Back in Time Ch. 05byMorrigan_©
Thank you for the feedbacks. I have an editor to my story – I would like to express my thanks to CaptainsSiren – she did extraordinary work with editing this chapter.
All comments and critics are welcome.
Isabel looked at Creya and involuntarily smiled. The little bundle that she had pulled out of his mother's body just a few minutes ago was now vigorously sucking the left nipple, showing a promising appetite for his age.
She asked for warm water to wash her hands, and for her backpack. A woman brought her a wide wooden cup with steaming water, and another empty cup over which to clean her hands. Isabel washed her hands as best as possible without soap. Then she found the package with wet tissues in her pack and disinfected her hands, 'I'll have to find a way to distill more alcohol in the future...'
She got a handkerchief that was unused and was wondering what she could use for baby diapers when the same woman brought her a bunch of hides and handed them to her.
Isabel lifted one of the hides, inspecting it. It was the size of a table cloth and was surprisingly soft. The fur was completely removed and the tanned animal skin seemed under her fingers a little spongy. 'Could it be hygroscopic?!' She pounced on the idea and looked around the crowd that was still watching her as though Isabel was performing miracles.
She fingered the skin, wondering if it was clean enough for a baby and then noticed that several women were holding infants dressed with the same type of prehistoric Pampers. Having no option to go to the nearest supermarket and buy a pack of diapers, Isabel made a decision, 'It's worth a try!'
She found the knife and put the blade over the flames of the nearest fireplace. She thanked God that she had decided to bring the stainless steel knife with her on the picnic rather than the plastic set.
She found the spool of thread, cut a piece almost five inches long, and cleaned it with the wet tissue.
Creya was watching her, a little afraid, as Isabel approached her with the heated metal blade. Isabel assured her, "I have to cut the cord of your baby. I need this to do it safely for him." She cut the cord several inches above the baby's tummy and then tied it with the thread. He stopped sucking for a moment and Isabel could see his tiny fists around his mother's breast. The baby paused like he was trying to figure out what she was doing and then renewed his feeding. Unlike human babies, this one seemed very much aware of his surroundings.
'Maybe their telepathic abilities show even when they are just newborns?' She could only speculate, but the way the baby's blue eyes spotted her gave her a feeling much different than the same look from her cousin's baby.
She cleaned his body as much as she could with the wet tissue. With Creya's help, they wrapped the baby in the leather progenitors of Pampers. Isabel could only remember how her cousin changed the diapers of her baby, and these leather folds had little in common with her memories. Thankfully, Creya seemed to know how to wrap her baby.
Isabel wiped her hands again with a clean wet tissue and then focused on the mother. She knelt before the young woman and asked her, "Creya, could you please open your legs?"
The Neanderthal woman immediately obeyed. Isabel carefully cleaned her vagina with the handkerchief and the warm water, noticing how much blood was there. A lot of bruised flesh was on display, but one tear looked like somebody had used a knife inside the vagina. It was still bleeding, but not profusely.
When the tunnel was clean, Isabel used more water to clean the woman's outer lips and her thighs and belly, trying to figure out what to do next.
She looked again at the open wound in Creya's vagina. The wound hadn't torn apart the membrane between the vagina and the anus, which was the good news. The bad news was that it was very close, and it would open every time the woman moved.
Now that she was looking more closely Isabel noticed that the wound was very strange, "How did you..?" She asked lifting her eyes upward when Creya answered, "Since the healer died, the shaman was overseeing the births and he made the cuts so we deliver easier. Please, can you heal it? It is very painful..." Creys looked at her pleadingly, "my sister died from the same wound that got purulent..." She held her baby closer as though this could save her from the same fate.
Isabel was too shocked to answer at first, and then a burning anger flooded her mind.
'That fucking creep!' If she could kill him twice, now the shaman would be one head shorter.
She tried to calm down, noticing the way the Neanderthals around her cringed at her thoughts. Obviously her anger was infectious.
Taking a deep breath, Isabel tried to smile in a way that should be reassuring, 'Right. So... the wound must have affected peripheral blood vessels because it was bleeding a lot, which meant that Creya had lost a lot of blood.' she decided, and saw that he edges of the wound seemed puffed and irritated like they were inflamed.
"When did the shaman make the cut?" she asked. When she heard, "This morning when the birth started," Isabel wanted to scream.
"More than twelve hours after the wound was made with a knife most surely filthy and covered with who knows what bacteria and other pathogens...I'll need antibiotics!' She was thinking fast, 'the healer stuff...The healer should have had a way to treat infections!'
She looked at Bren who was watching her, mesmerized.
"Does your tribe still keep the healer's medicines or tools, or whatever she used to cure the sick people?"
Bren nodded and said, "Yes, we kept them at her place."
Isabel stood on her feet and, throwing a glance, asked, "Can you show me?" When he nodded she said to Creya and Thar, "I'm going to check what can be used for healing. In the meanwhile, keep her warm and don't touch the wound. It will be better if you avoid sudden movements too."
She followed Bren, aware that Merk was following them carrying a torch.
Despite the dire situation she couldn't stop herself from noticing the surroundings.
The house had an interesting geometry. Around the outer edges of the circle that formed the construction of the house, the big mammoth tusks were supported on tree trunks. Between the tusks, the space was molded for individual dwellings, each with its own fireplace. The 'family rooms', as she mentally called them, were separated with something like fences, and had leather curtains hanging in the entry ways. Where the curtains were opened she could see fireplaces, some with game roasting over them. The big fireplace in the center obviously was for ceremonial purposes, or a gathering ground, for the tribe. She noticed where she was walking the floor of the house was covered with stone tiles, probably from a river because they seemed polished.
When they reached the far side of the circular house, they approached a wide curtain hanging from the wall. There were ties holding the edges of the curtain, and there was a fireplace in front of it, but no fire blazed within.
Bren sliced the knot and lifted the curtain, and then he stepped aside, waiting for her to enter first. Merk gave her the torch looking at her like she was participating in a holy ritual. Isabel didn't have time to ponder over him because Creya's wound couldn't wait, so she took the torch and strode to the opening. On entering the chamber she realized that it is actually a cave. 'That's why the house seemed so close to the cliffs...'
Somebody had cut out the soft sandstone from the granite rocks and formed this chamber. It was approximately round with a diameter of three meters and surprisingly dry for a cave.
In baskets on the stone floor, and hanging on threads, were a lot of dried plants. Isabel made a gesture to Bren and Merk to come in, gave Merk the torch, and started to inspect the contents of the baskets and the other dried items.
She recognized a lot of the dried herbs, and thanked God again she had paid attention to the books for folk medicine and that she had chosen to attend the paleobotany classes.
In one stone cup with a tile lid she even found honey, and in one basket, twigs of a willow tree. There was a leather bag with a lot of obsidian knives, some stone hammers, and one stone mortar. But there were no garlic or bread molds that she knew that were natural antibiotics. She was not sure the herbs would have the desired effect.
She pointed out the stone pot with the honey and some other things that she could use, and Bren and Merk took them.
While she was exiting the cave she suddenly saw that one corner of the room close to the outer wall had a lot of spider webs. Looking at the cobwebs she remembered a line from one of Shakespeare's plays, 'Good Master Cobweb: if I cut my finger, I shall make bold with you.'
"What if there is some truth in that saying?!" she murmured and approached the webs. Isabel decided to test it. Gently she wrapped some of the webs around a wooden spatula that she had discovered in the cave. She was careful not to harm the spiders so if this worked she would have more to harvest.
She went to Creya, who looked flushed, and when Isabel put a hand on her forehead she noticed it was too warm. As she had thought, the infection had started.
Isabel smiled reassuringly, and began the preparations for what she hoped to be a successful healing. She asked for more water and washed her hands again.
The same woman brought her more stone pots with steaming water that were warmed by stones heated in the fire. Isabel soaked in the water of one pot a lot of the herbs, and some of the peel from the willow branches.
She put the wrapped spider web in the stone mortar, added honey and dried basil leaves, fennel, mint, sage, and thyme and stirred the mixture. She put a thread in the steel needle, sank them in the mixture, and then used them to carefully stitch together some of the deepest parts of the wound, but left most of the wound still open. Then she applied the home-made antibiotic on the wound, and plastered it all around the vagina, praying that it would work.
When she was ready she cleaned her hands and gave a cup of the water with the soaked herbs to Creya. She thought of a blanket, and again the elderly woman appeared from somewhere bearing a leather piece that seemed intended for use as a blanket.
Isabel covered Creya with it, and then instructed Thar and his co-mates to look for higher temperature; to give her water with honey; and if Creya felt bad, to call her. Isabel's hands were trembling from the pressure. She was not a doctor; and had simply used her basic knowledge from a first aid course, watching History and Discovery channels, and what she knew of folk medicine and botany to help the Neanderthal woman.
She felt exhausted, and now longed only for a place where she could sleep. She was so tired that she wasn't even hungry.
Bren immediately lifted her in his arms and carried her to another family room that had a burning fireplace, and something that looked like a wooden platform covered with leather and furs. Isabel was asleep immediately after Bren put her on the softest fur she had ever touched.
A pleasant smell of burning pine cones filled her nose and Isabel snuggled close in her bed. 'The housekeeper must have started the fireplace. I should go and see what's for breakfast...' She had snuggled deeper in the furs when her half asleep mind finally processed the sensory input, 'Furs?!'
She opened her eyes wide, staring at the burning fireplace and Bren, who was putting cones in the flames. Suddenly all her memories came back to her, 'This is not a dream!'
She sat up and remembered her patient, "Creya, how is she?!" Thinking of the woman and the possible scenarios made her immediately awake.
Bren soothingly whispered, "She is better now. Feeding the little one. No signs of fever. The medicine that you made was finished during the night."
Isabel sighed with relief, thinking 'Thank you God!'
"Where is Finn?" she glanced around for her baby tiger. Usually Finn was always around her.
"Don't worry, Isabel. Merk took him out to relieve his needs and they will soon be back." Bren handed her a wooden cup with something that looked like porridge, and a wooden spoon. Isabel took them, looking thoughtfully at the steaming stuff. She noted that Bren was eating the same food and carefully tasted it. It had a taste like oatmeal, and Isabel guessed that the Neanderthals had mastered the gathering of this wild type of oats. A piece of large stoneware sat in one end of the fireplace, and Bren added a new hot stone to the steaming porridge inside.
She knew that the Neanderthals were not exclusively meat eaters; there was a lot of research on their teeth that indicated omnivorous eating.
'And like the meat the porridge tastes great!' she thought while finishing the cup and taking a second portion. There were no genetically altered plants, no pesticides, and no pollution here that could spoil the taste.
Bren was obviously full but waited for her to finish. When she was ready, the same woman that had brought her the warm water, the blankets and the diapers the day before, appeared at the door-curtain. She carried a wooden pot with steaming water, a few cloth-size leather folds, and with a smile, she put them on the floor.
The woman left and Isabel looked questioningly at Bren, "No washing in a frozen river? I think that after few thousand times doing it I could have begun to like it..."
Bren smirked, "I noticed your lack of enthusiasm when you were washing, so now that we have the proper conditions I decided to spare you that experience." He moved another wooden bucket that Isabel hadn't noticed, and she could see another one waiting next to the door curtain. Without more fuss she got up and went toward the curtain. The bucket was empty except for a wooden cup. Isabel carried the empty bucket over to the others. The one Bren had moved was full of cold water.. Isabel used the cup to mix the hot water with some of the cold in the empty bucket, testing it often to make the ideal warm water to use to clean herself.
"I still can't understand how your skin is still intact after washing in that warm water. You should consider washing in the stream, the water there is so refreshing." Bren teased her, with a curious smile on his face.
She grunted, too busy cleaning her face and teeth to think of something else. Then she shed her clothes, feeling Bren's eyes on her body, and started to wipe her body with the makeshift bath-cloth and the warm water.
She was enjoying the fruits of civilization when she felt Bren's hands on her back. She stopped and leaned on his muscled chest, giving him the cloth.
Bren started to gently rub her left nipple while his right hand was rubbing the warm leather piece over her belly. She could feel her arousal while his breath was tickling her ear, and he focused on cleaning her between her legs.
"Bren, we have to stop..." her breathing quickened when he brushed her clit and then continued to explore the folds of her pussy. The leather was gently washing her inner lips and his middle finger entered her vagina, "Bren, what will the others think..."
His finger withdrew and Isabel felt almost disappointed, but Bren didn't give her time to think as he started a gentle rubbing around her anus. When he swept the cloth around her sensitive nerve endings Isabel shivered in pleasure. She felt his lips on her earlobe, as he was fingering her pussy again,
"If it wasn't for Thar's mate I would have put you on your knees and let you satisfy me with your sweet mouth." Isabel felt her pussy twitching at the image that his words pushed in her mind.
'She on her hands and knees, naked and wet, trembling with desire while Bren is fucking her mouth, balls deep in her throat.' Her vagina nearly crushed Bren's finger when it spasmed around it.
"Yes, exactly like that. And then I'll fuck your other hole that is now healed!" his promise made her shiver again, and if it wasn't for Creya, Isabel would have jumped him right then.
He took one of the other leather cloths and quickly dried her aroused body. She was feeling light headed when Bren stepped back and handed her another piece of tanned leather.
Isabel blinked and at first stared uncomprehendingly at it, "Clothes?!"
"Yes, Isabel. You can't wear these male clothes anymore. You are mine now and you should dress like a woman and a healer!" Bren sounded slightly irritated as he threw a look at her trousers.
"From where I come women wear whatever they want!" Isabel frowned, and was about to give him a piece of modern day feminism when Bren shook his head, "Isabel, even the females in your world didn't wear whatever they wanted. I saw in your head the images of females wearing sacks over their heads, and don't tell me those were exceptions!"
Isabel pondered his words, "You mean burkha? But these females, as you called them, were not part of the world that I lived in!"
"Really? Because I saw you watching them while you were walking in the big village where your tribe resided, and I knew they were living in the same place." Bren frowned, "and these were the females that allowed one male to have multiple mates?! You are much better off here Isabel, with people with common sense like us!"
Isabel could argue a lot with Bren's opinion toward things, and to point out at the crazy shaman who had ruled them, but Bren knew that her world could provide even crazier examples of religious lunatics, so she decided to drop the issue.
"Let me see what type of dress I have to wear. And I warn you that if I decide, I'll wear my trousers, no matter if it is male clothing." She snatched the stuff and unfolded it. Bren didn't say a word, just grunted, watching her inspect the new clothes.
The dress was actually two pieces of clothing. The first one was something that resembled a waistcoat with sleeves; made of fine leather that was very soft and colored in blue. The waistcoat had a vertical opening in the front with blue leather laces that kept it closed, and laces on both sides of the waist and ribs for side openings.
The second garment was something like a short skirt with side openings, also with laces and colored in blue. Isabel put the first garment on the bed and put on the skirt. It was an inch over her knees, slightly A-shaped with wide plaits that allowed the flexibility to move. Isabel tied the laces and then put on the waistcoat. It wrapped around her waist and slightly covered the upper hem of the skirt covering her belly. It had a belt under her breasts along with the laced opening between her breasts. The effect left a great deal of cleavage exposed as well as her upper chest, parts of the shoulders, her neck and collarbone. The sleeves were tightly fit also, with side-laced openings from her wrists to her elbows.
The clothes were very stylish with clean lines, no beads or other stuff to divert the attention from the beautiful garments.
Isabel was sure that this type of leather hand-made clothing would cost thousands of Euros in some modern fashion shop. She suddenly wondered who made the clothes.
She looked at Bren who was appraising her and he answered, "Creya's mother gifted them to you and she cooked for us the oatmeal too. She is very grateful that you saved her daughter."
Isabel remembered the woman who had brought her the water this morning and Bren nodded, "Yes, that was her."
He glanced down approvingly, "The healer's colors suits you well. Your eyes seem even brighter!"
Isabel blushed at the compliment, 'My mirror talking!'
Bren picked up a pair of boots, and handed them to Isabel, who finally felt her feet warm when she put them on. They were surprisingly soft and warm, but without being heavy. Although the soles were thicker and felt hard under her feet they were very flexible. The boots were laced from the ankles to the knees with side openings and wrapped well around her legs. They were also blue, just the soles were black.