Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
TITLE: Pain Is Nothing
By Sara Harricharan
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He led me down the hallway and through a door. I couldn’t rightly fight back as I was still puzzling a night with more questions than answers.
A dream of a man I couldn’t see but knew, a power that I had but would refuse to use, and a whispering voice saying “trust me”.
The stench of death first assaulted my senses. The dirty rag serving as a blindfold already blocked out most of the light, the energy-cuffs binding my hands were rough and painful. A taste welled up in my mouth, nearly choking me.
I was pushed to my knees and the blindfold yanked off.
The room was dark, the black bedspread doing nothing to ease my churning stomach as I realized the preparations for a silent death.
A white hand moved, dangerously close to my face. I shrank away, bumping into the creature that had led me here. “You must heal me.” A voice rasped.
I struggled to my feet, even as I placed his identity and hopes of escape evaporated.
Syrus Mckleon. Child slave dealer, illegal trading warlord, terror of our galaxy.
Why me, Lord?
I swallowed. I’d kill him before I helped the brute. Now the dream made sense. I forced one word through my lips. “Can’t.”
The slimy paw replaced itself on my shoulder, twining about my throat and squeezing gently.
I twisted, fighting the urge to use my healing powers and strike back. They could take my energy-if I used it first. “Too much pain for him.” I choked out.
“Release her Jelinon!” The raspy voice mustered enough energy to add a note of authority.
I was unceremoniously dropped to the floor. The white hand snaked out from beneath the covers and grasped my chin. “I have seen you in a dream. Only you can help me.” He coughed. “Pain is nothing.”
Pain is everything! I wanted to scream as two sharp points were pressed into my back from behind. Rifles, knives or both.
I tried to ignore the feel of his cold, clammy fingers, sending a prayer upwards. Father, surely you cannot ask me to heal this man! I would kill him!
Something pricked my heart and I hung my head in shame, hearing the Father’s whisper.
‘No my child.’ He answered. ‘I have created you for a higher purpose and given you this gift to save lives. Even his life.’
You know what he’s done, Father! I can’t heal a murderer!
‘In my name you can accept without understanding’
Words came through my lips, but not the ones I would’ve spoken. “I’m an aggression healer. I can only heal you by hurting you first.”
The hand dropped and a wheezing laugh came from the shadowed bed head. “Pain is nothing!”
I automatically reached up with one hand, the other following on account of the handcuffs. I held the white hand, clasping it between my own and closing my eyes.
I felt my hair lift with the wind that passed through the room.
Wind in a windowless room.
And then he cried. Quietly at first and then loud sobs that turned into a symphony of agonizing shrieks and screams.
Tears of my own marked their course on my cheeks, an energy leaving me and joining him.
The last scream brought me to enough consciousness to pull away and stop.
The white hand was now a pale pinkish shade and my own hands a deathly white.
I sucked in hard and blew out in the same breath.
Color crept back to my finger tips as I smeared away the telltale tears. It was then I noticed that the cuffs had been removed. I hadn’t even felt it.
I turned to go, feeling strangely at peace. At the doorway, I heard the rasp again, this time a bit stronger. “Why did you help me?”
I didn’t bother to look at him. “I didn’t. God did. Thank him for saving your life. Not me.”
As I left the room, an ache throbbed in my chest as I heard His whisper again.
‘Well done daughter. Well done.’
I smiled. It hurt to obey. This time. But with Him, through him, pain is nothing.
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