Fool's Hand: Part III
Baethan sees the corruption spread
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, December 6, 2013 15:12
Baethan’s mind was wakened again. He had eyes once more.
He could see a white room and an open window, through which a calm breeze flowed through a pair of softly swaying curtains.
“What’s happened?” Baethan thought. “Am I alive?”
Baethan found that his eyes were moving of their own accord. He could now see multiple temporary beds lined up in rows along the walls. On each of the beds, he could see children lying under white sheets and heavy cotton blankets.
Baethan felt his body lean down toward the nearest bed, and he could see a small, pale boy shivering and moaning with pain.
Suddenly, words came out of Baethan’s mouth, but they were not his own.
“Hold on, sweetheart,” the voice said. “I’ll get more anesthesia. I’ll be right back. I promise.”
Baethan’s body then began to move, on its own, away from the beds.
“Charisma!” Baethan thought. “What’s going on? Why can’t I control my body? Help me, please!”
“Be silent, child,” Charisma’s voice
echoed in his mind.
He could faintly hear the soothing
song singing to him again. Its unfamiliar words but beautiful melody lulled his sense of anxiety.
“Did you believe you were alive?” Charisma said. “Poor child. I cannot raise beings from the dead. I merely transferred a part of your subconscious into the mind of another human being.”
“How can I see what this person is seeing, but can’t move on my own?” Baethan asked.
“This body is already occupied by another mind,” Charisma said. “You are merely an observer. You may experience this person’s thoughts and feelings, but you may not influence any actions.”
The person whose body Baethan was sharing stopped at a small table cluttered with a wide arrangement of medicines. As the person sorted through a number of bottles and glass vials for the anesthesia, a mirror above the table revealed the person to be a young woman wearing blue scrubs and a stethoscope around her neck.
“Do you recognize this woman?” Charisma asked.
“Yes, I do,” Baethan said. “It’s Miss Nalani. She is the nurse who always took care of me whenever I got sick.”
Miss Nalani found the anesthesia and walked back towards the shivering boy’s bed. Miss Nalani pulled back the sheets and blanket, revealing the child’s unfortunate fate. His skin was pale and coated with sweat. Heavy black veins branched over his entire body.
“Those marks are just like the ones on the rose,” Baethan thought.
“They are,” Charisma said. “Those marks are a sign of His infection.”
“What do you mean?” Baethan asked. “How can He infect people?”
“Through corrupting your world, child,” Charisma answered. “He can infest anything a world produces naturally, such as your world’s food and water. When His sickness has affected a world’s spoils, its inhabitants unintentionally contract His vileness and become consumed by it. They become The Corrupted.”
“The Corrupted are regular people?” Baethan asked.
Miss Nalani was injecting the boy with anesthesia, holding his hand the entire time. The boy barely uttered a wince or a painful moan.
“Yes,” Charisma said. “They will do anything He commands until their bodies are nothing more than dust. No one is safe from their wrath.”
Baethan felt a wave of panic flow through his mind. No one is safe.
“Charisma!” Baethan shouted. “Take me to my mama and papa right now! I need to see if they’re OK, please!”
“Very well,” Charsima answered. “However, be forewarned. They were not powerful enough to protect you. They may not even have the power to protect themselves.”
Burke Bischoff can be reached at email@example.com