August 14, 2013

In Which Viridis Begins Another Birthday

August 10, 1182

A sharp pang and the weak first light bade Viridis welcome to her twenty-fourth birthday. Given her medical history, not one member of her family had expected her to live so long, herself included. Twenty-four wasn't old, nor was it an age that was somehow remarkable, but it was a milestone for her.

Not the milestone, though--no, that asserted itself with another jolt of pain. Viridis clenched her jaw, grinding her inner cheek in a vain attempt at distraction. After her entire life, she was no stranger to random aches, but certainly nothing of this magnitude. Was this... labor?

But how would she know? She'd never carried a baby to term before. Yes, the miscarriages had stung, physically as well as emotionally, but surely labor...

Searle snored. Figured--something wrong, and the only person around was asleep and wouldn't know anyway. She wished one of her sisters were here, or her stepmother. Or hell, while she was dreaming, her mother. Surely her mother would have known. What mother didn't?

Only Viridis wasn't a mother. Not yet, at least, if she dared hope 'yet'. She didn't know if this was labor. She'd never labored before! How would she have possibly--?

"Holy fuck!"

No. No, whether she recognized it or not, it was definitely labor. "Searle..."

"Mmm?" He stirred, coughing somewhat. A nasty sickness had been making its rounds through the area lately, and Viridis feared he was coming down with it. Come to think of it, she'd had a bad bout of a cough just that afternoon. She was sick, her husband was sick, and she was in labor. On her birthday. And she hadn't even worked up the courage to tell her family back home that she was pregnant.

What would become of the baby if they both died? And that was assuming that the baby was all right in the first place...

"Searle, I'm sorry, but I need you to get the midwife."

"Now?" The blankets rustled. The baby answered its father's question in a way its mother didn't much appreciate.

"Yes, now!" Not to be outdone, the baby sent forth another shockwave. "Please hurry!"

"Of course." He grabbed his coat off the footboard and hurried off, not even bothering to dress the rest of the way. Viridis cringed. If he wasn't sick now, he certainly would be.

But it would never occur to Searle to worry about himself. Sick or not, he wouldn't leave her alone for long.

Not that she would be in any case.

God, she prayed, a worried hand to her middle, a surging agony in her thighs. Whatever happens to me... whatever happens to Searle... please let it...

It. No, she couldn't think that, now that it was so close to being here. They? No, that only made it sound like twins. She couldn't handle twins, not with her health! She'd have to guess. She hadn't dared guess before, but she'd have to. Her baby was not an 'it', not any more.

Another pang came and went. She closed her eyes and her mind took over, an image of a little blonde girl playing by the river under her grandfather's watchful eye.

Her. Whatever happens to us, please, Lord... please spare her.



Van said...

...okay, I have to do something about this knee thing. Again. :S

Mimus said...

Argh! I hope the baby is okay and that Viridis survives the birth. :(
Of course, Viridis could simply be pessimistic about the outcome given her history with health scares and misscarriages. After all, why would Searle die of a common cold?

Hope your knee gets better soon. :)

Van said...

I think Viridis's pessimism may be a defence mechanism. It's hard to be disappointed if you're always expecting the worst, after all.

Searle may have the common cold, but he could potentially have something a little more serious. I guess we'll see in time.

Thanks! Though alas, it is an old injury that just keeps acting up every now and again to keep itself relevant. It's the '80s minor celebrity of aches. :S

Winter said...

Viridis didn't tell anyone in Naroni that she was pregnant?! Oh, that girl. I hope she tells them soon so the clan can trickle in for visits.

I hope it's just the sniffles for Searle. Dead Daddy and sickly Mommy is no way for the little one to start out in the world. It would also be nice for Viridis to experience happiness without a downside.

Van said...

I suspect she didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. :S

That would not be a fun first while for the poor baby, or for Viridis...