The Orphan Girl, part one

Here is the first scene of my current WIP. It is a short story called the Orphan Girl that I am posting as a serial as I write it.  Yeah.  I am wondering if I have lost my mind too. The free serial will stay up until I begin to revise it, so at least 4 months. This is an experiment, mostly intended to pay back to the few readers I have. If I get new ones, even better!:)


“ Eshe!”  I looked up when I heard the first Healer call my name.  He strode towards me, his tunic and trousers a plain brown.  I knew that many people assumed that he was a lower ranked healer.  He encouraged it, in fact, since it allowed him to focus on the patients that came to the Healer’s clinic  for healing.

“ Sir?” I asked.

“ I need your help.”

I opened my mouth to protest that I wasn’t done counting the surgery kits, but I swallowed the words. Only a fool said no to the first Healer.

“ Yes, sire.”

He nodded curtly, and strode down hallway. I hurried after him.  My heart sank when he  stopped outside the door leading to chamber for the most difficult cases.   I pushed away the dread and followed him inside.

Shock jolted through me when I saw the girl laying in the bed.  Her dark and curly hair was pulled  back, showing her pointed ears, the freckles in her faces stood out against her light brown skin.  Her breath was laboured.   I pushed away the shock and walked over to the bed.

The healer was examining her, looking grim. He was muttering, what sounded like prayers. I knew that when a healer began to pray, things were dire.  I looked at the girl.  Something my grandmother had told me once stirred. “ Sometimes, when a powerful elemental mage is untrained for too long, the magic will turn on the body, just like blood magic turns on the mind.”

I sucked in a breath.  Kanida had so low levels of elemental magic that even a low level mage were in danger of wasting away. Unless you were whisked away to another realm, with more elemental magic.

The girl in the bed opened her eyes, and looked at the healer. “ Will I see my friends again?”

The healer hesitated. “ Not for awhile.”

The girl looked resigned, but nodded.

“  Eshe will bring you some broth.”

“ Yes, sire.”

He strode outside. I glanced at the girl, before following him outside.  I wasn’t surprised when I found him standing outside the room, his shoulders slumped.

“ Sire?”

He looked up. “ Is there any problem?”

I shook my head.“ I was just wondering if you could tell me more about her?”

“ There isn’t much to tell.  She is an orphan, and lives in an orphanage. Until a week ago, she was as healthy as any child living in an orphanage can be.  Since last week she has been wasting away. They didn’t bring her here until yesterday.”

“ How old is she?”

“ It is hard to say, but the Orphanage thinks she is eleven summers old.”

I wished that someone from the Orphanage was there, so that I could yell at them for not informing the Gnome enclave.  Gnomes needed love and support to flourish.  I brushed it away, since it was a futile wish.

“ I see.”

I hesitated.  Part of me wanted to tell him what caused the disease, since it might help him recognise it in the future. Before I could make up my mind, someone called his name and he hurried down the hallway.

I exhaled and hurried to fetch the broth.