Sparky And The Wheezles

The Glen Meadow Chronicles

Welcome 2017

Lady Frieda: Master Healer Update:

Missing Chapters added

As part of NaNoWriMo 2016, I decided to add several chapters to my book on my life story.  When I scripted the first draft of Lady Frieda: Master Healer three years ago, I was anxious to get to the part of the story where the main characters advanced to their quest and I skipped over a very important aspect of my life, my own personal conflict with myself growing up.  I hadn't told  the story of how I nearly threw away everything in a moment of selfishness and pride.  It is one of the defining moments in my young life and I felt I needed to explore that storyline with more depth then I had before.  Essentially, I had literally written the line: "And Frieda excelled in school and advanced to become a Journey-level one healer."  It was like being served a cold, un-fried egg on a paper plate.

So, let me give you a sample of this part of my life to start your New Year.

This is from the rough draft and has not been edited for content, spelling, grammar or punctuation.  This post is provided as an example of how I write, in a stream of consciousness....


Frieda has finished her initial schooling, taken her final exams and is returning to her cubicle to change for afternoon chores when she encounters trouble.  Felicity the fox is furious with Frieda and her friends and the influence their club, The Loyal Order Of The Sparrow, has had on the student population in combating bullying

As Frieda made the turn down the back corridor toward the dormitory, she felt an angry presence and quickened her pace.  She reached over her shoulder to unholster her quarterstaff, but before she could, she was shoved up against the wall.  In a blink she was face to face with a young vixen who grabbed Frieda's whistle and yanked it hard enough to break the lanyard. “You won’t be needing this today, weasel.”  She threw it across the corridor and pinned Frieda against the wall with her left paw as she reached up and unholstered Frieda’s staff. “And you definitely won’t be needing this.”

Frieda glanced around the dim corridor and observed that the fox wasn’t alone, there were two males and two females foxes, standing in a semi-circle around their leader.  Frieda gulped and tried to remain calm. “Is there something that I can do to help you?”  She knew it was a dumb question, but she couldn’t think of anything else to say that didn’t sound threatening or cross.


The fox backed away and held the staff in both her paws.  She turned to her toadies and brandished the weapon as if it were a trophy won in a great battle.  She gave a sneer and a wicked laugh to display her bravado and her easy victory over the diminutive weasel.  She spun around, pinned Frieda against the wall with the staff just as she had made a move to escape. “You help me?”  the fox growled, “Oh, Lady Frieda, I think you have already done enough to me.”


Frieda could only sense rage in the creature and observed that her fangs dripped with tenacious saliva when she bared her teeth.  “I don’t even know your name, so you have me at a disadvantage, you seem to know me pretty well.”


The fox stepped away, took an offensive stance, tapped her left paw with the staff and side-stepped to the right. “Oh, I know all about you and your little club.”


Frieda could sense tension building and she realized the situation was quickly getting out of control. “You do?  That’s great, because we’re always looking for new members.  Are you interested in joining up?”  Frieda was aware that the fox was prepared to strike with the quarterstaff and tried to gauge her swing.


“Shut up!” In a blink the fox attacked wildly with the staff.  Frieda turned, took the blow in the shoulder, and fell to the ground.  She screamed for help as the fox raised the stick with both paws to deal a woodchopper's blow to Frieda's head. The fox misjudged the length of the staff which struck the ground above Frieda's head and broke the staff.  And yet there was enough energy to cut Frieda’s scalp and raised a large welt near her ear.  Frieda curled up into a ball and covered her head with her paws the way she had been taught by Eddy Current.


The fox kept up her rampage and kicked at Frieda, most of the kicks were ineffective at causing any real hurt. But the fox managed to land one kick in Frieda’s ribs and Frieda felt something snap, which sent a searing jolt of pain throughout her side.  Frieda had no idea that a creature her own age could have this much anger and rage stored up inside.  She wanted to help the fox, but she also wanted to survive the onslaught.   The fox yelled, screamed and kicked wildly now, incoherently and completely out of control.


Frieda had almost given up any hope of surviving, began to feel faint and nauseous, when she heard a commotion and a new voice. “Felicity, stop this now!”  Frieda recognized that voice and focused on it, tried to stay alert and not pass out.


The fox stopped her fit, wiped her brow with her paw and panted. “What do you want Perry?  Can’t you tell I’m busy?" She huffed and puffed, completely out of breath.  "I’m taking care of something you should have done a long time ago, only you were too weak.”


Perry moved in closer and put his paws out in front of himself as a sign of peace. “Leave her alone, she has done nothing to you.”


Felicity stepped back and panted, focused on her prey and looked for an opening around Perry. “No?  She’s ruined everything.  I had everything under control after I got here.  Everything was in place." She dodged left and right, but Perry anticipated her move and managed to back her away from striking distance to Frieda.  "All of you were out there, doing what I needed to keep the rabble under control so that I would be the top pick when we got our apprentice assignments.” She pointed at Frieda with the broken staff still in her paw. “Then she and her little band of heroes came along and wrecked it.”


Felicity wiped her brow with her stick paw, then pointed the stick at Perry.  “Look what she did to you, you were my best.  You could get inside any little creatures head and totally make them do whatever you wanted.  Get them to make total fools of themselves in front of their instructors.  Put me at the top.”  She realized she was still clutching the stick and she cast it away from her. “She turned you into a wimp. You’re weak, you’re a loser all because of her.”


She turned to the other toadies and yelled at them, “Are you losers?”


The other four fox-kind shouted back, “No!” but they were more then a bit intimidated by Felicity’s rage. 


When she turned back around she was surprised that Perry was now directly between her and Frieda. “Get away from her.  I’m not done with her yet.”


Before Perry could answer, there was another voice which echoed from down the corridor. “Yer done.  Gets yours arse away from dat fine creasure or Willy here will be kickin’ it all de way down dat hallway der.”  Willy the marmot came into the light and he looked as if he could easily make good on his threat.


“You’re a bully, Felicity and we mean to shut you down.”  A young female otter came from around the corner at the other end of the corridor and stood next to Willy and Perry. “Remember me, sunshine?  She linked her arm though Perry’s and stared Felicity in the eye. “Death to Bullies.”


It was only moments later that Frieda heard a shrill series of whistles and she was aware that they were coming from both ends of the corridor.  Within moments, the air was rent with the sound of scores of whistles and an army of paws ran past her.  There were creatures shouting, it was complete bedlam, but she couldn't see much else for the forest of paws, legs and tails that blocked her view from her position on the floor.  She could not see that Felicity and her toadies were completely surrounded by nearly a hundred apprentice candidates.


The corridor became deathly silent and Frieda sensed Madison's presence nearby.  She tried to move to see, but her ribs hurt like a knife stabbing her and  she tried in vain to relax and ease the pain.  In the moments after the commotion started, she felt paws gently move her arms away from her head and she looked up into the eyes of Bretton and Eddy who had come to her assistance.  "Little Fraddly, I leave you for only a few moments and you get it all this trouble.  I should never leave your side."  He took his mask from his pocket and applied it to her head wound.  "You are going to need a lot of stitches, this is a very big cut, there's a lot of blood."  


Bretton looked in her eyes like he had seen the healer in the infirmary do, but he didn't know what to look for, so he knelt at her side and took her paw and held it to give her comfort, and to comfort himself, he was shocked to see her wounded like this.  


The twins arrived, unsheathed their staves and took up a defensive stance and held their positions.  They spoke to the crowd. "Don't let them escape, but do not engage them.  Keep your distance.  Keep safe."


Madison stepped forward, her quarterstaff in her left paw used as a walking stick as she approached Felicity. She extended her right paw in a show of friendship.  "Hello, I am Madison Sparrow.  I am the president of the Loyal Order Of the Sparrow.  These are my friends."


Felicity had caught her breath, but some of the fight had left her and she was very uneasy with all the attention. "So what, I don't care." She spit on the ground at Madison's feet and bared her fangs. "You can't intimidate me, I got my rights."


Bretton came to Madison's side and put his paw on her shoulder, "I'm Bretton Jeffrey-Pine.  Madison's not here to hurt you, Felicity, she just wants to find out what's going on here and to take care of her friends."


Felicity growled and flicked her tail, "Well, she's a little late for that." She looked around at all the other apprentice candidates and observed that most of them had masks on, that quite a few had whistles, some still had them in their mouths.  There was also a fair number of creatures who had some form of stick, everything from a regulation battle quarterstaff, to roughly straight branches gnawed right from some local tree.  Felicity lunged at one of the creatures and snatched away their staff and pushed them down hard on their rump. "Fools! You think you can fight me and win?" She turned on Madison and brought the stick down with full force towards Madison's head.


Madison was prepared, she had practiced with Eddy and remembered her lessons well.  The goal was not to expend a lot of energy, just to deflect away the energy of the other combatant.  She quickly moved her quarterstaff directly in front of her face pointing vertically.  As Felicity's blow came down, Madison stepped to the right and flicked her stave to the left.  Felicity stumbled as the wild swing  failed to connect with anything and the full force of her blow wasn't absorbed by Madison's skull.  "I don't want to fight Felicity, but I will protect myself if you insist on it.  I would rather talk about what it is that is troubling you so."


Felicity quickly found her balance, spun and faced Madison again.  Swinging the stick like a woodchopper had failed her twice now, so she gripped the weapon like a baseball bat and lunged at Madison. "You are troubling me." She screamed as she put the full force of all her strength.


Madison angled her stave and dropped to a squat just as Felicity released her swing.  The fox's stave whistled toward the place where Madison's head had been, glanced off her raised quarterstaff and again failed to connect with anything and lost her balance once again.  Madison remained crouched for just a moment to see what Felicity would do next. 


By this time, Felicity was as angry as she had ever been and when she had again regained her balance, she spun and faced Madison, breathless with rage.  Madison was at a loss as to how to talk to the fox, she only seemed to become more enraged the more she tried to calm her down.


"I want you dead!  I want you all dead!" She leaned on the stick and gasped again as she sized Madison up for a kill.  She thought through her attack so far and determined that Madison was much better at using her stick then she was, but that she couldn't be as sly and cunning as she was.  She would fake a blow with her stick and simply pounce on her.  


She lowered into a crouching position, her tail flicked back and forth and she kept her eyes rivited on Madison.  Perry had seen her do this before and just as she lunged, he ran forward, pushed Madison out of the way and took the full impact of Felicity's attack.  The two creatures rolled on the rock floor of the corridor, the vixen's screams were terrifying to the crowd of creatures who watched in horror at the ferocity of the attack.  When they stopped rolling, Felicity straddled Perry, his left forearm clenched in her jaws, his right paw up to fend off blows she delivered to his head.  Finally, in desperation, he balled up his free paw into a fist and punched her square in the snoot as hard as he could. 


She immediately let go of his arm, stood, grabbed her snoot and bellowed. "Ow!"  She took her paws away from her nose and gasped in shock at the sight of her own blood.  She clamped her paws back over her snoot and cried, "Why would you do that?  You broke my nose!"


Perry got up off the floor and cradled his injured arm, he was bleeding pretty badly and he clamped his good paw over the wound to stem the flow.  He didn't answer Felicity's question but asked her one instead. "You're the oldest, aren't you?"


She looked at him as if he were nuts. "What?  What are you talking about?"


"You're the oldest kit in your den, am I right?"


She looked at the blood in her paw again, "Yeah, so?"


Perry's arm started to hurt and he grimaced. "You're new to Glen Meadow.  You moved from the Valley, right?"


That question caught her off guard and she answered before she could think of a snotty answer. "Yeah, daddy moved us here when our house was destroyed."  Her nose was beginning to hurt badly now and she was worried that the bleeding wasn't going to stop. "So?"


Perry softened his question and moved closer to Felicity, "There's a lot that's expected of you, right?  I mean that, since you're the oldest of the kits in your den, your father has put a lot of pressure on you to do well in this new place."


"Yeah, well so what, parents always expect their children to do well.  What’s your point?"  She was beginning to become annoyed again.


"My point is that you didn't say anything about your mother.  You’ve never said anything about your mother in all the time that I've known you." He took a deep breath and sighed. "It's because she's dead, isn't it?"  He pressed on, "And you blame your father for her death."


The crowd gasped and murmured, some of the creatures could hardly believe that Perry had asked that question of an already irate fox who had murder in her heart.  Bretton whispered to those around him to keep calm and to let it play out,  he had a feeling that Perry knew exactly what he was doing.  He was disarming the foe.


Tears welled up in Felicity's eyes and she shook her head, "No.  That's not true.  That's not true at all.  I have to show my father that I love him by doing my very best in my apprentice training.  He deserves that kind of respect from me."


"You blame him for your mother's death, you feel it is wrong to have this resentment toward your father and so you go out of your way to make up for it by trying to convince yourself that you have to be the best.  And you don't know how to do that so you've become a bully to make it happen one way or another."


She was no longer in control of her tears and they flowed freely, but she continued to fight with her feelings. "No! It's a lie!  He saved my brothers and he saved my sister, but he didn't save her!"  The water came in and she drowned."  She fell to her knees and wailed a pitiful howl of abject loss and despair.  Perry came to her, put his paw on her shoulders and just let her cry it out. 


The twins took the opportunity to motivate the crowd to dissipate quickly, lest they draw attention from the staff and all get in trouble.  They approached the other fox toadies and advised them to stick around to offer support and they got no opposition.  The four of them were more then willing to be cooperative and helpful and offered to assist the wounded to the infirmary.


When Felicity had finally cried herself out, she was exhausted physically and emotionally and needed help up off the floor.  She leaned on Perry, who was a little unstable himself, the pain in his arm was excrutiating, but together, they managed to stand.  She looked up at him and spoke in short gasps. "I don't know what to do next.  I've made a hash of my life and everybody's life I've come in contact with."


Perry looked down at her and tried to smile, but it hurt too much.  "None of us know what to do next.  That's why we're in school." He winced again nodded to one of the fox toadies to come help. "I've learned from Frieda and her friends that friends can teach you a lot about yourself that you didn't even know were possible."  He leaned against one of the foxes who came to his side and nodded at Felicity. "I think you could learn a lot about how to deal with your fears and hurts from the Loyal Order Of The Sparrows.  Will you try?"


Felicity looked around the scene and observed how the small band of friends helped each other, then looked back at Perry. "If you can, so can I."



Frieda sat on a small cot in the infirmary and waited for the Healer to tend to her wound.  Her bleeding had stopped for the moment, but Bretton was quite sure she was going to need stitches in her scalp.  Madison came in to visit and informed her that Perry was being tended to first, the radius bone in his left forearm had been broken, as well as six gashes that required stitches before the bone could be set with a cast.  Madison looked very tired and she sat next to Frieda and eventually fell asleep, her head rested on Frieda's lap.  Frieda leaned her back against the wall, closed her eyes and was soon asleep too.


She was instantly awake when she heard the curtain of the cubicle slide across the curtain rod and she was somewhat surprised to see the Headmaster enter the room.  He wasn't dressed in his robe, but in the customary work clothes worn by all staff at Glen Meadow Home.  She moved to attempt to stand, but Madison was still resting her head on her lap and her side was really in agony.  The Headmaster held up his paw and motioned for her to stay put.  He sat on the stool and sighed.  He looked tired but Frieda could sense that it wasn't a physical tiredness that creased his brow, he was worn out emotionally.  "Headmaster?  How can I help you tonight?"


The Headmaster smiled a wee tired smile, leaned back against the wall and sighed. "I've just spoken with the secretary.  Did you know that there is a petition that has been floating around Glen Meadow Home?"


Frieda nodded no. "A petition?  You mean a demand?"


He closed his eyes momentarily and rubbed his head with both paws. "A petition to let more apprentice candidates join the Loyal Order Of The Sparrow." He sat up and put his paws on his knees. "It has over a hundred and fifty signatures on it." He chuckled and smiled, "Twenty of those signatures are from instructors and staff."  He leaned back on the stool and put his paws behind his head to let that bit of info sink into Frieda's little high-speed brain. 


"Are you mad about that Headmaster, sir?" She wasn't worried, but curious as to what he was driving at.


"Oh no, not at all, I'm a little surprised, but not shocked."  He closed his eyes again and signed. "You and your little friends have made quite an impact here.  Do you realize that the number of referrals to the infirmary for nose bleeds, cuts, scratches, bites, upset tummies and headaches had plummeted to just a mere twenty-five percent of normal referrals."


Frieda thought about some of the students she had observed in the infirmary during her chores.  A lot of the students came in for ailments that defied logic and seemed like the only reason the student was there was for some attention and positive affirmation from somebody who cared. "You think we had something to do with that?"


He nodded, but kept his eyes shut as he spoke, "Discipline issues in classes have dropped to thirty-three percent of normal, complaints about food, chores, classes, teachers, and all that kind of stuff has also seen similar trends.  Yes, I think that the Loyal Order Of The Sparrow has a lot to do with that."  He opened his eyes and looked at her sincerely, "Not that your club has miraculously cured all the ills of Glen Meadow Home, but you all got something going that has taken on a life of it's own.  Death to Bullies.  It sounds hateful, but it captures the spirit of what you started.  Bullying has got to die.  You decided that bullying was something that you were not going to tolerate and you did something about it."  


Frieda blinked and put her paw to her mouth before she spoke. "Are we in trouble?"


The Headmaster chuckled softly, "You think?  I've got five…no six youngsters with broken bones, gashes, bloody noses, split open skulls needing stitches, possible broken ribs and an army of apprentice candidates who want to end bullying by wearing capes, masks and carrying quarterstaves."  He chuckled more heartlily and smiled. Moral is at an all time high, things are going more smoothly then they have gone for a very long time and you think you're in trouble."  He laughed now, "No, you're not in trouble.    You all are going to progress to the next stage of your training."


Frieda patted Madison and the little ferret stirred, sat up and looked sleepily at the Headmaster.  She waved a shy wave at him, rubbed her eyes and yawned.  The headmaster waved back and repeated himself. "You all are progressing to you next level of training."


Madison looked at Frieda before she asked, "All of us?"


The headmaster nodded, "I spoke to Mr. Current, Mr. Jeffry-pine, the Nightshades earlier.  So I'm telling you two now.  You all made it.

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