As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

WIP - The Talisman - Chapter 4 - part B

Chapter 4
Part B

Trish turned to regard the beans scattered in the dirt. The plate had landed right side up with a few beans still stuck to it. Nausea engulfed her. For the first time all day she was grateful that her stomach was empty. The need to heave gave way to rumblings before shifting to shallow pangs.
She turned her attention on the newcomer. His knife had cut her free but it had also killed. She could see the shallow rise and fall of his muscled chest. She watched the firelight skip on his features. How long would he lay unconscious?
She carefully measured the knife to the sheath at his waist; an exact match. Had he turned and thrown the knife to protect her? She sat back and closed her eyes, trying to remember. It had happened so fast. One moment he was standing there, making those weird faces at her. Then he spun. She slammed the branch as hard as she could at his head, twice. Wait.
She stepped over him, retrieving his hat and setting it on his head. Maybe there had been a reason for the look he gave her and for the… She swallowed. What if he had been trying to communicate with her? Telling her something?
Trish took her hat off and did the best she could to comb her hair with her fingers. She would watch him and wait. His knife balanced on her knees. The fire burned low. She set the knife on a rock and added a log to the fire.
"Come on, hero. If you are a hero, wake up. I couldn't have hit you that hard." She shivered knowing she'd hit Old Curly hard enough. She looked around wondering where Old Curly left his bedroll. Locating it with his mule's pack, she stood to retrieve it. "Dang, I forgot how cold the canyons get at night. Curly, you dog, you better not have fleas or --"
"You always talk to dead men?"
Trish jumped and spun. She stared at him. When did he wake up?
"How do you know he's dead?"
The man chuckled, winced in pain and sat up. "You got a wicked swing." He touched his head and grimaced.
Curly's rifle lay with the rest of the gear still with the pack. Trish grabbed it, pointing it at the newcomer. He glanced at her but continued to check his head for blood. "You should at least trust me now. I could have killed you or at least let Old Curly have his way with you. Put the rifle away before you kill somethin'."
"Trust you? Why should I? How do I know you were trying to help me, and not just get Curly out of the picture?"
"Are you slow? Is that why he had you all trussed up like a steer?"
Trish kept the gun pointed his direction. She had no idea whether or not it was loaded. She reached for the bedroll, rolling it up her leg to get it under her arm. "I'm not slow, and you haven't answered my question."
"The old goat's dead or you wouldn't be free." He glanced at the body before his gaze focused on his knife several feet away. "Ya gonna let me have my knife back?"
She moved to the knife, planting her foot on it.
"Hm--" He pressed his fingers to his lips, checking for blood. She watched him roll his tongue around his teeth. "Busted one of my teeth, too."
She smiled; she'd done better than expected. "Looks like you won't be taking advantage of a shanghaied woman. I ought to press charges against you for being an accessory." be continued
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