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The Feather

June 10, 2010

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?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2010 9:33 PM

    No gift without sacrifice, right? I wonder what he gave up. Great story! He knew there would be a price and to relieve the pain, he paid it anyway! Thanks for sharing!

  2. June 10, 2010 10:26 PM

    I love a good story that sparks my own imagination! And evil children are the most frightening characters of all. Nice job.

  3. Pat permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:21 AM

    Wow! I wanted to keep reading. I really liked this. Pulled me in and kept me interested waiting to see what happens. And, then it was cut off…leaving me wanting more. Well done! Another good story! 🙂

  4. June 11, 2010 6:43 AM

    It never changes. No good can come from making a pact with evil!

    Good stuff here. Scary children always make a story even scarier. 🙂

  5. June 11, 2010 6:44 AM

    Hum. Left me rubbing my chin here. Did he steal from another person or maybe I’m just daft. I feel one more sentence may have clarified what happened. Regardless, excellent use of descriptives.

  6. June 11, 2010 6:55 AM

    Like the middle, most important part of a bigger mythological tragedy. Put another way – never trust those damned kids. They ruin everything!

  7. June 11, 2010 8:48 AM

    Ooh, evil kids are the worst. Great story. Eek, I’m a little creeped out. Well done!

  8. June 11, 2010 1:15 PM

    I’m with John on this “never trust those damn kids.” I am pretty sure mine are going to suck the life out of me.

    Great post!

  9. June 11, 2010 2:16 PM

    I liked this, but like Carrie, I think one or two more sentences would have clarified the ending for me. Still amazed by how much you fit into so few words 🙂

  10. June 11, 2010 3:29 PM

    Yes, creepy kids are the worst! Well done! Great description!

  11. June 11, 2010 5:16 PM

    Mysterious and abstract. You really left it to the reader to fill in the gaps. I found this interesting and descriptive.

  12. June 11, 2010 9:57 PM

    Loved it! Gave me a bit of the shivers. Perfect story for this image. Well done!

  13. June 12, 2010 5:03 AM

    This story made me feel like i was reading an excerpt from a fantasy fiction novel. I’m hooked. I’m buying the book. Hurry and get it written! Love your work Danielle.

  14. June 12, 2010 6:40 AM

    Hehe, there’s always a price. Great story!

  15. June 12, 2010 7:37 AM

    I loved this and the photograph. Like Julie and Carrie, I would have like to have a clearer idea of the price paid. Still, really well done!

  16. June 13, 2010 1:11 PM

    Very dark, very cool. I’d like to know what happened at the end, but ultimately it doesn’t take away from what a good story this is.

  17. June 13, 2010 7:56 PM

    Excellent. The end leaves so much open to the imagination of the reader. Just what did the protagonist give away? Who knows? Very entertaining.

  18. dbreynolds permalink
    June 14, 2010 3:48 PM

    Never take a gift from an evil child! Doesn’t this guy watch movies? LOL

    Great story as usual, Danni!

  19. June 15, 2010 7:21 AM

    Amazing. I love this story.

  20. June 15, 2010 11:42 AM

    I was not ready for it to be finished and wanted to know more of his new pain.

    Well done

  21. June 15, 2010 1:21 PM

    Those were some great descriptions of the physical pain he was enduring and the ‘healing’ process. Well done, Danielle.

  22. June 15, 2010 10:14 PM

    Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to comment on this week’s story. I truly appreciate it.

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