~The Reflection~ pg 9

Civyl’s hope rose quickly at the prospect. How differently things would have went that morning if he had been able to wield the fire to protect her but hope came crashing down just as quickly. The old woman shook her head sadly. “My abilities lie only in healing the physical…” Fiora’s face had fallen, too, but Nivia tapped her wrinkled chin in thought. “…but I know of a man who might be able to help.”

Dizzyingly, his hope soared once again. Fiora had been so excited she leapt from her chair to take the woman’s hands in hers, peppering her with questions too fast for the woman to answer. She chose the most pertinent to respond to. “It is half a day’s journey on horseback, but…” she met Fiora’s eyes in her hesitation and glanced up the stairs. “…I cannot leave my charges unattended.”

“Chink is here,” Fiora raised a hand. “He can take care of the others.”

Nivia had shaken her head adamantly. “No. He is no good.” Civyl stifled a laugh at the woman’s scowling opinion. “He is a warrior,” she continued. “Alex and Borris need a healer’s touch.”

“Is there another one in town?” he asked only to have Nivia shake her head no again.

Civyl felt his sliver of hope start to whither once again but he held off his conclusion as the woman’s shrewd eyes looked Fiora up and down. “There is no other healer living in Brittner… but there is another one sitting right here.”

Nivia started right at Fiora who pulled back in confusion.  “I am not a healer,” she insisted, putting up her palms to ward the woman back.

Civyl wanted to encourage her. If it would mean he could wield the fire again to protect her, and Nivia was willing to let her… “You did a pretty good job with my arm.”

She swung on him, defensive, “That was just wrapping it up!”

“But you knew what to do,” he pointed out. “And you made me take care of it, even when I argued about it.” 

Nivia pursed her lips. “Do not sell yourself short, child.” Civyl cringed at the woman’s term but oddly, instead of making Fiora angry, she seemed to perk up at it. “What you did today to help Alex was far beyond what most healers deal with on a daily basis. You were calm and determined in the crisis, keeping your focus where it was needed even though I knew you’d rather have attended your promised.  You saved Alex’s life just as surely as you almost ended it. I could not have saved him without your help.” The woman paused to let that statement sink in. How many years had Nivia been a healer? Admitting that she could not have done it on her own was huge. 

The End

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