36/366 – The Power One Needs

continued from 35/366 – The Fire Stone (Cont.)

Morn could feel his body protesting as he raced across the field, keeping his eyes locked on his friend. Jaque was still sending small jets of fire at the zombies as Morn tripped and rolled in the grass, losing sight of him. Morn heard Jaque cry out in pain as he pushed himself back to his feet and began running again, only now he couldn’t see Jaque. Instead, only six zombies.

“No!” Morn cried as he extended his hand toward them.

A surge of heat moved from his chest, down his arm, and out through his hand, igniting in the air as it flew toward the undead. Morn watched in disbelief as it collided with the first and washed over the last of the zombies. Their flaming forms twisting and writhing as they screamed and fell over. The top of the grass between him and where Jaque had been was now smoking as Celeste flew past him.

“Jaque!” Celeste cried as she reached the point where he had been.

Morn and Koldian caught up a moment later as Celeste threw a zombie off of their friend. Blood poured from wounds on Jaque’s face and arms. Morn watched him cough and sputter, his face changing from anger to fear and back again.

“It’ll be okay,” Celeste said, tearing a piece of cloth from her clothes before pressing it into one of his wounds. She turned her head to Koldian, “Help me!”

“I’ll go get the cleric,” Koldian said as he sprinted for the gate, leaving them in the field.

“Morn? What do I do?” Celeste asked, tears streaming down her face as Jaque convulsed under her hands.

Morn looked on, horrified. His stomach twisted, and his heart beat furiously in his chest. The more he tried to find the answer they needed, the less he could think. They needed time for the cleric to get there. They needed anything to stop the bleeding.

“I-I don’t know. We need Cleric Josten,” Morn replied, dropping to his knees. “What would he do?”

Morn grabbed Jaque’s hand as Celeste closed her eyes and whispered incoherently. He couldn’t fight back the tears that came as he began sobbing.

“I’m sorry,” he cried, “I’m so sorry, Jaque. I should have listened to you.”

Morn felt Jaque squeeze his hand hard, despite the choking. Morn looked into his eyes and saw something that he didn’t understand there.

A flash of white light filled Morn’s vision. A shockwave pulsed from in front of him, throwing him away from his friends as he cried out, doubling over backward before skidding to a stop on his stomach. He looked up to see Celeste, still poised as though she were applying the pressure to Jaque’s wounds, but her face was no longer a mask of sorrow. Instead, her face was a pure shock as she looked down.

Morn scrambled back to his friends on all fours, falling a few times on the way, but felt the same level of shock as he reached Jaque’s side. There was still an impressive amount of blood everywhere, but instead of a dying friend, there was a perfectly healthy-looking Jaque looking up at Celeste matching her expression.

“W-What happened?” Jaque asked.

“I-I don’t know,” Celeste responded, her shock evolving to a smile. “I was praying to Rashem, pleading with him to help you. I felt him touch me and move through me to you.”

“How?” Jaque asked, touching his face and arms where the wounds had been.

“I don’t know,” Celeste replied, looking up to Morn with more tears rolling down her face, only now they were tears of joy. “Rashem heard me, and he came. I know it.”

Jaque pushed himself to his elbows as Koldian and Cleric Josten came barreling out of the gate. They rushed up to the three teenagers sitting in the field together.

“I brought-” Koldian faltered.

“What happened?” Cleric Josten asked, looking at the blood-covered boy before him. “Koldian said that Jaque was dying.”

“He was,” Celeste said, looking up at the cleric, “Rashem saved him.”

“Your eyes,” Cleric Josten replied, taking a step closer as he peered into her. “Rashem did come, but not to help him, to give you the power you needed to save your friend.”

Morn and Celeste looked at each other. He could see what Cleric Josten was talking about. In the irises of Celeste’s eyes, it appeared to be a pure white bramble had ringed around them and was fading slowly back to their usual color.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I ran off,” Jaque said, tears flowing down his face as he pulled Celeste and Morn down into a hug.

Morn and Celeste returned his hug as they lifted him back to his feet.

“I’m so sore,” Morn said as he lumbered back toward the gate.

“I’m exhausted,” Celeste said, nodding.

“I could use some rest,” Jaque said, keeping his arms around his friends’ necks.

“You three had better come with me,” Cleric Josten said as he and Koldian followed them.

“We have to go to Morn’s house first,” Celeste said over her shoulder. “We have to make sure that his mother gets what she needs. Can you come with us there?”

Cleric Josten nodded.

The guards at the gate moved to intercept them as they walked up, but Archmage Koldian rushed forward, “Out of the way,” Koldian said, waving his arms. “These three have been through enough.”

The guards bowed and stepped to the side, letting the five of them pass without issue. Koldian broke away from them. When he returned, he was driving a small cart pulled by a donkey.

“I think you could use a ride,” Koldian said as he stopped the vehicle in front of them. “Get in, and I’ll make sure that you make it back to Morn’s house.”

Morn, Jaque, and Celeste all climbed awkwardly into the back of the cart, which was, thankfully, lined with hay. None of them spoke as they lay down and passed out in each other’s arms. Not even the jostling of the cart on the street woke them the rest of the way there.

Continued 37/366 – The Power One Needs (Cont.)

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