor called back, not slowing his strides.
Justin shot a glance at the two of them before shaking his head. A few summers ago, he’d nearly gotten himself and his young cousin, Bernard, arrested. They’d been bored. Justin stole paint, rollers, and brushes from the local store – which had been closed but had easy locks to pick – and they’d gone down to the docks. An hour later, the seven passed-out drunks they’d passed had some of the worst cosmetics applications ever seen, and one side of one ship’s hull had been redesigned into something akin to a child’s drawing of a store-front selling (of all things) lady’s garments. The ship’s name, the Corseted Lady, may have had something to do with the idea. They’d been nabbed as vandals because they’d been laughing too hard to effectively run away, and Bernard’s father had collected them from the dock master’s offices.
“Next time, Bernard stays home with Adelle, and helps keep watch over his sisters,” Justin’s uncle had growled as they were being escorted to the ship that had been targeted. Justin had scoffed. He and his cousin snickered loudly as everyone rounded the ship to view the damages.
“Come on, Captain,” Justin had grinned at his uncle... and commander when they were on the wet. “He’s better off with me and you know it.”
Bernard and Justin both received a heavy cuff upside the back of the head from Bernard’s father, despite that he was also laughing, and had spent the rest of the night scrubbing and sanding the hull back to its proper condition under careful watch by both Bernard’s father and the militia. A few nights later, when his parents were busy, Adelle had been called to watch the girls and Bernard had again been trusted to Justin’s care.
Justin sighed and started following the siblings back toward the camp. He stopped for a moment to retrieve the knife he’d thrown, and upped his pace to the quick jog Tor set once he noticed Justin was following. Tor kept his sword out and simply cut the ropes he’d set on the road away from the camp, leaving behind nothing but uselessly short lengths.
A weekly blog updating on Saturdays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!