Part 3 – 30 – “So Tired” – Kiffra

Part 3


31 – “So Tired” – Kiffra

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Illustration by Mark Hansen

The dark mists swirled around Kiffra, tossing his scarf and his hair in a vortex of nothingness, sucking away the illness and suffering of the man lying beside him. Kiffra heard the man’s rasping and rattled gasping, the deep throated coughing and the aching moans. Kiffra dropped from a crouch onto his knees near the makeshift bed. A deep and empty tiredness moved through his own back and shoulders. His arms were weary and he ached to drop them to his side. Still, he held them out over the man. 

Just a little longer.

Slowly, the man’s breathing eased and slowed to more gentle sighs. When Kiffra felt all the fevered burning and suffering swirl away in the mist, he dropped his hands with a grunt. 

The shadows rushing around the two of them quickly dissipated like the smoke from a pinched candle. Kiffra sucked in a deep breath and leaned forward, his hand rubbing his eyes. His head felt dizzy. He didn’t like that feeling. 

The sun shone in from the left. They were all under the chapel ruins because he needed shadow from the sun. Shadow strengthened his Will. Kiffra’s left elbow twitched and itched, so he reached across to rub it. 

A lady nearby shrieked. She crawled to the man on the cot. She hugged him and listened to his breathing. “Oh, Jarrel! Jarrel! Are you alive? You are! You are! Are you well?” She looked up at Kiffra. “Is he well?”

Kiffra nodded. His back hurt and his shoulders were tired.

Melyeah scurried over to the woman and held her shoulders. “As soon as he rests, he’ll be fine.”

Kiffra nodded and kept looking at the ground. He tried to stand but his legs were weak. He reached out to find something to grab and fell over into someone. 

“Whoa, lookout, there!” hands gripped his arm and held him up. He stood slowly.

“Where’s my cane?” Kiffra reached out. The man put the gnarled staff in his hands. Kiffra steadied himself on the wood. “Are there any more sick people?”

“What? More? You can barely walk.” Kiffra glanced up at him. It was Tonklyn who held him steady. 

Kiffra quickly looked away and nodded again. I’m so tired. “There are more, aren’t there? Who’s next?” 

“Sorry, mate!” Verd walked over to Kiffra. He looked up and smiled. “That’s all ya gonna do f’r now.” The little man waved his hands back and forth. It was like shaking his head to say, “nope”.

Kiffra took a step and crumbled. Tonklyn caught him and helped lift him. Together they stumbled toward the bedrolls. Tonklyn held him up and guided him. He almost fell two more times. He shuffled his feet on the stones. There would be twenty-four square tile stones before they’d get to his bed. It wouldn’t snow today. It hadn’t snowed for three days. It was sunny today. Verd walked in front. He was whistling. 

Tonklyn said, “I do not understand you at all.” 

Kiffra didn’t answer. He was too tired. I must be completely out of Will. 

Tonklyn added, “You cured a dozen people today. They’re lining up down the street.” They stumbled again. “And look at you. It’s killing you and you just keep healing them all.”

Kiffra whispered, “Eleven”

“What?” Tonklyn asked. 

“Eleven. I cured eleven people,” Kiffra corrected him. “There were thirteen more that came in with them, but they weren’t sick yet. Six of those were children. I couldn’t see how many were queued.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Hey, go easy, there,” Verd interjected, “the bloke’s had a heavy day!”

Kiffra sighed, “I’ll rest. The Creator will give me more Will. Then I’ll heal the others.” 

Tonklyn shook his head. “Yeah, then you’ll do it all over again tomorrow, just like you did yesterday and the day before. You can’t keep up like this. I mean, it’s one thing to be helpful, to heal one or two, once in a while, but this… this is… I don’t know what this is, but it isn’t good!”

They ambled a few more paces. Tonklyn stopped and helped Kiffra down to his blanket. He liked the smell of the wool and it felt warm around him. The straw crunched under him. “And you still don’t let them pay you! I just don’t understand!”

Kiffra breathed deep. He curled onto his side under the blanket. 

He slept.

Author’s Note: Healing

As we mentioned before, Kiffra is a shadow mage, but healing is what he does most. Tonklyn was surprised to hear that shadow can be used for healing, but we’ve seen DeFrantis use it before, both for physical healing and to comfort one of the children of the orphanage. Shadow deals with pain and suffering, so it can be used to pull those out of someone sick.

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