Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Prompt: What price magic? Part 2

And just like that, we were inseparable. Suphara was eight, and her parents had brought her into the city last spring, after the infidels burned their village. But they had both inhaled too much of the poison smoke, and they died when the air turned cold a few months later.

She’d been on her own for over a year when we met. From that day, we took care of each other, often sleeping in the basement where we first met, roaming all over the city. Suphara convinced me not to steal, because she could always produce food on demand, or light a fire. She never seemed reluctant to do so, and I never gave a second thought to her magic. Soon the market owners began to trust I was no longer a thief, and they paid me to run errands and help them. I forgot all about what she said when we first met. If anything, I remembered the pomegranate.

But she told me about her parents the first night we lay together by the fire I built and she lit, as we shared stories for hours before we fell asleep, hands entwined. So I was puzzled when, some months later, we waited in line to see one of the infrequent visiting medicos who setup camp in the market square and freely offered their services to any in need.

When it was our turn, Suphara clutched my hand so tightly it hurt. I told the medico we were brother and sister, and could I stay to comfort her? He nodded gravely as he unwrapped her long braids from around her neck. They draped almost to the floor, and her skin was pale and wrinkled from their weight. As he listened to her heart and to her breathing, he frowned. “My child, have you been exposed to the poison smoke of the infidels from across the sea? I fear I hear it in your lungs, and there is an irregular pattern to your heartbeat.”

Suphara said, “No, sir. I have not.”

I started and pulled my hand free of hers in confusion. “What are you talking about? You told me they burned your village!”

She paled and jumped up, running from the room with her braids trailing behind her. I ran to the doorway and saw one of the market women grab her into a tight embrace as Suphora sobbed on her shoulder. Turning back to the medico, I asked, “Why would she not tell you the truth?”

He shrugged. “Memory can be a funny thing. Sometimes, when memories are too terrible, it’s better to forget them. But this is dangerous for her. She must never take even one more breath of the poison smoke, or it could kill her. She might not want to remember why, but she must remember that. Will you help her?”

Dogs in house:

Time writing
~1 hour

June word count

1 comment:

  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, Ch28.

    Time: ~20 min