Story for the day: Female Condition
For the first time in about 9 months, I had difficulty writing today. This is why.
There was a condition that plagued the many women of Frewyn. It was generally unknown if this particular circumstance beleaguered the other women between two distinct ages of the mainland but once every waxing and waning of the moon, there seemed to be an affliction settling over that would spread over the capital and its surroundings. Women spoke of it at great length, talking about their numerous symptoms as if to broaden this odd state. When mentioned to men, they claimed they had never heard of such a situation and refuted ever seeing their wives or sisters bear all the agony and pain that was noted. Chills, aches, stabbing pains, weakness and fatigue, disconsolation, the need for strange foods at stranger hours, all of these indications recommended themselves to a disease that could only bring about one’s death, but it did not.
The condition was not a myth, as it was well catalogued by other women, but many began to wonder why when asked all the men of the kingdom whether young or old would ardently deny their observation of it. Such a rift of opinion caused much frustration amongst the sexes, which would make those women suffering the condition worsen in temper, and both were inclined to believe the matter would never be resolved. When young girls of decent age asked why they should endure such troubles when older, it was replied that they must for the sake of having children, and when the retort of not wishing to have children was brought forth, it was conveyed that they must endure all the pain and unpleasantness anyway. There were groans on the side of the young and complaints on the side of the old but both parties agreed that it was the most disagreeable business in all of Frewyn to have to undergo.
Although the commander could not enjoy the grueling task of pregnancy due to her injury in battle, she bore all the misery of the feminine ailment without reaping any of its benefits. There was on day in particular the commander felt the anguish and irritation of such a condition. When she had awakened, her chest was aching and not from the pleasurable grasps of her mate the night before. When she sat down to write her correspondence at the table before her training, she could scarcely write a word on the parchment, as her concentration was ruined. When she dressed for her post, her armour was tight in certain places and loose in others, making her usual set of movements difficult to perform. As the day progressed, her strength had waned and once the night came she was even more sleepless than usual. In the afternoons, she was fatigued, in the mornings never hungry, and every day that passed in such a manner was only improved by the comfort of her mate. She paced a great deal in an attempt to recollect herself but the continuous expression of worry paid with the repeated path made the Den Asaan anxious and he made the suggest of chocolate cake as a cure for both of them.
They went down to the kitchen and found Unghaahi sitting at the table. He greeted them with his pleasing countenance and amiable smile and he invited them to join him even though he was told there would be chocolate cake involved. Unghaahi treated the large slices with some looks of apprehension but when seeing the commander’s frustration and the Den Asaan’s nervousness, he agreed the cake could be advantageous in this instance. He was offered a slice out of civility and though he declined and took pleasure in seeing how it improved the moods of his brother and the commander.
“Usually it isn’t this insufferable, but this time the irritability is almost unbearable,” the commander said, eyeing her cake with a renewed calm in her features. “I remember my mother explaining the female ailment to me when I was young. I thought she was teasing me into making me behave. How wrong I was. How do Haanta women bare it when there are no sweets on the islands?”
“By breathing,” the Den Asaan said with a cruel grin. He exchanged a short laugh with his mate and pleasantly filled his mouth with cake.
“Our women do not suffer in the manner yours do, Amhadhri Anonnaa,” Unghaahi said to the commander. “They are cared for by the Ankhimari and if they feel any discomfort, they are given assistance. You have told me your women carry for three seasons. How long does your current affliction last?”
“I’m fortunate. No more than three days for me. I have heard stories of some being made to endure this wretchedness for two weeks.”
Unghaahi’s eyes widened for the horror of such an unfavorable notion. “This must be excruciating. Our women do not have ethnaa during this time as your women may but many of them call this time the Nhozdhesha, the day of anger.”
“That is certainly an accurate term for it,” the commander laughed. “One day. Astonishing and unreasonable. I would argue that your men share in this affliction at time.” The commander gave a quick look to her mate and Unghaahi smiled. “You never told me your women go through the same experience, Iimon Ghaala.”
“Our women are unreasonable most of the time. I did not observe a difference,” Rautu scoffed.
Knowing the reason owing to the Den Asaan dislike for the women of the islands, the commander did not deny his claims. “Have you witnessed this magical change in attitude, Unghaahi?”
The Den Amhadhri was about to proclaim that he had not seen much of the Nhozdhesha when Kai Linaa suddenly entered the kitchen. She was huffing with every step she took toward him, stomping her small feet with conviction. Her pleasant face was fixed in a scowl, her delicate fingers were curled in fists, and where Unghaahi believed she was coming to harangue him for some undisclosed matter she passed him by and marched into the larder. She returned moments later with a slice of chocolate cake and sat beside her mate with a livid countenance. She devoured the cake until she was tranquil again and when she turned to speak with Unghaahi, he took her hand into his and whispered, “Are you well, Ghaala?” with care.
The kindness with which he treated her when she was in such a disagreeable state had overpowered her. Kai Linaa considered his thoughtfulness, the manner in which he had gathered her hand, the compassion he had expressed in his words, and she was done. With all the ability she could muster to prevent it, Kai Linaa buried her head in the bend of Unghaahi’s arm and wept. She crept into his lap and when Unghaahi thought to question her on the means of her impulsive sadness, he was assured by the commander that such behavior was natural for the Frewyn female condition.