Yeah, I'm not even bothering to tag this one as Four Line Prose day. Mine was not going to be contained within that limit. If yours does, go for it! Good for you! Not happening for me.
Spent most of today picking strawberries. Had a break after lunch while a thunderstorm passed through, which I spent with Max. Otherwise? Picking berries.
Grand total was 51 pints of strawberries (I did 37, Kat's dad helped me finish them off after dinner with an additional 14) and 1 pint of raspberries. Also collected a little bit of rhubarb, to go along with the tomato plants we'll be bringing to market tomorrow morning.
Shortly after I went back out this evening I got a call from Kat. I always worry that something has happened with Max every time she calls... and this time I was right. Hurray?
I guess he tripped and fell while he was out on our deck, giving his head a good knock. A rather large goose egg (I am unable to describe it even remotely accurately without going into hyperbole because he is my 2.5 year old son, so I'm leaving it at as 'rather large', okay?) showed up on his forehead, above his left eye. Going the better safe than sorry route, Kat and her mom took him up to the emergency room in Oliver to get him checked out.
The doctor saw nothing to worry about, said it was unlikely to be a concussion, and back home they came. We'll keep a close(r) eye on him for the next half a day or so, but the swelling has gone down a lot already and he seems to be doing fine.
Bullet dodged. Time for bed.
But first: The Crossing, Part Three.
The four horsemen saw the thick, black smoke rising above the ruins of Kingstown long before they passed through what remained of its main gate. Nothing had been said, for they were not surprised. They had seen far too much to be surprised.
"It would appear that those who sought to delay us succeeded in their goal," Famine observed as they entered the rubble-strewn town square.
"We cannot return to Master without first settling this matter." Death looked at each of his compatriots in turn, not looking away until he received a nod of agreement. "Good. We shall bring Him their heads."
"Let us have another look at the letter," War said with an eagerness he had no interest in hiding. The bloodlust was upon him already.
Pestilence reached into his cloak and extracted their sole piece of evidence. It was still clutched in the ferryman's withered hand - the fool had attempted to drop the bag of gold coins that accompanied it into the river without any of the riders noticing.
Pestilence had put an arrow through the man's hand - plague, he thought - and, after they had extracted all the information the man had to give them, Death had severed it just below the wrist, before the infection could spread to the rest of his body. They had left him that way, a plain warning to others who might think to stand in their way.
"The letter is unsigned," Pestilence said, "but that matters little. It is handwritten."
"And the paper itself can be traced," War said happily. "By me, at least."
"You and your stupid bloodhound nose," Famine hissed.
"What was that, Fame?"
"I said let loose your hounds of war, mongrel." Famine paused, the spectre of a smile appearing on his face. "Yes, Mongrel. Let loose your hounds and let us find these men."
"Women, actually." War said, some of his previous enthusiasm draining from his voice as he contemplated his new nickname - as well as the possibility of having to hear it for the rest of eternity. Famine's smile grew all the wider, revealing yellowed and broken teeth. That was the first time in ages his compatriot had spoken to him without use of his hated moniker.
"It matters not," Death declared. "Point us in the direction we got next and let us be gone from this place."
"Fine, Dee." War turned his red horse in a slow circle as the others watched without comment. Then he did a second full circle, which caused the others to exchange puzzled glances. When he began a third rotation Pestilence opened his mouth to speak but War cut him off. "This way."
"You're certain?" Pestilence asked.
"Doubt me now if you wish, Pest," War said, some of his earlier good humour returning. "You will not in two days' time."
With that he urged his mount in the direction he had indicated. And, after a brief (but not unnoticed) pause, the others followed.