Then it struck me. Everything seemed so cliché. The old farmhouse, the abduction, the power grab, wishing my white knight would ride in and save me. I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. Not just a giggle or a short burst. I mean I laughed until I cried and I hurt.
Micah and his crony backed off. Maybe they thought what I had was contagious. Edward’s lack of response at all made me think he was panicking over screwing up again, thinking I’d lost it and could no longer be of use.
Well, I didn’t want to be a damsel in distress like in the banal books my mother used to read. I moved through the house. Emaciated bodies, pale and toxic, littered the floors. In a back room I discovered my Achilles’ heel. Children. Five of them. All under the age of seven.
I noticed they didn’t seem as bad off as the adults. I turned to find Edward trailing in behind me. No sign of Micah or his friend, though.
“Why aren’t they sick like the rest? An, come to think of it, why aren’t you, Micah, and his friend not sick?”
Edward scrubbed at his face and ran his fingers through his hair, “Micah, Jeremy, and I were not here when this happened. We do not know why the children do not suffer so, but we are glad for it. It gives us hope that they may outlive this even if the cure cannot be obtained.”
“Obviously. What happened to everyone?”
“They said a storm came. But not one of the elements. They said it was as if ghosts rose up to become parasites, sucking away any energy they could. None of us knew how to stop them.”
“Us?” I arched one eyebrow.
“I returned just before the storm dissipated.”
“And how is my power supposed to help fix this?”
“Your power is siphoned off in an ancient ritual. Then it is shifted in to them.”
“Whoa! You’re talking vampire type stuff. Isn’t that rather extreme?”
Edward shook his head and gestured for me to follow him. He led me out the back door. What I saw stopped me cold. Row upon row of graves, black earth still stark against the patchwork of snow and dead grass.
“This is the fate they all face if I cannot stop this. And I fear what may happen once there are no more living bodies to contain this plague.”
“So, I participate in this ritual – hypothetically of course – and it heals everyone in the house. What happens to me?”
“You return to your life.”
“Minus your powers, of course. They would be stripped from you to sustain and heal my people.”
I stepped back. No more storms? No more weather sense? Part of me couldn’t help but laugh again at the banality of the situation. The other part knew Edward was serious, and wouldn’t quibble at such details as my consent for this. That part of me was terrified.
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