Over the next few days, Sparrow visited Callie regularly. She was still bedridden, but the pain was less each time it came. She could sit up now, as well as eat food on her own and bathe herself with a wet cloth.
Sparrow told her stories of myths and fairytales. The old woman was quite knowledgeable, especially about history. Callie could ask her about anything that had happened in the past, and Sparrow could explain it as if she were there herself. But there were some questions Sparrow refused to answer. She would not tell Callie of why she was here, or of her past. Callie knew nothing of the people that saved her life. It irked her.
Sometimes Sparrow brought company. One girl, Leah, was about six years old and had cute dark blond ringlets. She was one of the children that had supposedly found Callie. The other children had come to, but none of them had taken such an instant liking to Callie as Leah. Callie had to admit, she was quite fond of the girl herself. She missed the innocence of childhood, and it was nice to have it so close by for a change.
Another child, a boy named Bennett, came by periodically. He was Leah’s older brother, and very protective. He didn’t say much during visits, just sat there and watched over his beloved sister. His protectiveness kind of reminded her of Michael.
That was a tender subject. Yes, the boy reminded her a lot of Michael, only much quieter. She knew her brother, as well as the troops, would be looking for her. They were probably panicked, fearing she’d fallen into the hands of the enemy.
There was one more thing Callie was concerned over. Ever since she’d gotten there, she’d been either sleeping or in the view of other people. She only got a few precious moments to herself. She hadn’t tried using her powers since the arrow.
Today was her chance. Sparrow was going to be five minutes late. She had to deal with some sort of problem. That was fine. Five minutes was all Callie needed.
Checking to make sure the coast was clear, Callie sat up and inspected the wound. She couldn’t see anything beneath the bandages, but she knew what lay under them would be a ghastly sight to behold. The small whole would be black and smell like a rotting corpse. The edges of her skin would be blackened. When the wound healed, there would be a permanent dark patch of skin, directly over her heart.
Doing her best to ignore the wound, Callie set her mind to the task at hand. She stretched her right hand out in front of her and concentrated. It was better to start small. There was no telling how the poison could have affected her.
She focused with all her might, willing a small flame to light up in the palm of her hand. Callie had never had trouble using simple magic. She had been lucky enough to have it born inside her. She’d always surpassed the other kids in training, and graduated four years earlier than everyone else. Maybe it was the fact that magic came so naturally to her that caused her to start freaking out.
Callie focused harder and harder, and even put her desires into words. And yet, no flame. Not one itty bitty spark. Zip. Nilch. Nada. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even smoke! A baby could make smoke! Oh this was bad. This was really bad.
Sparrow walked in just in time to see Callie waving her hand like a maniac. She accidently knocked over several rather expensive items. She didn’t seem to notice. Her eyes were wild, and a thick layer of sweat covered her brow.
“What are you doing, child?” She asked.
Callie ceased her feverish waving. Her hand was just millimeters away from knocking over an antique vase. Sparrow quickly moved it out of reach before Callie could continue with her previous actions.
Callie’s eyes went wide at the sight of the old woman, but had calmed down some. She looked around confused, realizing what she’d been doing. Then she blushed. The array of emotion flashed across her face so fast, Sparrow nearly missed it.
Callie settled on the expression of sheepish. Her face was convincing, but Sparrow could tell she wasn’t really embarrassed. The mysterious girl was panicked, if not a little angry. Now why would she have reason to be like that?
“Is everything alright, dear?” asked Sparrow. Callie took in a sharp breath before answering.
“Yes, it’s fine. Just a bit of cabin fever, I guess.”
Sparrow smiled. Perhaps the girl was right. Some fresh air would do her some good.
“Well then, why don’t you let me help you get dressed, and we can go for a walk to cure your sickness,” suggested Sparrow.
Callie’s face lit up like a light bulb. Sure, she was still upset over her loss of power. There would never be a moment when she wouldn’t be. But she wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to go outside. Birds weren’t meant to be kept within the confinement of four walls.