As the seasons turned into the dark, cold, snowy times of the years of Our Torment Two Thousand and Eighteen, so did Guildmembers notice strange occurrances. The guildhall grew quiet and calm. The GuildMaster's throne suddenly ceased erupting in traps, in odors, in flames. Boots stopped disappearring, stopped being found gnawed upon, stopped being drooled over. Fewer tongues were being nailed to the base boards of the guild hall. Guild events occurred with just a bit less vim and vigor. Fewer war howls bellowed forth in the eternal struggle for still higher greatness.
During the Autumnal Feasting, Turducken noticed that it had occurred without the annual taunts from his miniscule tormentor, that tiny Green Menace, Alyxyn. Where was that small tormentor of scum and prey alike? Where had he been? Consultations occurred in the Guild BeerHall and scattered reports were made of sightings of the Miniscule Monster, but all pretty much reported him only for smaller intervals than what was expected of the two foot goblin. As the discussions deepened and investigation lengthened, it even became noticeable that the spokesman for the Goblin Liberation Force seemed to be stalling in his strength, that his chief adversary in the Hall of Fame, that reviled Kerry, was rising in ranks and levels while Alyxyn stalled more and more obviously.
What was happening to the miniaturized MegaMouth?
Finally, as has happened in the past, a massive robed figured appeared at the guild hall and with a deeply resonating blow of a wooden staff upon the entranceway, made entrance. The figure made its way into the hall, disrupting feasting and devoutedly determined quaffing of everything that can possibly be considered alcoholic. The figure obviously had some sort of aggrandizing occult accompanyment as lights seem to beam upon it from all directions when any good scum was aware that no such lights were permitted in the guildhall. That is if the accompanying soundtrack of "Jesus Christ Superstar" that seemed to echo out of the very air wasn't sufficient. With each step the lights grew brighter and the tunes louder until the figure stood before the GuildMaster's Throne and turned to face the collected drunken horde.
With a crescendo of a drumroll and a sparkle of a neon disco ball, the figure drove his wooden stave into the ground once more to ensure each scum would have a tremendous hangover in the morning, the figure then bellowed forth:
"Hark and Herald! I bring word from the Halls of the Eternally Tormented. The Tiny Terror, the Miniscule Menace, Chewer of Boots, Sharer of Loots, the Great Gobbo Gobsmacker known as Alyxyn has again returned unto our Tender and Infinite Mercies. Whence last he had been seen, the greatest healers of our area had spent days and weeks working on your foul member, fighting to the greatest extent of our abilities *cough* and the extent of his purse *cough* against a demonic entity working to consume his twisted body. Let us assure you, that struggle consumes a part of each and every day of his life as well as many moments of our Diviners and Healers and Spiritual Seekers."
"However, recently in our Acolytes' efforts to prepare for the coming Seasonal Festivities, in their desperate attempts to seek better adorned lodgings, faster transportation (for the caring of Your Spirits of course) and in their ministrations to the Great God Golf, apparently the Eternal Struggle moved to additional battlefields. Yet another foul being has come to reside within and attempts to consume the somewhat Greener Grossness"
"Many times has Alyxyn returned to our Hallowed Halls and the Acolytes saw him briefly, but in their efforts, they failed to cast appropriate Identification charms upon him, so that they thought him someone other than your twisted brethren. With each such visit, Alyxyn was sent upon his way with but a brief cantrip cast upon him, only to see him returning within a fortnight, as his greenest grew a more ... ill and unnatural color... even for a goblin."
"Eventually he turned to a new priest, one not yet exposed to the tiny terror, and was greeted with that eternal question that all Acolytes ask as they loom over supplicants, 'Whyfore art thou disturbing my CandyCrush?' At that moment, your twisted vile little vermin did turn upon the acolyte and unleash a mighty howl and he didst invoketh several of the Gods of his own People upon the acolyte. Great Discussions occurred between the Acolytes and Brethren of my Temple with Representatives of Goblin Belief and Acolyte knees bent and Brethren heads bowed. Upon arising, their eyes were cleared and Alyxyn's latest infestation could then be more clearly witnessed as it had not in weeks."
"At the current time Alyxyn is stable but is under strict orders as to his care. He is over the worst, we hope, but challenges remain. Never fear but that Our Acolytes are receiving remedial instruction to better cover their inattentions so it wont be quite so obvious and their expected hording should not be quite so apparent, especially not in such a holiday season."
Okay.. that is the more... humorous side. On to the specifics. In the last three weeks, my attendance has been intermittent. My tablet is a Kindle Fire which apparently is not 'supported' for running Shakes so I have not been able to use it for such while I have been at hospitals and I have spent a lot of time at hospitals locally.
My fight against stage 4 bladder cancer is continuing and I am coming up on a 'birthday' of sorts, nearly two years being pass the expected end of my life. Unfortunately, with a body wracked by cancer and the drugs used to fight it, there are often complications and these have been hammering at me pretty hard. I have been suffering spiking fevers, unexplainable sharp debilitating pains and blood coming from places you do not want to see blood coming from. In the last three weeks, I have had 5 visits to Emergency Rooms, 3 of which led to multiple day admittances. I spent the American holiday of Thanksgiving in a hospital room with my sister driving my parents up to see me in the hospital. Let me assure you, there is nothing that quite hits home as hard as your mother crying over your condition in a hospital on a holiday intended for giving thanks (ignoring for a moment about other less kind origins of the holiday).
FINALLY when it occurred to the Emergency Room doctors and nursing staff that they were recognizing me.. and that I had been in 3 times in two days. They figured they may want to actually listen to my full tale of woe and then things started to change... a little bit. When they finally deigned to contact my own doctors that have been working with me for years now, they came back a bit humbled and almost apologized. Once a PROUD internal medicine doctor practically was handed his medical degree by a Physician's Assistant to my Urologist, well.. they took me a bit more seriously.
What has happened is this, as best as I understand currently. I have a staph infection. Normally this isn't too hideous but is never really pleasant. However, with everything that has been done to me, I 'had' to be different. I contracted it in my urinary tract and it may be all the way into my kidneys. Further, the particular strain that was finally able to be cultured, is one that is resistant to a lot of antibiotics. So it festered and grew.. for 20 days if not longer. Additionally, this staph infection is known to attach itself to medical devices and artificial constructs and survive through antibiotics only to reinfect. Due to this, it is possible that some forming kidney stones may be hosting the little monster and need to be addressed as I get stronger. Unfortunately the stones are tiny little things and are in the wrong locations in the kidneys to be easily handled and pulverization would only set the staph loose perhaps in a more broad sense.
So there we are or rather that is where I have been. Squirming and writhing between Staph and Doctors with occassional game play thrown in. Sadly I have to continue in that manner for a while yet before we will know what endgames may exist in my real life.