Restoring the Warrior This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Steel glistened. Carelessly, she let the blade slip,allowing her finger to be sliced down the middle. Avery cursed and appliedpressure to the incision. It had been a long time. She was still waiting,allowing the priests to mill around while she sat in the back of the church. Itwas lit by sparingly placed candles and remained silent, except for theoccasional footsteps of the priests. But she still felt the resounding drum ofbattle just outside the heavy door. The taste of death mingled with the salivaand blood already in her mouth. She jerked the cut finger from between her lips.She hated the waiting.

Quickly jiggling her leg, she tried to relieve thespasm in her muscles. The closeness of death began to feel heavier; her stomachturned at its presence, like she had swallowed cold slivers of fear. As she bentover, easing a hand over her abdomen, the church door was thrown open.

Priests rushed in, carrying large, wooden crosses and chanting inundertones of echoing Latin. Avery stood to meet the warriors who followed. Fourmen carried the last; dried blood encrusted their faces while they tried to speakencouragingly to their charge. The breath caught deep in her throat as the menbrought Aidan to her, and she caught him in her arms.

His breath wasweak, though he watched her twisting the soft metal of her tools. She murmuredsoothing words in his dialect, supporting his broad shoulders. Her untied hairfell in dark tresses over his face as she dug the sharp tip of her tool into hischainmail, cutting the overlapping layers away from the arrow shaft embedded inhis chest.

Avery heard a man whisper the possibility that the arrow hadbeen poisoned, but ignored him.

"I'll remove it now," she warnedAidan, who nodded trustingly. She whispered the words of an old unbinding charm,willing the shaft from his flesh as she pulled. It came free, along with pools ofAidan's warm blood. His eyes closed, and she whispered another charm to close offthe pain.

By that time, the men had unlatched Aidan's armor andcovered the large wound with strips of cloth and their own pressure. Aidanreached for her hand, his muscles taut, eyes still closed. She smiled at him, hisfair hair shining faintly in the candlelight. Brushing her lips across his softeyelids, then lips, she breathed a charm into his body. Aidan slept, and againthe church was still.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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