Run Now. Save Yourselves.

I’m writing to you from the relative safety of my writing cave. At least, I think it’s still safe. Hard to know say, now that the infected have breached my defenses. I may be contaminated. It could be days before I know.

I should probably explain this better.

A few weeks ago, some strain of stomach flu hit my family. First, child #1 went down. Now, I hate stereotypes, but if I were the type of person to characterize someone as prone to having man colds, I’d say it was him. Not the person you want to be sick, partly because it’s hard to tell how bad it actually is when every sniffle is “I’M DYING.”

Then his little brother got hit. He’s a trooper, but it wasn’t pretty, and that’s when I realized that this thing was actually getting progressively nastier. And then their dad was down for several days. I got to handle things around here… which wasn’t that unusual, except that I ALSO got to shovel snow (yippee) and go on Gatorade runs and was solely in charge of forgetting to put the garbage out.

Last Tuesday, child one got sick again. Nasty cough this time, and a fever that lasted for days. I have dubbed it “The Plague-ish” because he acted like that’s what he had.

Then his dad got it, just to change up the roster. He got it bad, too. Chest rattling, fever, cough, headaches… he’s collecting the whole set.

I’ve been sleeping on the couch the past three nights to try to give the ill some peace, to get some sleep myself, and maybe reduce the amount of germs I’m breathing in (though honestly, if he didn’t infect me before The Plague-ish took him down, I’m not getting it now).

This morning, child #2 woke himself up coughing and decided his bed was no longer tolerable. The couch is too small for two, but on the upside, his feverish body kept my feet warm.

So that’s it. I got lucky and dodged the stomach flu, but unless this is some weird epilogue to that virus’ reign of terror, I’m probably doomed. I can try to hide in here, but they all keep coming in and coughing on my stuff. And like… needing me to do wife and mom crap.

Oh, yeah. I’m not what you’d call the most sympathetic caregiver. I’m basically the “Did you try like… sleeping somewhere that’s not here? Or not moaning and stuff? Talking is bad for your cough.” *offers comforting pat on the shoulder with a long spatula* type.

I’m not BAD. I’m willing to make lovely honey-lemon tea and bring ice packs and give medicine at acceptable intervals (all of which will be rejected by two of them). Hell, I’ll sit with sick people if they really need me to and they don’t bitch too much. I’ll sing lullabyes and stroke hair and clean up after messes. I just feel REALLY uncomfortable, and generally have no real idea what to do with people who want attention when they’re sick.

So yeah. It’s flu season. It’s cold, and we’re cooped up together.

I expect to succumb to this tomorrow morning, what with that being my birthday and these things having such perfect timing.

My throat is scratchy. I think… I think I’m infected.


(but hey, my quickie [for me] novella project is off to alpha readers a week early. So at least that’s one less thing to worry about.)




About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

6 responses to “Run Now. Save Yourselves.

  • Allie P.

    HA! I am the exact same way! When I get sick, I will hide away in my room and try to sleep it off, but when someone else in the family is sick…? Oh, they come at me like extras on the Walking Dead.

  • Lori L MacLaughlin

    That sounds nasty. I hope you don’t catch it. Or at least not until after your birthday. What a rotten present that would be. Happy birthday and hope you can enjoy it on some level, with everyone sick.

  • kingmidget

    Good luck! My wife got the flu and was absolutely miserable for a week. She is still on antibiotics a couple of weeks later because it eventually turned into bronchitis.

    I’m with you on the hibernation. When I was a kid and we got sick, we were sent to our rooms never to see the light of day (or the rest of the house and family) until we were pronounced non-contagious. The last thing my mom wanted was a house full of sick people.

    That doesn’t happen in my family … being sick means you loll around on the sofa in the family room, watching TV all day, coughing and spewing all over everything.

    • Kate Sparkes

      My kids borrow my phone to play Roblox. Good thing the case can handle Lysol…

      • kingmidget

        That would drive me crazy. I finally got them to agree to stay in one spot. No more switching from one recliner to the sofa, to the other recliner and back again. And when they were sick, I wouldn’t touch the remote. I know it sounds like I’m a germophobe, but I’m actually not. I just think sick people should show a little more respect for the non-sick. 😉

  • patgarcia

    Get well soon. I hope it doesn’t hit you too hard.

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