“Truth is stranger than fiction.” Yes, it is. I really did pull a breast out of my athletic bra and zapped a fellow martial artist in the face with breast milk.
Yessiree. The white stuff dribbled down his cheek and down his fancy red breastplate. He was tall and handsome, he fought for House Clovenshield, and his friendly teasing indicated that fighterhood didn’t go too well with motherhood.
My little daughter was just few months old, sleeping in a stroller by the practice field. I wore my version of medieval armor. Extracting a mammary for the purpose of biological warfare was, in fact, a multi-step process. It started with verbal sparring that I just couldn’t let slide. Something about new mothers being unfit for the field of combat. I’d been the first woman to bear a child and return to armored combat in that group, and the guys were feeling just a tad protective.
He was attacking my warrior status. I gave him a fair warning:
“You keep this up and I’ll zap you with milk.”
“Ha, ha, ha. You’d never.”
The action around us stopped; the other guys leaned on their spears and popped their helmets to get some extra air, and to see whether I was willing to do the unthinkable.
We tossed our helmets on the grass along with our swords and steel gauntlets. I unbuckled my breastplate, flipped it up, opened my padded gambeson, fished my right breast out of my trusty black sports bra, aimed, and gave it a squeeze.
Just like saving milk so that daddy could feed the baby when I was gone.
A white stream spanned a distance of approximately five feet. Even I was surprised to see it shoot as far as that.
He shrieked like a girl.
Our friends, including my husband, guffawed and pointed. Their verbal reaction ranged from stunned silence to a few off-color jokes. My husband rolled his eyes. He knew I’ve always been willing to stoop low to score a point. When the ruckus woke the baby (the baby who’s nineteen this year,) I cleared the field to combat, shed my pokey armor, settled by the sidelines, and offered the white stuff to my infant daughter.
I take my research seriously, and over the years, I’ve accumulated a good bit of trivia about various martial arts. For instance, I’ve proven to other gamers in our D&D group that yes, it’s possible to sleep in armor. A well-fitted suit of armor will allow the warrior to catch enough sleep to be functional the next day. It’s not restful, nor comfortable, but it’s certainly possible.
Likewise, I’ve learned that it’s unwise to breastfeed in armor. The fins of steel elbow cops and the metal buckles of the leather straps are too hard for tender baby skin. Breastfeeding breaks, unlike diaper change breaks, can be planned ahead along with all the arming down and the subsequent arming up. Those were some wild days – for all of us. I’ll never forget the time it was my turn to fight, I passed the baby to my husband, and she puked all over his armor.
But there’s no use crying over spilled milk – regardless of where it comes from.
I’m engaging in over-sharing here because a reviewer of “Breakfall” called the scene where Nell zaps Mark with breast milk “the biggest WTF moment I’ve read in a very long time.” I just want all of you to know that it is physically possible to do this, and it has been done in real life. I suppose it had been a “WTF moment” back then when I’d done it – but taken in context, it made for a good story.
If you’re done being grossed out over my little rebellion against the Geneva Convention, please enjoy the briefest of excerpts from “Breakfall,” below:
Nell made a show of stripping her long-sleeve thermal shirt off her athletic body. She wore a black sports tank underneath, equipped with the best suspension engineering money could buy. She reached under the bra, flipped her right tit out, and squeezed it with considerable expertise.
A stream of warm, pale white liquid shot out. It spanned the five- foot distance, zapping Mark right in the cheek.