A Net of Dawn and Bones – Myrrh – Hair-Raising Worry

There are some things about Myrrh’s past she never intends to reveal to anyone. Some of it is painful. Some of it is horrifying. Some of it is happiness that would never make sense to anyone not born of that time.

And some… well, some is just embarrassing.

Slave? Oh yes, she’s been that, in the wake of conquered cities. Usually not for long, but there were times it had taken weeks or even months to squirm her way into a situation where she could get enough lead time to make a clean escape. Sometimes she hadn’t – and those had been painful months in lead shackles until she’d managed a backup plan.

Slave-owner? Yes, Myrrh’s been that too. Sometimes there had been no other way to get a wounded soul to safety. A freewoman, all too often, was property of her nearest male relative. A slave woman could be owned by anyone, even an eccentric odd Egyptian lady too wealthy to mistreat like most females.

But most of the past centuries Myrrh’s scraped along getting by like anyone else. Demon-slaying may be a holy calling, but it rarely put denarii in her pouch, or even beans on the table. Raising chickens, mucking stables, fixing plumbing, even salvage diving – if there’s an honest job Myrrh hasn’t tried or at least met in passing, she doesn’t know about it.

She’s never telling Aidan about being an ornatrix, though. Never, ever, ever. It’s just too embarrassing. He might realize that while her soul loves his as a brother, steady as the tides, her small talent for artistry squeaks like a kitten over his hair.

Lovely, thick, lion-strong fiery hair. Red as the best madder, the most prized kermes. Hair too thick to ever need falls woven in from captive braids; too gloriously colored to ever bleach with ashes or drown in walnut and cuttlefish ink. Certainly hair that would never need rotting leeches!

And modern-day hairdressers thought their working conditions were onerous. She’d love to hand them the leeches. Really. Never mind the nit combs.

Aidan’s sensitive about his looks – as anyone would be, who found out they took after an unexpected father, demon or otherwise. She doesn’t want to stir that unease. Not until he’s had a bit more time to adjust to being a breathing soul again.

But sometimes, just sometimes, she really would like to comb out his hair.

(Nope. Way too embarrassing. Ever.)


10 thoughts on “A Net of Dawn and Bones – Myrrh – Hair-Raising Worry

  1. Where do you find all your wonderful information? And I love the way you weave it into your stories. Rotting leaches indeed. You must read voraciously. Although given some of the Elizabethan malady remedies, I suspect nobody thought twice about rotting leeches or nit combs. And walnut as a dye is still used today although probably not for hair. We still use henna though.


    1. I’ve found a lot poking around in general, but the most recent reference book I’m currently reading is “Working IX to V”, by Vicki Leon. It covers Greek and Roman occupations, and thus a lot of the timespan Myrrh would have grown up in and spent at least the first few centuries dealing with. Very cool.

      And heck, we all know monster-slaying really doesn’t pay well. Even saints have to eat somehow! 😉


  2. Oh, oh! You always seems to have such *interesting* tidbits of information to offer up in your writing. The research you do for your work must look insane to any unsuspecting person looking over your shoulder to see what you’re reading. Well, either that, or they’d want a peek at the rest of your reading list. I know I do, most of the time. I’m still trying to figure out why in the world would she need to use rotting leeches.

    The thought of her sitting Aidan down to play with his hair is an adorable mental image, though. Especially when he’d probably freak out. And be amused/bemused, once he gets used to it, but initial reactions….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ask any writer: if the local cops/FBI get a read on our search histories, we’re doomed. *G*

      And yes. Local librarians often comment, “you get the most odd/interesting stuff….”

      Apparently rotting leeches were the go-to Roman recipe for getting lush black hair. Go figure.

      And aww. 🙂


  3. I love this look at Myrrh! She really does have her gaze fixed on Heaven, but her peripheral vision is set squarely on what’s happening around her.

    And I do not know, or am sure I *want* to know what is up with hair and leeches. I’m guessing dyeing it, given what else is in that paragraph.


    1. If you don’t keep an eye on earth as well as Heaven, you get sideswiped by the latest demon-summoning idiot. 😉 I frankly don’t think Myrrh could have lasted as long as she has if she didn’t care about people in specific.

      Leeches = supposedly the best black Roman hair dye. I dunno; has anyone tried it? Leeches are Mollusca, after all, just like murex snails, the source of Tyrian purple. Sometimes the most surprising things from the past work….


  4. Clearly Myrrh needs to find Kenshin. Then she can brush some truly beautiful hair, and Kenshin can get his hair brushed. Although I suppose Myrrh will have to watch out for Kaoru and her bokken.


    1. And now that image of a crossover is in my head and it is….The combination of Kenshin and Kaoru and Aiden and Myrrh…..kinda breathless right now. Question, do you actually work besides all the research you do?


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