Monday, March 5, 2012

The Healer's Table

Entry 9 Night 6

I was brought to what appeared to be some kind of temple for worship by one of the villagers.

"Sit here and the healer will join you soon." I sat quietly. When the healer came out I heard a more feminine voice.

"Leave your pack, gear and clothes on the floor by your table." I did as I was bidden. The healer looked over my body and scanned me from head to toe. She looked into my eyes for a brief period and seemed to sort of... scan my mind.

"The problem is mostly in the mind. Visiting such a place seems to have harmed you in some ways. Perhaps not by the place itself. Problem is with Ender magic. Darkness of Ender has crept into your mind, perhaps into your soul." I looked into the healer's eyes and focused.

"Can you fix?"

"If I have the darkness early enough, yes, you will be fine. This is not the first time this has occurred." I quirked and eyebrow at this and spoke again.

"Not the first?" my questioning tone flustered the healer a bit.

"No. You should rest."

"Is something wrong?"

"No, I just... should not mind-speak more of it. Elder tells you what you should know. I am healer, I fix body, mend mind, not fill mind and work body. That is elders' work."

"Tell me, please." the healer was working on my limbs and hesitated a moment.

"There is much you not know about this-world. Many tales of us-kin, and other-kin, your-kin, that have been here before." I listened eagerly to the healer's mind. Why was she telling me this if she was uncertain I was allowed to know?

"It is part of healer's job to soothe the mind with stories for the young. They are us-kin. Do not know if elders..." she hesitated again.

"What is it?"

"Never mind, other-kin. You are not ready to know. Ask elder to know our stories, not I." her mind shut from there, focusing all her attention on her work. I lay back and let the healer work. I passed quickly into a deep sleep, despite I was laying on a stone table in a stone building, I was remarkably warm. I did not remember seeing a fire or any other means of heating.

It was a dream, I knew it at the time. It was daytime and there was a wide, grassy field. Off to my right I saw a lush forest and to the left, mountains tore the horizon into a jagged line. Ahead I strode and soon noticed an large dip in the ground. At the bottom of the opening there was a stone structure, old and decrepit with age. I heard a sort of giggling and I started slowly forward. Overhead the sun was drawn over by a cloud. As I closed in on the ruin, inch by inch, the light dimmed further and further. I did not have to continue. I knew that. Everything in me was saying to turn back. Go to my home. Live safe in the jungle with the villagers, but I could not. Each time I tried to turn back I felt myself taking quicker and quicker steps toward an entrance in the ruins. A stygian darkness seemed to ebb from the entrance. I was only a few feet from the door when I heard the giggling rise into the unmistakable voice of an Ender-man. Enveloped in darkness, I could see nothing now but the path ahead. The frame of the entrance only barely visible. Within the darkness ahead, two points of purple light flickered. Two eyes, staring into my soul.

"Come. The End awaits."

The eyes opened wide and I heard a loud scream. Just then a light came to me through the darkness and I heard the healer's voice singing. Rather than the strange bird-creature that looked over my body there was a white figure bathed in pure, white-golden light that scintillated softly. Her arms weren't folded in her robes but were out-stretched at her sides. Drifting behind her like the sleeves of a cape were two undulating sheets of feathers that folded under her arms as she landed and drew up a little like wings. She was unmistakably human in form but with feathers thinly adorning the soft curves of her body. Aside from the few feathers, only the glowing light covered her form. She raised a hand and the feathers seemed to drift from her hand in a cloud and turn into light. The light shone forth with a brilliance so great, my eyes burned and I had to look away.

"You need not look away if you accept the light itself." was all I heard and when I opened my eyes, I was lying on my back in the temple. My eyes were still hazy, but as I looked up I held my hands before my face and saw that they were darkened. As a thousand flies rise from a corpse, the darkness scattered from my hands and drifted into the air. When I looked ahead, to where the darkness drifted, I saw the angel of my dream standing over me, her out-stretched hands emanating pillars of light that drew all the darkness to them and scattered it away. I felt myself grow weak again as the angel turned her face to mine. She smiled and said something in a language I could not understand but that reminded me of the wind and the sky. I felt myself relax and drift away into a dream, this time there was nothing but light.

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