After several hours of troubled sleep in an uncomfortable hospital bed, Margaret Doyle was startled awake by a movement. Her eyes slowly adjusted to the contrast between the darkness of the room and the bright lights of the hallway. There was a man standing in the doorway of her room. Despite her talents for prediction, Margaret hadn’t foreseen this outcome. She knew that she would be dead by the time the visitor left her room.
“So, we finally meet,” the man said softly. His silky voice made her skin crawl.
Margaret had never met the stranger in this lifetime, but she knew exactly who he was. Oh God, Margaret thought, panicked. He’s found me. She was glad that the others weren’t there.
“Who are you?” Margaret feigned ignorance and yawned. She could already feel his energy brushing against her mind barrier. Her head started to throb.
“Don’t be coy,” the man said. Bullet gray eyes raked over her as he approached her bed. “Where is he?”
“Sir, I don’t know who you are,” Margaret insisted, as she sat upright. “But you need to get out of my room.” She pulled the bed sheet over herself and reached for the control panel on the side of her bed. Her index finger hovered threateningly over the call button. “Please leave before I call security.”
His upper lip curled with contempt. “You have a choice. Tell me where the Healer is and I’ll be merciful.”
Her charade was pointless. She dropped it and looked him squarely in the eye. “Death doesn’t frighten us.”
“Of course it doesn’t. Death is easy.” He waved his hand dismissively. “I have more,” he paused and a slow smile crept over his face. That smile made Margaret’s heart pound. “interesting plans for you and your friends.”
“Torture won’t work on any of us either,” Margaret retorted. All of them knew how to manage pain.
He leaned over her bed and whispered something in her ear. Margaret was horrified. I didn’t hear him correctly, she thought. What he’s saying is impossible.
“You’re lying.” Margaret’s green eyes flashed, despite the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. “Do you think your pathetic lies will work on me? That’s an idle threat.”
“Is it?” the man asked. He stood next to her bed silently for a few moments, allowing her to read his mind. After a few moments, Margaret felt sick with fear. He was telling the truth. This would change everything.
“You seem surprised.” His strange gray eyes gleamed with satisfaction. The stranger thrived on fear. “What did you think I’ve been doing all this time?”
Margaret didn’t reply. How had she missed this? How had any of them missed this? I’ve been such an old, complacent fool, she thought bitterly. Her miscalculations and denial would cost all of them dearly.
“I’ve never done this before, so you should feel honored.” The man slipped his left hand into his pocket. “You’re going to be my first.”
The man’s smoldering gray eyes turned translucent. Margaret’s headache intensified. He was trying to penetrate her thoughts. Despite her training, Margaret could barely control her response to the searing pain that ripped through her head. Her mind barrier started to crumble. Any thought or image that had ever filtered through her mind would be accessible to the stranger if he successfully breached the barrier. Margaret tried desperately to mend it, but she was weak from her lengthy bout of pneumonia. She didn’t have enough strength to defend herself.
No matter what happens, I can’t let him use me to find them, she thought. Resolutely, Margaret closed her eyes and with practiced skill, quickly sank into a meditative state.
“I know you can still hear me. Where is he?” The man placed his right hand on top of her head. She could feel energy from his finger tips burrowing into her skull. Two faces drifted freely through her mind right before the barrier collapsed. The overwhelming love she felt for them gave her the surge of energy she needed.
She smiled slightly, at peace. The man applied greater force. Blood vessels ruptured, but it was too late. Margaret Doyle died before the stranger could find out the Healer’s identity.
This is something I wrote about six years ago. I’m itching to rewrite it, because my writing has improved since then. But before I do, I just wanted to put this out there and see what people think of it conceptually. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thank you!