Chapter 13 - River
“Drake? Do you need any help?” Fern called out from her chair. Her stomach was now so large that she couldn’t do anything.
“No, I’m right,” I called back as I pulled the carrots out of the ground. “You just stay there and stay comfy.”
“But I feel like I’m not doing anything!” she cried.
I wiped the sweat off my face and smiled up and her. “You’re supposed to be doing nothing,” I told her. “Want some more water?”
Today was an especially hot day. Summer started not long ago and today was blistering. I wonder if Apollo just flew closer to the earth?
“Well...maybe a little more,” Fern admitted. I got up and gathered all of her cups to take to the river.
“How’re your feet?” I looked down at the tub. To make sure she was comfortable in this sweltering heat, I had filled the tub up with mud from the river. I had to pour some more water every half hour because it just evaporated and turned to dirt. “A little dry,” Fern mumbled guiltily.
I shook my head at her, “You gotta tell me so I can keep you hydrated. This heat plus your pregnancy isn’t good for you. I’m here for you, remember that.” I placed my hand on her shoulder and gave her a smile. “I’ll be back for the bucket.”
I made my way down to the river. As I approached, a young girl emerged from the glistening waves. “How is she?” River asked as I knelt down to fill up the cups.
“I’m not sure,” I told her. “I’m trying to keep her hydrated. I don’t know anything about Dryad pregnancy! I only know the basics of human pregnancy!”
“Hey,” River said, “Calm down. Everything’s going to be alright.”
“How?” I asked her, my voice verging on begging. “What if-”
“Hey!” she scolded me. She paused for a moment while I finished filling the cups up. “Tell you what,” she said at last as I stood up, “I’ll ask a couple of other Nymphs. Maybe they can help?”
“Really?” I asked her. “I...don’t know what to say...Thank you!”
She smiled before sinking underneath the water. I turned around and hurried back to Fern. Once I got there, I placed all the cups on the table next to her. “Be back soon,” I promised as I picked up the bucket.
As I filled it up with water, I scooped up a bit of mud before taking it back. “This outta help,” I said as I poured it all in the tub. There was a slight hiss of steam as the cool water hit the dry dirt.
I raised my eyebrow at her but said nothing. I was just about to head back to the garden when Fern cried out in pain and doubled over. “Fern! What’s wrong!?”
“The baby!” she gasped, clutching my arm in a vice-like grip. “It’s coming!”