How’s it going?
Me? Why thank you for asking. I am not doing so well, although better in many ways this morning than for the last week. You all know that a few weeks ago I sprained my hip trying to climb this hill:
Well, Tuesday night we went to our local Munch and when I was showering off the chemicals of public places and other people, a muscle spasm ripped across my lower lumbar and turned the muscles into a pretzel.
I haven’t been able to walk, lay down, roll over or sit up without a great deal of pain (and help) since. I AM seeing some improvements since yesterday though. On Friday we went to the ER because it took me 15 minutes to move my ass 2 inches. We were there close to 8 hours while the doc tried to get my pain under control so she could take x-rays. She said she thought my tailbone might be broken then in the next breath hastened to assure us that it probably wasn’t but she’d do the x-rays to be sure.
So she shot me full of Toradol (Ketorolac Tromethamine), fed me a couple percocets and waited a few more hours. When I was still all screamy when I had to move to pee (poor Boyfriend has been doing a lot of lifting and fetching and carrying and cooking) she shot me full of an abdominal muscle relaxer called Buscopan. After that I was less screamy and she decided it was suddenly unncessary to do x-rays.
What the fuck, right?
Anyway, my point is, I haven’t exactly been able to write or take pictures. Today is, in fact, the first day I’ve been able to sit up without a lot of pain (I’m sitting on a butt donut!) so I am finally giving you a blog.
I will share with you the fruits of the writing I was able to do early last week AND show you my view of the world these past few days.
First, the view.
Yes, the laptop is tilted. On purpose. It’s kind of dizzying watching and reading when you’re horizontal and everything else vertical.
Speaking of vertical, I have been too long now and it’s starting to make me sick so I’m going to hurry this along.
I DID manage to get some writing done a week ago. Anna is being evil in her drive to extract information. She woke up with ‘Krstinamoira’ scrawled across her forearm and with Marcus and Doug’s help they figured that it was actually two names AND figured out who Moira is – the concierge when they had arrived. So now the job is to find out who Kristina is. They have a suspicion that she is Moira’s employer and set about finding out if that’s true.
Moira came around the edge of a densely packed trellis onto the patio and stopped as she spotted Anna. She scowled. “What do you want?”
Anna merely said, “Rhombus!” and the Circle shimmered into existence. “Have a seat, Moira, daughter of Larissa who is daughter of the witch Brighde.”
Moira looked startled for a moment then her expression turned hateful. “Never! I will never do anything you say.”
Marcus and Brock slid into place behind Moira and each one grabbed her by the upper arms. They lifted her off her feet and carried to the chair that was now sitting alone in the middle of the slate patio with the small table off to the side. She kicked and screamed and struggled as they forced her to sit. Jules and Doug tied her to the chairs with the rope Anna had pulled from the other Realm.
Anna stood in front of her and Marcus took his place just behind her left shoulder. Anna crossed her arms and tapped her foot as Moira screamed threats and epithets at them. Several minutes later, tired of the screaming, Anna crossed the distance between herself and the bound girl and slapped her across the face. “Do shut up, little girl.”
Shocked, Moira did just that. The Wolves pulled their fingers from their ears.
“Much better. Now, tell me who you work for, Moira.”
“Ballachulish Hotel.” Moira lifted her chin. She suddenly knew what Anna wanted and she wasn’t going to give it. Kristina could do much worse than this Hybrid. Little did she know.
From behind Moira, Doug snorted. “Really? That’s the answer you’re going with?”
Anna gave him a quelling look . “Your true employer, Moira.”
“Ballachulish Hotel.” Moira sneered at Anna.
Giving her a placid look, Anna opened a doorway to the other Realm again and reached in. Outwardly she ignored the look of shock while inwardly she was grinning. She reached in and pulled out a cylindrical object. It was soft on the ends, had a ruby red ribbon holding it closed and an had an aura of menace that made the Wolves shiver.
Anna untied the ribbon and slid it open, letting it unroll on to the table. Steel glinted out of the rich black leather. Anna asked conversationally, “So, Moira, are you left- or right-handed?”
Caught off guard, Moira answered as she looked at the line of flashing steel, not sure what any of it was. “Left-handed.”
“Good. Thank you for your answer.” Anna reached in again and pulled out a strange contraption. Made of iron, it had a rectangular frame about fifteen inches long with a center brace running from one short side to the other. Two posts rose from the middle of each short end with two more rising up on either side of the middle. Cross bars joined each set of posts, creating two squares. Each square contained a weight on a sliding bar that was controlled by a vertical crank. Each weight was a thick wedge, rounded at the top and flat on the bottom and looked far too heavy for the strange, delicate looking frame work. The whole thing shone with loving care.
Anna gestured to Marcus with her chin and he hurried forward to grab the device, grunting under the weight of it. He held it while Anna pulled the table up to Moira and settled it over her lap. “Put the crusher down here, Marcus.”
Marcus watched Moira from the corner of his eye as he settled the crusher directly down in front of her. He was pleased to see that she broke into a sweat even as she tried to remain impassive and uninterested. Anna pulled some clamps out of the seam and secured the crusher down.
Anna untied Moira’s right hand and lifted her arm. Moira didn’t resist until she realized that Anna was going to put her hand under one of the weights. Anna held firm as Moira screamed and jerked her hand arm, flailing in her bonds as much as she could. Once Anna had Moira’s hand in place she turned the crank until it pressed down, the weight covering the back of her hand. She turned it just tight enough to make the bones grind and hold the hand in place.
“Who is your employer, Moira?”
Moira spit at Anna, hitting her in the face. “Ballachulish Hotel.”
Anna tightened the crank. Moira howled. “Who is your employer, Moira?”
Moira had tears starting to develop but she looked defiant. She opened her mouth and Anna held up a hand, waiting until Moira closed her mouth again.
“I should warn you, Moira. I don’t take kindly to my loved ones being messed with. I don’t take kindly to liars, thieves and cheats. You may wish to start telling me the truth right now.” Anna lowered her hand. “Speak.”
Anna sighed as the male Wolves all groaned. Jules looked fascinated and horrified at the same time. Anna reached ran her fingers over the small steel instruments then selected two: one were a pair of bright, shiny steel clippers. The blades were curved and even Moira could see that the blades were extraordinarily sharp. The second was duller, much older. Age blackened brass was formed into a pair of large pliers. The head of the pliers was in the shape of an alligator. A multitude of sharp serrated teeth filled the mouth of the alligator’s head.
“These clippers,” Anna lifted them, “have diamond edged blades. They will cut through anything, given enough force. And the little alligator here,” Anna set down the clippers and picked up the alligator pliers, “is so old I scarcely remember when I got it. The Inquisition I think. The second one. You may decide how you want to lose your fingers.” She snapped them open and closed in front of Moira’s nose.
Moira paled and tried again, uselessly, to remove her hand from the crusher.
As you can see, Moira’s about to have some trouble. When I can sit up long enough to write.
I have to lay down again. I don’t have the patience or time, really, to preview so I hope you’ve forgiven me my errors, this one time.