Photo prompt originally posted by Stories Without Words
Photo by Hsien-Ku
“Just one touch and you’ll be healed.”
Pain seared through his body. He held his breath and tried to concentrate on the child’s words. He forced his eyes open and focused on her.
She held the long, white feather out, daring him to take it. The thin stem pinched between her small fingers. Her dark eyes sparkled as if amused.
He knew her innocence was a facade, but he couldn’t afford to wait. His mind struggled for control as his body began to let go. Trembling, he stretched out his hand as her words replayed in his mind.
Just one touch. But at what cost?
The gleam in her eye told him the price would be great. But whatever it was, it had to be worth more than this. His mind reeled as another stab of pain shot through his abdomen.
His fist clenched the soft feather, fingers crushing the delicate strands. The effects were immediate. Heat rushed through his body as it began to mend. Bones fusing, arteries sealing, flesh remolding. His breath filled his lungs with sweet relief as the pain subsided. He was whole again.
He opened his eyes to find a wicked smile spread across the little girl’s face. His vision blurred and faded to black. He opened his mouth to protest, but his words were cut short by the images now flashing through his mind.
Dissension. Betrayal. Death.
“No!” He cried out in a very different pain.
His stomach clenched. His heart broke.
Tears streamed down his face as her laughter faded on the breeze.
What have I done?