[Author’s note: In an effort to find out what happened after Sarah blacked out from an injury she hadn’t had in the first draft, I wrote this. It follows a couple perspectives, Mistress Laura and Ryan. This piece takes place between Chapters 105 and 106, Chester’s Last Stand and Hidden in the Forest, of Phoenix Triumphant.]
Mistress Laura watched as the Jason, Mathew and five of the Skathain warriors leapt from the boat to the wall. Cwmfen was giving orders as the boat carefully maneuvered closer. Lynn was at the railing now, watching the fighting. Laura stood and strung her bow, but there were too much chaos.
“Sarah’s hurt!” Lynn whispered.
Looking over she saw the woman’s body lining on the grass. Without thinking Laura shoulder her bow and leapt. She nearly fell flat on her face with the landing. A thud beside her indicated Lynn had joined her. The two women ignored the conflict.
“She’s still alive,” she sighed in relief as she checked Sarah’s pulse.
“But bleeding,” Lynn indicated the red spot in the snow.
Together the two women rolled Sarah over. Mistress Laura began to tear a strip from her shirt before Lynn handed her, her medicine bag. She smiled her thanks and quickly got to work tending to the wound.
She looked up from her ministrations to see a little boy kneeling next to her. “Yes child?” She went back to her work, wishing for a proper Temple.
“The Gods say you’ll need to give her this.”
She looked back at the boy, who held a vial out of healing potion, one that only the Grand Pairents were able to make.
Phoenix’s voice interrupted her stare. The man knelt across Sarah from the boy. Mistress Laura watch as the boy turned from her to the Sergeant. They looked at each other with a sort of mutual understanding.
“How did you get here?” Phoenix asked him.
“By Willow,” the boy explained, pointing to the wall. “The Gods have been sending me...”
“I know,” Phoenix murmured as he looked back at Sarah. “Can I move her?”
Laura shook her head to un-daze herself. “Yes.”
With great tenderness Phoenix lifted Sarah off the frozen ground and brought her to lie beneath the broken and burnt Willow. Mistress Laura ignored those around her and she placed a hand upon the tree trunk. Life surged through her fingertips and she pulled back startled. Looking up she thanked the Gods for these small miracles and turned back to Sarah. Phoenix and Ryan sat side by side beside her. If Laura hadn’t known any better you’d have thought the three of them were family.
“Ryan, may I have the vial please?”
The boy nodded and procured it from his pocket. Taking it with a smile, she poured three drops down Sarah’s throat. Then placing her hand above the wound, she began to sing the song of healing.
“She will live won’t she?” Ryan looked up at Phoenix.
The man was watching Sarah’s face, one hand absently stroking her cropped hair. He shifted his gaze to Ryan.
“The Gods have not taken her yet.”
“But she will want to live, right?” he began upset by the sadness in Phoenix’s face. “The Gods told me that she would live if she wanted to, that it was up to her because they really want to see you and her be married and...” he stopped puzzled by the look on Phoenix’s face.
“You’ve been talking to the Gods?” he asked with some amusement.
“Yes,” Ryan nodded. “Mother doesn’t believe me, but...”
Phoenix placed a hand upon Ryan shoulder, stopping his flow of words again. “Go back to your mother, Ryan. She is likely worried sick. And next time you see the Gods tell them thank you for me.”
He smiled and then he did something completely unexpected. Phoenix hugged Ryan and kissed his forehead.
“And tell your mother you can come visit Sarah and I any time you like,” he called as Ryan scampered up the tree and disappeared in the blinding white light.