The Healer in the Mist

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What’s Gone, and What’s Past Grief

“I wish Althea were here,” Mireya said behind the delicate lace of her black veil. Her voice was distant and weak. She was exhausted and heavy with grief.

“Yes, your Majesty. We all do, I know. But even a Healer can only do so much.”

“I don’t want a Healer, Durai! I want my friend!” Mireya had almost shocked herself with her outburst; she had barely spoken above a whisper for days.

Durai almost smiled to see spirit in his ruler, but it was true, he wanted Althea back. Ever since she disappeared, the court had felt empty. He would do anything to get her back.

Anything.

Mireya was in a place beyond grief, and though she had attendants to see to her, feed her, bathe and dress her, she did not know it. The needs of her physical body did not reach her heart which was in a place beyond grief. Her brother had left her, left them all, left all of the world. And he chose to do it.

“The ceremony was beautiful, Majesty. All of your people for miles came to share in your grief. We are all with you.” Durai’s words seemed to come from a place far away, a place that didn’t seem real to Mireya anymore; a place she didn’t want to be real. The world was new, ugly and empty now, without her brother. How can the sun continue to rise and fall without him?

Durai turned to leave Mireya sensing perhaps her desire to be alone with freedom to grieve in her own way far from propriety and perception of royalty. “Durai, how could he leave me like this? Was it something I did? Something I didn’t do?” Her guard was down, and her mind could see the sight of what her brother had done. What she saw that morning could never be unseen. What he did to himself would scar her very soul for as long as she walked the earth and even after.

Durai immediately turned to be by his Ruler’s side. He had been waiting for her to fully face what any person might feel. This might be the sign that she was coming back from the numbness she had been under for days. Things could begin moving again. “My Lady, I cannot begin to guess at what took your brother’s heart. But I am certain, because I know you, that it was not because he did not know your love.”

Mireya didn’t move or show signs that this even registered. All she wanted was a second chance to make things right and say the things to her brother that she wanted to keep saying over and over-that she loved him deeply and without end. Saying it to a memory would never be enough.

Durai kneeled and tried to reach past her pain, “The unseen evil that speaks pain and whispers lies is full of malice. The heart is poisoned, and there is no turning back once fully consumed. I cannot even begin to imagine the full depth of your sorrow, Mireya.” No one had said her name in a long time, not since her brother was still alive. Durai is the only one who would, the only one who ever did besides Althea. It was enough to jolt Mireya into the present, into more clear thinking. She lifted her head. She didn’t see an unfocused figure as so many people had become since her brother’s passing; she saw her friend and Counsel. She saw Durai.

He saw that he was reaching her, and he had to keep going. Anything to bring her back to the strength she had always had and the figure she had always been. “We are here for you, Mireya. All of us, all your people. We would move mountains for you.”

“Would you really?” she said just barely above whisper. “You, Durai, would you do anything? Would you shake the foundations of the earth?”

“My Lady, I would call forth the wind to carry away your pain.”

“No.” Suddenly her voice was her own, her mind in the now, her heart in unfamiliar urgency. “Would you, Durai, Enchanter of the court, shake the very earth for me.” Each word she spoke was pushed with careful strength and the resolve of her stature. “Would you bring him back to me?”

Enchanters were powerful and practiced with the highest mastery over the Land’s Magic. Other bloodlines could reach in here or pull from there within the living conjured wonders of the world, but Enchanters had the most power, the most mastery. If anything could be done within the physical world, they were the ones who could do it. And Durai was one of the most powerful which is why he was the Queen’s Court Enchanter. He was her only hope.

Durai hardly smiled, even more so after Althea disappeared, but he smiled now. Durai’s features were always beautiful, but there was something even more alive in his face at that smile. His green eyes were vividly alive, almost glowing. Or were they actually glowing? A slight wind in the closed room circled them both.

“Yes, Mireya. I think believe I can.”

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