“Erik, you’re actually bleeding pretty bad from that ear. Let me heal you.“ William and Erik sat together at the prison cafeteria table, each watching the other’s back.
Eric leaned back. “What? What do you mean? Nobody’s touched me for months except to hurt me and I’m not good at getting touched.”
“It’s all right Erik. You heal yourself. I only have to give you the slightest touch to restore you. Watch.” William grasped the edge of his tray and extended his pinky, nodding for Erik to do the same. Erik complied, and the tips of their pinky fingers contacted.
William cleared his throat. “I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to feel a time when you’ve been loved. I want you to embody when you have felt so good, you can’t remember ever feeling bad.”
Erik closed his eyes and bowed his head. He remembered the water. He remembered diving deep into the ocean, touching the bottom, feeling weightless. Whenever he dove and swim, it was like he connected with a spirit from the depths. That spirit rose through his body, from the soles of his feet, to his knees, hips and sacrum to a solar plexus to his throat to his forehead and through the top of his head.
He felt the energy flow through him. He felt the waves of healing washing throughout his body. He felt himself becoming stronger. He felt the strength and courage returning. A warm glow filled his chest, radiating outward through hands. He reached up to touch his ear and found that it was whole again.
He opened his eyes and reached out to William, shaking his head. “That’s amazing,” he said. “How did you do that to me? I feel so much better. It was like I was sick, and didn’t even know how sick I was.”
William laughed. “None of us do, really. We all think we’re doing just great and we don’t even know how sick we are.“
“How did you learn how to do that?“
“Honestly, Erik, I’ve been alive for thousands of years. I’ve learned about healing and survival. I’ve also been to war. So much war, so pointless. And when you see so many people hurt, you learn how to fix things when you are able.”
“Can you teach me?”
“You know how to do it, you just showed me. But I can teach you. You must understand, the price is quite high.”
“I don’t have my money anymore. They took it all. They took all my assets and all my tech.”
“That’s a good start. You can’t pay me with money. Throughout my very long life, I’ve earned and lost fortunes upon fortunes. No, the price you pay is to yourself. You’ve already lost it all. You take away the machines, the mansion, the clothes, and you see the man beneath who has always been present.”
“Of everyone they could’ve sent to get me out of here, they sent a 1000-year-old healer. You would think they would’ve sent a fighter.”
“I’m sure you’ll find that I’m no slouch when it comes to battle and brawl. Endless wars and fights have taught me well. But you’re correct that I’m not here as your muscle. That man is still to arrive.”
As if on cue, a mammoth figure shaded the light in front of Erik and William. They looked up to see broad shoulders, a lantern jar, and a massive head ring with curly hair. He growled, and sat down at the end of the table.
“I take it you gentlemen are Eric and William? Pleasure to meet you.” He offered his hand. “I’m Roy Ruby. They call me ‘The Lion.’”
William reached over and clapped Roy on the shoulder. “This is the muscle!”
Erik shook the man’s hand. “So how long is it gonna take us to get out of here?“
Roy turned over his forearm, and dug one of his sharp fingernails in, drawing blood and causing Erik and William to recoil. “Fifteen minutes.”