10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Hank heard more than felt the snap as something in his back gave way. His end of the box fell from suddenly strengthless hands, crashing to the bed of the truck, and he had a moment to wonder idly just what the hell was going on. Then the pain hit.

Paulie goggled fearfully at him from the other side of the box. "You okay, dad?" After a moment, he dropped his end as well and clambered over to Hank's side. "Dad?" Hank's attempt to reply came out as little more than a grunt, and Paulie gulped. "I'll get mom," the boy finished shakily, and ran off.

Any attempt to move exponentially increased what was already a staggering amount of pain, and so Hank remained stiffly in position, trying his best not to breathe. He became vaguely aware that his face was fixed in a grimace, teeth clenched; no wonder Paulie had seemed so frightened. Probably he should be frightened himself, except right now he was too busy concentrating on not passing out.

"Hank?" His wife Karen's voice, behind him. She put a hand on his shoulder, and a sort of groaning whimper escaped him. The hand was removed at once. A moment later, she was in front of him, holding his eyes with hers while she spoke in a level but urgent voice.

"Are you okay?"

He managed a grunt.

"Is it your back?"

Another grunt.

Her mouth tightened, and then she looked past him. "Paulie. Sweetie, get inside, right now. I want you to run the bathtub full of hot water, okay? Can you do that for me?"

"Yeah, but -- "


Paulie went. Hank grunted something again, and Karen looked at him again. "I know, you don't even want to think about getting to the bathtub, let alone getting in it. But I needed to get him out of the way. He's going to panic otherwise." She wrung her hands briefly, and Hank realized she wasn't that far from panicking herself. "I'm going to go inside myself now, and dial Doc Hammer. And then he'll tell me what to do next, because I have no idea." Then, with a bit more spirit, "And you will not be doing any more heavy lifting."

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