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31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:07 pm



"You don't think he'll bite through it?"

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:38 pm

"No." Jean-Marie had been many things, but not a craftsman. The spoon was a clumsy object, heavy and angular with a thick handle. Yet he'd been so terribly proud of himself when he had presented it to her.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Keiju on Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:15 pm



Breathe. As steadily as possible. Just breathe. Concentrating on that helped keep his mind off the renewed agony in his hands, if only a little. His eyes were squeezed shut and every muscle was still uncomfortably tensed, as if in anticipation of more "rinsing".

Such was his focus that he was successful in blocking out the conversations around him. This would have continued until a mug was nudged lightly against his lips. Stéphane twitched and opened his eyes, and saw he was being offered a drink. He didn't know what it was but he was not of a mind to care. The mug contained brandy, he discovered with the first swallow, and that was far more than he would have expected.

"Thank you," he rasped, once the mug was empty.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:20 pm



Mathilde had brought the brandy and the wooden spoon, and so, while she was pouring out a little cup and lifting the man's head to help him drink it, Marie-Eve found herself singing a lullaby as if to soothe her own baby.

"Good," she said, interrupting her song as he swallowed it all. "Now bite down on this stick, there." The spoon handle was indeed a thick, crude piece, and it looked as if it could withstand the abuse.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Jérémie Blanchard on Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:30 pm

This was turning out to be more than Jérémie expected might happen, and he was feeling increasingly less inclined to sit there as a spectator. If he'd known this would be happening, he wouldn't have left the wagon.

The tipping point came when he realised that more was about to be done to Proulx's hands. Even looking at them made Jérémie's stomach turn. How could the poor bastard bear it? And without so much as a grunt to show he felt anything at all?

"I'll... I'm going back to the wagon," he muttered to no one in particular, and turned about awkwardly on his backside. The fastest way to get back to the wagon was to walk, which meant getting to his feet. It would no doubt earn him an ear-boxing later but he felt the risk worth it. Especially if it meant removing himself from this scene as quickly as possible.
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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:50 am



"What are you doing?" Mathilde hissed, all but physically pouncing on Jeremie to keep him from getting up.

*

"Thank you, my dear," Margot told the younger woman, then reaching into the bag Mathilde had brought, she took out a strip of bandage linen and folded it into a rough square. "I'm afraid," she told Proulx, taking hold of his wrist again, "That this is going to hurt even worse. I will be as quick as I can. Are you ready?"

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:39 am



Marie-Eve looked nervously at Margot. "Is the surgeon coming?"

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:50 am

"That old butcher? Yes, he's coming."

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:04 am



She nodded and patted the man on the shoulder. "All right, sweetheart, Margot's an expert. Ready?"

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Jérémie Blanchard on Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:43 am

He halted at once, both embarrassed and anxious. "I need to get back to the wagon." Ideally before his stomach got any more unsettled.

~

Ready? No, not particularly, but Stéphane reckoned he had no choice in the matter. So he nodded and obligingly bit down on the offered spoon. Doing so eliminated the need to speak, which was probably the only relief he was to get in this whole affair.
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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:51 pm



Back to the wagon? But he'd only just come from there! Still, he seemed quite serious about the necessity of it.... Mathilde crossed her arms. "Only if you promise to stay there this time."

*

Drawing in a breath, Margot tightened her hold on Proulx's wrist and set to work, using the linen pad to abrade the dead skin from his damaged hands.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:44 pm



Marie-Eve had begun humming her song again in the hopes of distracting the poor wretch, but the tune died in her throat as she stared in fascinated horror. Would his hands ever even be usable again? She stared also at Margot, still with horror but also admiration. Margot did not even flinch.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Keiju on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:35 am



These were the remaining seconds before the fall, or that was how it felt to Stéphane. It was like hanging from the royal yard by his fingertips, unable to keep his grip no matter how hard he tried. Letting go was the only thing to do but the gap of time between deciding to do so and actually doing it seemed to last for ever. Just like what was happening now. Except this was nothing like as terrifying.

Strangely, he felt no new pain when the soft linen pad first touched his palm, but then it was like molten fire scorching through to his bones. He bit down hard on the thick spoon handle and strove fiercely to keep silent. Reflexive tears might be dampening his face and he might be as rigid as a backstay, but he would make no sound. He could not. That was unacceptable.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Jérémie Blanchard on Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:40 am

Oh there was no chance of him leaving the wagon again, until all this was over. Jérémie nodded anyway, deliberately keeping his gaze directed toward the wagon. "I do." If he didn't get back there and away from here, he was likely to be sick, and that would help no one.

So much for having an interest in helping.
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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:46 pm

There. Margot withdrew the linen, gently settling the hand she'd been working on back into Proulx's lap. "There now. That's the worst over." Bandaging would doubtless be painful as well, but not near as badly. The poor child hadn't even made a sound.

*

Reluctantly Mathilde shifted out of the way. "Alright. Can I help?"

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Keiju on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:10 pm



Stéphane heard the words but did not yet dare to relax. Not until several seconds had passed and the torment was not renewed. He let out a long, shuddering breath and wilted, all the tension going out of his muscles in the same instant. Sweet, merciful Christ. He would never have dreamed anything could hurt that badly.

He willed his eyes open and had to blink several times against the lingering tears. The best he could do was nod his thanks, for he had bitten down so hard on the spoon handle that he could not spit it out. But he had not uttered so much as a grunt and he took a perverse pride in that.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Jérémie Blanchard on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:15 pm

"Will you let me walk?"

It was possible for him to scuttle along on his backside, at least until he got to the wagon, but the whole thing would go much faster - and be less embarrassing - if he was permitted to get to his feet and walk. Or wobble, as the case might be, considering how steady he'd been only a few minutes before.
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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:09 am




"There we are," Marie-Eve soothed as she pulled away the spoon, letting out a shaky breath herself.  "Well done.  It will be all right now."  She did not even know what she was saying, but it seemed important to say something.  The poor man!

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:52 pm

"Try and rest for the moment," Margot told Proulx, "Your hands will need to be bandaged, but best to wait for the sawbones first. He'll want a look -- just a look mind you -- at those hands before they're covered up. The ornery bastard."

*

"If you let me help you," Mathilde conceded.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Keiju on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:15 pm



At the mention of the surgeon, Stéphane glanced down at his hands. They did not look quite so bad as they had only a few minutes before, but the treatments they had received left them hurting as if they were newly-burned again.

"All right," he said with a shrug. By this point, he felt so drained and numb that she could have just told him that he was going home and he would not have felt any trace of excitement.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Jérémie Blanchard on Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:30 pm

He offered his good hand without a word. It didn't sting his pride in the least to agree to an insistence that he accept help. So long as it got him to the wagon's comparative safety. The surgeon would be here momentarily, and he was quite keen not to still be here when he arrived.
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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:07 pm



Ghoulish curiosity was not something Montreuil tolerated in adults; he tolerated it now only by thoroughly ignoring the small child who trotted by his side, vomiting questions at him. The only respite came when they drew within sight of the wagon and the little cretin went shooting off to see the injured fellow for himself. Alas, that had been some moments ago and he had nearly caught up with him now.

"Ah, Madame Benveniste," he acknowledged dryly, taking in the scene in a single, sharp glance. "What," he demanded, his gaze lingering over the man's hands, "No prayer charms? Don't tell me you're reforming?"


"Butcher," Margot spat, though without any particular venom.

"Witch." The retort was equally hollow. "Madame Bellot. And Monsieur... Proulx, isn't it? Good of you to join us."

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  Keiju on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:25 pm



Most of what was going on around him was difficult to follow, but Stéphane's attention was caught well enough by the surgeon's arrival. What the man said upon appearing, however, caused an instant spike of fear. Just who was it tending his hands and what else had she done while Stéphane had not been looking?

"What do you mean, 'prayer charms'?" He asked, unable to completely keep concern out of his voice.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  outis on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:39 pm

"Nothing, love," Margot soothed, "He's just being a spiteful git."

Montreuil snorted, but otherwise ignored her, intent on examining the man's hands and then the wound in his leg.

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Re: 31st July, early morning; Walking wounded

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:40 pm



"Don't listen to him," Marie-Eve said.  "Besides, a bit of prayer never did any harm, and Margot's taken good care of your hands."

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