Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Light at the End of the Tunnel (01/23/14)
TITLE: Child Healer
By Sara Harricharan
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Master Healer Cheri paused in her careful stitching of one gaping gash and passed her work over to her apprentice. She hurried forward, taking a dollop of antibacterial gel on the way. “Bring him here,” she waved the firefighter through the sea of collapsible beds and thin privacy curtains.
Reaching out with a glowing white hand, she tried to ease the boy’s labored breathing with her healer’s gift. He was covered from head to toe in pieces of glass, mostly likely from being near a museum display during the earthquake. Pushing her gift into him as gently as she could, Cheri waited for the mental readout that would tell her what was needed.
The list of injuries made her wince and she shouted out orders for a set of healing salves at half-strength, hoping they had the recommended dosage for children. The boy was subconsciously fighting her healing energy, in spite of his badly wounded condition.
Angry shouts drew her attention and Cheri whirled around, her temper igniting as she cast a sound-dampening spell over the entire tent. The last thing her patients needed was to hear another fight between her newest Master Healer, Tom and her oldest Chief Healer, Darren.
“People are dying, gentlemen,” she snapped. “Argue which of you is better after we’ve saved them!”
Darren glowered at Tom, stalking past the younger healer to come help. He frowned at the boy and immediately began to reach out with his healing gifts, a pale blue in contrast to her white energy. “He’s fighting you?”
“I’m a general healer, not a child specialist.” Cheri wiped her forehead. “He’s probably gifted, that would explain-”
“He doesn’t have to be gifted to be sensitive,” Tom scowled, arms crossed over his chest as he approached. “Any apprentice knows that.”
Cheri frowned, gently withdrawing from the boy, her glowing white hands dimming as they fell to her sides. “Feel free to help, if you can then.” She nudged Darren forward. “We’re already short-handed.”
Tom glared at her, but moved forward once she left, hands aglow with a pale green light. He focused on the barely breathing boy. “Hello, little one,” he said, softly. “I am Healer Tom and I’ll help you feel better alright?” He made a short slashing motion over the boy’s body and almost at once, the body went limp with relief, the pain-blocking spell successfully activated.
It took Tom a single minute to layer the necessary spells to keep the boy breathing—and asleep—while he removed the glass fragments and applied a healing salve to the fresh cuts. Afterwards, he set a warming spell on the mattress and a herbal compress on the boy’s forehead. He wondered if the boy’s parents had made it out of the rubble as well. He hated emergencies like this, even though it made full use of his talents.
Sitting beside the little boy’s bed, he touched one little finger to the pocket device to retrieve his patient’s legal information. The readout declared the boy to be seven-year-old Louis Green with an allergy to common pain meds and peanuts. Tom made a mental note of it, leaning forward, elbows braced on the edge of the bed, he bowed his head.
Chief Nelson was right. This unit doesn’t have a Child Healer, but I’m not ready yet. Not for this. His heart clenched and Tom squeezed his hands together. Dear Father in heaven, I pray tonight for Louis. Help me heal him. Please! He’s too young, just like my Amanda.
Tom stayed by Louis for the entire night, reapplying the salve when needed and refreshing the herbal compress. With each new application, he watched the small body knit itself back together. By daybreak, Healer instincts told him that Louis was now out of danger.
Exhaustion settled in and he half-glared when Cheri came to check on them, breakfast rations in hand.
She eyed him shrewdly, then handed over the coffee and protein muffin. “Full-strength healing salve?”
Tom gulped down the coffee.
A Child Healer knew the exact proportions and recipe of every healing tincture, balm and salve used—as well as the proper dosage for patients under ten.
“His name is Louis Green. Do you know if his parents-”
“Welcome to the unit,” Cheri rested a hand Tom’s tense shoulder. “We’ve been short one for a while.”
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