Mikel’s frail form heaved with each heavy cough. His mother, Lian, pressed a handkerchief to his mouth, but once she removed it, it was stained red. She grimaced beneath deep brown eyes and wiped sweat from her brow.
The boy’s fever had only gotten worse since he awoke in the middle of the night less than a week before. Wracked with pain, he cried out that creatures crawled under his skin. But he made no cries any more. Either he had grown accustomed to the pain of Red Crawl Fever or the parsites had burrowed deeper, and he would pass during the night.
Mikel’s mother folded the handkerchief and patted him on the head, when a knock finally came at the door. She had sent of the life-bringer, an eccentric healer. Considered a hack, and a con-man by many, but there was no know cure for the Crawl, and Lian would try anything.
She opened the door.
Because of a hunch, the life bringer stood shorter than five feet, his staff in one hand and leather satchel slung over his shoulder. His moustache bristled as he scratched his grey stubble and frowned at Mikel who lay with his eyes shut on the bed.
“How long –” Lian started.
“Leave us,” The life bringer said.
Every motherly instinct in the broad woman told her not to, but leave she did.
No noise came from within the locked room. No talk, no scratching and no coughs. It felt like years before the life bringer finally emerged.
His staff dragged along the floor as he stepped from the room. His bones creaked and his moustached bristled as he shook his head. “I have done all I can.”
“What – What have you done? Will he live.”
The man scratched his stubble. “He may. If he survives the night, then he will live. Do not touch him, though you make speak with him. He should have strength enough for that.”
Lian fought back tears, but thanked the life bringer. She stepped into the room to see Mika, still in bed but breathing easily. She stepped to his side and looked down at his closed eyes, around his neck hung a stone amulet with rune of life emblazoned on it. It glowed dimly in the candlight, a light green light illuminating the child’s palid face.
“Duos, help me,” Lian said softly, then sat on the small timber stool next to the bed.
Thanks a lot for reading,