Toria: A Wherry Awful Dream

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Toria was running as fast as her short legs could move across the rocky hills. Her breath was coming out in quick puffs and her chest heaved. She could hear the creature chasing her getting ever closer, despite her efforts. From afar, she heard the voice of her friend Dylan calling.

“Toria!!! Toria help me, please!”

Too afraid to stop, she didn’t turn around to help Dylan. The creature screeched angrily as it gave chase. It was going to eat her!

Toria’s feet pounded on the grass when suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted some Feather herb. The short, bushy plant with broad leaves and tiny clusters of blue flowers found in areas like this were the source of medicine used for fevers and bleeding. She stopped to pick it, taking care to remove it in such a way that would make it the most effective when brewed into a tea. She could use this herb to sell to the travelers at the —

The wherry popped up in front of her, its eyes spitting fire and Toria gave an almighty scream. Her dagger suddenly in her hand, she bravely swiped at it, but was unable to strike true. By using its strong, clawed feet, the wherry shoved her in the chest and she skidded backwards, bleeding badly where the claw pierced her skin. She felt hot all over and could hear Dylan renew his cries for help.  Toria felt such fear and hopelessness rise in her such as she had never known.

Slowly, ever so slowly, the wherry approached her. She could feel her shirt getting wet with blood and as it loomed over her, the wherry opened its mouth and started speaking.

“A fever is not usually a problem in itself, but a symptom of another condition. It indicates that there is something wrong with some part of the body. It can happen when something goes wrong with one of a wide range of functions. It can help the body fight infection. This makes it difficult for bacteria and viruses to replicate. Body temperature can also help measure the success of medical treatments. Common symptoms of a fever include chills and shaking. A Feather herb tea can be a good first treatment while you attempt to sort out what, if anything, the fever might be a symptom of.”

Toria blinked.

The wherry continued, “Infections are the most common cause of fever, but various conditions, illnesses, and medicines can raise the body temperature.  The body will increase its normal temperature in response to threats, such as bacterial or viral infections. When such a thing happens, a fever occurs. At this point, the body perceives that it is too cold. As the body works towards meeting the new temperature, symptoms commonly associated with a fever emerge, such as feelings of being cold, increased heart rate, stiffness, and shivering.”

Toria looked around and saw her fellow Junior Apprentices diligently taking notes and listening as Master Ongel paced in front of them. She looked down and saw OSCE written over and over across the paper in bold blocky lettering. She also noticed she was holding the wherry claw as a writing utensil in her hand. Suddenly feel a chill run through her, Toria looked up towards the front of the lecture room only to see a wherry in Master Ongel’s place. It noticed her appraisal and started running towards her where she sat.

A large green dragon swept through into the lecture hall and Toria swiftly mounted it to escape the wherry. It flew up, up, up into the sky and soared gracefully over hills and mountains! As the wind rushed by, she whooped and hollered in excitement. Abruptly, the dragons eye whirled and it dove sharply down towards the ground!

Toria woke up with a start in her dorm room bed. Her bed sheets were twisted all around her and she was damp and shivering. Looking over to the shelf near where she slept, a cooling mug of mostly drunk feather herb tea sat. Her fever must have broken sometime in the night as she slept. She drank the rest of the tea as she got up to wipe away some of the sweat and change her sleeping clothes.

Walking back to bed, her eyes fell on the wherry claw and she smiled. What a weird dream that was!

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