Photo © Artycaptures
Haraea watched his hand for unexpected movement, but no demon possessed it except pain. Yesterday, half his body was charred. They soaked him in Carenna’s divine grace–any expense for the Taen’s remaining war-mages–until all was healed. Yet today, the hand hurt again.
Marli took the brunt of it. They buried her last night. A healer brought Haraea mead, cooing sympathy for his loss.
He’d studied for years to repay them for rescuing him. Other orphans were not so lucky. All those hours memorizing ancient phrases, practicing complicated gestures until they were second nature. Then yesterday, in the midst of casting, Haraea’s fingers had cramped, spasming uncontrollably.
They assumed Marli’s shield had failed. Nobody realized the blast originated behind the shield.
Their superior marched in. “Ready to return?”
I’m broken. I can’t trust myself.
If Haraea couldn’t cast, they’d give him a pike and send him down to fertilize a random battlefield. No, he’d have to find other healing, other drugs. Some longer-lasting cure.
I’m so sorry, Marli. It won’t happen again.
Word count: 175. Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers flash fiction challenge. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting! Click here to see the other stories inspired by the prompt photo, and feel free to join in yourself!