Timeline: December 3, 2007
Scene: Dr. John Beckett trekking through the woods to a lonely and remote cabin. The Home of Ezra Hatfield, whos’ youngest daughter, Sarah age 10 is quite ill.
Ezra’s cabin home contains his wife Rose, 5 sons and one daughter.
Sons are Abraham and Isaac Twins 18, David 17, Matthew 15 and Jeremiah 14.
Its early afternoon and while the sun is quite bright. Its bitterly cold outside.
John had to go visit a patient and it bothered him because he knew the man was proud and poor and the medicine he would have to use would be expensive but necessary. Just glad my name isn’t Hatfield he muttered to himself before he knocked on the door of the cabin. “Hello the house, its Doc. Beckett.”
The door to the cabin opened slowly to reveal Rose. Her eyes were still pinkish and puffy from tears. Her hair and the gentle lines around her eyes showed her age the most. Rose is in her mid forties and looked quite healthy. Today her hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail and her manner of dress looked as though she had slept in her clothes. “Please come in Doctor.”
“Thank you Rose, is Ezra home? I have news, about Sarah.”
“He’s not here right now.” Rose explained how Ezra had to run into Concord to take care of a friend. “What about Sarah?”
“Well the tests came back and I know what’s wrong with Sarah. She has Type I diabetes. Its treatable but its not curable and its going to call for some changes. I brought some information with me and a cookbook. Would you like to sit down?”
“Yes, thank you.” Rose welcomed him into her home and made some tea for them. She listened quietly as he explained everything to her. “So this will need to be done for the rest of her life then? But she will be OK right? Sarah isn’t going to die from this?”
“For the rest of all of your lives, Sarah is going to need the whole family to support her, not that I expect anything different. She should be fine. Lots of bad things could have happened but I don’t think they will now.
“She isn’t going to die from it unless she doesn’t follow the directions I give her. It’s a hard row to hoe I am not goign to sugar coat it bad things could still happen but its less likely now that we know what we are dealing with. ” They talked for a while further about the help Sarah would need and changes in diet, the shots and the pin pricks.
“I have a favor to ask, Rose. A young friend of mine has moved into town and has set house in the cabin back of the Buck place. I want to give her a real Appalachian Quilt, now I am willing to buy it or trade for it, would you happen to know anyone here abouts that would have one to sell? I wanted to talk to Ezra about getting a load of wood for her cabin too, I thought maybe he and I could dicker on my bill.”
“I am sure Ezra will be able to work something out with you for the wood. As for the quilts I believe I can be of service.” Rose lead Dr. Beckett to a room in the back of the cabin. Inside was an array of sewing and quilting supplies. “I have a few that you can choose from. I am getting ready for the Spring fundraiser. My quilting group sells them in spring to raise funds for various things. Please take your pick. Maybe this will help in the billing department as well.”
Rose payed out three quilts. One was dark blues, one of brilliant greens, and the last was warm browns. All were very intricately made.
“I think she would like the look of the brown one the best,” John said, “but I would hate to cheat the Spring fundraiser. How much does one of these normally go for Rose? How does this sound? When your other quilts sell at the fund raiser I will give you an amount equal to whatever the highest one brings in and until they sell I will give you the medicine and wave my doctor fee. After they sell we will tally up what the medicine costs and figure out who owes who what. Does that sound fair?”
Rose’s eyes lit. “Yes! Thank you Doctor.”
“No, thank you Rose, I think my young friend will be delighted, you do beautiful work. Do you want me stay and wait for Ezra and the boys or should I come back tomorrow?”
Carefully, John put the quilt in his oversized backpack and started for home with a warm glow in his heart and a smile on his face. Now who should I pull into my plans, Chaska or Lyla, hmmmm decisions decisions.
Quilting at Windmills
John went home his new aquisition firmly in his backpack. He didn’t tell Rose Hatfield, but he intended to make her quilts go for far more than the usual amount at this years spring fundraiser. In a way it was cheating but in a way, well it would help out the Hatfields and they were good people.
When John got home he found a box and and some brown paper and fitted the quilt inside, only to find out that he needed a bigger box. With a sigh, John realized that he would have to make a trip into town but first he was going to see if Chaska or Lyla was down in the whatchamacallit under Ramiel’s house, the focus thingy.
John called out loudly before he went down. “I’m home! Is anyone here?” It would have been just his luck to go down in the cellar looking for them while they were all in the kitchen going out the back door. Sometimes it seemed like his friends were avoiding him. It seemed to happen more often after they learned he could read mind but maybe it was just his imagination, running away with me. Great, thought John wryly, now I am going to have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the night.
Lyla’s voice came from behind him, on the couch. He would have sworn there was no one there when he walked right past it on his way through the big house, but yet there she was somewhat bleary-eyed and blinking in the light. Her hairs was a little disordered.
“Sorry,” Lyla said. “I must have fallen asleep on the couch. I didn’t hear you come in. Is everything all right?”
“You tired sleepy head?” John said with a smile. “I’m sorry I woke you, everything is okay. Did you have a nice nap? Actually, I was looking for you or Chaska.” The words seemed to pour out as if someone had removed the cork from a bottle of champaign, words exploded all around Lyla leaving her blinking a little owlishly until her brain could catch up to her ears.
“Uhn… oh! Yes Rose and I were patrolling last night. Cold as all heck and we got in at dawn. But I’ve actually over-slept so its okay I’m awake now. What’s on your mind?”
Now that his chance to say what was on his mind was here, John seemed reluctant to talk. “On Patrol,” Johns eyes got a distant look on them, as if for a moment he was in a far away place and then he snapped back, “Oh right on patrol how was it? Anything, to worry about?”
Lyla paused. “Nothing we can’t handle.” She smiled wryly and pointed out, “You’re trying to change the subject.”
“Well”, John looked a little embarrassed, like a kid with cookies in his hand right before supper trying to think up a good story about why there are there. “Well,” John began again his eyes sort of darting from side to side, “It’s like this…”,John trailed off again. “Well I did something I shouldn’t have and … oh hell, maybe if I just showed you.” John led the way back to his bedroom, glancing over his shoulder when he got to the door, to see if Lyla as following or if he would have to parade his plunder throughout the entire house.
If Lyla Followed at the door John will pause with his hand on the doorknob and say, “Now promise not to get angry or try and seduce me and I will let you in on my secret.”
Lyla eyed him but amusement. “No deal. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. But I can promise to keep your secret if you like,” she said with a smile.
“Fine then, enter at your own risk.”
The room was spartan, bare in the extreme. It had a bed and a bureau with a mirror attached. By the bed was a small woven rug, just enough to step on in the morning so that you don’t have to put your foot down on the cold boards of the floor.
The room had a military feel to it. The whole place was so orderly that her attention was immediately drawn to the one piece of disorder in the room. On the bed lay a small box, some brown paper and a brown quilt with some pictures on the front. A close look near the bureau revealed a small, three-shelf bookshelf that would have looked more at home in some child’s room. It looked like it would hold about 15 books. On it were 3 books.
Lyla stepped inside and looked around. “Hm. Tidy,” she noted.
John made sure the door stayed open then looked around as if he had never seen his room before. “Ummm old habits die hard I guess. Close your eyes and I will get the surprise. No peekin,” John added after a bit.
John went to the bed and held the quilt up on front of him. “Okay, open your eyes and tell me what you think.” John was holding up and intricate quilt made from warm brown tones with a large wolf portrait on the center with intricately arranged patterned borders going out form it.
“Wow, that’s nice!” Lyla said. She stepped closer to look at it. “Say, is that hand-stitched? Very nice! Warm, too, I bet.”
“I have no idea how its made. One of my patient’s mothers makes them and I got it from her.
“Okay here’s the deal,” John said, peeking from behind the quilt,” Lets say that while I was practicing my mind reading I sort of found out that one of my friends likes a certain member of the pack and I thought since my friend likes quilts that it would be the perfect gift for the pack member to give my friend but I really don’t know how to contact the pack member or convince them to give the gift to my friend. The pack member is sort of an otherworldly type, has his head in the clouds so to speak. And my friend doesn’t really know how to go about breaking the ice but since she I mean my friend has moved into a new place I thought maybe it could be a house warming present from the pack member, that is if I should be able to find him — I mean the pack member — and be able to convince him or her to give the gift to her — I mean my friend. Do you follow all that? More importantly, where can I find Grey?” He sighed. “I am not all that good about this innuendo subtlety stuff. I got this quilt for Rey that I want Grey to give to her, because then he will notice her and maybe they will have a chance at a relationship.” John quickly hid behind the quilt again so he wouldn’t have to see Lyla’s reaction.
After a while John peeked out again while holding the quilt in between him and Lyla as a shield.
“Grey will stop by the Blood and Brew for dinner tonight at about five o’clock,” Lyla said with some amusement. “You sure you want to try to play matchmaker? You seem… a little nervous.”
“Am I sure? No. Am I going to do it? Yes. And I am nervous for several reasons, the first of which is, if Rey finds out that I am doing this she will stop making my BC Cocktail and never talk to me again. So inside the Blood and Brew might not be the best place. The second of which is I don’t know how Grey will react to this so I was looking for you or Chaska or both to give me a hint or three about the best way to present my request. Well that and to find out where Grey is going to be.”
“I could just go by the pub and ask Grey to stop and see you. That’s really the best way as the places he tends to frequent are not places you should be,” Lyla said. “And don’t worry about Rey finding out. If I know her, she wouldn’t be upset at all.”
“That would be great”, John said, “ummm any ideas on how I should ask him to give this to Rey?” John hadn’t lowered his shield yet and he still sounded awfully nervous. Do you think Rey will like it?”
“That would be great”, John said, “ummm any ideas on how I should ask him to give this to Rey?” John hadn’t lowered his shield yet and he still sounded awfully nervous. Do you think Rey will like it?”
“Well, I know she’ll like it. As to how to ask Grey to give it to Rey, just ask,” Lyla said with an amused smile. “If you are trying to be subtle about getting them together, though, then I don’t know.”
“Yeah, subtlety thy name is John. Lyla, I am as subtle as a sledge hammer. I was thinking something along the lines of I arranged for her to have some firewood and I don’t want her to get the wrong idea. I think she is interested in getting to know you better, would you mind giving this to her as a house warming present because I think she would really like it. Short, simple, the truth, does that sound ok? I tried teasing her like Ramiel does and she asked me if I were hitting on her and I don’t want to give her the wrong idea. I just want her to be safe and warm.” John sighs and looks a little sad. “So yeah if you could ask Grey to see me that would be great.”
“No problem, Doc,” Lyla said reassuringly. “I’ll tell him today.”
Thanks Lyla, I need to get a bigger box anyway.
Grey walked into Dr. Beckett’s office near the end of the day. It was a quarter to five when the grey-haired man was led into the doctor’s office by a white-clad nurse. Lyla had made an appointment for him, but told him it wasn’t for a checkup, but rather for a conversation. Grey didn’t know what it was about, and he certainly felt out of place in his old, worn blue jeans, thick green outdoorsmen’s vest over a flannel shirt, and and ratty shoes.
He looked about the place and picked dirt out from under his fingernails while he waited for the doctor to show up.
From outside the door to the reception area, grey could make out voices.
The nurse said, “A Mr. Grey is your last patient for today, Dr.”
A man’s baritone voice “Well if he’s the last one, you can finish up and then head home Sally. I’ll lock up when I leave.”
The nurses voice replied, “Are you sure you want to be left alone with that man Doctor? He seems sort of … I don’t know I just got this uneasy feeling when I showed him in. He’s one of that band of riff-raff that hangs about the town causing trouble and living wild. Why everybody knows that they don’t do no honest work and steal everything that isn’t nailed down.
“It’s all right Sally, I think he came here today because I told a friend of mine I wanted to talk to him. He’s no threat to me.”
“You have too good a heart Dr. John, with all the charity work you do. Why if half the people in this town knew…”
Sally’s voice was cut off abruptly by the man’s sounding a little harder, “But they are not going to find out are they Sally? That would be a violation of Client Patient confidentiality.” He sighed. “Look Sally, I do it because it makes me feel good. I really, really don’t want recognition. If people knew then they would either feel bad about taking charity or come to expect it all the time. I want to give hand up’s not hand outs. Okay just keep it as our secret, as a favor to me.
John walked in holding a chart. There was a “professional” smile on his face. “Mr. Grey? John Beckett.” John held out his hand. Grey saw a while man about 6′ tall in his late forties. His brown hair is peppered with grey. He appeared fit and well muscled and looked like he would weigh about 200 lbs. His voice matched the one that Grey heard outside the examining room just now.
“Yes, I’ve seen you around,” Grey said. He squinted at the doctor. “So what does a proper doctor like you want with riff-raff like me?”
Sensing that Grey wasn’t about to shake his hand, John shrugged and said, “Who said I was a proper doctor?”
“I just did. And you didn’t answer my question,” Grey pointed out with a wry smile.
John gave him a lopsided grin in return and said, “Well Mr. Grey I have a favor to ask of you but unless you really want an examination why don’t we take a walk to Ramiel’s house and I a try and persuade you on the way and if nothing else I can offer you a cold brew for your time.”
Grey thought about it. “All right, after you Doc. And you can drop the ‘Mr.’ It’s just Grey.”
The two men left the examination room and John reached back to turn out the light. As they reached the front area, John called out. “Sally I am leaving with Grey now you can go home and stop worrying.” There was a slight pause and then a muffled voice came back from the file room, “Yes Doctor.”
John grinned and shook his head, motioning Grey outside and then pulling the door closed behind him. “Wonderful nurse and she has a heart of gold but she’s a might overprotective.” The John walked in silence for a while winding down after work, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of Eldon Well, soaking it in. After a while John said, “What do you know about the healing properties of the local plants Grey?”
“I know what to use and what not to use for various purposes, though that’s a bit of knowledge I haven’t had much use for in a long time,” he said. “Why do you ask?”
“Maybe because I am not a proper Doctor, and folklore and herbal remedies interest me.” John said with a wry grin. “I am more of a holistic healer. I treat the whole person not just the parts that I can push a pill at or cut with a scalpel. I’ll use magnets, crystals, incense, herbal tea as readily as pills. I have a sweat lodge set too. It’s not the favor I wanted to ask you but I have been meaning to talk to you and while I have you here I thought I would ask plants and remidies you use.”
Once they got to Ramiel’s House, John brought Grey to one of the downstairs rooms and said, “Wait here. I will get that brew and then get that favor.”
John went to the kitchen and got a cold one for Grey and one for himself, popped the lids and set them in front of Grey, then went upstairs and got the quilt. With a silent prayer and a hearty heigh ho silver John came back holding the folded quilt. “It’s like this, I have arrange for Rey to get a couple cords of firewood to tide her over until she knows more people around here and knows where to go to get what she needs as a sort of house warming present. Then I saw this quilt, now I happen to know that Rey loves quilts and quilting and I got it too and then I started thinking maybe that was too much, don’t want to give her the wrong idea. So I was wondering if you would give it to her instead of me.”
Grey seemed to brighten several shades. “Doc, that’s a heck of a nice thing! Are you sure about this? I don’t think I could afford a nice quilt like this, but…” He looked a little embarrassed for his penniless state. That was a new feeling for Grey; he’d never cared about money before.
“Grey, I consider Rey a friend but if she knew what I am going to tell you now, well, she would skin me alive and throw me to the wolves. I believe that Rey likes you and wants to get to know you better, so by you doing this favor for me you might be doing Rey a favor too, now I am not saying that have to do anything other than give her the quilt but if you absolutely don’t want anything to do with Rey then give this to someone else to give to her. Now the gift comes with one string attached, if you tell her who gave it to you then I expect some warning so that I can head for the hills and not be lynched as an interfering busybody.” John holds out his hand, “Is it a deal Grey?”
Grey didn’t take his hand, but he grinned at John. “Well, ah… actually I rather did get the impression she liked me,” he said as he thought over the events of the previous evening. “You sure you don’t want me to tell her this was your idea? Not that you were trying to get us together, but just that you did something really nice for her. It makes a really good housewarming gift, after all, and she would probably like knowing she has such good friends.”
“She talked to you already?” John wondered. “Well paint me amazed, I didn’t think she would get up her nerve for months now. As for the rest, Grey you can tell her whatever you want. Hopefully by now she knows she has good friends and when the two cords of firewood show up at her house, I will take full credit. I just want some warning if she gets mad so I can give her a chance to cool down before she does something I’ll regret.”
Grey laughed. “All right.”
“About those plants I was asking about earlier, if you or some of your friends would like to make some pocket money I can show you which ones I would love to keep in supply. I like using wild plants where I can but I don’t always have time to go into the woods to get them. I can grow most of them myself but I like using wild plants better because they are hardier and are survivors.”
Grey chuckled, “I doubt the others would be interested. We’re more interested in animals than plants, but I can pick some things as I go, if it’s possible. I have an eye for that sort of thing.”
As a werewolf, of course, about half his time was spent in non-human (and therefore non-opposable-digit) forms, but as a man native american who’d spent time with his tribal shaman learning herbal practices that had been passed down for centuries, he had a good idea what might be needed, and what to stay away from.
“The herbs would be welcome, I don’t want to be rude but twice now I have offered you my hand and twice you haven’t taken it. Is there some custom or cultural moore that I am missing?”
Grey smiled. “No, sorry just habit. I make deals with… well I make a lot of deals and agreements. I don’t like to shake until everything is concluded and all parties satisfied.”
He held held out his hand to John.
“Okay.” John took his hand and shook it. “Thanks for your help, Grey”