Saturday, May 22, 2094 Before dawn Somewhere in the Bayous of Louisiana District
Patient: Lillianna Fontaine, age 21. G1, P0 (well, P1 now), 38W 4D gestation. Delivered a healthy baby girl at 03:32. No complications, despite being a little early. She weighed approximately seven pounds. Approximate, because my hanging scale is probably near New Orleans right now on the Adeline, instead of being used in a mosquito-infested swamp in the middle of nowhere Louisiana. Lillianna promptly named the squalling baby Sunshine Jane. Ironic, because for the last day and a half, we had not seen the sun; only the heavy, steel sky and its sheets of rain.
An hour after the rain ceased, one of the wagon's wheels bogged down in the soup. Coincidentally, Lillianna's labor began in earnest around the same time. Both events halted the five-wagon train for
the day, and I expect it will be another day before we are able to
travel once more. Cody Fontaine, Lillianna's husband, claimed we were
This Five Questions interview features Alicia Roque Ruggieri, author of the novel The House of Mercy. I met Alicia online in a Goodreads group, and was struck by her fervent and sincere Christian faith.
I asked Alicia to tell us a little about herself. Here's what she had to say:
and raised on the New England coast, I grew up breathing in the salt air,
pretending I stood on the balcony of Cair Paravel. The youngest of three
sisters, I’m married to a fun and furry Italian-Frenchman, and I’m also the
mother of a second-hand pug with more physical and emotional problems than I
love playing hymns and classical pieces on the piano (quite badly, I’m
afraid!), sewing by hand, baking, and walks through the woods and on the beach.
My two nieces and two nephews have captured my heart, and so I relish spending
time with them as well. I
graduated from Rhode Island College (B.A. in Mass Media Communications and
History) and have had the privilege of attending privat…
Monday, May 17, 2094Yazoo Landing, Mississippi District21:30
Patient: Cora Thomas, age 28. A massive outbreak of norovirus swept through the passengers and crew, with only a handful of people unaffected. I was one of the unfortunate ones who huddled in their bathrooms with their heads near the toilet. Do you think that is why sailors call bathrooms the head? Probably not, but it was one of the miserable coherent thoughts to stream across my exhausted brain.
Just over 24 hours after it all began, I emerged from my cabin, shaky and weak, and smelling of my medicinal oil blend. Bless the cook's heart, he had a broth soup prepared with crackers on the side. A few other passengers nodded wearily to me as they passed. Everyone had the pale, wan skin associated with recovering illness. As Captain Barnhart slouched toward me, I saw the same shell-shocked stare. It didn't stop him from tipping his hat and smiling as he greeted me. I had enough sense to ask about his recovery, to which…