1867-10-26: A Wraith Nursemaid
A Wraith Nursemaid
Summary: Marie the junior Wraith has been given the task of tending to Alina during her sickness.
Date: 1867-10-26
Related: The Plague storyline
Alina  NPC  

Marie's pallet on the floor was fairly comfortable, for having been thrown together in a hurry. The junior Wraith who more often than not disguised herself as a simple serving maid looked over at her charge where she lay on her bed.

Lady Alina l'Saigner had kicked the sheet off again, allowing the chill, crisp autumn air from the windows to cool her. Over her pale skin was a bubbly red rash. In her half-dozing state, she moved one of her feet to scratch at her calf.

Marie quickly got up and moved to the bed and pulled her foot away, refusing to flinch at the sight of Alina's nail-less toes… three of the nails on that foot had popped off during an earlier scratching session, two on her other foot. Marie picked up the pot of light blue-green salve from the bedside table and smoothed some of it over the most angry of the rash on Alina's legs.

She was warm to the touch, though not nearly as hot as she had been at times during this illness. Alina's eyes fluttered open, and she struggled some to sit upright.

"Here you go," Marie reached up to help her. "You're full of sickness again, aren't you? Let me get a couple of cloths…" and she settled Alina against the headboard before reaching into the pile of clean cloths by the bed. A few moments of blowing her nose and coughing left the cloths full of sickness, but Alina marginally more able to breathe.

Marie threw the cloths into a pile near the door. They would be picked up and washed at some point, washed in boiling water to cleanse out the sickness. She regarded her mistress with some frustration. She was a bodyguard, not a sicknurse… but there were far too many ill, including the Duke and Duchess, for the healer and his two assistants to manage on his own. Marie had volunteered for this.

When the healer had come to check on the heiress earlier in the day, he had been pleased that her fever was staying low. It was not always easy to get her to drink the willowbark tea, but the past few days had been better simply because Alina was semi-awake some of the time. It made giving her medicine easier by far.

Marie absently brushed off some of the long blonde hair from Alina's pillow. "Do you think you can drink something?" she asked.

Alina focused on her, bleary-eyed, and nodded slowly, as if she was afraid too much movement might cause her head to fall off her shoulders. "Tea?" she rasped.

"Yes," Marie responded. "And maybe some bread." She smiled a bit. "You sit there and I'll be right back."

The Wraith slipped out of Alina's bedroom into the sitting room of the suite, and from there to the hallway. A serving girl with a cloth tied over her face was waiting. "Bring hot water," Marie commanded, "bread, some cheese, and an apple— sliced into chunks." The serving girl nodded and disappeared towards the kitchens.

It was not too long before she returned with a tray, which Marie took from her. She brought the tray back to Alina's bedroom, and took a sip of the water before pouring it over the powdered willow bark to make tea. She also quickly took a bite of the bread, a piece of the cheese, and a piece of the apple.

After the tea had steeped and Marie was satisfied the food was unpoisoned, she handed the cup to Alina, who took it with trembling hands and sipped from it. Marie watched her until she had finished half the cup, then took it from her and offered the foodstuffs small pieces at a time.

Alina ate without argument, though she occasionally paused for wracking coughs that would shake her frame. When the food was gone, Marie handed her the rest of the tea to drink.

After the last drops of the tea had been drank, Marie helped Alina lay back down. She frowned at the jar of green salve— it was almost empty. And it was one of the only things keeping her lady able to breathe. She made a mental note to make sure the healer brought more as she rubbed a thin coat of it onto Alina's chest. The sharp smell of it forced open her nasal passageways, and she was pleased that it should be doing the same for Alina.

She placed the jar of salve next to the other, and lightly drew the sheet over her charge.

"Sleep, my lady," Marie advised.

It was good advice, as the heir to Lonnaire was already asleep, if not wheezing slightly.

Marie returned to her pallet. In a couple of hours she would call down for more substantial food for both herself and the heiress, and try and coax Alina into eating something approaching a full meal. In a couple of hours she would have to make more of the tea.

She knew that supplies had run low before there was a shipment of silver willow bark from Duon the day prior. But she also wondered if one small province would be able to supply all of Couviere if the plague spread…

…She also had not dared to check on the rumor that she had overheard, that Lady Alina's sons had fallen ill, too. THere was nothing she could do for them.

No, her duty was to Lady Alina.

She lay down and decided to nap for a couple of hours.

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