Kaye was in the foyer of the palace’s great hall, on a hunter’s travois, and he was a dirty, bloody mess, his clothes torn and his breath shallow and pained. Though scratched and cut all over, Kaye was in no danger of bleeding to death. It was Kaye’s internal injuries that worried me. Something had crushed or trampled him, leaving two of his ribs fractured, his right shoulder dislocated so violently that several muscle fibers had been torn, and his left leg broken in several places, with a shattered kneecap. The only good fortune was that he hadn’t suffered any head trauma.
I had the doctors clear away the onlookers, then removed my elbow-length gloves and rolled up my sleeves. First, the shoulder. I felt the area again, gently and thoroughly to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Kaye turned toward me, smirked weakly, and whispered my name, followed by something I couldn’t hear. I bent closer and felt his breath on my ear as he managed to say, “I’ve missed your touch.”
I almost smiled, then I wanted to slap him. This was in no time for games. “This is going to hurt,” I replied simply, and then reset his shoulder. He cried out, and for a moment I thought he’d lost consciousness, but then I noticed his gaze on me, his eyes bright with pain and silent tears.
Art by Becca Schauer.
This is a scene from Autumn Harvest: Maiden, a tale of forbidden love between a witch and the prince of a backwards kingdom. You can listen to or read the complete story free on Big World Network.
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