Sarah began coughing, the convulsions of her body expelling water from her lungs. Then she lay still, just breathing. A gentle hand caressed her forehead.
“Sarah?” Jason choked on hope.
She turned towards his voice, eyes closed. She became aware that covers where being moved. Jason squeezed her hands and kissed her forehead. Sarah blinked open her eyes. His face was streaked with tears. He rested his forehead against hers.
“I thought I had lost you,” he whispered. “Gods be praised.”
“Alight,” Martha’s voice cut in, “off with ye Phoenix, I need to ‘oint her wound.”
Jason sighed and pulled back, “I will return soon.”
“Water,” Sarah gasped. He leaned back in, “I need water.”
“I shall return with some post haste.”
His phrasing made Sarah smile. She had always loved his valiant hero moods when his archaic accent came out thickest. Only it wasn’t archaic here, was it, she thought. She began to wonder what they thought of her accent when Martha spoke again.
“Onto your chest with ye.”
Sarah obliged with Martha’s help. The woman carefully peeled back a bandage. Sarah took a sharp intake of breath. It sure felt like she was peeling off an extremely large Band-Aid. As to what was used as an adhesive, Sarah didn’t know. Two drops of cold liquid made her shiver.
“Well that’s the last of the medicine they gave me,” Martha sighed as she changed the bandage. Martha watched Sarah as she rolled onto her back. “Gods be praised,” she muttered before leaving.
Sarah rolled back on to her side, as her wound began to itch. She wanted to scratch it, and it wasn’t just the bandage that got in the way. Her damn assailant had hit her back right in that spot that just can’t be reached. With a moan of frustration she curled up into a ball. Somehow she fell asleep before Jason returned.
When she woke Sarah saw a pitcher of water and a cup had been placed on the small table next to the bed. The sound of sword practice rang through the wall, alerting her to the fact that it was daytime. Sarah managed to sit up enough to pour and drink a glass of water.
Lying back down she noticed a bedroll had been set up near the chimney. No one was in it, but somehow she knew Jason had been sleeping there. She wondered how long she’d lain ill. It had seemed her dreams had only taken moments, but were they really dreams she wondered. Her wondering turned to pain as her head began to pound and her wound to throb. Curling up and closing her eyes, Sarah found mercy in sleep.
Sarah slept and woke and drank and then slept again. The sounds of the day wore on until night overcame them. She was barely aware of dinner being held below her, or even of Jason’s return. She did see him sleeping in the bed roll once, but when morning came he was gone.
At last, about mid morning the next day, a full bladder and empty stomach forced Sarah out of bed. Carefully she made her way down the steep stairs and out to the privy. Martha was in the middle of washing laundry, some of which she was now hanging out to dry. Sarah didn’t want to bother her, knowing how busy laundry day could be.
Some helper I am, she thought.
Going back into the kitchen, Sarah sighed. What she wouldn’t give for a cup of mint tea and some plain buttered toast. Annoyed at how weak she was, Sarah slowly made her way about. It took five trips to the root cellar, two into the garden and one to the well, but at last she had some soup cooking. A microwave and pre-packaged food, she thought as she waited, would also be heavenly right now.
Sarah had just finished eating her first bowl of soup when there was a clatter of horses in the street. They stopped. After a short moment there was a loud knock on Griffon’s door. Sarah listened. The knock came again. Apparently, she really was the only one in the house right now.
Debating on whether or not to let the visitors think there was no one home, Sarah made her way to the door. The knock came a third time. Sarah grabbed one of the jackets from the wall. There was a fourth knock as she tied it under her bust.
“Hello?’ Sarah opened the door, her voice barely above a whisper. Holding onto the door frame she steadied herself.