September 2, 2016

In Which Severin Puzzles Over Pieces

April 29, 1202

"I just... I'm stumped. I've seen amnesia before, but nothing like this." The quill in Orrick's hand was lucky that it was already too thin to distort. This wasn't Severin's first consult with Orrick about a mutual patient, but most of their professional interactions had to do with someone coming to Severin with symptoms of severe stress and him then referring them to Orrick. He hadn't seen anything like Dora's case either.

"Her memory is perfectly fine from the time she established herself in Ravenhold, but everything before that is gone--and even when it was there, now that I think back on it, it always sounded somewhat impersonal. Rehearsed, maybe. She talked about her parents like she would about historical figures, not like she talks about her husband and son."

His tone wasn't quite accusatory. That said, any onus on the patient herself at this point wouldn't help their diagnosis. "I don't believe she's lying, if that's what you're getting at."

"No, of course! We've both known her long enough now to give her the benefit of the doubt there. Besides, it never seemed like a lie either, exactly." Between Orrick's teeth, the tip of his tongue bulged under pressure. "More like... like her brain is compensating. Rationalizing. It did such a good job of it that even Dora herself didn't realize it for years."

"Any ideas as to how that would explain the fever? And the fainting?"

"That, I believe, would be your realm of expertise." Orrick sighed, which more or less summed up Severin's own thoughts on that. "How was she, when you left?"

"Awake, at least. Still warm, but she kept down some soup, and she was reading a story to her son as I headed out." To hear Adonis tell it, Ceidrid's constant need for nighttime cuddles was a large part of why he was still an only child; he'd spent every night in his mother's arms since she'd fallen ill, so if whatever Dora had was contagious, the boy would have caught it by now. "My mother's with her now, and Rina has the quads tidying the house while she and Adonis make supper."

"Good. I'll stop by to check on her some time tomorrow, but let me know if her condition changes any time sooner--or if you have any sudden ideas."

"Right." At this point, though, any ideas wouldn't have been 'sudden'. How long ago had he spoken with Ylwa, again, only to be told that he 'had all the pieces'? Pieces of what, exactly? Was this illness a piece of the puzzle that was Dora? Was it even Dora herself who was the puzzle? "Likewise, if anything occurs to you, don't waste any time telling me either."

Because--one way or another--I'm sure I've already wasted too damn much of it myself.



Van said...

This took maybe twelve minutes to write and it probably shows, but I've been in a creative rut lately (as some have probably guessed) and kind of just wanted to get this up before bed.

Ann said...

You keep beating yourself up so much when really there's no reason to do so. Stop apologizing! :) It's fine!

And I'm glad Dora seems a bit better. I hope Severin figures this puzzle out soon. :)

Van said...

Lots of Severin for the next several posts, so there's a decent chance of him making some progress...