Misery’s Way

MiserysWay300 (1)A Kit Colbana World Short Story

Her name is Frankie. At least, that’s what she calls herself.

She looks human, but she’s no more human than she is a faith-healer. That doesn’t stop her from using her…more unique abilities to take care of certain needs. It’s those abilities that lead to a chance encounter with an unusual woman in Florida.

It’s a chance encounter with fate that will set these two down a collision course with destiny.

This short story is loosely connected to the Kit Colbana Files. Can be read as a stand-alone.

Excerpt

I was tired.

It had been a busy night.

The pain had rolled rich and ripe through the air and by the time I was done, I was drunk on it.

Saleel had been forced to make me stop. That rarely happened, but sometimes, the pain all blurred together and I wasn’t able to separate pain from pain—the man with the shattered forearm…yes, he hurt, but if he healed right there in front of everybody, it would be too easy for people to look at me and wonder.

The man with the scars left over from a terrible fire in childhood, though? That had been different. I’d learned how deeply such scars could go and it was more than physical.

Because I understood such things, I’d figured out ways to make my healings work. I knew

I’d see him one more time. By the time his face was fully healed, I’d be long gone and people would attribute his much-altered face to the ‘treatments’ he’d been using at home.

Doctors wouldn’t be able to explain it, but even now, there was a lot science couldn’t explain, so that didn’t concern me.

Science. I hated that word. Science couldn’t explain me. Science couldn’t explain love or cruelty or hope. Science tried to explain everything and in the end, it rarely explained anything.

Science couldn’t explain why I’d gone to the child, either.

I knew why I’d done it.

I usually didn’t allow myself to go near those I shouldn’t help and she had shouldn’t written all over her frail, dying body.

Saleel had seen me staring at her.

He knows my heart. What else can I say?

She carried far too much pain, that small child, and Saleel and I shared a silent battle of wills. In the end, I fixed the small things that were unseen—the twisting of her gut that would often trouble her and a problem with her kidneys and bladder that likely caused any number of infections. But I could have done nothing about her legs, not unless I wanted everybody to know what I was.

The crowds were getting bigger and bigger with each meeting, drawing more and more of the curious, and more and more of the hopeful.

Of course, the two watching me from the back weren’t there because they were hopeful or curious.

As Jody dismissed the crowd, they came forward, moving like people on a mission.

They came prowling toward me like the warriors they were.

It didn’t surprise me, but I wasn’t there for card tricks or to shake hands or answer questions. I disappeared through the curtain and Saleel, his scarred face set in a grim mask, placed his body between us.

They could have tried to fight their way past.

They could have tried…and it might have been interesting to see how long they lasted.

If it had been anybody but those two, it wouldn’t have been an issue. Saleel would have taken care not to damage them, but there would be little question of who would win.

But these two weren’t a couple of human toughs.

I knew warriors when I saw them, though.

But nothing happened.

Perhaps they were warriors, but they weren’t just muscle.

They were smart.

They saw Saleel, they took him in…and they left.

Just like that.

But I should have known.

A couple of people like them?

They never leave…just like that.

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