> jumping into life.

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The cold came upon me suddenly. Today, the sky froze up, dropping the outside temperature to the low forties, the inside of our uninsulated house barely warmer. I caught the cold; it invaded me, stuck in my bones, slid up to lodge behind my eyes. Yesterday I was exploring abandoned houses and gaping at the trees, and today the cold took me, threw me to bed. It rasped my throat sore, stuffed my head with leaves. It wouldn't leave me. I piled sweater on sweater, blanket on blanket, huddled in the snowdrift of my bed, shivering. He brought me cup upon cup of hot cider and tea, warmed the waterbottle, made soup I couldn't eat, went out just now in the dark and wet for more tea. Even after a long nap and the day full of the quiet, dispassionate torpor of illness, I feel worse now than when I woke.

I slept and dreamt I was a king, thought slain in battle but alive under my shroud, still on the battlefield, quietly slitting the throats of survivors, the bone handle of a dagger in my own.

Awake, I watched the clouds and thought of winter, watched the cold. We turned on the heat to still my quaking. I stood under the jet of the shower until the steam was thicker than my lungs, until some of the cold was pressed out of me by the greater weight of warmth. In bed now, waiting like a child for my tea and the cool hand on my brow, I am barely cold at all.

Ach, you're making me shiver too! Feel better soon.

Thanks, Beth. :)

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