02 - Into The Past
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


Into The Past 



Chapter  2




  The deafening crack of a breaking tree limb, closely followed by the sound of a horse's scream startled Shallia out of slumber. Expecting to find herself in her cottage, it took a few moments for her to recall her current position.

As soon as she regained full awareness, the waves of pain coming from somewhere to the right of the crumbling stable made her clench her teeth in an attempt to keep what meager food she had consumed in her stomach. Carefully crawling from the stable Shallia glanced around and attempted to visually find the source of pain, but the dark and rain obscured nearly everything.

Tentatively casting out with her senses, Shallia began to slowly walk towards her right, eventually breaking into a trot as she realized that what she was sensing was something other than a wounded animal. As quickly as she could she made her way to the animal, and was shocked to find a man laying on the forest floor a few feet from a palfrey which was pinned under a severed tree limb.

Quickly dropping to her knees besides the unconscious man, Shallia placed her fingers on his neck, and was relieved to feel a pulse -- faint, but still present. Beginning with a thorough visual inspection of the man, she saw that he was probably tall, with long black hair that escaped from a braid drawn from four strands of his hair. Absently recalling the ancient name for that style, g'dula, Shallia saw that he wore a crimson tunic with the badge symbolizing service to the Crown of Gwynedd emblazoned on the chest. Finishing her visual evaluation, she saw that his right arm was bent at a strange angle. Now having at least some idea of what to expect, Shallia gently slipped her hands into the man's hair, until her palms cradled his head, and her thumbs were resting on his temples. Lowering her shields in preparation for a scan, Shallia was not prepared to find that he was Deryni himself and was in fact one of the king's elite messengers.

Realizing that now, more than just the burden of his health rested solely upon her, Shallia set to work healing him. She let her eyes drift shut while her senses sank into his body -- searching for places of illness or injury beyond the obvious. After identifying the extent of his injuries -- a broken arm, leg and a slight concussion, Shallia came out long enough to manually realign the broken bones before sinking back into the healing trance. Once she reached the state of trance that afforded the best connection with her healing ability, Shallia moved her attention to the man's arm, mentally soothing the muscle strain, and encouraging the accelerated growth of bone around the fracture. After healing the arm, she shifted her attention to his left leg, and performed the same function. Finally the healer turned her attention to the courier's head wound, and trying as hard as possible to avoid scanning him, reduced the pressure on his brain and skull before finally drawing out of his mind.

When she came to, she found that the storm had worsened rather than lightened up, and that both herself and her patient were now drenched to the skin. Kneeling in the mud next to the courier, Shallia felt despair wash over her.

The healing had taken out quite a bit out of her, and the man was still unconscious. She didn't know if she could carry (or pull for that matter) him very far, but finally realized that she had to try. The collapsed stable was too small for both of them, which only left the faint hope that the hollowness she had sensed beyond the door would be large enough for two adults to fit. Squaring her shoulders, Shallia went to the man, and was preparing to begin pulling him towards the shelter, when she remembered the palfrey. Going to the horse, she examined the animal and found that it had been killed by the tree-limb. Glancing at the saddlebags she realized that they could contain documents and food which needed as much protection from the elements as the two Deryni. Throwing the larger of the two over her shoulders, Shallia was taking the second bag when a sound made her spin around. It was the courier and he was attempting to get up. Rushing back to him, she knelt by his head, and helped him sit up more fully with a judiciously placed arm around his shoulders.

Shallia spoke quietly, "Easy, friend. You've had a nasty accident. I've healed what I could, but you will still be weak. I need to move you to a place of shelter, or we will both be coming down with a deadly chill. There is a place a few feet from here where we may wait out the storm, but I don't think I'll be able to carry the saddlebags and you."

With his eyes blinking rapidly as he listened to his rescuer, the courier finally spoke. "I can walk a short ways, I think. If you can carry one of the saddlebags I can take the other." He looked as if he were about to ask another question, but then slightly shook his head and reached for the hand Shallia was holding out for him. After getting him on his feet, the healer handed him the lighter of the two packs, and standing next to him, threw his right arm over her shoulder. Keeping her balance in the clinging mud, all the while trying to keep the courier upright was almost as tiring as healing had been. With slow steps, the pair made their way to the door-like structure.



~ Previous ~                                        ~ Next ~     

~ Story Index ~  



  Sunday Chats, Filks, The Carthmoor Clarion, The Mearan Sunday Herald,  Essays on the Deryni Stories of the XI Kingdoms Deryni Archives - The Zine, Deryni Links Administravia, Author's Biographies, Author Index, Character Index, Story by Era Index, Codex Index, Site Policies  

Hall of Seasons