Deep in the Slough of Despair the Dreaded Author had succumbed to some evil symptoms. A sore throat and stuffy nose. She moaned, rolling over in her Nest of Doom. “I have too much to do to be sick! I have sentences to cut. Characters to torture! Evil scenes to rewrite! Nanowrimo to plan for! It’s starting tomorrow. Nooooo!”
The silence was overwhelming, and the Dreaded One felt distinctly sorry for herself, abandoned by even the minions among piles of junk she was now to sick to do anything about.
“I have a suggestion,” a soft whispering voice said.
“Who are you?” The Dreaded Author said, whirling around, an action she quickly regretted and clamped a Kleenex to her runny nose.
“Let’s call me the Natural Health Minion.” The little goblin-like creature, bald-headed and bearded, like a miniture evil Dr. Weil poked its head up over the edge of the couch. “Natural Health can make you better faster. Get you back on track.”
“Okay, fine.” The Dreaded One was too desperate to question it really. And what harm could it? Everything was already terrible.
“First, a day of rest! No mental activity. Period. No writing. No potting those plants you just bought. No puzzles. And NO majong solitare on the Dreaded Husband’s computer while he’s at work!”
“But I can’t just stare into space! And I things to do!” The Dreaded One couldn’t think of a more awful suggestion.
“What about reading? Reading isn’t work.”
“Is so. You should sleep.”
The Dreaded One growled. “I can’t nap to save my life, and you know it. Reading in bed as as mental free as I can manage. Or possibly internet videos.”
“Internet Videos are better than reading.”
The Dreaded One privately wondered if the minion was actually interested in rotting out her brain, but wasn’t going to argue. “Fine.”
“Next! No eating. Fasting helps you get better faster.”
“What?!” roared the Dreaded One. “I hate fasting! I feel awful when I fast.”
“You already feel awful.”
The Dreaded One was stymied for an answer.
“Finally, gargle salt water. Then heat a pot of water, put a towel over your head and lean over the pot and breathe steam for ten minutes.”
That at least was finally sounding sensible. Muttering darkly the Dreaded Author got up and went do that, and felt considerable better. Not eating bothered her, but for the sake of getting well, well, it was work a try. So the she settled down in a pile of trash for reading some books and watching some stupid videos. Hours later the Dreaded One paused to realize she had a splitting headache and was starving. “For get this! I feel terrible and I’m starving!” Ignoring the protests of the lone Natural Health Minion, the Dreaded One stormed off to the store, bought a decongestant, and ate lunch.
Within minutes she was crippled by nausea. “How can I be hungry and nauseated at the same time?” moaned the Dreaded One flopping back on the couch with a Kleenex box clutched tightly in her claws. Suddenly staring at the ceiling doing nothing but not throwing up sounded like a great idea.
“Told you so.” The Natural Health minion sniggered.
The Dreaded One threw a used Kleenex at it and it scurried away. And everything blurred into a sick haze of miserableness…
Three days later the Dreaded One woke feeling reasonably well. Glancing around the dirty Kleenex-strewn Slough of Despair, she felt a sudden urge to pick things up, take a shower, and go torture some characters and get that word count up. But first, after a nice big meal. “You know, maybe this Natural Medicine thing wasn’t so bad,” she muttered, getting up, even able to breathe through her nose.
The Natural Health Minion poked its head up from behind the garbage can, just out of reach of the couch. “Which is why you need to rest another few days!”
“Bah! Forget that! I’m having lunch, and you are it!” With a snarl the Dreaded One pounced.
The Natural Health Minion ran from the slough screaming.
Grinning evilly the Dreaded One headed to the fridge. “I declair myself well! Nano here I come!”